2008 01 16 – Big Trip – Day 260 – New Zealand – Wanaka

Glendhu Bay Motor Camp, Glendhu Bay, South Island, New Zealand 6740km

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View of Lake Wanaka from Mt Iron

Today we parted with my parents after two weeks of traveling together in the South Island. We had a great time, and are sad to see them off, but the North Island has a few attractions as well. Ron especially was sensitive, but he got over it quickly.

Yesterday morning we left Queenstown, not before Saba and Savta took Ron to a one hour Kiwi experience tour. We stopped briefly in Arrowtown, a former gold mining boomtown, and now a quiet Queenstown tourist satellite. We then drove through the scenic route to Wanaka, winding up and down a scenic mountain range with some tight turns.

Wanaka is supposedly what Queenstown was 25 years ago, a quiet lakefront town blessed with gorgeous views, but without the tourism intensity. We checked into a rather shabby Top 10, and after the kids got their fill of playground time, we decided to go find a suitable hike. Unfortunately Paola got sick, so she stayed behind in my parents’ motel unit.

With help from my parents, we took the kids to climb Mt Iron (sounds gruesome…) which at 250m above the town, affords great views of Lkae Wanaka and Lake Hawea. Mom did a great job walking up the hill, and so did Ron. Shir and Orr did a great job walking down. I did a good job pushing the stroller with dad’s help.

Back at the campground we prepared a tasty supper while Saba took Ron to the swimming pool. On the way back Ron ran, fell, and scraped his knee, which resulted in a tumultuous hour for us, trying to calm him down.

Obviously this morning the knee was fine and Ron was in good spirits. Dad and I got up early for a flightseeing tour of the area (see previous post). After we returned and had breakfast, it was time to say goodbye. We drove together to Puzzling World, where we bid farewell.

At Puzzling world, the kids, as well as Poala and myself, had a great time. It has a maze, several rooms with optical illusions and lots of challenging puzzles for kids and grownup kids. After spending several hours in the air conditioned complex, we returned to our hot RV, the sun above creating on of the hottest days I can remember here.

We headed to Glendhu Bay, 10 minutes from Wanaka, where we decided to stay tonight. The campground is packed full, but it is on the lakefront. After everybody napped, we spent a while outside by the water, the kids playing with the sand rocks and twigs. Paola is still sick, so we decided not to try an afternoon hike.

By early evening it started to get cloudier and now it is raining. The forecast for tomorrow is rain all day.

Good night,

-Hemi

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