We picked up our Jucy hire car from Christchurch airport and began our 500km road trip to Queenstown.
Our little Fiat Punto was going to have to serve us well as the day we hired the car a storm was sweeping across the South Island.
Our first stop was Lake Tekapo which is about 3 hours drive from Christchurch. Fortunately traffic is not a problem is New Zealand as there are so few people you have the road essentially to yourself.
We stopped off in a small town called Geraldine to be told that the road to Lake Tekapo was closed due to the snow. However, we decided to continue as we had already booked accommodation. When we arrived in the town before Lake Tekapo we were relieved to hear that the road had been reopened although to proceed with extreme caution.
The journey was a little hairy but we arrived in Lake Tekapo in the early afternoon. We decided to have a walk to the Lake, however given the relentless snow and limited visibility we couldn't see too far. We knew the weather was to be better in the morning so we called it a night early and decided to get up for sunrise to get good views of the lake then instead.
When we woke up we realised it had been snowing heavily all night and everything was a beautiful snowy white (including our car!).
We set out at first light (shower caps and plastic bags in trainers to keep a our feet dry - Katie's brilliant idea given our feet got absolutely soaked the night before) and were rewarded with a great sunrise. The weather was incredibly cold, well in the minuses so we didn't stay out too long.
We checked out of our hotel and started the car, however unfortunately given the extreme cold overnight, one of our rear tyres had actually frozen. As such we could not drive out of the icy car park. Fortunately, the hotel staff were at hand with a kettle of boiling water which, after about half an hour unfroze the tyre!
We still decided to call the AA just to be on the safe side given our next destination was Mount Cook where the average temperature is around -13!
Fortunately the AA gave the car a clean bill of health so we set out (rather timidly) to our next destination.