I'm on the homeward stretch now. Had to choose between spending more time exploring Central Otago, or having a quick look at family-related places on the West Coast, and the Coast won.
I remember taking the Haast Pass road many years ago when the section beside Lake Wanaka was metal, narrow, and somewhat scary to drive along. But it has all been well upgraded since then.
I loved seeing the heads of both Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. Both seemed so peaceful and atmospheric. First, a photo of Lake Hawea:
Now the head of Lake Wanaka, with just a few fishermen around.
It was a day with lots of little walks to waterfalls, as I passed from the dry eastern side of the Main Divide to the west coast. Here's one with a man standing on a rock to give you an idea of how tall this waterfall is.
With fine weather, it seemed no time at all before I was on the West Coast,
and I enjoyed seeing the Haast a River grow as I moved down the valley. The Haast region gets such high rainfall, it was a surprise to see the river so 'gentle'.
Here it is at the Gates of Haast, constrained by big mountain rocks.
Just a little side issue- I loved the look of this trunk that has been cut down.
Today the river was so gentle I could easily stand under a bridge where it flowed.
And at another beach it has obviously become the thing to do to write on white rocks, mostly with black vivid so it seems, and leave them piled up on the bank above.
I have arrived at Franz Josef for the night, and when I hit here I wasn't sure if I could get my tent up before the rain arrived.
But now the skies have cleared somewhat, and you can get a glimpse of the Southern Alps.