Dunedin, Twizel, Mount Cook, Ashburton, Rakaia

Trip Start Sep 03, 2005
Trip End Mar 18, 2006

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Saturday 12th November 2005

It was raining today in Dunedin, found somewhere to park eventually and then I went to McCafe to update the travelpod whilst Andy went to download the photos onto CD and have a look around. He came back after an hour and we spent the next hour uploading photos.
We stocked up at the supermarket and headed on to Mount Cook, our next destination. On the way we stopped off to see the mysterious Spherical Boulders at Moeraki, it was still high tide so most of the boulders were covered with water, those that we did see were still impressive. Andy decided he wanted to have his picture taken with him standing on the biggest boulder, which of course had to be the one in the water, he tried to jump onto it from a smaller boulder but slipped off and into the sea, shin deep!! It was soo funny and I could see it coming a mile away.
We carried on our journey towards Twizel. Before we got to Omarama the weather changed again to blue skies, which was good so at least we could dry Andy's shoes in the sun. We took the turning to Lake Ohau to find our DOC campsite for the night, we couldn't find anything that resembled a campsite at first and we drove for miles down the road, on the way back we found it, not far from the start. We parked up by the lake, had dinner and then took a walk to the lake.

Sunday 13th November 2005

Andy went for a quick fish this morning down by the lake, then we drove towards Twizel. The owner of the Top 10 Holiday Park in Invercargill told Andy of a great fishing spot near Twizel so we went straight there, past a hydro electric power station and onto the man made canal. It was obvious it was the right spot as there were a couple of salmon farms and lots of people fishing by the canal, now we knew where it was we would come back later. We drove onto Mount Cook, passing a beautiful turquoise lake on the way, we stopped at the DOC info site in Mount Cook Village to check out the walks and decided to do the walk to Kea POint to see the Mueller Glacier and views of MOunt Sefton, Footstool, the Hooker Valley and Aoraki/Mount Cook. We would do a bigger walk to morrow as the visibility would be better than today. We drove back to Twizel to have a look around the town and then onto the canal where Andy fished until it started to rain. We went back into town for a drink in Hunters Bar to pass the time away and wait for the rain to stop. When it did stop we went back to fish and Andy caught a 2lbs brown trout, we cooked the trout in the van and ate dinner by the side of the canal. We then drove to the info centre down the road which we had seen earlier on highway 8 as it had toilets outside and we thought they may be open for us to camp in the car park for the night, luckily for us they were still open, so we parked there for the night.

Monday 14th November 2005

We drove straight into Twizel to the info centre in the town as they had showers, had a shower, checked our emails there and then decided not to go back to Mount Cook but to carry on the journey, and Andy wanted to go to the Salmon capital of NZ to fish. We arrived in Ashburton and went straight to the Coronation Holiday Park, parked up and had some lunch. Andy meanwhile suddenly realised we were in the wrong place for the Salmon capital of NZ, we were supposed to be in Rakaia. We couldn't do anything about it now as we had already paid for the night, we decided to go there tomorrow. So we went into the town looked round the shops, went on the internet, drove around to find a nice spot by the Ashburton river so Andy could fish, but there were no easy ways to get to the river. So we drove back to the campsite for the evening.

Tuesday 15th November 2005

As soon as we were ready we drove to Rakaia, the ACTUAL salmon capital of NZ and it even had a huge salmon statue to prove it. The town wasn't very big at all, tiny in fact, they didn't even have a proper fishing shop, it was located in the local holiday park. So we drove to Rakaia River Holiday Park and chatted to the owner who told us to go to the River Mouth, that would be the best place to fish but he warned us not to drive on the beach to the river mouth as it was soft sand and gravel. We drove straight there, the first thing Andy did was drive further onto the beach than he should have done, ignoring the big STOP sign to warn about the soft sand and gravel and only 4WD were able to drive along the beach. I had to say to him that we better go back incase we got stuck, next minute as we were turning round to go back, we got stuck! It took Andy a good 10 mins to get us out of this little mess, it was very close, I could just imagine the huge fee to tow us out. We eventually parked up safely and we walked to the river mouth where Andy fished. All the local had quad bikes or 4WD's. I walked back to the van for lunch and Andy followed later on, he later went back to fish for the afternoon.
Later that day we drove on to Christchurch and stayed at the Amber Park Motel and Holiday Park just outside of the city.
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