Home > New Zealand > Day 8: Another Sunset

Day 8: Another Sunset

07 June, 2010

Happy Queen’s Birthday!

In honor of this British (and affiliate country) holiday, Katrina and I went out to breakfast. We chose Bob’s Weigh, a small café in downtown Queenstown recommended by my Fodor’s guidebook. I asked the cashier for his recommendation and ended up with a bacon, avocado, and spinach omelet with toast and homemade chutney (along with a flat white to drink). Kat had focaccia French toast with pure maple syrup and a berry sauce (and a mocha to drink). After we ordered, Kat turned to me and said, “That cashier totally checked you out.” …He was a guy. I guess that’s a compliment?

French Toast in the Morning

We ate breakfast at Bob's Weigh, a delicious eatery in Queenstown.

It was still rainy and cloudy, so we opted to skip the Sky Gondola and just walked around town instead. We ended up in The Remarkables Sweet Shop. I bought a dark chocolate crème filled mouse, and Kat got a coffee crème chocolate. The chocolate was ok, but the sample of tiramisu fudge that we tried was amazing.

Queenstown Wharf

Taken as we were walking around Queenstown.

Segway Tour

We noticed this Segway tour as we were walking around the wharf.

Laughability

(Taken by Kat)

Chocolate Snacks

Chocolates from The Remarkables Sweet Shop: a chocolate cream filled mouse and a coffee cream chocolate.

We left Queenstown (without a third Fergburger) and headed towards Wanaka. We took the same route that I took my last South Island trip, along Crown Range Road. This road starts out with crazy switchbacks that require you to go 15 kmh around the bends. This time, though, the mountains were completely covered with snow, and the side of the road was piled at least 6 inches deep. (That’s a lot in New Zealand.)

Crown Range Road

Wanaka was cute, and we got a few pictures of Lake Wanaka, but there wasn’t really much else there.

Smiley at Lake Wanaka

Kat standing in front of Lake Wanaka.

Big Ole' Yatch

One of the few boats on Lake Wanaka. Being winter, it wasn't exactly prime boating season.

The drive to Fox Glacier was a long, but pretty one. The view across Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka were totally different with the snow covered mountains this time. Luckily, there wasn’t really any snow or ice on the roads, and we had no problems driving it.

We crossed a huge, one-lane bridge (with 2 passing bays) near Haast over the Haast River as the sun was setting. We ended up pulling into a parking lot, climbed down near the water, and witnessed one of the most brilliant sunsets to date. It’s tough to choose between this one and the one in Te Anau.

Haast River

We stopped at this point on the Haast River for another one of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen in my life.

Sunset at Haast

Prime Time

At the same place, while we were taking photos, we noticed that the wind started to pick up. It whipped across the water and created huge ripples. Suddenly, upriver from us, a 20-30 meter whirlwind formed, pulling up water and swirling it around in a mini-tornado. There were two, the first of which just narrowly missed Kat, and the second of which went straight for me. I was standing out on a sandbar, and cyclone created waves that gave me wet feet, but I was otherwise unscathed. (Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of them because I was too dumbfounded and worried about protecting my camera.)

The rest of the drive to Fox Glacier was in the dark, and there was nothing memorable for this reason. When we did get to Fox, though, we went to use the bathroom. Katrina went first, but came out running after just a few seconds. She said there were “50 bajillion spiders each 2 inches wide,” and refused to use it. (She ended up going at a bar instead.)

We cooked and ate dinner at Lake Matheson (just Satay chicken again) and are now parked on the side of the road, as usual. We’re supposed to hike the glacier tomorrow. It’s raining right now, but I really hope it dies down. Otherwise, tomorrow could be a long and uncomfortable day.

See the full set on Flickr! (Photos will be uploaded as I go through each day.)

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