Being honest I have to admit that I do not mind saying farewell to Okarito. We had only booked the cottage here because we dared to go on a Kiwi tour. Besides that the little town does not keep anything interesting for me, I can barely get away from here fast enough. 30km along the road we reach the city of Franz Joseph and at last we are able to use our mobile phone again. I succeed in reaching my parents who haven’t heard of us for quite a while now.
Today we head for Te Anau, and it is a long way to go. By now we don’t just consider these days as travel time, we simply enjoy the journey itself. One of our new domestic acquaintances told us the South Island was much more beautiful than the North Island. Of course this is a matter of taste but it really applies on the area we are now crossing through. We have to stop again and again to just rejoice ourselves in the wonderful landscape surrounding us. When leaving Okarito the rain is pouring down and it is still raining when we reach the Hasst Pass. Behind it the road is dry, the weather gets better and better. In New Zealand you never know what kind of weather expects you.
From Wanaka towards Queenstown we take the smaller route through the valley of the Cadrona River. Traffic signs warn not to take this way if you are driving a vehicle with trailer, we are curious what lies before us. At first the route seems to be harmless – but the surroundings! The hills are covered with blooming gorse, lupines are growing all along the river banks. Not just every now and then, no – whole fields of them for kilometres. Here and there some rocks in various sizes are placed decoratively, the design reminds me of a garden exhibition, they don’t do it better there.
Soon the street begins to rise. It is certainly not the most difficult pass we have to cross but the ascending slope goes on and on. Reaching the highest point behind the last bend the view opens to Queenstown lying far down below. It is the Mekka for extreme sportsmen in New Zealand. And there they already are, the first paragliders. Quick – let’s go on!
Farer down to the South the road leads along the large lakes though departing a bit from the mountains. We finally come closer again when getting nearer to Te Anau. Our next cottage we find at once, Jane already expected us. Our new landlords are also sheep farmers, the lamb Percy happily wags his tail with every new guest and longs to be petted. After todays long journey we don’t want to go to town for dinner, we just have a hot soup. We look forward to the next day!