Lowburn and Wanaka and Hawea

Last Wednesday was a bit of a lazy day beside Lake Dunstan at Lowburn. And it was a windy day so we shifted slightly – to get a bit more shelter.  Thursday was not so windy which was a relief. We went into Cromwell to dump our grey waste (water) and get some groceries. Back at Lowburn we hooked up the car and headed up the road to Wanaka to visit Wyn’s son and his partner – well more Luggate really. After driving up their long dusty access road we realised we should have taken the car off where we left the main road. My first job was to wash the dust off the car.

From where they live they have a wonderful panoramic view from the Cardrona Valley round to the hills behind Lake Hawea. With snow still on many of the mountains it is an extraordinary view.  Friday was another lovely day and we decided on a bike ride on the next track from Albertown to Hawea.  Wyn’s son came with us and we headed off in search of the start of the track. Just over the bridge over the Clutha at Albertown we turned right into the camping area and drove down towards the Hawea River. As we got close an enormous swing bridge came into view, like the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco but not quite as big. Clearly this was the start of the track.

The new walk/cycle track follows the true left of the Hawea River from there up to Lake Hawea. It’s only been open for a month or so and is going to be a great asset. It’s 11kms of good track, well away from the road. Mostly it follows the river with views of the river and the mountains beyond. We zoomed along it, with a bit of a headwind and a bit more uphill than downhill from that end – both good omens for the return trip. At the Hawea end we came out onto Domain Road and realised that this was somewhere near where David Peacock had collapsed and died two weeks before. It was a bit spooky but also good to see the area. An even bigger co-incidence was meeting David’s sister-in-law out walking her dog on the way back down the track. Her husband had been riding with David when he died. She explained that they’d ridden up the road to Lake Hawea and were heading along Domain Road towards the track with the intention of riding down the track to Albertown and then back along the road to their place. It was good to be able to understand what they were doing – I can see why it helps people to be able to visit the site where bad things happen. And somehow it felt good to be riding the track David was heading for. It was well after 7pm by the time we got back to the car at Albertown and a lovely evening.

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