We were going out for a day in the hills with Richard, his Safari jeep and 2 guns! The hills were ones which appear in the background of some of the Wanaka airshow photos.

We were up and ready for 5:15am although we didn’t set out until 5:40am. It was still dark and we drove along roads until we turned off into the country. At this point Richard stood up through the hole in the roof and fixed up one of the rifles, ready for if he came across a deer. Noel held out a strong searchlight from the front seat so I got some exercise by opening and shutting farm gates as we drove up into the hills.

We didn’t spot any deer and eventually got very near to the top of the hill so we parked up and climbed the remaining short distance with some food and a BBQ! Richard had the short straw of carrying the BBQ. It was starting to get light as we settled down to eat.

Here’s a log of where we went until logging stopped about 4:30pm.

Richard getting the BBQ ready. Me getting rather cold. But a stunning location. Sadly, rather cloudy but occasionally the cloud would part slightly and a view of a lake or two would appear.

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Smile for the camera. Back a bit… 😳

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How’s this for fine dining 4000ft up a hill!

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Back at the jeep. The wind gauge is there to help aim for shooting.

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We had a great breakfast but we got VERY cold! Poor Noel had temporarily mislaid his waterproof coat so didn’t have as much protection from the wind as he could have done with.

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Richard drove us over various parts of Glenfoyle Station. Wanaka airfield in the picture.

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Where’s that dang wabbit gone? 🙂

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Wanaka airfield in the background.

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Looking left towards Cromwell in the distance.

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Clouds slightly parted at the entrance to the Cardrona valley.

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Panoramic shot.

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We stopped for venison lunch beside the river.

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Richard showed us these trees which were growing massive fir cones. Noel threw one for me to catch and luckily I was wearing gloves as they were very sharp.

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Then we had a go at rifle shooting.

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We started at 100m with a .17HMR rifle. I had first go and my first shot resulted in a lot of smoke coming out of the barrel. As a result Richard went and checked the target and initially couldn’t find the shot. It turned out to have been a bullseye! I used to shoot .22s but that was 23 years ago!

Here’s the view from the target to where we were shooting from.

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At 100m with the .17HMR.

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At 100m with the .223 with a very good scope and ballistic computer.

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At 200m.

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At 300m.

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At 400m.

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We had a great time and didn’t disgrace ourselves so watch out wabbits!

By this time the light was starting to fade so we drove back to the riverbank where we had had lunch and Richard set up the BBQ and started cooking lamb, gravy, vegs and potatoes while Noel and I built up the fire which Richard had started. Very proud of the fire we were. And the BBQ was excellent.

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The stars and milky way were shining brightly and I saw a shooting star. Richard also saw one too.

When we got back to the house we’d been out for 17.5hrs! I went straight to bed and eventually thawed out. 🙂

An excellent and unusual day! Richard looked after us very, very well.

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