Wanaka

(back to Fox Glacier)

Saturday, March 18, 2006 (continued)

After the glacier hike on Fox Glacier, I got in my car and continued driving down the west coast. I was thankful to leave after the pesky keas, the sleepless night, the cold/wet of the place and move on.

The plan was to get as close to Queenstown as I could. I got as far as Wanaka in the late afternoon, and it was just so pretty I had to stay for the night. I got a pasta dinner in town, and then found there was a Department of Conservation campsite near by, so I thought I'd check it out. All the campsites I'd stayed at before were privately owned. This was the equivalent of camping in a US national park. Turns out it was pretty easy, and cheap too. There were no showers or kitchen, but the view was incredible! I didn't do much in this area except sleep and eat, but I had to share these photos of my campsite.

 

This was a beautiful campsite, but incredibly windy - that's why my car is parked so close to the tent. The only way I could get the tent up was to use the car as a wind block... and after it was up I was afraid the tent would blow away. The ground was too rocky to drive the stakes, so I rigged it up so it was kinda tied to the car. A little bit of trouble, but very much worth it! I sat on the other side of the car and watched the sunset... incredible!

This area (and all around Queenstown) was used quite a bit in the filming of the Lord of the Rings. It was some of the best scenery I saw in New Zealand, and that's saying something! I'd like to spend more time in this region if (when?) I go back to New Zealand.

(on to Glenorchy)