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Published: August 19th 2016
A spectacular view of Mount Cook, Mount Tasman and The Southern Alps started our day. When you are in the township of Fox, drive towards Lake Matheson and look behind you when you reach the motels on the edge of town. Today was unparalleled beauty, clear blue skies, sun glistening off the mountains, the colours of nature in absolute splendour.
We drove south along the Haast highway, this road was only opened in 1965. The whole area is UNESCO listed, conservation was a topic very much in the forefront of NZ conversation at this time, so other than the Maoris, gold miners and some farmers and fishing industries this area of NZ was largely unexplored and untouched. And no mistakes had to be undone, virgin pristine rainforest is everywhere. The waters are clean, mountain streams and rivers totally clear. Our aim today was to go fishing in Jackson Bay which is 40km south of Haast. The advertising talked about seals, penguins and dolphins as well as fishing off a jetty, so we thought it worth a look. Driving from Fox you pass Bruce Bay supposedly one of the top 10beaches. All we can say is pack the sandfly repellant, despite
the sea wind we were surrounded by the little blood suckers within minutes. The West Coast and sandflies are synonymous, they are the size of Australian mosquitos, the females the offenders, needing blood to produce eggs. Stopping at Knights Point to admire the view even the cold winds did not deter them from seeking us out. Jackson Bay was full off them too and nothing else in the wildlife department other than some sea birds. A very tiny remote bay with a few homes and huts, we set up for a couple of hours fishing on the edge of the wharf. And snag and snap and the fishing rod was snapped in 2. Sigh!!! With nothing to keep us there we headed to Otago and Wanaka for the night. This is a very growing town, 7500 population, summer and winter sport paradise. The road from Haast takes you from the headwaters of Lake Wanaka, along it's side and then past Lake Hawea into the town of Wanaka. Our Kiwi van park is towards Glendu Bay. Snow capped mountains a continuous view all day front, back and side.
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