Monday, January 23, 2012

Timaru to Arrowtown

9.15 am: Packed and ready, off we go!  First stop after 1 1/4 hours, Lake Tekapo. It was super cold at only 9 degrees but we braved the outdoors for a look around the tiny church and a cup of tea. Drove around to Mt John Observatory (which incidentally was developed by the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with the University of Canterbury, and opened in 1965).
Had lunch in the car on the way to Mount Cook, and from here onwards it was all new territory for all of us as we'd not yet, in our nearly 2 years in NZ, had opportunity to explore beyond Tekapo.  The 30 km stretch along the western edge of Lake Pukaki to the Aoraki Mount Cook Reserve was particularly lovely. 
We did the Kea Point walk which took nearly 2 hours return, with several rests between; the Mueller Glacier was hugely disappointing as it was pretty melted and simply looked like a grey sludgy non-moving river - I think I was just expecting something more dramatic but I'll know for next time that summer time is not the ideal glacier-viewing season! Nick and I walked a bit further to see more of valley and found some really great views.  
The peak of Mount Cook, NZ's highest mountain at 3754 metres, just not quite visible through the cloud coverage. 
We left the reserve around 3.30 headed for Arrowtown; arrived around 6.30 to lovely accommodations at Marilyn's on Main Street. Settled in, then took a short walk along street (needed to stock up on Diet Coke and chips). Had a quick tea of pre-made bolognaise mince and pasta. After the boys were in bed we taught Mom and Dad the fast-paced game of Dutch Blitz but they were not so convinced it's a game for them!
Above: one of many out-of-the-moving-car-window shots on the way.  Cromwell, on the 45th Parallel, is the largest cherry-growing area in the country and also produces export quality apricots, nectarines, plums and peaches.  Had it been a little earlier in the season we might have been able to pick fresh fruit. 
Below: Roaring Meg hydro electric power station.  Who knew electricity production could be so pretty?
Welcome to Arrowtown - a quaint little former gold-mining town.  Below - Aaron looking longingly into the Remarkable Sweet Shop - closed for the evening!
Our retro-styled bach - filled with Marilyn Monroe images and other 50s memorabilia. 

No comments: