Saturday, February 4, 2012

the honeymoon - part three

Well, that was weird. We got halfway through our honeymoon blog posts and then *poof!* followed by a *sizzle* as water crept through my keyboard and fried the motherboard of my laptop. Such is life, so let's get straight back into the NZ honeymoon trip! 

If you missed it, here is part one and part two.

Lake Ohau

Wow, what an incredibly special place. We would love to keep it a secret for ourselves, but that's not the way the world works because of the internet nowadays. We stayed in the seriously chic mountain hideout 'Ohau House' for 7 nights, the longest stay of our trip, and it was so good to know we could unpack and make ourselves at home.

Perched over Ohau Lake, this designer bach quickly became home. The incredible cooks' kitchen, relaxing lounge, the jade speckled floors of the enormous bathroom and the stunning views across the lake left us somewhat bewildered and entranced with our new digs. The lake is quite remote and in the middle of nowhere - just what we wanted.

The weather can change in a tickle in this place. When we arrived it was blustery and moody with squalls moving at speed over the lake, yet the following day it was all blue skies and sunshine. One night it was so windy we thought the house would get carried away, and the next day it felt as if one could walk across the lake and visit the neighbours on the other side it was so calm. The changing weather would make great conversation if you had nothing else to talk about.

(Not) Around Town

Unlike Queenstown, there aren't any places to go out in Ohau. In fact there isn't even a convenience store. This place is defintely remote. Good thing there was a great kitchen to cook up a storm in (lamb shanks, roasts, salmon steaks etc), and the nearest shop was actually a local salmon farm. As well as getting provisions from local Twizel town 20 minutes away, we stocked up on delicious fresh and smoked salmon which kept us going throughout the week.

The Great Elsewhere

So other than laying about the house we took some trips along the lake and up into the mountains, generally exploring without any maps or watches. There was also plenty of competitive stone skimming in the lake (which seemed to be about as sporty as we got on this leg of our honeymoon).

We came across well marked trails and made sure we did at least two or three short hikes (or 'tramps') up in the hills behind the lake. In true W&L style we always took a car load of cheeses, wine and smoked salmon to keep us going. Life can be too perfect sometimes.

On one of our adventures (we pointed down a gravel road and said "let's see where this goes!") we stumbled across a great area in the middle of nowhere called Temple Valley. Criss-crossed with tracks that meandered in and out of dense forest and up into the hills, it was such a great way to burn off all the calories after sitting around reading, eating and watching the lake.

Hanging out and just doing nothing was one of the best aspects of our honeymoon. We'd highly recommend choosing the most laid back itinerary possible. Don't plan too much and give yourselves plenty of time to find things to do rather than booking your days up. We really needed some solid down time after the craziness of such a big event (the wedding, remember?!), and Ohau helped us slow down and get our heads around what had just happened.

In fact I think there came a point I even put my camera down and stopped taking photos. It was so wonderful just to follow along a mountain road with my beautiful new wife by my side.

In our final honeymoon post we head to New Zealand's most famous hotel and climb up New Zealand's tallest mountain (well we got close anyway!).

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