The next day saw us leave the We(s)t Coast and head off to Wanaka. It was a great relief that, as soon as we left the coast and approached the mountains the sky started to clear. We even had a picnic lunch overlooking the Haast and Landsborough Rivers.
Again some stops along the way including a walk out to the Blue Pools, so named because of the colour of the water. This afternoon, however, the water was distinctly green but many people were still enjoying the crystal clear water.
It was noticeable as we crossed the mountains via Haast Pass that the rain disappeared and the sun reappeared.
Arriving in Wanaka and with an apartment overlooking the lake we decided to ‘dine in’ sitting on the deck with a beautiful view spread out before us.
A slow start the next day saw John hiring a bike to ride around the lake shore while Ros walked, though not so far! One interesting aspect of NZ which is very apparent in areas such as this is the profusion of ‘free campers’. Many areas of NZ allow campers to just pull up anywhere and camp for the night. Many people take advantage of this including large motor homes, smaller vans and tent campers. The lake edge in Wanaka, particularly close to the town centre is a ‘free camper’ haven. I forgot to count, but at a guess there would have been around 50 vehicles in the space of a couple of kilometres.
A coffee and then we were on the way again.
Three stops along the way saw us visit the Cardrona Distillery to sample their single malt whisky, gin, vodka and two flavoured spirits, orange and elderberry. Kenny, who welcomed us and took us through a tasting, was highly entertaining and a very good salesman. The visit was interesting not only for the tasting but also because we were taken into the private cask barrel room where Lindsay’s sister and brother-in-law have a whisky cask stored. Storage time is 10 years, so they need to be patient! Ros, of course, bought some whisky!
At the entrance to the distillery is Bradona, a fence lined with bras. You are invited to add one to the display when you visit. There is definitely one of every colour shape and size! John was a hugely amazed by the variety and could not quite believe the variety. I suggested he probably had not visited DJs bra section recently or he would no longer be so stupefied! The site is there to help raise money for breast cancer research and provides details of how you can donate.
Then we stopped for lunch at the Cardrona pub, a very old building left over from the gold mining days where the speciality is frickles, deep fried pickles! A must have. Once. There is a lovely garden behind the pub where you can sit in the sun and enjoy the surrounds as you have your lunch.
Our final stop was at the Wet Jacket winery where we tasted and bought some local cheese as well as tasted and bought their Pinot Noir. This again was a very attractive old building with a lovely outdoor seating area for dining. We could have, had we wished to, lunched all over again!
Then on to Queenstown for our final stop and a stay of four nights.