The mess in our route plan could start from this day.
Regardless of that, the idea for this day would be ending in Queenstown.
In our way through the Haast Pass (the only of the
three passes through Southern Island mountains we’re going to use in
this travel) there are a couple of interesting stops: the Blue Pools
and a falls along the road.
We could then stop in Wanaka to enjoy the lake
views and lunching and, if we’re on time, we could even visit an
original thematic park about puzzles: The
We could also pass by places as Arrowtown, a well conserved
town looking as the ones in Westerns.
Before reaching Queenstown we would stop one last
time in the part of Karawau River were bungy jumping appeared for first
time and where the Argonaths scene from “Lord of the Rings” movie was
Once in Queenstown we will go out for enjoying
some of its night live, and we could start in the ice bar.
We could think about the adventure activity we’re
going to join – if even we want to do any -. Bugy jump and Skydive are
expensive, Jet Boat or Flying foxes are more affordable.
Route at map is 215 Km long, which could be
covered in 2 hours and a half
Today we’re going to reach a good level of delay
in our route plan but the glacier tour is definitively a must-do for us.
At sunrise, there are no clouds in the sky and the
peaks were hidden yesterday can be completely seen now. As we’re going
to be told later in the tour, the two highest peaks in New Zealand are
there: Mount Cook and Tasman, it’s just the optical effect makes Tasman
to seem higher because it is closer. The beach with the complete
postcard of snowed mountains is amazing because it is disconcerting too.
As scheduled, at 7 AM we leave the place and take
the same gravel road thought a forest which brought us here yesterday
begging meeting no campervans in our way as it seems there is no enough
space for two. That’s the reason for going such early, we want to have
spare time in case of any issue. But there is no issue except for, just
before reaching the paved road, some cows start running in front of us,
marking the speed of all three motorhomes, in order to avoid their
calves to be harmed.
As we know well the way because we did it
yesterday we’re parked in Fox Glacier Guiding tour offices with no
troubles and time enough as per asking to plugging some of our camera
batteries to be charged while we’re on breakfast or
looking around the
gift shop. We use then our card to pay the 109$ per person for the tour.
We’re called at 8:10 AM to get into the dressing
area. We take seat while we’re given some explanations and then we’re
delivered boots, jackets, cloves, crampons, socks and, in case you need
too: hats, bags and water proof pants. One of the two guides is an
Argentinian woman, which will help to our group with the language.
A short ride in a full van and we’re in front of
Fox Glacier. There are different groups of people for different things,
so finally, it’s just a 15 persons group the one we belong and join in
our climbing in a path through rocks to reach the glacier from the left
side. We must cross a couple of streams in our way, jumping stone to
stone, and guides keep telling us details and information about this
area and this glacier.
Before getting on the glacier we must tie our
crampons on the boots and taking one stick. Now we’re ready to walk
From this point tour becomes amazing: we pass by
the narrowest paths between ice walls and visit deep holes opened by
the water in the ice, where the intense blue beats the generic white
Today is surprisingly sunny. Surprisingly for
them, who explain the reason of glaciers these glaciers to exist so
close to the sea level is the rain, which seems to appear two of each
three days, in a way the incoming snow volume in the glacier is always
bigger than the outgoing volume of water. We’re already used to the sun
to be there, which seems to be unusual in New Zealand, but we still
don’t want to talk about it because… you know… don’t want to break the
We’re back in town four hours later, which has
passed so fast for us. We deliver the borrowed clothes and are given a
certificate as we’ve explored Fox Glacier. It’s around 1 PM when we’re
back on the road driving to Haast Pass.
The wild Tasman Sea is constantly appearing at our
right while driving and we stop in a viewpoint with wonderful views
over it. We’re talking about stopping at next place we can lunch. After
that point, the road leaves the coast to take the pass, just before it,
we follow a sign in the road addressing us to the empty restaurant of
Heartland World Heritage Hotel, some minutes past 3 PM.
As usual, dishes are big and the seafood chowder
is spectacular. It’s 215$ for all eight persons.
It’s at 4:15 PM when we’re on the road getting into the Haast Pass. The
sun is setting the end of this journey and we know it is not going to
be in Queenstown. At the moment, we’re still expecting to visit our two
stops along this way.
And we do it. Thunder Creek falls come first and
three is space enough for parking the three motorhomes for a very short
walk to the falls. It is a high waterfall over a river with that
greener blue color the rivers have around here.
On another hand, the short, but longer, walk to
Blue Pools drives us to a bridge over an area of the river with quiet
and surprisingly intense blue colored waters which is not affecting to
their great transparence. We can even see the big trouts living in this
We’re now ready for checking how far the sun is
going to let us get. I’m betting by Wanaka and, if so, the delay of
this day could affect less than expected to the general route plan.
There is no longer sun for today when we reach Hawea Lake, but
is still not completely dark. The landscape is wonderful at our
left: the entire big lake surface with the mountains around
enveloped in dark
Just before Wanaka we can see the Puzzling World, with no
light than the moon and what rest of dusk. It is along motorway 6,
which we leave just to get into Wanaka town. We're looking for the park
we've chosen between all in the guide: Aspiring Holyday Park.
When we arrive following the signs across the town, we find
almost full, although there is vacancy for us. It is shocking as all
the parks before were quite empty. It has the first free Wifi we find in
parks and even they'll deliver free hot chocolate tomorrow morning for
breakfast. We love this place and it is in our average of prices: 160$
for three motorhomes and eight people. We cook for tomorrow's lunch as
we're thinking about consuming the food we have in the fridges.