We left Queenstown and stayed overnight in Cardrona, between Queenstown and Wanaka. The following morning saw a short drive to Lake Wanaka followed by a trip to Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World. Not a huge place, but pretty interesting – particularly the Ames Forced Perspective Room – apparrently the technique of this illusion was used in The Lord of the Rings film to create tall people and little people. And a lesson learned from the maze – make sure everyone has been to the loo before you enter!
From here we drove up the west coast of the south island to Fox Glacier – the name of the glacier and nearby town. From this visit, I get the impression that the west coast of NZ’s south island is the wettest – it certainly was whilst we were there. Too wet for hiking up to the glacier anyway. Well, that’s the excuse we used to book a short, but exciting helicopter ride over Fox Glacier – fantastic!
From Fox Glacier we drove to Greymouth, but due to the bad weather, instead of doing the Tranz-Alpine railway (one of the world’s most picturesque rail journeys) or staying in Greymouth, we decided to carry on all the way to Nelson – 300miles that day in total. Not a huge amount on UK roads, but on NZ’s winding coastal and mountain roads, that was a bit of a challenge!
Our arrival in Nelson saw an improvement in the weather, and we visited somewhere where we had holidayed a number of years ago – Kaiteriteri. Beautiful beaches and missed opportunity – we had briefly toyed with buying an investment property their 10 years ago, but decided the other side of the workl was a little impractical. Now it’s dubbed as millionaires’ paradise, as that’s what has happened to property prices there! Oh well.
Whilst at Kaiteriteri we took a boat trip around the Abel Tasman – a beautiful stretch of the top of NZ’s south island – the highlight of which was all the seals lounging in the sun on a small island.
After a few days in Nelson, we headed for Picton and the Interislander Ferry. After 2,000km of driving, we were ready to move our journey from the south to the north island.