What a week. With the backdrop of England narrowly beating Scotland and
making it through to the knockout stages, we made our way up the west coast of
South Island en route to the North Island for the final weeks of our trip.
Leaving Queenstown for the final time was a struggle. Arguably the most
spectacular town in the world, it once more offered a treat of activities with
horse riding in Lord of the Rings country the highlight. We drove across the
picturesque Crown Range between Queenstown and Wanaka, offering birds-eye views
of Lake Wakatipu, arriving in bright sunshine to see the mountains reflected in
the ice-blue waters of Lake Wanaka.
There was a quick stop for a bit of skydiving – as well as being thrilling,
the views of the area were unbelievable – before a dip in the glacial meltwaters
of Lake Wanaka. A refreshing way to spend a day to say the least!
After watching a thrilling Tonga victory over France, and a tense and less
enjoyable England-Scotland game, we set off for Franz Josef glacier. Dispensing
with the usual glacier trek we decided to be more adventurous and give ice
climbing a go. A fantastic experience, it is a great way to see the glacier and
delve deep into the blue crevasses.
Touring New Zealand in a campervan seems to be the only way to see the
country in the detail we are, and with such freedom. It is interesting to see so
many different nationalities adopting this method, with increasing numbers of
French and Argentinean fans making their way southward.
For us, North Island will be the destination for the rest of our time in this
wonderful country. It promises to offer a different landscape, and some
different experiences as well. Exciting times beckon as the rugby hots up,
mirrored by some great activities we have planned over the next few weeks, and
we will of course keep you updated in the coming weeks.