The day started out alright, overcast but at least there was nothing falling out of the sky. By the time we were ready to pull out though, the rain had returned with vengeance. And it rained all the way to Glenorchy at the top of lake. No beautiful turquoise lake or towering snow dusted mountains to see today. In fact, at times, we couldn't even see the lake.
There aren't too many options to stay at this end of the lake, a few small freedom camping areas beside the lake before you get to Glenorchy, a couple of DOC campgrounds further around and back up into the mountains, a campground here in Glenorchy that is closed as it goes through a major re-build and the Glenorchy Hotel & Backpackers carpark.
Which is exactly where we're parked up. There's space for 3-4 campervans and we have two neighbours tonight. It's free (they are obviously hoping you'll spend some money in the bar, cafe, or restaurant) or its $10 a night for power, which is what we all have opted for. So now there are 3 orange leads snaking across the carpark from the backpackers laundry- well insulated I hope. And the best bit? There's a free public wi-fi hotspot that is a lot faster than the Queenstown one we had access to!
What a lovely little settlement Glenorchy is, we've been through here many years ago when we did a day walk on the Routeburn Track but I can't recall anything familiar, not even the boat shed. It looks to be mainly tour operators, gift shops and eateries; a number of lovely little cafes but way too many to try them all out before we leave.
The rain stopped briefly this afternoon so I grabbed the camera, pulled on my gumboots (wellington boots) and wandered down to the lake front to shoot the iconic and historic wharf shed.
Before the road was put in from Queenstown to Glenorchy in 1962, the only way to the top of the lake for the many tourists visiting the national park was by boat.
Much of the reserve was flooded (this is when my gumboots come into their own, I can wade through without a worry). It looks like the lake level had risen considerably over the past week, with many of the willows in the water.
I took a few photos before the rain came again and then I hurried home.
I can see stars out there now and the forecast is for a 1 degree start and sun all day....fingers crossed.