Cromwell Area

Date of Adventure: 16-17 March 2021

Cromwell doesn’t get the international attention of it’s neighboring towns. It doesn’t have a tree in a beautiful lake like Wanaka, nor an international airport for easy access like Queenstown. One thing that we love about it, however, is a large designated free camping area, complete with flushing toilets and free wi-fi!

Large, relaxed campsite next to the lake

It was the perfect place to settle down after the busyness of Queenstown and Wanaka. We ended up staying there for a few days, working on sewing the curtains and hanging our clothing cubbies on the ceiling, which you can see below!

It was one of the clearest nights we’d had yet in the country, so I took advantage to do some southern-hemisphere astrophotography!

You can see the large and small Magellanic clouds on the right!

The following day, Kadi and I went for a run on the aptly named ’45th parallel track’. For reference to the USA, the border between Wyoming and Montana is on the 45th parallel North.

There was a playground along the route we chose, and we took a short break to play on the teeter-totter! From there, we took the path directly up the hill to the top of a large plateau.

Stairs are fun to run?

Slogging up the steep hill gave us both time for reflection, and Kadi shared that she had been reading about the Te Araroa (‘the TA’), New Zealand’s long pathway from the north tip to the south tip of the country.

After the run she revealed that she desires to hike the TA! Between the book she was reading about it and the tramper we had met in Wanaka just a few days before, she felt a calling to hike it. This was a huge revelation for me, since I’ve always wanted to do a thru-hike and the TA was an obvious choice, as we now live here! We’re currently planning what that will look like coming up!

View of the lake below!

On our way out of town, we stopped in Cromwell proper to stock up. It’s well known for it’s fruit orchards and vineyards, which they proudly display with a group of large fruits on your way in.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, so Kadi and I took some time to throw a frisbee around in a park too! What a fun place!

Big tree

There are plenty of fruit stands around the outskirts of town, and the end of summer was a great time to find some interesting hybrids you can’t buy in grocery stores! We chose an apricot nectarine hybrid, as well as some fresh pears!

All stocked up! Fruit basket is full of fresh fruits from the fruit stands!

After this we headed south past Queenstown to Te Anau, where we would prepare for the Kepler Track, coming up next!

Thanks for reading!

–Cameron

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