Having arrived back in Cromwell too late to experience the Otago wines after our day in Queenstown, we were talking to the staff in the Top 10 Campsite office and discovered that there was a vineyard a few minutes away that opened for tasting at 10am so we decided we would pop in briefly before our drive up to Wanaka.
We are up early, and headed to the tasting room, where we also discovered a fresh fruit shop – Cromwell really is the place to go for fruit, veg and wine – we have seen so many fresh produce places and vineyards during our short time here and wish we had longer to explore! We stocked up on fresh produce and being sensible Sarah had a smoothie, we had 10 minutes before the tasting room opened so sat in the van planning the rest of our day.
At 10am we walked over to Misha’s and agreed that we would have a shared tasting as we couldn’t have too much before our drive! It was the first time Sarah had been to an official wine tasting and we had a few giggles over whether or not to use spitoon! Getting bored the girls went back to the camper whilst we tried a white, red and rose. We treated ourselves to two bottles to take on the road with us and very much enjoyed them!
Back in 2007 we had loved Wanaka, the lake, Cinema Paradiso with freshly baked cookies and Puzzling World. Returning the town has changed a lot, it has grown much bigger and the weather wasn’t on our side! We parked at the lake and had lunch in the van overlooking it – we had almost forgotten how stunning the views here were.
The changes at the cinema meant we couldn’t park there and sadly there were no suitable films, however we did manage to pop in for a cookie and a cuppa before we drove up to Puzzling World.
Puzzling World is a very interesting place full of optical illusions, mazes and the most bizzare public toilets ever. The girls absolutely loved this place and we were surprised by how little it had changed from our visit in 2007.
Onward to Pleasant Flat Campsite
As we headed out of Wanaka on the twisty drive through mountains with crystal clear rainbows, stirring waterfalls, rivers and lakes to our Pleasant Flat (a DOC campsite) within the Mount Aspiring National Park, we started to experience a problem with the motorhome. Now if you have ever driven in New Zealand you will know that the roads in the national parks are often horseshoe bends on steep inclines, so when your motorhome loses power as you going around one these it can be very scary! Unfortunately, this started to happen to us as we headed out of Wanaka, and we were also in a mobile phone black spot. We pressed on, stopping regularly to rest the engine and made it to the campsite in heavy rain to park for the night.
Now in this bizzare place where there is no mobile signal, and we are literally in the middle of nowhere we have the best 3G ever (mobile internet), so we fired off an email to the rental company and decided to settle down for the night. The weather was the worst we’ve had so far, so we decided not to explore but to cook and chill for the evening ahead of our drive up thte West Coast to the Glaciers.
The next morning….
Waking up, Sarah ventured out to the toilets on site only to discover that the NZ cleaning method for campsites is to spray the cubicle with disinfectant and then hose the whole place down. Combining this with a forest setting, led to several mosquito bites in places we don’t discuss and the rest of the Bees decided that the campervan toilet was a better option!