Sunday night found us in Lake Hawea. About 80 minutes from Queenstown, the two lakes and their towns, Hawea and Wanaka, are absolutely beautiful. We were trying to make comparisons with other sights in our travels, and Austria and the Lakes District both come to mind, but nothing really matches the scale and colour pallette.

The drive along the lake was a relief after the steep mountain roads, so remote and narrow that only the video and photos can really show it. I really missed an uninjured Paula today, she is still only comfortable in the back seat, so our normal travel conversation is missing and the video shots are limited to the car.

The view from our motel last night was simply amazing, both from the restaurant and from our room. We didn’t close the curtains, but watched the light changing until ten o’clock.

I finally got a run in this morning, along the lake shore for a couple of kms. This helped with the fact I’m a bit drived out – originally, I only wanted to drive if Paula split duties with me, because I find that one sees less and enjoys it less when one drives more.

We drove out Lakeland by Queenstown, the temperature dropping as we drove. It was windy with rain squalls, but the glimpses I caught of the steep hills and white-capped water was worth it.

They must make them rough and tough in the Southland. Even more isolated than Franz Joseph – after all, you can be in Christchurch in less than four hours in good weather – the valley floor around the road south is flat and fertile, but must be bitter in winter. On the horizon are always the ranges, growing in height as we drove to Te Anau.

All is good with the unit and the food, but the town is full of apologetic Kiwis selling winter stock to despairing travellers like us, who didn’t bring enough warm tops. I’m starting to appreciate the quality of outdoors gear: a pair of bush pants is probably better for travelling than a pair of jeans.

We’ve found some good deals on fleecy tops, done some washing and caught up with the emails. I’ve finished ‘The Whisperers’ and ‘The Road’, both fantastic reads and good brain food. I’m going to bash through ‘Gormenghast’ as we head home, because I’ve a bucketload of work to get through.

Tomorrow is a highlight for me: I’d love to come back and do the track and some sea kayaking, but some photos and the cruise will do. Some sun would go down nicely, Lord.