I forgot I took pictures of the pleasant lakeside campground. It was a nice spot.
And I didn’t spend the night in my car this time – I have a tent now!
I got it primarily for the Great Walks on the south island – $15/night instead of $50 if I camp instead of staying in huts on some of the walks. So ya, it will be worth it’s cost. Plus I got it used, and much like the car I bet I can re-sell it for about what I bought it for. The tent is a Macpac Microlight, a great little 1+ person hiking tent. Lightweight and very waterproof. Just what you want when hiking in New Zealand.
Anyways, the next morning it was apparent that the gorgeous weather of the last week wouldn’t last, with dark grey clouds starting to top the mountains to the east. I got one last view of sunny skies near Martinborough, one of the major wine producing regions in New Zealand.
From there I headed to the Waiohine Gorge, north of Martinborough by 30-40 minutes.
The main thing I liked here was the massive swing bridge. It’s the largest I’ve crossed here in New Zealand so far.
You didn’t want to be afraid of heights for this one. I’d guess it was at least 15-20 meters above the river, and a good length across. Not to mention, really, really wobbly, being a suspension bridge.
After that, I tottered around the major city of the area, Masterton, for lunch and a quick check of the internet at their library. Which had a very funny system for their wifi. Internet was completely free there, like most libraries here in New Zealand. BUT, if you wanted to plug your laptop in…they charged you $1/hour for electricity use. That was the first time I’d seen THAT kind of policy. I didn’t stay long before heading southwards and across part of the mountain ridge, towards where I’d camp the night, Kaitoke Park.
This was actually a film location for the Lord of the Rings films, with this area becoming ‘Rivendell’.
There was also an enjoyable short (30 minute) hike that formed a loop, so off I went before the rains could get here.
You get a fun little swingbridge to end things with, and while it certainly wasn’t as big as the one earlier in the day, I still enjoy the swaying above the river.