Day 37 – Leaving Queenstown (via Lake Tekapo) and staying at Waihi gorge campsite
On Day 37 of our Spaceship adventure we sadly departed beautiful Queenstown (after making a quick stop in the town centre before we left). We were back on the road today with quite a few kilometres to cover – but were in good hands with Draco who was as reliable as ever. We were planning to arrive in Hanmer Springs tomorrow so had planned a stop off tonight at a DOC campsite near Geraldine called Waihi gorge. The drive up is quite a scenic one, and there had been snowfall on the mountains the night before so we saw lots of snow-capped mountains along the way.
We passed through Lindis pass which actually had snow at ground level. It had been cleared from the road which was lucky as we hadn’t been given snow chains! It looked really pretty in the snow. We took a stop at Twizel at a great place to eat called Shawtys – who do really delicious ham and pineapple pizza (my favourite!). They are always really busy too which is a good sign of a great place to eat. We have used trip advisor a fair bit to find good places to eat and so far we have found loads of good places this way. Next stop was a lookout with views towards Mount Cook.
Even though the place of the sun at that time made photos a little difficult it still looked beautiful. We also stopped at one of our favourites – the ever-beautiful Lake Tekapo. They actually were experiencing a power-cut when we arrived so everywhere was shut! This waylaid our plans to pick up a coffee for John as it was a long drive! Crazy. We took some photos here though and enjoyed the sunsine. We stopped a bit further down the road at Fairlie for John to get a coffee and finished our journey on a gravel road up to the DOC campsite at Waihi gorge.
We loved camping here! It was a really peaceful and pretty campsite. We chose a great spot right down by the river with our own picnic table and not too far from the loos. We enjoyed a nice picnic here before settling down for the night to watch a dvd in our spaceship. It was also our first night camping in Draco since the swap. We actually found him more comfortable than Ron (sorry Ron!). This was mostly due to the fact that the bed was lower down in the back (he is a slightly newer model) and as such there is a little more headroom. So you can actually sit on the mattress and your head can fit as you sit upright.
We also found the shape of the bed was different and worked better and the slightly different configuration in the back worked better too (our water was in a different place so we had a bit more space). Of course we were still sleeping in a car so of course it was small! But the little things can make all the difference and we actually had quite a good night’s sleep. We did take one early morning trip to the loo in the dark and managed to step in quite a few sheep droppings on the way back! But it all adds to the adventure and it certainly was a memorable time there. We enjoyed a nice breakie by the river in the sun before getting back on the road and heading for Hanmer.