I had another night in a cabin yesterday in Manapouri. At the end of the tour the sun was shining warmly, and the cabins looked so good in the sunlight.
Those of you who have read my blogs about my overseas walks will know how I like to photograph wood piles. Well, here's one from the camp in Manapouri. Getting ready for winter is a serious business down here!
Today was another day full of interesting surprises. It was quite chilly when I left this morning, but it wasn't far before I could see the hay-making business of summer was well in hand.
One thing that keeps happening is that I keep passing through small settlements I have never heard of, like Garston.
It wasn't too long before I reached Kingston and started getting views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding hills. I had become so used to the lush hillsides around Lake Manapouri, covered in beech forest, but here the hills are drier and the rock is more exposed.
I was expecting Queenstown to be busy, but it was far crazier than I had imagined, with people and cars everywhere. I got petrol, and drove right on through to Glenorchy. En route there was a viewpoint as the head of the lake appeared, and it showed where various valleys exited into the lake. The Routeburn I was expecting, but there were also others like the Caples and Rees that I remembered tramping club members taking summer trips too.
Glenorchy was beautiful. The famous Glenorchy shed was here, though restored after a damaging flood.
I could do a whole post just about Glenorchy really!
I had no option but to drive back through Queenstown, and the traffic was even crazier. But I managed to get uphill to find a beautiful stone church with a family connection. Fr John Francis O'Donnell was involved with building this church, and he is a cousin to my great-grandfather.