There's snow in the mountains!!!

Trip Start May 18, 2005
Trip End May 18, 2006

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Friday, April 7, 2006

We bussed to Wanaka from Te Anau, skipping Queenstown as it was just too expensive to stay there. Its meant to be a great spot though, its where all the action packed stuff goes on - bungy jumping, jet boating, rafting, skiing in the winter and a little skydiving and the like. We decided we'd just nip through it onto the next town and do all the action packed stuff for less elsewhere.

So Wanaka anyway. It's a nice cosy little town, apparently a mini Queenstown and like all the towns in this part of the country its on the edge of a beautiful lake and surrounded by snowcapped peaks. Gorgeous. We really only came here as a stop over on the way to Franz Josef further north but we really liked it and stayed an extra night.

We did some nice hillwalks and generally just strolled about the place and relaxed, something we forgot to do so far on the trip. One of the walks we did was to go up Mount Iron, a small mountain about 2 miles outside town and there were some lovely views from the top across the town, lake and surrounding mountains. Of course, in our (or rather my) eagerness we ended up going up the wrong way using the tougher track, which was nearly vertical at some points. It wasn't funny at the time, but we laughed when reached the top only to see some little kids hopping around on the rocks. They had taken the easy stroll up. I must learn to read signs some day.

After the walk we popped into a place called 'Puzzling World', a little theme park on the edge of town. As the name suggests, it full of puzzle related stuff. There's a room full of little puzzles for you to try (in vain), a maze for you to get lost in and, best of all, there's a few optical illusion rooms where you find yourself getting dizzy a confused.

One of the rooms is like an ordinary room, except its tilted at about 15 degrees. Its very disorientating at first but your brain quickly adapts and before you know it it looks like everyone is walking around at a tilt and the room is normal. Kinda spooky. They even make it look as if water is flowing uphill.

The best of the rooms was the Little and Large room (not its real name, but that'll do as I can't remember what its called). Basically 2 people step into the room and stand at either end. A third person then at another send look into the room through a window and it looks as if one person is a giant and the other is tiny. Its really cool. There's a poster outside it saying that this was how they did some of the shots in The Lord of the Rings. Check out the picture anyway.

So that was Wanaka. On to Franz Josef Glacier now.
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