And wow, it was pretty.
The Man was, incidentally, just on his way to Walter Peak Station on Monday to do a week's work on their sheep shearing sheds there, so he drove (alongside his workmates) through the fresh snow which was still falling.
Well, at first they were still on the highway, so there was traffic in both directions:
But then they turned off the highway, onto a gravel road and started following what is quite a little used public road towards Walter Peak Station.
|Sheep in the distance|
They helped a farmer lift a sheep onto the back of his truck:
They met (and spoke to) the road grader. He warned them against going across the bridge ahead because the road is very steep directly after the bridge, he said, and if the truck goes off the road, it'll roll into the river below, he said. (He urged them to cross the river via a ford instead, which they did.)
And then, a little later, they came to a point where the tracks simply... ran out.
|Please note that in true New Zealand fashion the men are still wearing shorts.|
They hadn't realised when talking to the road grader that he hadn't gone all the way to Walter Peak. The grader had turned back at some point, and where he had, no-one else had gone through yet, so it was just them and piles (and piles) of snow.
They could hardly see where the road was.
But, they decided to continue on, so part of the way they had a man walk ahead of the truck to find the way, and other times the boys would hang off either side of the truck, looking out for the roadside.
Eventually, they got there. 7 hours for what is usually a 90-minute journey.
Within a few days, the snow had melted.
They enjoyed sunshine and daily boat rides across lake Wakatipu into their accommodation in Queenstown.
By the end of the week, the snow remained only up where the ski fields are - the tops of mountains. A welcome end-of-the-season dump which, I assume, was greeted by snowboarders and skiers alike.
Now, it looks more like this:
Welcome to New Zealand.