How can this be? A massive storm is supposed to roll in tomorrow but today is the clearest, sunniest day yet! We wake up to our own, secluded bay. I make breakfast and we are out to sea, around “The Hole In The Rock” and headed to Army Bay. Kim, our host, has explained that the best muscling is a short dingy's ride from the bay and a well established hiking path takes us across the island.
I thought this was supposed to be cloudy! Yet here I am, rubbing sunscreen on my bare calves. No, I am not so bold as to bare much else. We aren't in the Caribbean. It is only in the 60s here. Yet the weather is perfect as we motor from Motuarohia Island, around Cape Brett, and out to Motu Kōkako (aka Piercy Island) and "The Hole In The Rock”.
We wake up anchored off of Motuarohia Island (aka Robertson Island). It is the first natural stop along the Bay of Islands with picturesque views and a short track (trail) to a vista point. It is time to explore.
We only spent one night in Twizel and launched back on the road for one last bid for a rain free hike. This time we aim for Christchurch and its scenic peninsula.
Leaving Queenstown is a flurry of packing and cleaning. Our next destination, Twizel, is a 3 hour drive with an additional 1.5 hour drive to reach the base of Mount Cook and our intended 3 hour in-out hike through Hooker's Valley to the base of a glacier.
Today, we are back on the road. From Te Anau, we launch on the 4 hour drive to Queenstown. It is hard to get there in a reasonable amount of time, however, because the brilliant vistas along the way have me constantly begging to pull to the side so that I can take yet another series of photographs.
We scheduled two full days in Te Anau so that we could pick the best of the days to visit Milford Sound. After an incredibly active day, today, the constant rain and lack of indoor attractions has us spending most of the day, relaxing and recharging inside. We are nearly half way through our road trip and I am grateful for the break.
The day starts with a drizzle. Weather reports promise more of the same. Yet, tour guides assure us that these are ideal conditions to visit the Milford Sound. Many waterfalls along the Sound only flow during rain. In fact, there are only two permanent waterfalls. We see dozens.