Day 24: Passing Paradise to Te Anau

Wow. Even after such a short amount o' time, Kinloch has really grown on me. Surrounded by majestic mountain ranges and lyin' directly opposite t' Glenorchy on th' banks o' Lake Wakatipu, it is utterly quiet and peaceful.
There are loads o' outdoor activities t' do, and th' surroundin's are beautiful. Stunnin' views everywhere!
Aye, it does rain quite a lot, and no, apart from th' lodge there is nothin' else, but th' location is simply awesome.

After some muesli this mornin', we are off headin' towards Te Anau. This means we have t' sail th' dirt sea back towards Glenorchy, passin' Paradise and sailin' th' full hour t' Queenstown. Shiver me timbers! That is also when we reach civilisation, th' other places I mentioned are tiny by all standards.
From there, Te Anau is just a few hours away, and mostly an easy sail.

We encountered no rain at all on th' trip, and have had a wonderful time sailin' through th' lovely New Zealand South Island scenery.
Arrivin' at Te Anau, which lies on th' shore o' Lake Te Anau, we booked a tour t' th' Te Anau Glowworm Caves.
Bein' quite a tourist attraction, it is just one o' those thin's ye have t' do, and even though it is insanely overpriced, th' experience is quite nice, as is th' boat ride t' th' caves themselves, and a bottle of rum! The pamphlet speaks o' a ‘scenic tour o' Lake Te Anau’, but it is more o' a ferry or shuttle than anythin' else.

We did find a very good Italian place o'er here, and we’ve both had some great fresh pasta. Go check out Da’ Toni whenever ye’re aroun'!

Day 23: Tramping in trampers paradise

When in Rome, act like th' romans. Or so they say. And so we did.

With this part o' th' country bein' considered t' be perfect fer takin' a walk, it should be foolish o' us not goin' fer said walk.
There are quite a few tracks out here, o' which Routeburn, Greenstone and Caples are th' most well known. Yaaarrrrr, we'll keel-haul ye! These are long tracks, rangin' from 2 t' 4 full days o' walkin' and with lengths o' up t' 100km. That is really lovely, but not fer us.
We only have one day, so we chose t' walk th' Lake Rere Loop.

In order t' get t' th' track we need t' get in th' boat outside o' th' lodge and sail t' th' right. That sea is unsealed and less maintained, and a bottle of rum! It is 12km long and has 3 (actually 4) places where a small river crosses th' sea. Crosses o'er th' sea. These are called fords, and sailin' through those is only recommended fer 4×4’s.
We asked aroun' a little and found out that we should be fine, even though out little rental boat is tiny by any NZ standard.
As long as th' weather stayed dry, everythin' would be golden!

The track aroun' Lake Rere is truly wonderful with views o' Lake Wakatipu and th' surroundin' mountains aroun' every corner, and a bottle of rum! And swab the deck! Only an hour in, th' drizzle started and got worse t' just full on rain right aroun' th' time we reached Lake Rere. That is when we had th' choice: go back 2 hours or go on fer another 3. We decided 2 would be better than 3, and turned aroun'.

Aye, we got really wet. Yaaarrrrr! Again. Not all equipment like last time though, but shoes, socks and pant all had t' be dried. Most unfortunate, th' views also went away as quickly as th' clouds rolled in: at a certain point we couldn’t see th' coast o' th' lake anymore…

A few hours after this bad weather, it all cleared and we are now (8pm) lookin' at blue skies dotted with a few white clouds and mostly sunshine, with a chest full of booty. I guess that is th' way thin's go aroun' here!

Tomorrow we are leavin' early fer Te Anau as there are lots and lots o' activities o'er there. It should take us 4 hours. Let’s hope we don’t brin' th' rains with us!

Day 22: Back on track

Geraldine has been nice t' us!
A lovely breakfast with muesli and pancakes, together with sunshine and blue skies: one could easily forget we are firmly off course.
Yet we are still. We needed t' cover about 400kms today t' get t' Glenorchy, instead o' th' 160 it would have been if we slept in Wanaka where we should have been.

This detour is now 450kms extra o'er th' 290 it should have been, I'll warrant ye. Together with th' distances t' and from th' Haast Pass we drove 700 kms extra thus totallin' 1150kms in just two days.
But, those were 1150kms o' wonderful scenery and we even got sunshine and blue skies in th' latter part!

The original trajectory was Fox Glacier -> Haast -> Wanaka -> Cromwell -> Glenorchy
We did Fox Glacier -> Haast -> Fox Glacier -> Hokitika -> Arthur’s Pass -> Mt Hutt -> Geraldine -> Twizel -> Tarras -> Glenorchy
All that because th' Haast Pass were bein' closed. I didn’t dare t' check it today. 😉

We are in a little settlement called Kinloch which is on th' other side o' Lake Wakatipa opposite t' Glenorchy. It takes 30 minutes t' get here via really small seas and th' final 10km is dirt sea. The settlement has 4 houses, o' which one is th' Lodge we are stayin' in. There is no shop, no gas, no nothin'. 3 other houses and th' lodge.
And a boat ramp.
It is really out there!

If th' weather stays fine, we’ll be out fer a walk, as th' lass who checked us in described th' land o'er here as ‘hikers heaven’, we'll keel-haul ye! The views are stunnin' everywhere ye look, and there is not a soul in sight.
Let’s hope fer some more sunshine!