|last updated 5 December 2015|
09 - 5 December 2015
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier
tonight while Denise has a nice long hot shower.
Firstly, the star gazing at Queenstown was cancelled for the third night in a row due to cloud cover so.... we did get a full refund. At least we got three free rides up the gondola each night! That is something. But on with the holiday.
Saying good bye to Queenstown, we head north out of the town. 340 km today... should take about 5 hours plus stops.
Instead of staying on highway 6, we took the mountain road because of the "scenic view" sign - and it saved about 50km... so up the Crown Range we went... and up.... and up... and up.... and more up.......
Everywhere we looked... more views.... oh... over the next rise....
And a little further... one of Denise's panoramas - looking good.
Oh my gosh... still more breathtaking views. I think the sign was correct, it was a scenic route. Thank you sign (and Mr Google) for recommending it.
Then we came down... and down... and further down....
... before we took a breather and stopped for breakfast at the Cardrona Hotel. A cheese scone for breakfast in a scenic back garden.... and back to the car - and onto Puzzling World!
Puzzling World is situated in the middle of nowhere about 80 km north of Queenstown. We arrived just in the nick of time for me to stop the Leaning Tower of Wanaka from falling on anyone.
Puzzling World featured by wonderful illusion rooms (from which I am still recovering due to the fact that it played havoc with my balance) The 3D walking maze provided amusement AND recreation. Probably covered about 3kms at least walking up and down stairs and back and forwards along the many corridors trying to avoid dead ends and reaching the 4 towers within the 60 minute deadline!
The aim of the maze was to get to all four towers and then the exit. I made it the first tower.
It was a 3D maze because of the stairs which complicated your navigation.
I finally located Denise waving to me in another tower.
Unfortunately and very embarrassing for me, Den got to the fourth tower before me and at the 40 minute mark... so I lost. :((( Denise was a happy chappy.
After the maze some amazing illusions. One of them was a room where it appeared that balls rolled up hill. It messed with my head. After that I was lost for the next few hours. However I did have a bit of fun on the chair that rolled UP the stairs.
Pictured below - The Big Tap
Time to go - Only 250km to go today and it is already 1pm... so back to the Mitsubishi Outlander and on toward the glaciers.
We continued our drive 30-40km along side Lake Hawea on the right (below)... through a short neck and then hugged the coast of Lake Wanaka on the left.
Not long after the sun disappeared and it got very foggy and rainy for the rest of the day and night. Worse still the more we climbed into the hills the thicker the fog got all the way to Franz Josef.
Views of the Tasman Sea on the west coast - amidst the rain and fog. Pretty rugged and beautiful.
200 Kms later we arrive at our small but fully functional cottage for two nights - amid large banks of fog passing through the Fox Glacier and then the Franz Josef glacier.
Was there really a Fox and Franz Josef Glacier. We still think they are figments of everyone's imagination. We could not see a thing in the thick fog!
Tomorrow, we set out to see both glaciers! ......errrrrr assuming the fog lifts by morning
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