Goodbye Queenstown, hellooo West CoastJuly 9 in New Zealand
Sadly today was the day we were leaving Queenstown. We absolutely loved this place and would highly recommend it if you’re ever planning on coming to New Zealand’s South Island. While we didn’t really do any of the crazy adrenaline activities here, we still thoroughly enjoyed the experience and atmosphere of the whole place. It’s sad to be going but there’s still so much of this island we need to explore before we hand back the keys to our Wilderness Motorhome.
It started with a morning run down to the Ferg for a couple of brekky burgers and coffee, a quick pack up, and restock of water and we were on our way. We were heading back north, aiming for the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. That was going to be our route home to Christchurch.
We set out, up through the winding, misty roads of the Crown Ranges of Queenstown. As we approached the pinnacle of this beautiful mountain range we began noticing flashes of fresh white snow all around us, we hit the top, parked the van and jumped out into the soft white powder of freshly fallen snow. We spent some time here taking photos, building our first snowman (George), and of course, throwing snowballs. We took a great liking to our snowbaby George and dressed him appropriately, complete with glasses, gloves and a beanie, he even had a proper carrot nose. Best snowman to date! But we were soon saturated and freezing and had to say goodbye to our new little buddy. We jumped back into the vans and started down the other side of the mountains.
We stopped briefly for a coffee (or mulled wine for some) in the beautiful Cardrona Valley. This quaint little town was tiny but packed full history, complete with a musty but stunning old hotel and cute little school house. We could picture exactly what this little town would have been like back in the day.
We pushed north, passing back through Wanaka and Albert town heading toward the West Coast. It wasn’t long before the scenery around us changed from snowy mountains to beautiful, lush green, moss covered forests. With the rain falling all around us, this change of scenery brought on a new sense of awe. The dense forests surrounded the road, as we caught glimpses of rushing blue rivers and showering, white waterfalls. This was one of the nicest drive we’d done yet. We stopped at various river crossings and lookouts but, our prime stopping spot was the Blue Pools. The Blue Pools were located about 2 hours north west of Queenstown. We parked our van and set off on the 10 minute walked through the stunning forest to the blue pools. The blue pools consisted of two rivers joining together forming a deep section of water surrounded by smooth stone beaches. On a sunny day the pools look incredible blue, a result of light refracting through the crystal clear snow fed rivers. However, today it was quiet cloudy and the heavy rain had turned the water more of a green colour. None the less it was still an amazing experience. Walking along the board walks through the green forests was so out of this world, and as we crossed the suspension bridge over the blue pools we were again taken away by the beauty of this place.
We walked down to the waters edge and skimmed stones across to the other side. Many people had built stone stacks which seems to be the thing to do over here with so many flat, smooth rocks.
Soon the rain set in only more heavy and we made the trek back through the forest to our vans. We set off down the road for about 1km before finding our campsite for the night. We camped at a place called Cameron Flat which over looked the river below us.
From there it was a cheese board, red wine and a rainy game of ticket to ride before James cooked up a storm for dinner. Jo and I took advantage of the relaxing time to start watching The Hobbit, a perfect movie choice for our New Zealand adventure. Unfortunately our campsite was out of internet coverage so we were phone-less and internet-less for a night (not sure how some of us coped). But with full bellies and sleepy eyes we had no quarms in hitting the pillow for the night, ready to continue our road trip up the west coast tomorrow.
Asher ☺️Read more