Mounting Isobel before a relaxing spa
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
371Trip End Feb 26, 2011
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Where I stayed
Kawatiri Historic Reserve
It was therefore a fairly late start for us and I was still trying to convince the Lady that we would mountain bike instead of walk today. We popped into the I-site and read the $3 map, we decided we would climb Mount Isobel, so replaced the map after trying to memorise it and headed off. The evening seemed to have been rainy and windy however in the mountains it had clearly been snowing and the forests and peaks were all covered in snow. Never mind if we can do the Tongariro Alpine crossing we can do this. The views were glorious and at the bottom of the mountain the light coating of snow on the fern trees made for spectacular views. As the snow started to melt though large snowballs and fine snow showers fell from the tress all over the pathway going down your back. As the snow got thicker we were able to start making snow men and placing them on handrails on staircases or on the steps for other people following us. We got to the waterfall which was gorgeous probably about 45m high but we have seen quite a few waterfalls on our trip. We then set off to the summit up the path which said "this track is unsuitable in some weather conditions", not sure what type of conditions they could mean but they couldn’t have meant snow could they?
The climb was steep and slippery but we took our time, we both had thoroughly wet feet again and we stopped for some lunch on top of a cliff looking out across the green valley over to another set of mountains
We got back to the car and immediately decided it was time to hit the spa. Hanmer Springs Spa is perhaps the most famous on South Island and it doesn’t cost the world to get in. At about $12 (£6) for about 15 different pools it’s pretty good). For us though despite the snow capped mountains being visable from some parts of some pools, it didn’t measure up to the Polynesian Spa at Rotorua. We spent about one and a half hours there and as the clock hit 4pm we knew that unless we left soon we would end up staying another night in Hanmer Springs. There are loads of walks and mountain bike tracks here but we suspect that this will be the case everywhere on South Island so we feel like it is time to move on.
We drove through some of the most wonderful mountain scenery as we drove inland from Hanmer, with endless supplies of snow capped mountains and forests. I think the route was Lewis Pass? I’m not quite sure because we are a few days behind with the blog again. It probably took about 3 hours of driving before we finally made the town where we found a free DOC campsite. It was cold by this time and not long off going dark so Erica made us go to the chippy! It’s horrible to say but it is cheaper to get a bag of chips than cook anything and the bags of chips are huge. They are so unhealthy though it is a real double edged sword. Whoever would have thought that two scoops meant a newspaper size bag – yes the size of a page of the Daily Mirror!