Travel.P #10 – Road to the tallest on and Dunedin

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”


― David Allen
On our way to Lake Pukaki.

Waking up in Emma, parked in front of a backpackers in Tekapo, we made our way towards the toilets/washroom, at Lake Pukaki, leaving southwards. Surrounded by beautiful views of mountains we continued our journey on HW8 to arrive an hour later at Lake Pukaki.

From Lean I was introduced to Argentinian culture with our RoadSong : San Lorenzo – Dicen que estamos todos de la cabeza. Dicen que estamos todos de la cabeza Pero a San Lorenzo no le interesa tomamos vino puro en damajuana y nos fumamos toda la marihuana Oh San Lorenzo, Oh San Lorenzo. Dicen que estamos todos de la cabeza.
They say we are out of our minds, but here at San Lorenzo it doesn’t matter, we drink wine straight from the bottle and smoke all of the weed. Ohhhhh San Lorenzo…

View of the breakfast spot. Can you tell where Mount Cook is.

Driving along the shores of the lake, shouting San Lorenzo, we found a nice spot to swim and have our breakfast. The water was refreshing, since it is coming from the mountains and the view was incredible. We sat down and looked over the lake onto the southern alps, including Mt Cook. The tallest mountian of New Zealand. All three lakes, Ohao, Tekapo and the biggest Pukaki were formed when the terminal moraines of receding glaciers blocked their respective valleys, forming moraine dammed lakes. After some research I found out that the glacier fed lakes are given their distinctive blue color by glacial flour, extremely finely ground rock particles from the glacier. It is also called glacial milk. So now we know why they simmer in a different turquoise to the ocean. Ahhhhh.

Me, posing in the Lake…

Back to the journey – after a nice breakfast and a photo shoot with a random Haka-Lodge travel group, we continued our way along the shores of the lake towards Mt. Cook/Aoraki with 3,724 meters. To the present (update road-trip with Lorna, I’ve seen it all!) I still haven’t seen this mountain without its top hidden in a cloud. The valley at mount cook is empty and peaceful. There is no supermarket and you are not allowed to build there, since it is part of the National Park. Depending on when you arrive, you should book a week in the campground and watch avalanches tumbling down the mountain accompanied by a loud echo of the ice breaking and colliding with parts of the mountain. At Mt. Cook we met up with another friend from Haka-Lodge, Marie,that drove up from Wanaka.

Together we spend our day in the valley. Surprisingly I was the only one that went up to Muellers hut of us three, a fun day walk with beautiful views over the valley and other mountain bids. Also the Glacier track is nice, where you can swim to an iceberg, if it is not too cold. In the evening we lay outside with a Spanish guy, who studied in Dunedin and watched shooting stars. To the day, I saw my biggest shooting star in this valley, covering half of the sky in its luminous bright trail. Its beauty even beaten its size while it was visible for a long time, even though he somehow managed to miss it, haha. It was his idea to lay down and watch shooting stars before going to bed. He didn’t see a single one while we saw at least 5. That was good fun in that situation.

Not the best weather at Mt. Cook

Sleeping in Emma on the camping place, and having a short breakfast in the morning while watching the mountains we drove back and further south, through Cromwell to Dunedin. Wishing Marie farewell, because she lived in Wanaka, we continued our journey.

Cromwell lookout.

After visiting some friends in Cromwell, we drove HW8 and HW1 all the way, three and a half hours along the beautiful landscapes along the Clutha River. From tall cliffs over hills into the flat lands before Dunedin and finally into the hilly Dunedin. It was a sunny warm day, and we realized fast to leave the city and move to the beach part of the town, where we spend two days, hanging out and watching the surf.

View on the Ocean of the car-park.

Dunedin is the second largest city of the South Island and 20 % of its inhabitants are between 15 and 24, it is famous for being a town of students. I am sure there a great bars and cafes in town, I didn’t investigated, since I prefer it quiet and peaceful. After a couple days in the sunny Dunedin, and food stock up, we left again towards Wanaka and Queenstown, from where Lean caught his flight back to Mt. Manganui, where he will live soon, because his visa got approved, yuhu! Back along HW8 towards Cromwell we spend our night at a nice campsite in between mountains and the Clutha River, just 5 minutes drive from Cromwell. On that campsite we had a beautiful night sky covered with stars, that we enjoyed with two guys from France.

Wow, ten blogs already and my last day on the street in Melbourne. I spend this night sleeping on the beach, with a beautiful swim in the morning in the warm Ocean, that was impressive. Around 30 people seem to swim, probably on regular, towards the boie 200 meters into the sea and come back. I was exhausted, haha.

The next time you will hear about my Christmas and new year in Wanaka on a beautiful campsite and my time with Marie, and Leans parting. About A campsite, that I randomly spent Christmas on, in 2 following years, haha. A lovely beautiful place to be.

Why don’t you try to listen better today, to whoever is talking to you. Push the urge back to talk and just listen.

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