Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.

Campervan Trip on South Island, NZ – Day 5

OK, I admit it. I started to get really pissed about all the rain and clouds we were getting. No matter how much I had declared that I would be happy with cold and rain as an escape from the 40C+/100F+ sweltering dusty heat we were having in Laos, four days of rain and more rain into our six day campervan tour was getting to be too much for me to accept gracefully. I was done with it (aren’t you?).

(In case you are bored with my rainy posts and want to stop here, spoil alert: there is sunshine at the end of this post…ssshhhhhh.)

During this next leg into our rainy journey I was unimpressed by most of it. I was not impressed by how commercial and crowded Queenstown was. I barely wanted to stop there for our grocery run before we dashed 20km outside of town to camp on a DOC campsite on Lake Wakatipu. Despite it’s status as New Zealand’s longest lake, I found it pretty “meh” in the cloud cover. Not having the grand peaks of the Remarkables mountain range in view, my mood had dampened and waned from hope fatigue. I sat and watched the kids throw sticks for another camper’s dog pretty glum-faced and tried to infuse their openness and joy for what was vs. what could be into my psyche and shore up my spirits. It didn’t really work. I solemnly grilled burgers and fell asleep to the sound of more rain.

The kids didn't need any more than a dog, a stick, and a lake.

The kids didn’t need any more than a dog, a stick, and a lake.

Campervan livin'

Campervan livin’ at a DOC site in Queenstown.

The next morning, we drove out of Christchurch to reach our last destination to camp at Lake Tekapo, a place I expected/wanted to be the best spot on our itinerary. Come on sunshine! Please pretty please.

Not too far outside of Queenstown, we stopped at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, the world’s first commercialized bungy jump. No, we didn’t jump but we had a great time watching and counting down for all the jumpers, and we saw how they get hooked into a raft at the bottom once they stop bobbing up and down. The autumn foliage and icy blue water were stunning, which made up for (you guessed it) the rain.

Kawarau River

Kawarau River



"That person jumped off the bridge mommy!" LOL

“That person jumped off the bridge mommy!”

At least that was a little bit of excitement in our otherwise damp morning.

Then as if the universe had been listening to my plea to at least experience Lake Tenaka in all of it’s sunny clear blue glory, the skies began to open, for real, like it might.just.stay that way…Hooray!!!

Blue skies in the distance. For reals?

Blue skies in the distance. For reals?

The sun is definitely OUT.

The sun is definitely OUT.

And just like that, with hopes revived, it kept getting better and better and better…

I knew that Lake Tekapo was one of three parallel lakes in the region but I didn’t expect to have such a fantastic view of it’s sister lake, Lake Pukaki, along the way. The majestic snowy peaks of Mt. Cook was a magnificent backdrop to the turquoise blue waters.

Lake Pukaki and Mt. Cook, too? WOW.

Lake Pukaki and Mt. Cook, too? WOW.

Now THIS was the New Zealand we came to see!

Now THIS was the New Zealand we came to see!

Did we stop here, you ask? No. These photos were snapped as we rushed towards Lake Tekapo so we could make camp before dark. We still had to find a place to freedom camp and it was already getting late in the day, although I could have stopped and stared at this view of Lake Pukaki and Mt. Cook, and soak up the sun, for a long long time…

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One comment on “Campervan Trip on South Island, NZ – Day 5

  1. Bama
    May 18, 2013

    Every time I see photos of New Zealand’s South Island, my wanderlust kicks in. I’m glad you got the clear blue skies in the end. Beautiful pictures!

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