We hired a car in Queenstown as we wanted to drive the Crown Range to Wanaka. Our hire
contract clearly states two roads the van must not go. One is Skippers Canyon and the other the Crown Range.
We left around 8:15am whilst Queenstown was swathed in candy floss like mist, the frost was heavy on the paddocks, the tree tops and the poor old sheep were whiter than usual with a thick blanket of ice on their backs. They weren’t moving a lot, not from the cold I reckon but with added weight on top.
The sky is azure blue and the sun is out, trying to burn off the high wispy clouds on the mountains. A lone hot air balloon is high and just hanging suspended, going nowhere
in this perfect morning. Great shot Bill, using his telephoto lens.
The drive from Queenstown took us through Arrowtown, which looked snug in its misty wrapper; the smoke from the chimneys confirmed the locals were a teensy bit cold. 1
degree the temperature is. We will get photos on the way back when the sun is out on the township.
We turn off to the Crown Range and start climbing. The road, as in all the South Island roads, is excellent, the view, looking back to Queenstown and Arrowtown spectacular. Like a fairy town in the children’s’ Grimm’s Fairy Tales books. The road snakes behind us like a mini Monaco up and through the range, with the Cardona River keeping us company from Cardrona, we continue north to Wanaka. We can see thick, low cloud through the mountains in the distance and as we got closer we could see Wanaka totally blanketed. Our beautiful warmish, sunny, blue day gave way to cooler and cloudy.
We have a date with Alan and his boat. A couple of hours fishing Lake Wanaka will
do us very nicely thank you!
No wind, a tad chilly, but here we are. Just lovely! Reminiscent of the early starts, fishing Lake Taupo, from Motutere, for many years with my old mate and great friend, Eion. Also reminiscent of those days, guess who caught the first fish? Yep, I did. A lovely 5lb rainbow jack. Great colour with superb condition.
Whilst waiting for the next hit, we trolled Alan’s best spots, taking in the beauty of Lake Wanaka. Ducks and Canada geese abound. Yes, this is the first Saturday after the 1st May and the official start to duck hunting season. Those geese look very big and tasty!
The sun is burning off the cloud and lighting up the hills and mountains surrounding us.
Bill lands a beautiful rainbow, just a little smaller than mine (had to make that point didn’t I?). She is a beauty in great condition but probably full of eggs which makes her look even
fatter. Time slips away too quickly and we need to head in, but not before I land another fish, which, sad to say is not a keeper. A wee bit small. It has been a great couple of hours and as our fishing licences are for 24 hours, we can’t waste them, so head for Lake Hawea just up the road. A perfect day now, in a perfect place, but no fish! Doesn’t matter, we reckon we have had a great time as we head back over the range taking pics here and there in the late afternoon sun.
Dinner fit for a King and Queen tonight. One trout down, one to go. Nothing like eating your fish within hours of catching it