I awoke to the sound of rain pouting down. I got up and departed before most of Franz Josef had risen and headed south. I planned to stop at Fox Glacier but I doubt I’d have been able to see it with the low visibility and I also drove past Lake Matheson, famous for its reflective views of Mt Cook. I decided to skip filling up petrol also as it was pushing $2.20 a litre and hoped the further I got the cheaper it would get.
I’m not sure why I was being so stingy, I guess 20 cents a litre difference seems a lot! I got to the town of Haast and the small petrol station there was more expensive. Wanaka was only 80kms away and my fuel tank said I had 120kms of range left. I pushed on knowing that those range estimators err on the side of caution as do petrol tank guages!
As I’m heading up the Haast pass I saw a sign for some waterfalls. I stopped in the rain to view some waterfalls. I needed to stretch my legs as I’d been driving for over two hours. The falls were pretty impressive, so I’m glad I stopped at Thunder creek falls.
Haast PassI drove a little bit further and saw a sign for some more falls. This time they were called Fantail falls. Not as impressive falls either, so decided I had to push on to find some petrol. I got to a town just on the other side of the pass but petrol there was $2.30! The trip computer said I could still make it to Wanaka. The weather was also sunny and much improved over the rain.
Just on the outskirts of Wanaka (6.7km) to be precise, the fuel light came on. I filled up in Wanaka semi defeated as it was also much more expensive than Christchurch and Greymouth. I saved a paltry 4c a litre over the price in Franz Josef! The total fuel bill came to $110 NZ. In theory Its only 500kms to Christchurch so I reckon I’m up for another $200 just in petrol as I need to fill it up on return.
I had lunch in a cafe in Wanaka and thought its nice here but glad I’m staying in Queenstown. I drove to Queenstown via the Crown Range road which is mostly nice until you get to the drop down into Queenstown. Thats where the hairpins kick in and the descent is done slowly and carefully.
I thought I’d detour into Arrowtown on the way. I heard a couple the night before say they were heading to Arrowtown for 3 nights. Its a nice old goldrush town that is now overrun with busloads of tourists down the main street, which is mostly full of souvenir shops. The hills were lovely as the leaves were all shades from green to yellow to red, but after an hour I’d had enough. I’m guessing its only 15kms to Queenstown if they get bored after the first night. I headed into Queenstown, following the large amount of traffic, something you don’t see on the west coast of the island. I checked into the Haka Lodge, basically a hostel but it had private rooms for a smidge under $100, otherwise it was close to $200-250 a night everywhere else.
Not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow, it will be weather dependant, I’m not much of a bungey jumper so that rules that out!