South Island Day 6 : 29 March 2018

Cloudy, fine, 22°C

I was up at 7am to catch a sunrise that never happened.  The cloud that covered the sky when I woke up was clearing to the east, but unfortunately that was where the sun was, so just grey clouds followed by blue sky.  

So I wandered down to the Tekapo B power station that we were camping next to to see if I could get some interesting photos. This power station ( according to the info board ) is the only one in NZ that sits in water ( I think someone just wanted to show that it could be done, as there is no reason that it couldn't have sat on the shore ), and 2/3 of the power station is below the water level.  It is a pretty cool building to shoot in the early morning light.

I wandered around the shore taking photos then wandered back to the van at 8:30am.  We packed up and headed up to the end of the Tekapo / Pukaki canal to have breakfast in the van, and take some photos as the sun finally showed itself.  We also watched the fishermen trying to catch trout and salmon from the canal.  As we sat there a guy wandered back from the other side of the canal, proudly carrying a 10kg Brown Trout that he had just hooked.

We drove back down to the lake then along to SH8 and then back for a quick stop at the visitors centre, then south again.

We stopped in Omarama to look in the shops there, then onwards through the Lindis Pass then down towards Tarras.  You instantly know when you cross the pass that you are in Central Otago as the limestone and clay hills of the Mackenzie basin suddenly change to schist and jagged rock formations.

We headed straight to Wanaka and parked the van and wandered into town.  We grabbed some lunch at a cafe in one of the shopping streets ( avoiding the lakeside cafes that were heaving with people ).  We then grabbed some supplies at the New World and went back to the van.

We have visited Wanaka a few times over many years, and it has changed dramatically over that time. It has gone from a small little town to a mini-version of Queenstown, with all the same problems ( traffic jams especially ).  It is somewhere that we like visiting for the scenery, not the town itself.

So for that reason we had booked 4 nights at the camp in Glendhu Bay, about 10kms northwest of Wanaka.  We arrived at 2pm, checked in ( $142 for 4 nights at a powered site ), set up with a view of the lake, and sat in the sun.  Looking forward to the airshow over the next 3 days ( which is the real reason for the trip south ).  Already there are planes and helicopters flying around the lake.

After catching up with the necessary washing, recharging of devices etc we had some tea then drove to Diamond Lake at about 7:15pm. We walked around the very pretty lake with lots of autumn colour, but sadly a fairly dull sunset.  Back to the camp for a coffee.