by sam on 12th April 2017 2 comments
Looking back down the Crown Range road to Queenstown
Moving on from Queenstown today to Wanaka. It's a smaller lakeside town, known locally as the less adventurous sister. It's only about 75km away over the top of a mountain or about 100 if you go round the mountain. We went over.
Our drive over the mountain takes us over the Crown Range Road, a zigzagged route to short cut between Wanaka and Queenstown. The weather is starting to turn bad again as Cyclone Cook starts heading in. By the time we get to the viewing point visibility is starting to close in, by the time we get to the top all we can see is cloud around us- Sure it's beautiful on a clear day!
First stop was Arrowtown, a small gold mining settlement, first inhabited by the Chinese. There are some remands of this time, little cottages that you can walk into with walls lined with newspaper from the mid 1800s. The rest of the town felt very much like a little mid-west USA town. It's most famous for its autumn festival that is on for a week in a few days time, for being the most gold/red area in NZ. Native NZ trees are evergreen, so only certain areas that had immigrants import trees have autumn colour. There seems to be quite a bit around this southern area.
Crazy bungy jumper
Then we went on the hunt for some LOTR location again (a river site where the pillars of kings were cgi' in, if you are interested!) but we came across the original place site for commercial Bungy jumping AJ Hackett, so decided to stop and watch a few nutters fling themselves upstairs down a long way down into a gorge with a roaring river beneath it. Amazingly you can do this from age 10!! I find it so hard to watch what seems so unnatural!!
On the last leg of the crown range is a small town called Cardrona, home to the Cardrona Hotel. Another gold rush town, the hotel was built in 1863, and it still has the original wood facade and entrance to the mine in the pub floor. We had a nice hot cup of tea in front one of several roaring fires, it was so cosy, and the food coming out looked amazing!
Our Wanaka cabin
Finally we arrived in Wanaka, our new little cabin is a bit dated in parts reminiscent of 1960s Butlins chalet, but the sofa, bedding and curtains and carpet are new and, most importantly, the electric blankets work so all is good!
Did you bungee J? Are you gonna?
Hi Di Hi campers!!