Our pleasant five days in the lower South Island is over and we are back in Auckland, back to the bloody awful traffic, rain and to work tomorrow.
Tuesday was her indoors’ birthday and it dawned a brilliantly sunny day, pleasantly warm, but with a bit of wind. The birthday girl wanted lunch at The Stoaker Room in Cromwell so we started a coffee at a popular local spot then stopped in at Lake Hawea, about 15 Km from Wanaka. It is a lovely spot with a beautiful beach and stunningly blue water, but the wind blowing straight up the lake was a bit strong although the temperature was surprisingly mild.
Cromwell was about a 30 minute drive away past vineyards and apple orchards and we arrived there just on mid-day. A great lunch was had in very balmy conditions for the time of year (19 degrees C), but on the return trip the clouds had begun to close in and there was rain on the horizon. However, it never eventuated and we were still able to take our afternoon walk into town along the lakeside track for a quiet drink (pausing to listen to the large number of native birds in the picturesque grove below)…
…and just as importantly for me to gather some a several handfuls of small stones from the beach for basing purposes - how could any good wargamer let such a rich resource go unexploited?
By the time we were ready to walk back the sky was threatening again. Again it came to naught, but provided these wonderfully moody shots.
A light dusting of snow on Mount Burke provided a great waking view on the Wednesday.
We had a late afternoon departure from Queenstown that meant we could have a leisure coffee in town then take a drive across the Crown Range to have lunch in Arrowtown. However, our Arrowtown lunch was thwarted because our preferred venue was closed so we continued on to Queenstown where we were spoiled for choice (although Arrowtown option would have avoided a visit to the Louis Vuitton store - well it was her birthday), before returning the rental car and catching our flight. By 7:45 PM we were home.