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Picture overload and the lovely Wanaka

Haast, New Zealand

After 2 days in Franz Josef it was an early start, not particularly easy after having only got to bed at about 3am!! Not one to sleep on the bus today was going to be hard work....It was time to head further inland and across the Southern Alps.
First stop of the day and the reason for the early rise was Lake Matheson. The morning was fairly misty but the mountains were clear and after being dropped off we headed off into the woods to find the lake. After to 15/20min walk we came to a little jetty on the banks of the water and beyond that one of the best views ive ever seen! Once everyone had got their fill of piccies they all headed back to the cafe to get some brekkie. Me on the other hand had the urge to walk round the lake as there was another viewpoint on the other bank which looked to be in a better position. It was only half way round the lake on the 1hr 15min walk that I realised I didnt have a watch and had no idea what time the bus was leaving!! Add to this, the fact that it was starting to get pretty warm and the track wasn't particulary put together for people jogging round with flip flops (jangles to the kiwi's). It has to be said I started to poo myself!! The sweat was starting to flow and my feet were hurting. I must have looked like a right peanut to all the Derby and Joan's that I was meeting going in either direction, some of them even making witty comments as I passed them!!
Much to my relief the view from the other viewpoint was absolutely amazing, considerably better than the first and fully justified me looking like a plum.... Dodging the amused OAP's I darted down to the front of the jetty and fired off about a hundred piccies then as quickly as I arrived buggered off back down the track.. With my camera fully loaded I upped the pace and made my way to the cafe and waiting bus stopping occaisionally to snap a couple more piccies as the landscape was as breathtaking as my jogging!!
Looking like a right sweaty mess I got back to the cafe and found everyone still sat round having breakfast. I sat down with the lads and asked them when the bus was leaving, after they stopped laughing at the state I was in they said it wasn't leaving for another 20mins! BUM!! Once the sweating had ceased I got a sausage roll and drink and got back on the bus..

From Lake Matheson we headed away from the coast through the town of Haast and over the Haast Pass, one of only 3 roads that cross the Southern Alps. Yet again the scenery is amazing and we stopped a number of times to get a look at some of the waterfalls and other stuff. Once over the top we headed down into the province of Otago and Mt Aspiring National Park where Wanaka is to be found.
Wanaka is a cool little town and is fairly busy all year round. In the summer there are loads of water based activities to do on the lake and in the winter it is a major skiing and snow boarding resort. Due again to my tight schedule i only had time for one nights stay. After a free BBQ and a few beers we headed back to our room and watched Lord of the Rings which was on the hostels movie channel (when in Rome!)....

permalink written by  The Hulk on April 16, 2007 from Haast, New Zealand
from the travel blog: The Hulk goes Down Under!
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