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

 

Wednesday, February 13th. Departed Queenstown and drove to Wanaka via the Cardrona pass. One thing (among others) I have forgotten to mention is that I see a lot of Subaru Imprezas here. Apparently it's a popular car with the New Zealanders.

Hey, look! I got a haircut! The road between Queenstown and Wanaka Lynda's toy
 
On Thursday the 14th -- Valentine's day -- I hiked up to the Aspiring Lodge. The hike began in the same place as my Rob Roy track last week; in fact, the first kilometer was the same trail. To reach the trailhead involved driving on a gravel road about 35km (23 miles) through a farm country. It was a fairly easy, although long trail following a Jeep trail for about 95% of the distance. The last kilometer before reaching the hut was wet and I got my shoes and socks thoroughly soaked! The hut itself was surprisingly well equipped gas stoves in the kitchen -- but no electricity. If I ever make it back here, the hut system is THE way to go!
There were sheep and cattle
 
Start of the hike View of Mt Aspiring The same glacier as I saw from the Rob Roy hike a few days ago, but from a different direction.
 
Much of the trail was through cow pastures This is my turf -- stay off! Getting closer...
 
Uh oh, them clouds are causing me to be concerned Made it! Here's the hut -- more like a hostel
 
A final view back towards Mt Aspiring
 

The night of February 13th it rained almost all night. In the morning of the 14th I called Lynda to wish her happy Valentine's day and also mentioned the rain. What I didn't know at the time was that the rain fell in the form of snow at higher elevations.

As I made my way to the bathroom to take a shower, I looked up towards the nearby mountains and was awed by the sight of snow. I thought about turning around and getting my camera but then thought the sight would still be there after I took my shower. I was wrong! The clouds rolled in and completely hid the spectacle from view. I felt like kicking myself for not taking the picture when I had the chance!

Later on I managed to take some snow photos where the newly fallen snow was visible but none of the scenes were as awesome as what I saw on the way to the shower earlier in the morning. Below are two photos taken from Wanaka of mountains farther away than the ones I saw on the way to take a shower.

Fresh snow on the mountains in the Mt Aspiring National Park
This is supposed to be summer???
 
The rest of the day (14th) was spent on driving to Christchurch, stopping many times on the way for some photos -- mostly of the snowfall

 

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