Sunday, 23 February 2014

Stage Two: Waitaha Valley to Cardrona, continued
After a yummy whitebait sandwich at Haast (I think only New Zealanders know just how yummy they are), we continued on to the final destination for the day - Cardrona - about 2 hour's drive away. The intervening countryside is typical of New Zealand. Haast is at sea level and has an annual rainfall of about 143 inches, and is surrounded by temperate rain forest. Cardrona, on the other hand, is at about 2,000 feet elevation, is nestled among mountains, has a rainfall of about 20 inches, and surrounded by tussock. In between are Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. The lakes, 42 kilometres and 35 kilometres long respectively, are the remains of glaciers that occupied the area until about 10,000 years ago. The mountains on the western side of Lake Wanaka rise to 2,000 metres above sea level.

Mountains on the inland side of the Haast Pass. I always know I am getting near my heimat when I see this kind of country. 

 Lake Wanaka. 
The town of Wanaka lies in the distance at the centre of the picture.

 The Neck. 
The highway follows the eastern side of Lake Wanaka, then crosses over to the western side of Lake Hawea at The Neck. Here, the two lakes are separated by only one kilometre. 

Lake Hawea.

We finally arrived at Cardrona in the mid-afternoon and let ourselves into the house we had rented for the week. The old Cardrona Hotel, in existence since the gold rush days was only a couple of hundred metres away and proved a most salubrious spot for a meal.

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