Sunday January 4 to Tuesday January 7
Sunday in Auckland was a rainy day. We spent it shopping and packing for our trip to the South Island, where we will do two multi-day hikes, the Kepler and Routburn tracks, near Queenstown. The shopping involved checking out three local outdoors stores. I can proudly tell you that I’m continuing my support of the New Zealand economy and Kiwi company, Icebreaker, by buying more merino wool clothing; it is 20% cheaper here than at home, so it seemed like a sensible to do.
Back at Mike & Liz’s we sorted through what we needed to bring on the hike and what we can leave at their house. So far we are travelling pretty light, but we still have to add three days of food to our packs!
The flight to Queenstown on Monday morning was smooth, with a beautiful descent into the airport–mountains on either side. Unfortunately we didn’t have a window seat, so no pictures. In Queenstown we stocked up on food supplies and checked out the town. It’s a fun, busy place; reminds me of Whistler on a busy day.
Tuesday morning we had an early start. We had spotted a bakery cafe that opened at 6:30 a.m. and dropped in for a ‘flat white’ and goodies before catching the bus to Te Anau at 7:00 a.m.
In Te Anau it was raining hard. After pulling out our rain gear, we dropped our bags at the hostel and explored the town. Te Anau much smaller and quieter than Queenstown, but is pretty and has a nice feel to it, and most of tourist are carrying backpacks. In the afternoon we had some reprieve from the rain and went for a nice walk along the lake shore.
Tomorrow morning we will catch the watertaxi, which will take us across the lake, and head up the Kepler Track. We’ll be out for four days/three nights. The forecast calls for rain tomorrow, but the weather is supposed to improve over the next few days. We will keep our fingers crossed. Being on the track means we’ll be offline for a few days, but we’ll fill you in on our adventures upon our return!