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South Island Road Trip * day three * travel from Punakaki to Lake Tekapo

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We packed up the car, cleaned up the house and got out the door around 9:00. Wrapped up our time in Punakaki with a short hike on the Truman Track and a visit to one of the many caverns in the area. The kids had a great time using our headlamps/flashlights to explore the cavern. It was much larger than we anticipated. The Truman Track was nice little hike - but a little bit oversold in the tourist books we had read.

the end of the Truman Track
the cavern near the Puakaki visitors center
Before we got on the road we made a bathroom stop at the visitors center and prepared lunch for everyone to eat in the car. A few hours into the drive we stopped at Kawhaka Lake for some fishing, flower picking and bike riding. These "side trips" stops we used as a way to break up our drive, ended up being more of a highlight than I could have imagined. The etiquette note on the sign said "This fishery is stocked for the benefit of child, junior and novice anglers. Please treat this resource appropriately." It was the perfect place for Max to "wet the line". We saw several bikers - passing through on the West Coast Wilderness Trail... it looked like an amazing way to see the country.

Ben and I both agreed that State Highway 73 through Arthur's Pass National Park was, perhaps, the most beautiful and diverse drive of our lives. Dear New Zealand, your colors take my breath away. I want Sherman Williams to create a color scheme in your honor... so that my walls will always be rich with your beauty.

As the sun was setting we pulled into a little town called Springfield. We got gas and picked up homemade meat pies from a gas station/bakery. It was our second meal on the road and everyone was very ready to get out of the car. An important side note on getting gas in New Zealand (especially on the South Island)... get it whenever you see a station - they are few and far between. We got to the house around 8:00, got unpacked, started a fire, roasted some marshmallows and put kids to bed.

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