Te Waka a Maui #3 - Over the Hump

The "Hump" in this case being the Haast Pass over the Southern Alps, away from the West Coast and into central Otago at Wanaka. We stayed at Pleasant Flat campsite (a Department of Conservation or "DOC" site) where sandflies tried hard to feast on us. We came to realize there must be special breeds of bugs at DOC sites - they always seemed fiercer there. The road is good, and the views inspiring. Amazingly blue pools in the river are a sight on the far side of the pass, before you reach Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. The lakes are stunning.

We had plans to stay at Wanaka for a week, with Ian and Chrissy, but that was some time away yet. So we stayed overnight by the lake, then pressed on south, past the Cadrona Pub, historic Arrowtown, Qeenstown, and Kingston. All except Kingston we would revisit when we returned to stay at Wanaka.

Kingston was the northern terminus of the rail line that operated in conjunction with the lake steamer service on Lake Wakatipu, serving Queenstown and sheep stations all around the lake. The "Kingston Flyer" ran from Invercargill to Kingston for many years. It has been preserved and still operates each summer, but now the track only runs as far as Garston, a scant 20 kM from Kingston.

Click on a photo for a larger image and a slide show.

  • 01 Mt Hooker in the morning from Pleasant Flat, Haast Pass Highway
    01 Mt Hooker in the morning from Pleasant Flat, Haast Pass Highway
  • 02 The Blue Pools of Haast Pass
    02 The Blue Pools of Haast Pass
  • 03 Not rendered idle ... definitely not
    03 Not rendered idle ... definitely not
  • 04 North part of Lake Wanaka
    04 North part of Lake Wanaka
  • 05 Lake Hawea from the Neck between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea
    05 Lake Hawea from the Neck between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea
  • 06 What a place for a farm ... on the shore of Lake Hawea
    06 What a place for a farm ... on the shore of Lake Hawea
  • 07 It is a dramatic shoreline ... on the shore of Lake Hawea
    07 It is a dramatic shoreline ... on the shore of Lake Hawea
  • 08 And yet it looks so peaceful
    08 And yet it looks so peaceful
  • 09 And the colours are so striking on the shore of Lake Hawea
    09 And the colours are so striking on the shore of Lake Hawea
  • 10 This was the view from our campground ... on the shore of Lake Wanaka
    10 This was the view from our campground ... on the shore of Lake Wanaka
  • 11 Just one little corner ... of Lake Wanaka
    11 Just one little corner ... of Lake Wanaka
  • 12 Established 1865 and going strong
    12 Established 1865 and going strong
  • 13 This one has lasted too
    13 This one has lasted too
  • 14 But this one looks cosier
    14 But this one looks cosier
  • 15 Arrowtown is full of old cottages
    15 Arrowtown is full of old cottages
  • 16 The Remarkables ... a wonderful name for mountains
    16 The Remarkables ... a wonderful name for mountains
  • 17 Last light of the sun on the Remarkables
    17 Last light of the sun on the Remarkables
  • 18 The Kingston Flyer ... still an excursion train
    18 The Kingston Flyer ... still an excursion train
  • 19 The Kingston Flyer ... running off and on since 1890 or so
    19 The Kingston Flyer ... running off and on since 1890 or so
  • 20 The Kingston Flyer .. seaming quietly in Kingston, by Lake Wakitipu
    20 The Kingston Flyer .. seaming quietly in Kingston, by Lake Wakitipu