In the morning the wind is gone and we set off under a sunny blue sky. Yesterday evening we have decided to drive towards Milford Sound after all, just to see some parts of the Fjordland. The
"problem" we have is that that fjord is about 120 kilometers away, which means - small street and many tourists included - a driving time of two hours each direction. So four hours return.
Because you have only this one street. To the fjord and back. No side roads, no loops, nothing.
Four hours just to see some water between mountains? Or probably more busses than water? Nnnaaaayyy... We don't want to wander or ship along the fjord. In the maps resp. Scott's travel guide we
have discoverd a place called Te Anau Downs, that should be sufficient. Thus we drive along Lake Te Anau and the views are impressive with all that mountains around. Somewhat behind Te Anau Downs
we find a rest area with look-out over Eglington River, we stop there, take some pictures and drive back. Might the Milford Sound be more impressive than the view over river and mountains
Anyhow, I find this one very imposing.
Well, we drive back to Te Anau [because there is no other street], then rough direction south-east-north, Queenstown is our next destination. Let's see if offroad.co.nz has two bikes free tomorrow - we'd like to book a guided offroad-tour. We drive in the plain between the mountains, there is much meadowland here, some small villages and detached houses. Looks like stock farming. After about 130 km we reach Lake Wakatipu, the road ascends a bit, we drive alongside the lake and another five km further on we are totally overwhelmed by the views...water, mountains and the sky in most varying shades of blue, the sun sparkles in the water, we are blown away.
A short break at one of the lookout-points and then further on to Queenstown. Our next big surprise: Wow, THIS is a crush! We are not used to that anymore. Even worse than a summer's day at
Timmendorfer Strand [small but famous beach&tourist place at Baltic Sea]. Cars, busses, motorbikes, pedestrians, cyclists, and all of them in a small street downtown. What a shame, we ignore
the famous "Fergburger" - I would have loved to taste their burgers but that's really too much round here. Furtermore we scale up the average age, we can't do that ;)
"Quickly" we go on towards Glenorchy, we'd like to detect one of the film-locations for 'Lord-of-the-rings'. After 10 km we give up, it is not THAT imporant. Because of the 'exuberant love of life' in Queenstown we prefer to stay the night somewhere else and the travel guide promotes Wanaka as the quiet alternative to lively Queenstown, so we turn, drive once again through Queenstown [and even find the endurotours-prvider - but we are not in the mood anymore] and bunk off.
As we have late summer here the Crown-Range-Road is open, even for campervans, so off we go. On a road every motorcyclist must dream of: Up and down, left, right and views views views. Though I would not like to to drive there in winter... After those lots of curves through and over the mountains we drive downhill to Cardona Valley. [There are some places where you ask yourself what was first, the place or the western? Cardona looks like an old western town as you know it from tv. Only for real ... and of course coloured ;) ]
After a while it is getting a bit greener and we arrive in Wanaka. Now I'm curious about it. The first campground we find is not to our taste, I'm not even sure if it is open. But there is
another one further on, let's see, if we will find it. Anyway, first of all we have to fill up tank and stock. And what can I say... At the supermarket's cashpoint we are identified as Germans
immediately by the Belgian service clerk - because we don't want to have an extra plastic bag for our purchases... Unfortunately she cannot tell us where the other campground is, she knows more
about backpacker hostels ;)
Whatever, we find the holiday park on our own - and are blown away for the third time today: It is SO beautiful here: Super friendly hosts, a quiet site with lakeview, summerly temperatures - amazing!
tag 7/ 19.03.15 - fjordland
18.03.15/ Colac Bay - Te Anau