21st March, 2015.
Lake Hawea Holiday Park boasts one wonderful thing (apart from the lake itself, of course): a double cabin right at the edge of the lake, with a glass window overlooking the turquoise waters.
So honeymooners, that’s my tip of the day for you. Of course I didn’t take a photo of that cabin. Go and find out how it looks like yourself.
We drove out after breakfast, as usual. By now you should know every inch of South Island is scenic, so I shall spare you the details. The most remarkable part of the journey is of course the Crown Range Road.
Crown Range lies between Wanaka and Queenstown. The road, is the highest main road in New Zealand. It’s definitely not a drive for the faint-hearted; my thambi really outdid himself with the drive. While others struggled with their brakes, he practically cruised down the winding road towards Queenstown. We felt safe being chauffeured around by him. But of course, don’t tell him that. Hahha.
We made a pitstop for lunch at Queenstown. Thambi was so happy to find halal chicken in the form of Nandos. For muslim travellers’ information, most supermarkets ie Pak & Save sell halal meat and poultry.
We decided not to put up a night in busy Queenstown, instead making our way to Glenorchy. It is a small town located on the northern part of Lake Wakatipu. The drive along Wakatipu’s eastern shoreline is relaxing and beautiful. Don’t let the size of the town put you off, Glenorchy in fact has been the backdrop for many movies; ie: The Lord of the Rings, Vertical Limits, Narnia, to name a few. It is also the starting point for the famous Routeburn Track.
Initially we drove to Benmore Place by the edge of Lake Wakatipu to camp, but we find not much privacy apart from lack of proper facilities around.
So I took a stab on luck and decided to drive to Kinloch instead. 😀
Kinloch is a very small settlement by the northwestern head of Lake Wakatipu. So secluded it is that the road was still unsealed by March 2015. Initially we thought we were heading to nowhere, but we were more convinced when we saw a couple of cars going towards the same direction. We passed by a few shrubs and stream before the view opened up to a large grassy field and a single mansion on top of a small mountain. That’s the Kinloch Lodge.
Opposite to the lodge is the DOC site. The view makes up for its lack of facilities but it’s okay, we were planning to rough in anyway.
Appa tried his hand at fishing again, to no avail. Umpan ikan Malaysia low standard kut compared to New Zealand punya ikan. Hua hua. Fortunately, appa made friends with a fellow avid fisherman, whose favorite catch is the trout. He explained Wakatipu is filled with them (but how come bapak payah nak lekat kat umpan??) and he warned appa from going towards the river mouth as the tides can be strong around the area. He also promised his first catch to us. Yay, free meal!
After maybe a couple of hours, finally we got ourselves a trout. Then it started raining. So the fisherman ran back to his car and bid us farewell. Ish kesian. His only catch and he gifted it to us. Ingat nak jugak la ajak dia rasa kari trout, tapi dia dah balik. Oh well. Thank you stranger.
That evening were spent lazying and pondering upon life. Nothing much to do when it rained, eh? We sat and listened to the sound of rain… and drifted off to sleep.
Only to be awakened by my amma who wanted to do her number two and insisted my brother to go with her. There went my amma’s introduction to the long-drop toilet 😀