Yesterday dawned as an overcast and dreary day … A perfect day for another road trip. After breakfasting again at Eichardts Private Hotel (I have a gift voucher that still keeps on giving) and a brief pit stop to checkout the sale at Macpac (I love their gear … Would buy the store if I could), it was time for the Yaris to again do the work and get over the Crown Range to Wanaka.
Some background: the drive to Wanaka if you don’t go via the Crown Range from Queenstown is 117kms. When you go over the Range it is 59kms. So it is a hilly, curvy drive over the range and then through the valley between two of the mountains that form the range. Why Wanaka you ask? Well I retort with why not AND I wanted to see the National Transport and Toy Museum. More on that later.
The drive was an edge of your seat and sweaty palm experience! It would be in the dry but was more even more so in the wet. Forget the scenery, the glimpses of which I saw was brilliant, the actually driving experience was brilliant. The Yaris again served me well but I have to say I will be coming back here and hiring a higher powered car to do that drive again!
Wanaka is another one of these hidden gems in the Southland / Otago region that I keep finding. Set on Lake Wanaka it has some good cafes, the usual souvenir shops selling NZ paraphernalia and art and photo galleries. As I have found everywhere the people were friendly and keen for a chat.
A beef burger and a coke at the Kai Whaka Pai Cafe settled my nerves after the battling the Crown Range and after a quick walk around I headed to the Transport and Toy Museum. For the first time this tour I have to confess that this was a disappointment. So much so I declined the $12 entry fee after perusing the “free section” of the museum and return to the Yaris for the drive home.
The Queensland election and the rugby dominated the rest of my day … Both are subjects that I will canvass in blogs later today!
Today, after more of Eichardts fine food, will be a lazy day walking around town me thinks.