After waking up from an uncomfortable sleep, we packed up and hit the road from Wanaka to Te Anau. The first spectacular section of the road was the descent over the Crown Range towards Queenstown. This road is famous for its beautiful scenery and flowing curves as it descends from over 1,120 metres. We then continued past Queenstown, overshadowed by the, well, remarkable Remarkables. The road continued to hug the shores of Lake Wakatipu, a very long and scenic lake, before heading into the farms of Southland. We eventually headed head first into rain, the first sign of how near we were to Fiordland. In Te Anau, we spent some time at the Bird Sanctuary and along the lakefront in between downpours, before finding our second campsite of the trip. Despite being one of the wettest regions in the world, with ana average of 200 rainy days and over 7 metres of rainfall per year in Fiordland, I was charmed and captivated by Te Anau. Unlike Wanaka, Te Anau has until now retained its small, rural town charm while surrounded by, in my opinion, more beautiful landscapes and a more lush, green environment. While we saw a lot of campervans and rental cars on the road to Milford, Te Anau itself did not have the same atmosphere of a resort town buzzing with tourists as the more popular Queenstown and Wanaka. This is probably due to the much colder and damper climate, which led us to have an equally much colder, damper and more uncomfortable night! I recommend bringing an extra blanket or a very good sleeping bag if tenting this far south.
The next days was to be the most spectacular and breathtaking of the trip, but of course, that’s for tomorrow’s post!
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