We made it to Queenstown the next afternoon with a few scenery stops along the way- one of which being Blue Pools, in Haast pass. The pools were beautiful but once again surrounded by sand flies. This time however we were taking our time there to build a rock sculpture and had to endure them longer. I was mostly covered up minus my ankles, which they immediately targeted. Due to the concentrated bites in that area my ankles swelled up pretty bad. They’re still red and swollen as I speak.
Queenstown was one of my favorite places. It’s quite literally a trendy, mountain, ski town. We didn’t spend much time there, just dinner at Fergburger.
We stayed at a campground near there before heading to Milford Sound in the morning. The fiordlands were incredible. It was raining when we reached them and because of this there were heaps of waterfalls just coming off the mountains everywhere. Our guide told us that there are over a thousand waterfalls in the fiordlands. We had a cruise booked to tour Milford Sound and got to kayak as well.
Our trip started to turn on our drive back up from Milford Sound. There was one particularly long, steep hill that I was convinced we wouldn’t make it up. Thankfully, we did, but due to a one-way tunnel at the top we were forced to stop, that’s when I began to smell burning. When it came time to start on that hill, I slowly made it into first and into the tunnel, but the car had no power. The rev’s got higher and the car smoked even more. We were forced to back out of the tunnel. A couple hours later a tow truck came and confirmed that our clutch had been blown. We took a two-hour drive and towed it to the nearest town, where the car still remains. Thankfully, the rental company paid for us to take a bus back to Queenstown where they would give us a replacement.
…Which they did. We headed back to Christchurch with a few more stops on the way.
A Kea bird
The church of the good shepherd at Lake Tekapo
Then about 16km from campus our second car blew out a rear tire. We were able to change it and made it to campus without too much of a hitch.
Now it’s time for a nap.