Next stop from Queenstown was Wanaka. The journey was an easy one, but very impressive with once again awesome scenery. I dont think we could ever get bored of the snow mountains. Again a lovely little place with a huge lake and mountain views, the scenery we are seeing here is just amazing, really hard to put into words how beautiful places are. We took some photo's and came across a group of wierdo's who dedided to go for a paddle in minus degrees! We then went for a few drinks and then Matthew and i went to a Doc site just outside Wanaka. It was by a river and very much Lord of the Rings country.
The next morning we went for a walk up Mt Iron that gave views of Lake Wanaka all the way to Cadrona valley, it was good to do some walking again and the views didn't dissapoint. Once we had finished we headed further north to Lake Tekapo, very similar to Wanaka but it had a lovely church overlooking the lake and the mountains.
From Lake Tekapo we headed to Arthurs Pass, which i'v got so say has been the best drive yet, it was completely covered in a blanket of snow and just looked breathtaking. Driving through the snow mountains was a great experience and somehting we will always remeber. We had intended to do some walking in Arthurs pass to find when we got there all the walks were knee deep in snow, as were the pavements so no walking once again. We headed to a pub with an open fire instead to spend the evening and to keep ourselves nice and warm. It was in Arthurs pass that we first came across the Kea's which are the only alpine parrot. They are as clever as monkeys and like rubber seals from car windows etc. cute at first but become very annoying when walking on teh roof of the van in the early hours of the morning. Matthew had to throw a snow ball in their direction to get them off the van.
Our next stop was Golden bay to stay with one of katies friends who moved over to New Zealand 10 years ago. Kate and her husband Shane live on a sheep farm in Golden Bay. We arrived to a warm welcome to say we have never met these people before. We parked our vans on their farm for a couple of days while we indended to look around Golden Bay. On the first night we were there we were treated to huge mussels, scollops and a BBQ. It was great. The next morning we were treated to Waffles with bacon and maple syrup (the best we have eated in ages). We then set out to have a look at Golden bay, although it was absolutely pissing it down, so the trip wasn't exactly succesful. We went to farewell spit which is the most northen point of south island, however we couldn't see a thing as the weather was so bad, we then went to their local pub called Tinkeys in Collingwood 15 miles away from where they live...just imagine that! With the weather been so bad we headed back to their fur Sunday dinner that was Hoggit ( a 1 year old sheep), it was lovely. We had a great time staying with kate, Shane and their kids and they made us feel really welcome. The next day as we were leaving their farm it had actually stopped raining so we could see the views from their house...what a way to live!
On the way back from Golden bay we stopped off at Havelock which is the capital of the green lipped mussels for lunch. This was a farewell luncjh as katie and Justin were heading to North island for a few days before flying back home. The mussels we had for lunch were great, but it was a bit sad to say goodbye, even though it is only 9 weeks until we are back.