Friday 1st March, 2018
We load our kit and leave Queenstown, somewhat reluctantly for we had a nice pad here and enjoyed our diversions, but we are on a schedule and the show must go on. The next leg of our journey takes us north, across the Crown Range to Wanaka, about 120 km away. We are still among the grand glacial lakes of the Southern Alps. Once again we are blessed with a fine day and for David this is a short easy drive over the alpine road (grand and wiggly) down to the hamlet of Cardrona. This is a sleepy little place which only comes to life in the ski season. For some strange reason, one of its lodges has amassed a whole fence length of contributed bras. It has renamed itself “Bradrona” and this is all in the name of supporting breast cancer research. One wonders about the bouncy nature of its donors.
Wanaka town sits at the southern shore of lake Wanaka. Its lake view is delightufl.
It retains a laid-back, small town feel and comes to life in the winter sports season. The folk of Wanaka clearly have a propensity for history. A trail of terra-cotta tiles line its waterfont walkway offering a time line of great events. Each donated by a subscribing resident. What a nice educative idea.
Its bars are vibrant and full of merry makers (for it is Friday evening) and we enjoy a couple of beers and a noisy steak dinner by its water-side. Today Wanaka appears to be a stop-over for all the world’s camper-vans.
A word about those. One of the popular ways of enjoying NZs fabulous scenery is to rent a camper-van and tour. The camp sites are many and, of course, inexpensive. We own one of these machines in the UK and enjoy the liberty to go and stay where we will. On NZs single lane highways they can be something of a nuisance to the likes of us motorists, as they are speed-limited and overtaking opportunities are sometimes far apart. The protocol, encouraged by road signs, is to “Share the road” and “Traffic behind you? Let it pass”. But they don’t always do that. We have spent many a mile looking at the back end of slow moving camper vans.
Our billet in Wanaka is a delightful small hotel run by (you guessed) another pair of English ex-pats. Is there a lesson here in living the dream?