My Trip to New Zealand
Pete Grant
Dec 2007 to February 2008

 

Saturday, February 9th, I woke up to a sunny morning. However, after only about 20 minutes the clouds rolled in and the sun was not to be seen again for the rest of the day -- but at least it wasn't raining!

My plan had been to do a 5-6 hour hike into the Fiordland National Park near Lake Manapouri. As I drove to the trailhead, I noticed the clouds getting darker and I heard the weather forecast on the radio: showers, possibly thunderstorms, this afternoon. I parked at the trailhead for about an hour to see if the weather would clear up, but then it began sprinkling lightly. I'm not enough of a hiking enthusiast to do it in the rain, so I gave up the thought of the trek. I then drove to the other side of Te Anau to check the conditions there and it looked pretty much the same.

On Sunday the 10th, the weather forecast was bleak for the Fiordland area so I headed down to Invercargil where the situation was supposed to be better. I thought I'd do the part of Southern Scenic Route that I had skipped a couple of days ago.

But first: Lynda asked for pictures of the inside of the van. Here's a couple:

With the bed (partially) made And converted to daytime use
 
The weather as I was driving between Te Anau and Invercargil In Invercargil they were having a bike race event
 
Some Invercargil street scenes:
 
 
Along the Southern Scenic Route between Invercargil and Balclutha A windy place -- I've been wondering why I don't see hardly any windmills in NZ
 
Coastal scenes along the SSR
 
Did I mention that New Zealand has a large sheep population?
The sheep are everywhere, especially in the South Island, but it's hard to get a decent photo of them as most of the time they start to run away when I stop my camper van. (Note that in both photos most of the closer sheep are seen from the rear end.) They are so sheepish!
 
I camped in the town of Balclutha that night as it was getting late and I could not possibly make it to Queenstown at any reasonable hour. Besides, I was in no particular hurry as the weather prediction for the next day left some to be desired.
The morning of February 11th didn't look very good
(view from the campground in Balclutha)
It didn't take much driving to see this on my windshield.
 
But a few more miles and I could see a break in the clouds in the Queenstown direction And a bit further, things looked even better
 
>Aren't the clouds awesome?
(taken about 30 minutes before I arrived in Queenstown)
 
When I was climbing with Simon, he mentioned that I should take a drive to the town of Glenorchy. I had seen it on the map but had not read anything special about it so the thought of visiting it had not entered my mind. On Tuesday, the 12th, I took a drive there and saw some really gorgeous scenery on the way:
Note that you can click on some of the following photos to get a larger view
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Glenorchy really is the gateway to Paradise
A small village by that name was about 15km past Glenorchy.
Some more clouds on the way
 
The road to Glenorchy Views from the road
 
 
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