Trip Start Apr 03, 2009
16Trip End Apr 19, 2009
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Heading South we travelled through some amazing West Coast scenery, lots of tumbling rivers (Josh counted 28 one-way-bridges from Fox Glacier to where we are staying in Albert Town - which is a 5 minute drive from Wanaka) and dense rainforest. Passed a beautiful, wild West Coast beach called Bruce's Bay that people had stacked little piles of rocks up for a couple of hundred metres along the shore/road - looked awesome.
We stopped for lunch in Haast, at the Fantail Tearooms. I ordered a Whitebait patty sandwich as I have never tried one before and what a place to sample a New Zealand classic! Josh and Kate thought it was really gross - probably didn't help that I was pulling little whitebaits out of the patty and saying 'Fishy, fishy, fishy'.
The Haast Pass was just breathtaking. We followed the Haast River for a long time and seeing it sweep into the distance surrounded by those massive rock faces and mountains - just spectacular. Also plenty of waterfalls, due to all the rain I suspect. We stopped by one waterfall called Thunder Creek falls which was very impressive, but we didn't stay long because of those pesky sand flies!
Lake Wanaka with a dusting of snow of the surrounding mountains was also beautiful, as was Lake Hawea. After unhitching the 5th Wheel at the Albert Town Tavern which is a NZMCA Park Over Property (POP) we took the kids to 'Puzzling World' which they had really been looking forward to.
Puzzle World although not cheap to enter ($43 for us all to do maze & Illusion rooms) was great fun. Kate didn't like the room where all these 3D faces of famous people like Mother Teresa, Beethoven & Abe Lincoln follow you as you walk past them, and I wasn't too keen on the room that was titled at what seems to be a 45 degree angle - I pretty much felt ill as soon as I entered it! The big maze took us about 45 minutes to complete with lots of going up and down stairs and backtracking. Josh & Kate wanted to do it by themselves, so they took off running in different directions.
After we'd finished at 'Puzzle World' we drove into the township of Wanaka, which reminded me a lot of Taupo - very pretty, very expensive looking tourist shops and kinda fake too. We let the kids have a play in the park beside the lake, but didn't bother looking at any of the shops.