Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Today I rode from Queenstown to the little town of Franz Josef on the west coast of New Zealand via Haast Pass.

I decided to face my demons and ride the Crown Range again since this road combined my two worst fears – riding a somewhat technical road courtesy of the seven hairpin turns after almost five years of not having done any technical riding, and my fear of heights. To be fair, I was on the mountain side going uphill so the fear of heights thing was a touch less dire than when I rode downhill a few days ago.

Aaaand – it wasn’t as bad as I had built up in my head after all. I mean I was ridiculously slow on the hairpins and at the highest point, and I went wide on at least one of the turns, but I made it and didn’t crash or go off the mountain like my imagination had built it up for me.

It was about an hour to get to Wanaka, same as the last time. There was some sort of festival going on in Wanaka but thankfully the traffic was going in the other direction so I didn’t get held up by it. I stopped quickly at the local supermarket – a delightful store like Whole Foods but way cheaper – and bought some peaches and mandarin oranges to replenish my fresh fruit supply. I ate a peach in the parking lot before taking off.

The ride from Wanaka to Lake Hawea was lovely. I kicked myself for not stopping at Lake Hawea though, which was beautiful and a brilliant blue like all the other lovely lakes I’ve seen in NZ so far. This was to be an on-going regret for the day because there were so many many gorgeous scenes for which I wanted to pull over and just gaze and take a million photos but there was either no place to pull over or I didn’t think of pulling over in time. Oh well, I’ll just have to come back again.


The most gorgeous section of the ride was when I was winding through Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka and then over to Makarora. I’m talking gob-smacked, I-can’t-believe-these-epic-vistas type of scenery. And what amazing twisties! And such glorious weather! I’m a lucky lucky girl.