When you are driving through Haast you are driving through and beside steep mountains and rainforests. As you get closer to Makarora and Lake Wanaka you see the land begin to flatten out and get a bit browner. The trees are also different as you move out of the rainforest. We stopped at Makarora Country Cafe for lunch. It’s a grand name for what is really just a roadhouse but it’s well-appointed and has a friendly atmosphere and staff. We were finding we had to queue up everywhere we go which was getting a bit annoying but was something we would have to get used to. When I got to the counter I was disappointed to find there were lots of pre-made sandwiches. I hate pre-made sandwiches. I decided to ask if they sold dim sims. The man behind the counter laughed at me and said “you can only get them in a Chinese restaurant” It was my turn to laugh at him. I told him that at home we can buy them at this sort of place. I suggested he might like to sell them. I’m sure he would find they were a best seller, especially amongst Aussie visitors.I bought a pie and sat down with Carol, Bec and Brad to eat it. There is a beautiful brand of ice cream that is sold by the scoop in cafes. We tried it and loved it. Across the road, sheep and deer were roaming a paddock. It was the first time we’d seen deer. Venison is a popular meat on menus in NZ.
From Makarora we drove to Lake Wanaka. We were only stopping briefly here but it is a beautiful lake with more spectacular scenery. Families come from miles to stay here, sometimes only a few miles in fact. Clarke told us that people that live in Queenstown often come to stay here just to escape their busy home town. You can just relax or join in some of the more adventurous activities such as water-skiing, snow boarding, mountain biking.