Following Tutu’s recommendation we decided to take the drive out to Glenorchy.
We hired a tiny little Mazda, nominated myself and Sam as the designated drivers and headed off on one of the top ten rated scenic drives in the world.
And scenic it was. Stretching out for miles were snow capped mountains and bright blue lakes. The drive was only 45 mins but the five of us took our time to stop and take lots of photos.
The soundtrack to our journey could only be Fast Car by Tracey Chapman.
The scenery was the most beautiful and our poor car was put through its paces as the road was replaced by a ‘gravel road’ with plenty of fords to cross.
I took over the driving at this point and now feel like an absolute pro at crossing fords. And driving an automatic.
We pulled up at the edge of a river and vast stretch of land. Well, we really didn’t have a choice as the road ran out and the little Mazda, no matter how hard we pushed it, couldn’t handle the off-roading. So we got out and went for a wander.
After a quick session of skimming stones I quickly got bored and wanted to cross the stream in order to see the landscape beyond. So off came the socks and shoes and into the stream I go. WOOOOAAAHHH. Cold. Very cold. Too cold. Plough on. You tend to forget that the water in the South is usually glacier water, and so bitterly cold. But, as I thought the scenery would be incredible it was worth it and, naturally, the others followed me soon after.
More wandering around and then it was back into the crazily cold water and into the car. Tori and I, being the bravest, were the first over and so went in search of the car. ‘Lets play a game’. Our attempt at hiding the bright white car in the jungle of green and yellow didn’t go so well. Especially as I decided to reverse, without any damage, into some branches. Pick the others up and off we go.
The area had been the locations of some of the well known scenes in LOTR. We spotted Fangorn Forest and Isengard (sans tower).
We desperately wanted to find the blue canyons we had seen on the leaflets. So off we went in search of this. We didn’t manage to find it but we saw much more instead. Mirror lakes and deer. Sunsets and fires. At one point four out of five of us ended up again in the water trying to hop onto a big stones.
Time to head back and get an early night before heading back onto the Stray bus. An ice cream from Papa Knaus and one last burger in Queenstown.
We didn’t have a good nights sleep at all. 12 beds dorms can get very noisy…
The fabulous five x