Queenstown to Te Anau

Trip Start Jan 22, 2013
Trip End Mar 18, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yesterday we made reservations to go on the Shotover River jet boat ride. Wow! Karen pretty much hates riding in our speedboat, so I was having a hard time figuring out how she could possibly do this.  The trooper she is, to even go on the 2 month adventure, she went willingly and from the yelling and screaming from having so much fun, going on next to me in the boat, she obviously just doesn't like me driving the boat.  She kept saying, Chris Carpenter said she wished she would have gone, so Karen was determined to go. We couldn’t take camera’s so the video I did take was of another boat.  Sorry I can’t upload it for you to see, but it was a blast.  I swear the driver came within inches of shear rock walls.  He did 360 degree turns in tight places in the river too.  Quite an experience.  Like bungy jumping, this experience was started right here.  Speeds were up to 60 mph.  Did I say WOW?  And for as much as I could see thru the tears, the scenery was amazing.

After that we stopped at the local McDonalds for coffee and internet and then it was on to Te Anau, another 3 hr drive.  But as we’ve come to learn, the scenery is to die for.  This is an amazing country of views that keep us waiting for the next turn in the road.  We’re traveling on 2 lane road and there’s nobody on them.  Our Mercedes campervan can do 60-70 with no problem.  Diesel is $1.50 per liter.

Leaving Queenstown we drove along Lake Wakatipu.  Again, this lake reminded us of Lake Chelan a bit, except the mountains on each side rose dramatically to peaks like you’d see in the Sierra Nevada’s, or the Alps.  This area is known as the Southern Alps. And we’ve only just begun to experience them. 

As we were driving today, Karen spotted this sign out in the middle of nowhere.  It is actually in Southland.  Anyway, the next door neighbor was a pottery/antique store.  Keep in mind this is all on a 2 lane highway in the middle of nowhere.  So I stopped at the store I knew Karen would go to, and I walked next door to Stu’s Fly Shop.  www.stusflyshop.com  This area of NZ is world famous for fishing.  So I went to the front door that had 3 heavy steel door locks and sure enough it was closed.  But no sooner could I look thru the window did an attractive blonde haired young lady showed up to let me in.  I told her my name and said I just had to stop in.  She said Stu was out on the river and she was just a traveler.  Hmmm.  It turned out she was from Iceland and was "working" for Stu in the office in his house just behind the small shop.  Anyway, I bought the hat and we moved on.  Ray and I might have a fishing trip to take down the road.  And maybe Barry if he can find his fly.

Then it was on to Lake Te Anau to our next Top 10 Holiday Park.  We’re parked next to a younger couple from Finland.  We talked with them about their travels and compared notes on places they’ve been and where we’ve been.  This is a typical situation at the parks we stay at.  The parks are $40-50 per night.  Most “holiday" parks have full shower/bath facilities, communal kitchens, Unisex baths… and separate, BBQ, laundry, saunas sometimes, power, water, and dump stations that are very well engineered.  It gets to be a real international mix of food, conversation and stories.  Very fun compared to the U.S.  
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Chris Carpenter on

OMG...so proud of you Karen and so jealous!!

Noma Edwards on

Woo, woo, let's hear it for the 'Love Nest'.

Gail Alskog on

I've been enjoying all of your diary entries, Stu. Must say this one was the most fun. Sounds like you are having a wonderful adventure!!!!

walt dewing on

you two are living the dream
Driving across New Zealand -- wow what agreat idea.

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