From the snow covered Kakanui Mountains.....
...to the surf beach at Kakanui village...
... all in the matter of a couple of hours. How amazing is that- snowmen to sand castles in the blink of an eye.
It was touch and go whether we could get away as the big freeze is on and overnight temperatures in Ranfurly promised to be minus 10. But it wasn't so bad and there was only a light -3 degree frost this morning. After six nights in Ranfurly exploring from the top of the Maniototo Valley to Danseys Pass it was time to move on. We've finished with Central Otago for now, we're heading north to Marlborough for the last of the winter, perhaps do a little fishing and relaxing before we cross over to the North Island again in mid-late September. It's time to check in on the family up there and then get back down here before summer arrives.
State Highway 85 (also known as the Pig Root) to the coast was closed due to snow & ice, then open to vehicles with chains only & no towing allowed- with no further updates and a cold but sunny & clear afternoon ahead of us we decided to set off; we could always turn around if we weren't happy with the conditions. The electronic road condition sign was still flashing a warning as we passed it, cautiously making our way east, rounding every bend expecting to come across snow drifts & black ice. We had nothing to be worried about, the road was dry and clear all the way through which makes a bit of a mockery of the road sign. It was ten times worse when we drove through the Lindis Pass a couple of months ago.
So now we are parked up at a small reserve overlooking the All Day Bay & the Pacific Ocean at the settlement of Kakanui just south of Oamaru- a rather cool coincidence as I had this CAP (costs apply parking $5 a night) in my sight for awhile. I didn't tie the mountain name and the village name together until we arrived here.
There's us, on the right at the back. I had forgotten how lovely the sound of surf is but it was a bit of a shock to have traffic tail-gaiting us again. It really does feel like another world after the slow pace of rural high country New Zealand.
And don't worry, I have plenty of posts to come from the Maniototo, we had an awesome time and thoroughly enjoyed exploring this fantastic area. Winter? It wasn't a problem.