Queenstown to Wanaka

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March 18th 2007
Published: March 18th 2007
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The extra hour in bed due to the end of NZ light saving was very welcome but we still struggled to check out by 10am. The initial drizzle quickly cleared and intermittent sun followed us as we travelled the scenic route over the Crown Range to Wanaka. We initially stopped to view the Shotover Jet boats at their base. They are astonishingly fast and manoeuvrable. We also stopped for coffee and scones at the former gold prospecting town of Arrowtown. It has a bit of a Wild West look with all the wooden buildings on the main street - but these are now largely gift shops but it still has a certain charm. The twisting road that snakes steeply giving excellent vistas back over Arrowtown and right back to Queenstown is a lovely if tortuous drive - reminded me of the Pyrenees. The valley into the small town of Cardona is twisting and tussock covered with large but less menacing mountains far to each side. Wanaka is set beside a Lake like Queenstown again with lovely surrounding mountains but is quieter and more relaxed. We are staying at the Matterhorn South. The only accommodation left was the en-suite lodge (a bit above our normal budget a NZ$85 but nice and comfy. The air was very clear so the mountains were crystal sharp. There was a large temporary exhibition down on the lakeside of the earth seen from the sky. Many of the images were amazing. There was an occasional photo from somewhere we've visited such as the Okovango Delta but the many others made us realise how little of the world we've actually seen.

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An old gold prospecting town

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