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The Return Journey: Bluff to Picton

  Good Friday 9th April: Bluff to Twizel

The return journey was not part of the official event, but it is documented here because it was included as an option in the event itinerary for returning participants.

At 11.30 am 5 cars departed Bluff together and returned to Invercargill. Sandy Farrell was dropped off to heart felt goodbyes, and after gassing up the cars departed for lunch at Gore, with Roger Neilson leading the bunch. The weather improved as the northward journey continued until by arrival in Gore the rain had been left behind and the beginning of a sunny day emerging. The cars stopped at the ?? hotel on the north side of Gore and lunch was completed in the warmth of the restaurant.

On departure, one car left for Dunedin, and the remaining four headed once again for the welcome warmth of sunny Central Otago. Roger lead the cars on a cracking pace up SH 90 to Raes Junction, onto Roxburgh in brilliant sunshine, and to a pause for gas at Alexandra. The four cars then continued to Cromwell where we said goodbye to Roger as he was leaving the group at this point.

Four cars arrive at Cromwell: Neilson Mach1, Wals Boss, Shepard/Crook 66, & McDonald Shelby.

From Cromwell the remaining three cars lead by Wal's Boss continued to Tarras, Omarama, and to the overnight stop in Twizel. The Lindis Pass was carrying heavy southward traffic flows to the Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow, but this did not hinder the north flowing Mustangs. Overnight location was the Aspen Court Motel, about 100m from the impressive Mackenzie Country Lodge. A walk down there before dinner revealed a count of 100 Daimler cars in the hotel carpark! The group wandered on back into the small town centre and finally managed to get a meal in one of the crowded local restaurants.

Easter Saturday 10th April: Twizel to Picton

Overnight there was a solid Twizel frost so it was out once again with the hot water to clean the windscreens of ice.

  Three Muzzies wait to be thawed out from a solid Twizel frost

Cars thawed out the Shelby and Boss departed Twizel together at 8 am, leaving Terry and Adrienne to depart later and return to Christchurch.  The drive through the McKenzie country was as awe inspiring as ever, with snow covered mountains ringing crystal clear lakes, and a huge "wall to wall" sky!

Breathtaking scenery through the McKenzie on the way to Lake Tekapo.

At Lake Tekapo the two cars paused for pictures at the incredibly scenic little church on the lake shore.

Mustang Muscle stops to admire the scenery at Lake Tekapo

Off again and the two cars cruised through Fairlie and onto a welcome morning tea stop at Geraldine. Wal discovered that the local bakery had a fantastic collection of food that was difficult to pass up, as well as great coffee. Off again and a non stop drive to Christchurch for lunch. Food and gassing up completed, and time passing quickly, it was onto Picton, with Wal reporting just 20 mins late for the Ferry (which meant he was last to drive on - no waiting yay! ). The McDonalds caught the Bluebridge ferry 60 mins later, and uneventful crossings were completed by both.  

Arriving in Wellington, both cars separately headed for home in the night, completing a 3,300 mile roundtrip journey of a lifetime.