Friday 27th November
Central South Island - Tekapo to Banks Peninsula
Despite our careful selection of a sheltered spot we were still woken in the night by the van being buffeted and by the noise of rain and thunder. We could see lightning through the skylights above our heads.
As expected, we woke to torrential rain. The lake and mountains had disappeared in the grey fog, although we could still see our fir trees and the pebbly beach.
We enjoyed a cosy morning in Madge, drinking coffee and reading our books, looking out from our 270 degree bay window, watching the storm pass and the mountains and blue waters of Lake Pukaki slowly reappear.
As the weather started to improve we drove on to Lake Tekapo, another beautiful turquoise blue mountain lake.
The Mount John Observatory is perched high up to the north west of Tekapo and gives amazing 360 degree views of the lake and surrounding land. The observatory offers day and night tours to view the telescopes and also to view the day and night skies. Today's and last nights skies were not conducive to any kind of star gazing and so we contented ourselves with a very fine coffee and afghan chocolate biscuit in the Astro Cafe - a greenhouse affair overlooking the whole of central South Island. As we sat, and did the usual taking of group photographs of other people grinning at their tables, we watched the clouds move swiftly away and patches of blue sky appear. The sun made the cafe heat up incredibly quickly and within minutes we were all outside cooling off!
Today was another unexpected day as we had expected to spend two days at Mount Cook, but found one day to be enough. Having perused the guide book, we made plans for our next, and last, three days in New Zealand