Queenstown to Haast

Trip Start Jan 22, 2013
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24
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Trip End Mar 18, 2013


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, February 10, 2013

Google video chatted online with the kids this morning on our regular Sunday routine to get caught up on wedding planning and pregnancy progress. It's nice to be missed, and reminded of our love for our family when we’re away for so long.
First we headed to the AJ Hackett bungy jumping place on the Kaowara River.  We walked in the door and immediately made our way down an inside circular ramp along the outside wall of the building.  They had large video screens showing live jumps.  On the outside terrace we watched jumpers go every 5 minutes at $185 per jump. 

After that we headed over the Crown Range to Lake Wanaku.  www.lakewanaka.co.nz.  Same old story.  We crested a ridge to an open view of a huge aquamarine colored lake in a valley surrounded by mountains.  I’d say this was getting old but it’s not.  I hope you don’t get tired of those kinds of photos.  Wanaku is referred to as the cousin to Queenstown because it has a lot of the same adventure sport activities here.  We saw people wakeboarding, kayaking, biking, and swimming.  The main difference to us was that the beach was probably 2-3 miles along the end of the lake with a park along it and the town set behind the street.  This town is a lot slower pace.  We pulled out our lawn chairs and table and had lunch on the beach, and then walked around town going to a Sunday market and the finding the gelato shop for the walk back to the CV.

The drive to Haast was another eye filled fantasy of mountain peaks, rivers running thru mountain lined valleys, with sheep and cows along the way.  Drove past Lake Hawea and then over a small isthmus back to Lake Wanaka.  While stopped to take a photo there was a guy on a bike ride who was taking a break.  I asked how far he was going.  He said he was on an 800k ride from Christchurch to the west coast via Arthur’s Pass and back over Haast Pass and then back to Christchurch.  He was from the U.S. and asked where I was from.  Seattle is our first answer, and he said he was from Magnolia.  Turns out he’s the crew coach at Lake Union crew house and knows someone Karen worked with at the City of Kirkland.  Really small world again!  Stopped for a short walk (1 mile) to the Blue Pools on the Makaroa River on the way to Haast.  Haast is in the region called Westlands along the Tasman Sea and is another World Heritage site.

Our holiday park tonight is the starkest one we’ve stayed in.  It’s all gravel, along side the highway, and the common kitchen and baths are in a large Quonset hut.  Nice!  BBQ’d rump steak on the Barbie.  Not bad.lf hour to Punakaiki.  We left Okarito at 2 and arrived in Punakaiki at 7.  Did I already say they have a lot of winding roads?  From Greymouth however we followed the coastline, but it was still a lot of curves.  

Since I screwed up the leg of our trip back to Queenstown, here are a few more photos I didn't include last time. 
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