Day 8 - Makarora to Wanaka 60kms
Day 10 - Flying home - wrap-up

Day 9 - Wanaka to Queenstown 88 kms

Having had at nice breakfast with Jude and left her with an awkward hug, I headed off. This was my last day on the bike, and by this stage in my journey, I wasn't really thinking about the cycling. Instead I was thinking much more about people and places. Jude I'm sure, had never planned to bring strangers into her beautiful home, but her husband's stroke had left here alone at home, and the healthcare costs of his care home, had drained their savings.  She needed the money, and was pragmatic enough to stop feeling sorry for herself and to get on with it.

It was a cold start, which meant it was clear.  I headed down from Albert Town to Wanaka and then off towards Cardrona. On the way I saw this strange sight of hundreds of bras draped over a fence and some signs saying 'Bradrona'. 

Bradrona

Cardrona is quite an historic area, linked to the gold rush. So you get nice old federation style buildings like this.

Historic Church

The road is not particularly steep, until you've passed the Cardrona Hotel. So that makes it a good place to stop for coffee. 

Cardrona Hotel

After the Cardrona Hotel you climb into the Crown Ranges. This is a long windy climb. 

 

Crown Ranges

When you get to the top, the view is worth all the effort.

 

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You can see over 30 kms ahead, all the way down to Queenstown in the far distance. 

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There is a plaque at the pass, to tell the story of why we are here.

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There were a few other cyclists at the pass and I took a photo of a few of them using their cameras. Then it was back on the bike and a nice long easy descent into Arrowtown. A beautiful, almost unspoilt old gold mining town.

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After Arrowtown it is a flat-ish trip over to Queenstown. But you have to dip and climb over the Shotover River at Arthur's Point.

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 Eventually you reach the shores of lake Wakatipu and Queenstown. Here you can see the Remarkables mountain range in the background.

 

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At this stage, I needed to start to sort out the logistics of my return journey. I'd rented a car for my final 24 hours. This was to help me to get a bike box from a shop and transport the bike in the box to the airport. It also gave me the option of going to Glenorchy for my final morning.

After getting the car, and the box, I checked in, and while I did my final clothes wash, I packed the bike, so that I could enjoy a relaxing evening in Queenstown.

Bike packed in box.

Here is a view of the TSS Earnslaw an old steamer which takes passengers to the Walker Peak High Country Farm on the other side of the lake. 

TSS Earnslaw, Lake Wakatipu heading to Walker Peak

 It was a nice evening as I walked around Queenstown, I felt a slight sense of sadness that my cycling was over for the time being. I had become a regular tourist just like everyone else around me. 

Crowds watching a street performer in Queenstown.

Having cycled through some of the most wonderful scenic countryside, I have to say that this area from Wanaka to Queenstown, to me is the most beautiful.

Queenstown Port

Its no surprise that it is popular. Especially the almost legendary Fergburger bar. 

Fergburger Restaurant, Queenstown

As I headed back to my hotel for my final night, I found myself thinking about what had happened to me over the past 10 days. 

Lake Wakatipu - Queenstown

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