It is a short hop on this leg so word got passed around camp the night before that First Gear was 9am. As in any war, information is hard to come by.
Engines burst enthusiastically into life and we rolled through the metropolis of Fox dead on time. After the township, civilisation is spread pretty thin until you get to Haast and even then…
The Salmon Café is the only discoverable commercial establishment offering coffee between Fox and Haast so of course we blew right past that one!
Being short of options we enlisted the help of convoy experts to cook pancakes and provide scones at the waterfront of Lake Paringa. Thanks to Linda Skelton, Judi Eldridge and Sabre Seaborg!
The Jeeps posed coyly for a “Jeep Only” group photo even though the sun was not co-operating by being in the wrong position.
After a few more miles a comfort stop was organised in Bruce Bay. The Advance Party asked a local if the Community Hall could be unlocked to allow access to the conveniences. Help yourself he said. “The key is hanging above the door!” It looks like the Hall gets used for church services and community events as well as holding lots of historical information. A surprise was getting cell coverage here which must be a recent addition to break up the 244km cell blackspot.
More stunning scenery ensued. How many days of stunning scenery can one take?
Advance hauled us over to indulge in Whitebait toasties at the Curly Tree Whitebait Company. $10 a shot, cash only thanks!
From there it was a short skip to Haast, across possibly the longest one lane bridge at 750m that we had encountered.
The crew was put up at the Holiday Park. The Camp seemed a bit overenthusiastic and double booked some people which led to the impression that they had no vacancies which led to John and Kerrie staying in the nearby hotel. They soon learnt that Chinese tourists tend to speak to each other quite fast and very loudly inside and outside the building. It was like a cultural exchange.
The crew assembled together for dinner at the hotel bar which was the place to be in Haast.
Another great day in paradise!