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Day 18.

During the tour from Haast and further down I stop by 4 different waterfalls and short walks (Roaring Billy Falls, Thunder Creek Falls, Fantail Falls and Blue Pools Walk). The waterfalls are conveniently close to the road, so worth having a short look at. The Blue Pools Walk does not end up in as blue water as on pictures, probably due to the heavy rainfall – the color is more aqua-green. It’s a really nice scenery along the road, and the waterfalls are making it even better. Especially the road near Makarora and south to Wanaka is amazing – the road is nicely paved, leveled, and corners and clotoides are perfect (engineering humor). Oh yeah – and then it’s also the most beautiful scenic drive I have ever seen! Here, mountains both with green grass, trees, and white peaks are standing shoulder to shoulder along blue colored lakes with white sparkles. I could drive this route back and forth continuously – it’s truly amazing! I stop several places along the tour, for taking additional photos which keep getting better. I drive to Wanaka for supplies. It’s really well-placed next to a lake and again with all kind of mountains surrounding: green grass, threes, brown, snow covered – it’s really a pretty sight walking along the beach (but also windy). I walk to the famous tree, That Wanaka Tree, which is partly submerged – actually more than I expected, probably due to all the rain and the wind forcing the water in this direction. I drive back north to a camp site which has received good reviews, placed at the lake Hawea and again with mountains surrounding. The road back north is just as impressive, now with new sights to the landscapes. The road to the camp site is gravel but fine, and with a lot of cows and sheep – I drive slowly to not make them run too fast. These animals just have the best view ever – I hope they enjoy it. At the camp site I meet a Danish retired couple who invite for a beer, and I bring the chips. We are both here in New Zealand for 6 weeks, and we talk about what each of us have currently seen and our plans going forward. I prepare dinner – my camper favorite; smoked salmon, pasta and sauce, and then salad and avocado – it does not get much better, with a glass or two of red wine (white would also have been good). Did I mention that this camping site has the no-drone sign? After the 100km/h sign, I think the no-drone sign is the most frequently used in New Zealand!!! Tomorrow, I plan to do the Isthmus Peak trek – if weather allows. I can see the peak across the lake where the sun sets after a very impressive day – these sceneries are New Zealand to the very core.

Day 19.

It was raining and cloudy this morning, so stayed in the camper van. After noon the weather cleared up, but it would then be too late to start the trek for Isthmus Peak – so I’ll wait for tomorrow and see if the weather is good and enjoy another day at this camp site with this gorgeous view. Yesterday when I arrived, there was no snow on the mountains in front of me, with Isthmus Peak at 1390m, and only a little on the mountains to the right of me – probably Mount Albert at 2057m. After the weather has cleared up there is now much more snow on both the mountain in front of me and the peaks surrounding Mount Albert.

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