Today would be another short day as we would only be heading to Cromwell. I had recently met someone who had just been to New Zealand, and she gave me some advice on her favorite things to see here. We would stop by the Blue Pools today and go through the Remarkables Mountain Range. The sun was out, and the sky was clear, so I was happy. If you have followed along on any of my past trips, you know that I hate being cold.
We stopped at Thunder Creek Falls, which have a little pool at the bottom. This reminded me of many films and commercials where someone is at the bottom of a perfect waterfall, bathing in the pool below…so picturesque.
Down the road a little further we found the blue pools. Another suspension bridge and a 15 min hike was well worth the pristine cleared aqua blue water that we found beneath a second bridge. New Zealand really loves bridges, and loves to torture me with wobbly bridges. We soon learned that the water was extremely cold. Locals were taking the plunge, as well as a few tourists. One gentleman from Canada exclaimed “Whew! that is brisk. Even for Canada that is cold”. We only put our hands in, and can confirm that the water was pretty icy.
We continued south and passed by two large lakes, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. I was loving the sun and warmer weather compared to the recent rain. We found lunch in Wanaka, which was a super busy holiday spot with tons of people enjoying the summer sun. The place was packed, and it took us quite a while to find parking. Many of the cafes and food stands had lines out their doors. I’m sure everyone thought Frank and I were crazy dressed in full motorcycle gear while everyone else was in shorts and tank tops.
Our final push south would take us to Cromwell. This would be where we make use of Motostays for the first time. It is a network of motorcyclist that host you in their home for free. You in turn list your home as a possible place for other motorcyclist to stay. It seemed like a great way to to meet locals that knew all the details about the area and could point us in the right direction, especially all the best roads and sights to see. We found Paul and Catherine who were located in Cromwell, and prior to the trip Paul and Frank had been emailing back and forth. He gave us a great general itinerary for the whole South Island based on how many days we had, and with that info I was able to plan out where our hotel stays would be. But last night was the last reservation I had made. Paul told us not to make anymore reservations, because we would have to wait and see how the weather was. So the next few days, we would literally be winging it! Yikes! We were about to put our trust with a complete stranger, but if they were like most bikers, we probably didn’t need to worry too much.
Our basic route for the day along hwy 6: Haast-Makarora-Albert Town-Wanaka for lunch-Luggate-Queensbury-Mount Pisa-Cromwell