The day started at 6.15 as we had to catch the 8.30 shuttle bus up to Cardrona for our Son's first snow board lesson from our Albert town camp. We made it to the shuttle with time to spare and we started our accent to the main building which is 1670 m above sea level and takes approx 20 mins. We got to the top and immediately went for coffee and another layer of clothes. My wife's feet were cold even though she had a think socks on and good quality hiking boots so a new pair of warmer socks were purchased. I was like a kid in a candy store with so much colour and things going on around me to capture so I could not wait to get outside and start. We found the beginners section and started to get our Son accustomed to being strapped to the board and trying to balance. He soon found that it was not as easy as he saw in the winder Olympics but persisted to his credit. The instructor, Jess, turned up and she had a group of about 6 kids of varying ages to teach. We left him to work on his technique with Jess and I went about having fun capturing images of what was around us. I was at the end of the ski run taking images of people zigging zagging down the slope and was approached a man who asked what I was doing. I explained that I was in the area for the day and was just getting some fun images from the day and he asked if I could take some of himself coming down the run. I said I would and he went up the chairlift and I waited to see him and snapped off a few images for him. Turns out he's a photog from England here on holidays and will going over to Australia in a few weeks. We exchanged business cards and I said I would edit and send the images to him when I got home.
We found our son after about 90 mins and I took about 100 images of him learning to ride a snow board and him riding the magic carpet which is a belt that they stand on to go up a gentle slope. Jess the instructor said our Son was lucky to have a Dad who was a photographer and I asked if the resort has an onsite photographer and she said no. I pondered the idea of starting a business on the mountain selling images like they do at theme parks but then I felt the -10 wind blowing me in the face and decided a warmer climate may be better. Plus my batteries were suffering in the cold and loosing charge at a faster rate like all batteries do.
After our Son's lesson was over, we took a second mortgage on our house and bought lunch for the 3 of us and shared a table with a man and his 2 children from Brisbane. Small world. We then asked had another look around and decided to come off the mountain and waited about 40 min for the next shuttle bus. By the time the bus arrived the temp was registering at -15 with the wind chill but was still a nice day on the mountain.
We headed back to Wanaka, took the hire gear back and had a cuppa and cake by the lake. The sun was starting to set so I thought I would visit my favourite little tree dubbed the Wanaka Tree or Lone Tree which is at the left hand side of the lake and is usually easy to find as there in 50 people looking and photographing it. I manged to get some real estate and got the above shot on my phone camera and cannot wait to edit the ones on my real camera when I get home. I was such a beautiful time to be there and share the moment with about 6 nationalities all excited to be there and getting a picture of "that tree". We booked into the lake side caravan park and all had a nice hot shower to warm up and a bowl of hot spaghetti and chilled out ready for a good night sleep.
We got ready to move after a sleep in and when I was about to wash up when I noticed the water was coming back up the sink which meant the grey water tank was full. I was going to empty it this morning as I knew it was getting close so I left the dishes in the sink and I thought, I could park up next to the lake and while the other 2 go and buy some supplies, I could wash up with a million dollar view !! So I emptied the tank at the park before we checked out and did exactly that :)
We filled up with fuel and headed north and that's all we knew as we did not have anything planned. We had to head over the Haast Pass pass stopping along the way a couple of waterfalls, The first one was the Fantail Falls which was sereal as the whole sides of the river bed was covered in snow that has not melted the whole day as it had not got hot enough. We skimmed some flat river stones and moved onto our next one. Thunder Creek Falls is about 50 meters high and had a good volume of water flowing over it and the river below it was a nice flow as well. I took some pictures with both fast and slow shutters speeds to blur the water a little. Our Son took great delight in rock hoping down the river and it took some time to coax him back to the motor home. After that we drove over to the other side of the Haast Pass and booking into the Haast River Motels & Holiday Park which had a good playground so It's good for the kids to burn off some energy. The amenities block is in an old aircraft hanger and they also provide you with 250 mb of free wifi. Normally the distance we travelled today would take about 1.5 hours in a car but it took us 5 hours with lunch and stops :)
Day 8 coming soon and thanks for reading.