Day #83 - 1675 Miles Done!

Waking up beside the milky turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo was like opening your eyes to a watercolor painting. It was a stunning view with the blues of the water contrasting with the dark mountain sides that gave way to gravel beaches. Although the season isn't snow-capped mountain seasons, it was still magical to see the very tops of the distant mountains kissed with brilliant white snow.

Mount Cook in particular dominated the view with its classic triangular peak, covered in brilliant white snow.

Today was our last day in the camper - our trusty steed for the past 10 days. We had a three hour drive ahead of us as our final destination was Queenstown and the drive along Mackenzie Country was a feast for the eyes. Rolling emerald hills dotted with grazing sheep gave way to rugged, snow-dusted mountains that pierced the clear blue sky. 

Our first stop on our route was Lake Pukaki which is next to Lake Takapō. The glacial water, even more intensely turquoise than its sibling, seemed to stretch to the horizon, meeting the snow-capped Southern Alps in a breathtaking embrace, with Mount Cook being the crowning glory. 

We drove all the way long the edge of Lake Pukaki pretty much as far as we could to the base of Mount Cook. We were surrounded by rolling farmland and sheep stations, with the mountains still providing a dramatic backdrop.

It was then time to being the last journey in our van and head to Queenstown where we were going to drop it off.

We did make one final stop, at Roaring Meg Power Station - well with a name like that you just have to! New Zealand gets most of its electricity through hydroelectric schemes and with the stunning rivers and cascading waters, you can see why!

We drove to James' friends' house with whom we're staying with for the next two weeks (Jo and Simon) and unloaded the van and gave it a good clean, before driving the short distance to the company's location, right next to the airport. The lady checking the van in complemented us on how clean and tidy we are! She also told us we had completed 2696 km (1675 miles) - quite a journey!

James checked out a few of the campervans on sale and naturally his eye was drawn to a rather fancy and rather expensive one. Don't worry though, he didn't buy it, but it might be something to look into when back in the UK since we both really enjoyed our campervan experience. 

Jo came and picked us up and it was a lovely reunion. We met Jo when she was in the UK in January seeing her family. Back then she suggested we come out and see her and we thought that was a great idea. We also thought if we're coming that far (UK to NZ) we ought to stop on the way out to break up the journey, oh, and then on the way back too. Before we knew it, this epic, world trip was born. So you could say Jo is the reason we're doing this trip - she certainly was the catalyst for it. 

Jo and Simon live with their children just outside of Queenstown in a lovely area with stunning views of the mountains. We spent our first evening, catching up, enjoying the evening sun setting behind the majestic mountains before having a wonderful night's sleep, back in a proper bed!