Kirsty & Nick's New Zealand Adventure travel blog

Dart River Valley above Glenorchy, and dust

Depart Glenorchy: 3249 km (09.30)

After a quick breakfast and no hot water to wash or wash up, we got out of GY as quickly as we could. Cold night but another clear morning, and although breezy, it didn't seem as bad as the previous day.

We drove on out the other side of GY, our destination a place that Nick had spotted on the map and taken a fancy to...Paradise. The first few kilometers were actually on a sealed road, but then the rest was on gravel. It was actually mostly flat (phew) but the gravel was big and hard going. For the first few miles the track was lined with sheep, and we saw a couple of 'near-births' where ma sheep was still licking the lamb clean. Lots of tiny babies!

Eventually we found Paradise, and what do you suppose it was? Actually it is private trust land that was gifted to the public by its last owner who died in 1998. There's a main building that used to be a guest house and is now rented out as a holiday let. Then there were numerous other 'cottages' (I use the term loosely, sheds might be a better description) that could also be rented. Apart from the main building there was no gas or electricity, or mains water. Hmmm, fun! The site is looked after by a couple who are caretakers and the woman came out and chatted to us as we read the sign that described the trust, the land and so on. She was actually from Essex, and it was very interesting to hear about what they were doing there.

The ride back was hard work. We were tired, the wind was getting stronger all the time and for some reason, the number of cars on the track dramatically increased. A couple slowed down for us, but most – including a bus driver – sped passed at full speed. On those gravel roads it just creates clouds of dust and is not very pleasant. A few drivers got gestures indicating what we thought of their driving!

We cycled 15 miles altogether. Cycling for 2 hours, out for about 3.

We headed back to Queenstown after that, where we had fish and chips for lunch. It was already gone 15.00 by then. We hit the road again and headed south down the other side of the lake from GY towards Kingston.

In fact we had two failed attempts at finding a decent camp site with usable facilities but eventually found a site with lovely views (and apparently 'modern facilities') just outside Mossburn, which is where we are now. Until about an hour ago, we were completely alone in this 50 space site, then the obligatory sliding door camper turned up (they are SO annoying in the night...whhhr, bang, whhhhhhhr, bank, whhhhhr.....agggghhhhhhhhhh!) and parked about 5 meters away from us.

Unfortunately the facilities are pretty bad, and far from modern, so we haven't been near them. So much for that hot shower :o(

We picked up a hitch-hiker just as we turned onto the road to Mossburn. Not a mad, axe-murderer fortunately. Just a girl (woman I suppose) who had been visiting her parents in Auckland for a few weeks, had flown back into Queenstown this morning and was hitching home – with about 4 bags! We couldn't take her very far, but heh it's the thought that counts!

We had crumpets for tea, after that late lunch and I'm just about ready for bed now. It's 21.40.

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