43.8811° S, 169.0424° E
After finally ticking Milford sound of the list it was time to head north and start covering some ground via the west coast. However not before making a quick stop in Wanaka to pick up my camera that id stupidly left at a friends. I stopped off by rays just in time to do a little ogling over Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, grabbed my camera and then hit the road ready for the next part of the adventure.
Around an hour in to the drive and I came up to a sign for the blue pools. This is what I love about NZ, they have all the good stop off points marked with signs and they’re only a few minutes’ walk off the main roads. I pulled over, slung my camera round my neck and started the short walk there. Just as I was arriving I could hear the sound of people hitting the water, followed by the sight of a high swing bridge over a bright blue river. Now, Jac had been moaning on at me to the point where my ears were bleeding, about how upset he was that he never did the jump from the rocks when we were in Milford.
“There you go Jac, perfect” I said looking at him and then the water.
His face screwed up and then he giggled ‘I would do it, but I’ve just washed my hair’.
Is this guy for real? Moans on at me for 2 days straight about some shitty jump that he never did and then when the opportunity arises again, pussy’s out because he’s had a fucking wash? Fucking useless
Next up was Fantail falls. The road leading down there is steep. So steep, there is even a runout so that, if for some reason your cars breaks decide to pack in at that particular moment in life, you can wizz up in to a sandpit instead of sending yourself hurtling off a bridge in to certain death. It’s actually pretty tempting to just lay off the breaks and see how far you make it up the run out just for shits and gigs. But knowing trusty old Lucky, we probably wouldn’t be that lucky. Anyway, I drove lucky over the bridge and then parked her up so we could see the river a little closer on foot. The view from the bridge is pretty good but if you walk to where the yellow ‘gates of haast’ sign is, there’s a small footpath that leads through the bushes and gives you a much better overview.
Thunder creek falls was the next point, but once I pulled up, we realised that we’d already checked it out on a previous trip to Wanaka. Although I gotta say, the water there is pretty crystal clear and tastes good, in fact it was that tasty we stocked up on it. I’d go as far as saying the best water I’ve ever tasted.
By this point it was time for some dinner and we were ready to pitch up, the campsite wasn’t far so we jumped back in the car and drove a little further up. However, we did pull over to fill the car with logs from a small river beach and also some branches we found. This seemed a great idea at the time and also made a pretty good fire but holy shit did it leave a load of crap in the car. Sand, bugs, twigs, leaves, mud. Not ideal when you realise that you just filled your bloody bed with a forest. Defiantly won’t be doing that one again.
That night the rain came in and when we woke up it was still raining. Now when I say rain I don’t mean a small shower, because when it rains in NZ it pours. Oh god does it pour. All Night. All Day. In fact, 24/7 for the next 4 days. We had also left our shoes out in it and when we pulled out the ski bag (the one wed been carrying round with us for a month and not used) from under the car that was also full of rain. FEKING WONDERFUL. We shoved everything in to plastic bags, packed up the car and made our way to Haast to find somewhere to dry off. Not before stopping off at the roaring billy waterfall though. I mean, may as well if were already drenched right?