I started with a walk around the Bannockburn sluicings. They’re about 5min south of Cromwell. There is a 2km walk around the site. I wish I’d brought my .22 – there were so many rabbits running around!
To the west is a narrower valley.
The holes are where miners tested for paydirt.
The paydirt was between the upper layer and the rougher rocks, which is clear in this photo. Note also the cuts made from sluicing over the top from a water race.
At the top is a stone reservoir for collecting water to run in the water races.
At the top of the track are the reamins of Stewart town.
The town had up to 350 people in it. Now a few ruins survive.
The track then descends along another ridge.
I finished the track in about 1hr then drove up to Wanaka. On the way I passed Jackson’s Orchard. If you’re a Mini fan stop here – the orchard work vehicles are all Mokes!
In Wanaka I stopped first at the Warbirds and Wheels museum. The admission is $20 and it seems to be a donation to the Make Sir Tim Wallis Even Richer fund. The planes and cars are in excellent condition but there aren’t very many.
The other aircraft are a Skyhawk, Strikemaster and Vampire. Then there are several American cars.
Upstairs is an exhibit about Sir Tim Wallis. Overall it’s a complete RIP!
Down the road is the National Transport and Toy museum. Admission is $12.50 but it is not well presented. It’s just 4 hangars jammed full of random junk!
The toy section is ok:
There are also large sections of Star Wars, Matchbox cars, McDonald’s toys and other things. The rest of the collection is a random stack of cars.
There are some sets of things, like fire engines and military vehicles, but the rest are just an assortment, and not in particularly good condition. There are a few unique cars of some interest.
Outside there are some tanks and other aircraft, including a Canberra bomber and a Mig.
I went in to Wanaka itself for lunch. It was raining and FULL of rich tourists and pedestrains wandering all over the road. I’d avoid it! Far too busy to be a nice holiday destination. I headed over the Haast Pass. The alpine lakes did look nice, even in the rain.
The pass itself was hard driving in the rain so I stopped for the night in Haast. I stayed in the Haast Motor Lodge and once again I felt it to be government issue – not many holiday camps have giant hangars out the back and stragely government-issue looking lino. Then the picnic table with ‘MINISTRY OF WORKS AND DEVELOPMENT HAAST’ gave it away. It’s actually quite a nice place to stay and you get a single room for $45.
The next morning I headed north on SH6 back to Greymouth. Although I passed through Fox and Franz Josef I didn’t stop at the glaciers because it was raining and I couldn’t be bothered! I arrived back home, and it was raining. That’s Greymouth.