New Zealand February 1999  
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Queenstown - Haast 25th February

The rental car part of the holiday was just about to begin ..

In the morning we picked up the car from Queenstown Car Rentals (49NZ$/day + 50NZ$ relocation fee). We started our drive towards the west coast with a short stop in Arrowtown where we bought a sandwich for the day in the bakery. We also had a short look at the old fashioned houses there. The Kawarau Bridge was the next place which was worth a stop. We had a look at the bridge and the view over the Kawarau River before we hit the road again. Another short stop was the end-point of the rafting, where we took some pictures of "Chinese Dog Leg". No more stops between Queenstown and Wanaka. We intended to stay the night in Wanaka but we arrived very early and the scenery was not too different from Queenstown. If you have a choice, go to Wanaka instead of Queenstown. You have the same activities (rafting, jet boating, paragliding, parachute ..) but a much nicer township plus a lake... and last but not least there is a supermarket!

We decided to go on after a lunch break at Lake Wanaka. We traveled along Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea - where we got our "Mirror Lake" view: a very nice reflection of the surrounding mountains all around Lake Hawea required another short stop. :) We were a bit disappointed about Haast Pass - not much to see here apart from many trees and forests. We stopped at some places to have a look at the Historic Bridle Track and some waterfalls. When we arrived in Makaroa (we wanted to stay the night here) we found out that there was no more space available - so we had to continue our way through to Haast. The Wilderness Backpacker in Haast is a great place to stay! We visited Haast Beach in the evening, a rough but stunning coastline, well worth a visit if you are in this area.

next (Haast - Fox Glacier)