From quaint to awesome

Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Thursday, March 15, 2012

a world away from  the action of queenstown is the quaint gold mining town of arrowtown.. we arrived late last night so today we explored...the town has preserved many original miners cottages. churches and saloons and in many ways seemed again like walking back in time ..

 the lakes district museum was a very  interesting mix of fascinating displays about gold mining on the arrow river and the early history of the chinese settlement at the far end of the village...we learned how many miners died in floods and lack of food and they needed people to populate the area and encouraged the chinese to immigrate there, and much of their culture influenced and helped arrowtown develop..

we enjoyed seeing the quaint shops and buildings and had a super roast dinner.., only the second since november... at  the new orleans hotel on main street on the sunny patio... the hotel has a history right back to 1850 s very interesting..

after enjoying the warmest day in the south island so far we spent the night at a POP on the outskirts of arrowtown in a paddock  at a horse riding centre..

tuesday 28th

we decided to take the crown range road to wanaka which has only recently been sealed..it begins with a series of steep switchbacks to the summit with great views back to arrowtown, then back down through the dry tussock landscape of cardona valley...

 after a long drive we had lunch on wanaka lakeside and after looking at options we decided to drive up a 45km road 25km of which is a very bumpy dirt track .. to do a 4 hour walk up to rob roys glacier... we stayed the night by a quiet river..

wednesday 29th

we drove the last 10 kms to the end of this bumpy dirt track... this was the worst track we had been on with 6 stoney fords to cross in a van...!!...extremely bumpy and many times i wanted to turn back but where do you say we have come this far keep going...at the time we were unsure how long this road actually was...and i think both of us were so glad when we saw the car park..complete with toilets...at the end of the road..

again the weather was good to us after two days of hot sunshine we now had a much cooler cloudy day perfect for a 1200ft climb up a 4hour mountain walk to see Rob Roys glacier..we enjoyed a number of different terrains woods, fields, another suspension bridge,a river gorge and a very steep trail to the top..and as we appraoched the glacier the clouds began to clear..

at the top we were just 500ft from the base of the glacier.. it was awesome seeing the very blue glacier just hanging over the mountain..we stayed up looking at it and enjoyed our sandwich lunch...

the walk back down was just as awesome but as we approached the bottom the weather decided to change and we got soaked for the last 10mins back to the van..after getting out of our wet clothes, we drove the 29km back at 20km/hr and yes it took 90 mins of boneshaking  and van rattling to at last get onto sealed road again..and onto a campsite for a shower and sleep...

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