From quaint to awesome
Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
71Trip End Ongoing
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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..
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..
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..
we drove the last 10 kms to the end of this bumpy dirt track..
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...