Ian & Claire's Adventure
17th, 18th, 19th October The next few days after Queens town we spent driving up towards the west coast to the famous Glaciers. On sunday we headed up to Wanaka (reputed to be the next Queenstown) via a short stop in Arrowtown. It has a reputation for being like a wild west town and very pretty. I'm sure it is in the Autumn. It does however host another famous LOTR location where the Wraiths were washed away. (you know the bit although you will need your imagination using our photos). The drive to and in Wanaka were stunning and on a par with Mt. Cook. Its a tiny place by a lake, surrounded by snowcapped mountains. Its the first place we've been to that we started to fall in love with. Wanaka has a really quirky cinema made from a converted town hall full of old compfy sofas and arm chairs where they have an interval so you can buy cups of tea and homemade cookies. We munched down our stew (which we have become pretty good at making I might say) and went to the cinema to watch 'The eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'. An excellent 'Being John Malcovik' type film with Jim Carrey. The next morning, feeling revitalised and ready to be outdoorsey again we trecked (tramped) the Diamond Lake track which turned out to be more of a climb than a walk. At the top we were surrounded by snow 'see the snowman photo'. The view was stunning as ever. Afetr a cheaky lunch of Kiwi fruit which we have become a little fond of and Toblerone which we have always been very fond of, we skipped back down and drove off up to Fox Glacier. On the way back through Wanaka though we did see a perfect stone house by the lake with plenty of garden (theres oddly not many of these around). We had to stop in Wanaka to find out how much. a mere NZ$750,000 (300,000 quid). Oh well, we can dream. It was dark when we arrived at Fox Glacier so we stayed the night in a new site just put together while they are building some fancy chalets. (wooden houses here seem to be slotted together like lego. easy) 19th We picked up our first hitchhiker in the morning on the way to The Glacier. It wasn't much to look at as its mostly covered in silt and you can't get to close to it. Its still a glacier though so impressive anyway. We skipped the walk and drove up to the more famous Franz Joseph Glacier instead. It was an hours walk to get close to it but when you are there you can walk up onto it (although it is still moving and a little dangerous). It was pretty cool and had the same slushpuppy blue colour that still amazes us. Our next destination was up in Nelson and the Abel Tasman national Park which we had been saving days for. On the way we stopped at a little known place called Punakaiki.