Thursday, November 18, 2010

Scenic Road Along Haast Pass

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It started to rain as we continued our journey from Lake Matheson. This was when we took quite a long one-lane bridge.

One bad thing about sitting in the car as the passenger during a road trip is that you tend to consume more snacks than you can ever imagine. That's what exactly happened to us; when either one of us was doing the driving, the hand of the other will slowly crawl to the back seat and try to look for some snacks. Our arms would suddenly become extra flexible in attempting to get the maximum stretch to reach our snacks. If they ended up in an empty plastic, they would continue to look into the next bag.

As our drive usually takes several hours, snacking non-stop in the car is certainly one of the contributor to our weight gain project during the vacation haha! Back to our trip, did I mention in the previous entry that we came across a few blue stuff along the way? Yes, we did, but they will come at the later part of this entry.

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We stopped at a small town of Haast for lunch. See, eat again haha!

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The white small shed is a bus stop. One of the smallest bus stop I've ever seen in my life, I guess.

Just in case you are wondering why almost everything in this part of the West Coast region is called Haast, here is a short explanation. According to what we were told by the guide at the glacierJulius Von Haast was a German explorer and he named the Franz Josef Glacier after the Emperor of Austria at that time to get funding for his exploring activities in New Zealand.

During the olden days, most of the things were still to have proper names. Haast was smart and he wanted to make sure his name will be remembered for many many generations to come. So, he took the opportunity to name things, almost anything after his name, such as Haast town, Haast Pass, Haast River, etc as he discovered more things in this southern West Coast of the South Island haha!

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There weren't many shops around this tiny town, so we just chose this Fish and Chips restaurant.

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The interior of the restaurant, as the girlfriend was doing the ordering.

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Menus written on the wall.

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Whitebait sandwiches, which cost us NZ$ 10.50, which is roughly about RM25.

To be honest, the sandwich was nothing extraordinary. According to Mich, it cost so much because whitebait is so tiny and it's hard to catch them. I wonder, if that hypothesis of hers proves to be true, then a whale sandwich must be damn cheap since it's so huge haha wtf!

Just off of State Highway 6 in Mount Aspiring National Park is a scenic roadside pulloff and a great place to view the confluence of the Landsborough and Haast rivers. Haast River rises near Haast Pass, joins the Landsborough River, then flows out to the coast near Haast township. This location is on the Haast riverbank opposite from where the Landsborough joins in. Unfortunately due to thick vegetation it is impossible to get a good view of the upper Haast.

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The Landsborough and Haast rivers meet at this scenic roadside pullout in Mount Aspiring National Park.

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The plaque, which was erected by the roadside.

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The traveler in kesejukan lol!

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Just look at how clean the water in the river!

The plaque reads:
"The Landsborough River is the major tributary of the Haast. Its source is 40 miles away at the McKerrow glacier in the vicinity of Mount Cook National Park. Towards the head of the Landsborough can be seen Mt. Ward a prominent peak on the Main Divide. In the middle distance Clarke Mound the long forested ridge between the Clark and Landborough was over-ridden by ice during a major phase of glaciation approximately 100,000 years ago. It is likely that earlier most of the major peaks in view would have been submerged by an ice sheet."
We continued our journey and made several stops after that at a few falls along the way. There are quite a number of falls that were recommended inside the brochure we had, but due to time limitations, we decided to only stop at a few falls we felt worth seeing. First up was the Thunder Creek Falls.

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Thunder Creek ends as a spectacular 28-meter-high waterfall that tumbles into the powder blue Haast River.

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I guess this is the most scenic waterfalls along the Haast Pass area.

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The Gates of Haast at the Haast Pass that rises to a height of 562 metres above sea level at the saddle between the valleys of the Haast and Makarora Rivers. 
As such, it is the lowest of the passes traversing the Southern Alps.

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Fantail Falls sits to the south of Haast Pass not far from Thunder Creek Falls.

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During the spring, this 15-meter waterfall indeed can look like a fan as its name suggests.

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The landscape changed from green bushes to a wide range of valley.

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Reached the Blue Pools, one of the most popular stops along the Haast Pass.

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Stopped for a photo on the wooden walkway.

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A sneak preview of the Blue Pools.

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This is however, just a fraction of what we would see very soon.

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This is the world-renowned Blue Pools. You just run out of words to describe its beauty, don't you? I guess it is even better than the Hokitika Gorge.

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The glacier-fed water in these deep pools is the colour of deep azure blue, and so clear that you can see right to the bottom,
making the resident brown trout look like they are suspended in the air.

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Pokoknya, this place is just simply awesome; totally out of this world!

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Girlfriend said must upload at least one couple photo per entry, so here you are lol!

It was during our walk back to the car park, on the gravelled path through the silver beech, that I told Mich one of my greatest secrets that left her laughing non-stop. Mich said it was that incident, that turned me like who I am today lol! Since it's quite, or should I say a damn stupid thing I did during my scouting days many years back, I guess I shall just save the story haha!

We continued our drive down south and this time, we got to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka along the beautifully scenic State Highway 6. It was a really beautiful drive. During the first part of our drive through the Haast Pass, we drove alongside the river, and then through the mountains that still have snow on the top of them. As we approached Wanaka, we came around two huge lakes - Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka.

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Did anyone notice the tiny white spots on the greens? Yes, they are sheep haha!

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Nah, magnified version of the sheep. Good for counting before you go to bed lol!

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 Beautiful lake with snow-capped mountains in the background.

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One thing about the lakes here is that the water is blue in colour!

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Acting stupid with the speed limit sign lol!

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Lake Hawae.

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Love the reflection on the water.

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I tell you, these sheep are damn lucky to live in such beautiful place. Wake up already see mountain and lake, eating grass also see mountain and lake, sleeping time also still see mountain and lake. I wish I am a New Zealand sheep lol!

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"Would you want me to take a pichure for you?" (an inside joke, thanks to the Caucasian lady lol!)

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I think this is still Lake Hawea.

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With this kind of beautiful scenery, I don't think anyone would complain even if the journey takes hours.

After driving for about six hours, including stopping time at the waterfalls and for lunch, we finally arrived at Wanaka, the final stop of the day. It was by far, the longest drive we had had so far in the road trip. However, driving along the scenic road certainly made up for the tiring journey and given a chance, I will do it again, anytime.

We decided to check into our hostel first before going around the town.

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Wanaka town.

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Our accommodation - YHA Wanaka.

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No idea why they named it "Purple Cow". Wouldn't it sound better if it's named "Purple Sheep"? haha!

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That's the main entrance to the hostel.

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Not an overly luxurious place, but decent enough for a comfortable stay.

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The room, which was not bad I'd say. They have heater for us as well, as it gets really cold at night.

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The toilet is considered in good shape for a backpackers hostel.

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Pool table at the lounge.

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The super huge kitchen!

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A warning for everyone, unless they are super generous and wish to donate food to the free-food shelves lol!

The majority of the people who stayed at the hostel were travelers from outside New Zealand. I spotted a few Japanese there as well. There was one time when I overhead them talking to their friend and the conversation was something like this: "Kit-chin. Bee-see".

He actually wanted to say that there were many people in the kitchen and it was busy haha! Anyway, among the many notices put up at the kitchen, there was particularly one that really caught my eye. It was written in some characters that looked very familiar to me.

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It asks everyone to wash and return the cooking utensils after using them.

Perhaps I should have asked them if they need a Manglish version as well, which would read, "Your plates and spoons ar, don't simply throw everywhere wor. Clever clever ownself wash ar.".

19 comments:

DT said...

NZ should pay u for helping them with tourism. Ur landscape pixs there are really amazing... and u made me feel like visiting NZ.....if not for the cost...

Anonymous said...

now i know why all the pepsi blue gone they throw it in the river ==...
so beautiful le that river sadly theres no river thats clean and beautiful in malaysia :C...even if there is,the place wont last long..hehe

calvin said...

@ dt:
yes, they actually do. don't you know that i am receiving a thousand dollar for every entry i blog about my trip in new zealand?

yup, i gotta admit it costs quite a bit to travel in new zealand, but the scenery is simply too breathtaking, that i think you can hardly get elsewhere ;)

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
haha! that is a possibility.
but i believe no matter how many million gallons of pepsi blue they pour into the klang river, it will always turn teh tarik brownish colour eventually =\

D-T said...

wah.. u pulling my leg ah.. calv.. very cheeky lah u.. :P

calvin said...

@ d-t:
not bad that you managed to realise that i was telling a lie haha!

D-T said...

hahaha!!! ur skills too lauyeh lar... u need to brush up ur skills first before come challenge me :P

calvin said...

@ d-t:
mummy used to say that we cannot tell lies or else our nose will grow long =P

kae vin said...

the blue pool looks like swimming pool!! omg! I feel like jumping in and swim already!!

and u should write the manglish version and stick it there hahha

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
that's the thing that will come to a person's mind if he/she can swim. but for someone like me who will only goes one direction, i.e. downwards if i were to jump into the water, the only think i would think is not to fall into the water haha!

i think a manglish version will further confused the japanese lol!

DT said...

no need to worry lah.. eventually u will float... sooner or later.. :P hehhe!!! hmmm.... wat's wif the aquaphobia anyway? :P

calvin said...

@ dt:
walao! by the time i reach that "eventually", i don't think you will ever get to read future new entries in my blog anymore haha!

well, i won't say i am totally aquaphobia, i guess i am just afraid to jump into deep water because i know i cannot swim lol!

D-T said...

hahahah.. me too but dun u know that going to deep water is the fastest way of learning how to swim.. :) Once my fren brought us to a swimming pool tat was 2.5m deep... unknowingly, i jumped in only to realise i can't touch the base but luckily manage to grap the poolside. And voila... learned to tread water in less than 5 min on the day itself :) btw.. i dun get me wrong... i dun wan to mislead u to jump into the next deep pool u see.... hahahaa!!! u need to make sure got ppl who can rescue u around and try it with caution :P

D-T said...

I still want to read many more interesting posting from u... in the future... :)

calvin said...

@ d-t:
hmmm, i think someone told me something like that also in the past. when you got no choice, you will go all out and do everything you can to save your life haha!

but of course i won't be so sampat and bodoh-bodoh jump into a deep water and hope i will be able to swim straight away lol!

i actually had my friend to teach me swimming a few years back and i managed to stay afloat and swim a little bit after a few sessions. however, i had no chance to practice anymore since then and i don't think i can even make myself float on the water, yet alone swimming now.

MeLia said...

Haha.. so good.. eat and wash it.. Self serve ma... I like the view..so beautiful.. Waterfall!!! Anyway, take care...

calvin said...

@ melia:
yup, new zealand is just too beautiful that you will never stop going "wow!" every time you come to a new place during your traveling =)

MeLia said...

I wish I can go there one day !! :) *hoping for the day*

calvin said...

@ melia:
*prays that the day will come to you*
=)