As we flew 300 feet above the tree line, a thick canopy of Beech Trees sprawled out beneath us for as far as the eye could see. The “wap wap wap” of the helicopter blades slicing through the air temporality silencing the chorus of the millions of Cicadas who inhabit this forest, where the males of the species vibrate their tymbals, a noise-producing organ on the side of their abdomen, in the hope of attracting females to mate.
When you drive from Wanaka and take Highway 6 over to Haast, it’s one of the great drives found within the country. The scenery is awe inspiring and so completely varied. One minute you’re driving past some of the best vineyards in Central Otageo, the next you are driving through a spectacular canyon gorge with views that are as gorgeous as they are frightening (heights).
Over a year ago when I was planning this trip, I wanted a few days in the mountain/lake town of Queenstown. The town is so beautiful and had such a great feel to it, that when I booked three nights there, I seriously considered adding a couple of extra night to my stay. I’m so glad that I did not!
After five days of rain on the north island I decided to fly south to visit my friend Chris Bell who guides out of the Christchurch area. Felt very fortunate that Chris had an open day and was able to guide us. Christchurch is a really nice town with a great vibe to it and with Chris available for a day, the prospect of a couple of rain free nights in Christchurch, or so I thought, was all I needed to jump on a plane south.