Wanaka to Makaroa

Wanaka to Makaroa


After our return from Milford Sound, we spent another night in Te Anau. The road to Milford Sound dead ends into the sea, so all traffic must back track the two hours to Te Anau. Continuing our tour of the South Island we headed north towards Queenstown. The scenery is more of the same, with soaring mountains and deep blue lakes. We were very spoiled with all the beauty.

Queenstown is another major town hosting tourism to the glaciers and fiords. It also doubles as a ski resort in winter and felt a little like Aspen, Colorado as I drove down the main street. The mountain range that people ski just outside of town is called “The Remarkables,” and I guess it was rightfully named. We didn’t stay long, as we wanted to make some more distance to the north.

The roads along the lakes are pretty challenging to drive. This one hugged the coast for most of the way. The edges of the road either fall off to the water below, or ride steeply against the mountainside. If you’re not concentrating clipping the apexes of the turns, you’re trying to find places to pass slower moving cars and motorhomes. The speed limit is 100kph, but many of these turns are not possible at these speeds. I can only imagine what these roads are like in the winter!

As we drove along these beautiful lakes, we were saddened by the loss of our Nikon D-70. The point and shoot digital we were using as a back up was not as inspiring to use, so we’re taking less pictures. I think we’ll need to find a replacement as soon as we can!

We arrived at the Makaroa Wilerness Resort just before the heavy rains. Our cabin was situated at the foot of the mountains, and was very rustic. As the temperatures fell below 35 degrees and the heater fought to keep the cabin warm, I wondered how cold it was in these chalets when there was heaps of snow outside?

Our rental car in New Zealand was a Nissan Maxima. It’s a little wide for these roads, but we wanted something we could live out of for three weeks. It’s your typical Japanese sedan. It does everything you ask of it without any passion what so ever!

Previous Restoration Day
Next Restoration Day
Home page