If you have ever met or know anything about me you will probably know I love to be by the water. I grew up in and out of the sea and swimming pools, dog walking by the canal and fishing with my dad. So this portion of the trip was one of my highlights even though we didn’t all that much exploring. We had chosen a DOC campsite at Lake Hawea to stay for a night, so we drove inland from Haast stopping along the way to do short walks and take in the views as is the case with most scenic drives in New Zealand.
The most memorable stop we made on the drive east was at Roaring Billy Falls. You can see this waterfall earlier in the drive down the highway but once you have made your way down to the riverside it is even more impressive. The day we were there it seem especially magical with lots of small low clouds around the mountains and hills surrounding the area. It is as times like this in New Zealand when you can see why they chose it for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
From there we drove to Wanaka to relax by the lake, see the infamous Wanaka tree, and grab a fresh juice, before heading out to the Kidds Bush DOC campsite on the edge of Lake Hawea. After an evening of watching the sunset over the lake and eating instant noodles we climbed up into the tent and hit the hay ready for a hectic next day of travel.
The next day was one of the more hectic days we had in our itinerary starting with a surprisingly relaxed morning lounging the shore of Lake Wanaka, as well as a couple of quick dips into the cold water to cool off. Then after a quick coffee break we headed off towards Queenstown, where we sat down in Starbucks to do some admin for our upcoming move to Canada with their free wifi. For dinner that night we opted for Fergburger, where as always the queue was down the street. I opted for the ‘Holier Than Thou’ burger taking a risk on there being only a small amount of coriander. Next up was drinks with a friend of my partners, before driving down to Loke Moke to set up camp for the night. Since we had arrived at camp so late we took the opportunity to take some photos of the night sky, something I am still new to trying.
The next day was mostly taken up with an adventure to Macetown via a 4×4 track, which was just a touch nerve-wracking to say the least. Despite the hair-raising nature of the journey the views were definitely worth it.On the way back down from Macetown I volunteered myself to take a picture of my partner driving across one of the many river crossings. In the process I lost one of my flip-flops… Sorry DOC. After quite the adventure we stopped at a local swimming pool for a quick dip and shower to wash the last couple days away. The disadvantage of most DOC campsites is they don’t have showers so you have to make use of public ones or occasionally book into a holiday park for a night or two.
On our final night in the area we headed back to Lake Moke campsite and watched the stars come out together. Definitely the most romantic thing we did on this trip, actually probably ever.
Next up in this series will be Fijordland National Park. So until next time thank you for reading.