We had thought it would be weird being back in the van after three weeks, or hard because of the colder days, but we actually really enjoyed it, the van’s just so nice! Leaving our house sitting job, we made our way down to Oamaru for a few days of adventuring before continuing on to Wanaka to move into our new house!
First up was bouldering at Elephant Rocks, which is like a mini version of Castle Hill. We loved it! The approach was easy, the climbs weren’t super polished from being climbed hundreds of times and there was a good range of grades. On our first day, our session got cut short due to some unexpected rain. We drove to Oamaru, parking up right next to the beach for the night and taking the next morning to explore the town. We had read about a Dutch bakery so we were looking forward to some nice Dutch treats (it’s actually why we started with bouldering, followed by backtracking to Oamaru so we wouldn’t miss the bakery which is closed on Mondays). But as we rocked up, it turned out that the bakery IS open on Mondays but would be closed this Tuesday! Noooo! We still did find some nice treats at the German bakery instead, phew.
After visiting ALL the secondhand shops of Oamaru (not even kidding), we drove back to Elephant Rocks for our second session, yep, definitely one of our new favourite bouldering places! We ended up that night on a deserted campsite (as we’re getting into winter, more and more campsites are closed down for the season), but it made for a good enough (if slightly spooky) camp spot. We had planned to do a big bike ride the next day, but as we woke up it was cold and windy and we just weren’t really feeling it. We drove a bit further to check out the nearby dam and came across a short, easy walk which sounded a lot more attractive than the bike ride. Glad we decided to go, as the views from the top were absolutely amazing! We could see some bad weather rolling in from the distance, but made it back to the van just before the rain started coming down.
We continued on our way to Wanaka, where we knew it was raining pretty hard as well. While we were driving over the Lindis Pass, the sun briefly popped out again and, knowing that this could well be the last sun for the next couple of days, we pulled over and made some lunch and coffee. Again, good decision, as it was indeed raining cats and dogs in Wanaka and we got stuck in the van for the rest of the day. We briefly jumped through some puddles to have a drink in town with our new flatmates, before driving the van out of town towards the freedom camping area for our last night in the van in a long time.