Queenstown-based American Jess Woodhouse is counting the cost of her generosity after her new car got stuck in Milford Sound.
The 23-year-old lent her 1986 Toyota Corolla – nicknamed The Red Rocket – to three friends for their trip just days after agreeing to buy it for $750 from another friend.
They drove the wagon to Milford on the day the landslip brought down 500-tonne rocks and closed the road.
Friend Clark Fortner, 24, from South Carolina, says: “She was super cool about it – she’s a really cool chick.
“She just said ‘oh poor Red Rocket stuck down there’ but she understood there really wasn’t much that we could do.
“It’s stuck down there until the road is cleared I guess.”
Fortner had driven down to Milford with friends Tyler Knowles and Eduard Seibel, taken a cruise and planned to go hiking.
“We stayed at the Milford Sound Lodge Friday night and woke up to news in the morning that it looked like we’d be staying for a few more days at least – there’d been four avalanches, two tree slides and a landslide.
“It’s probably one of the best places possible to get stuck in and we’d have stayed longer but we’re going to Fiji tomorrow.
“The weather was nice on Sunday so we flew out in a fixed wing aircraft which turned out to be absolutely amazing – well worth the money we had to spend.”
Red Rocket will be driven back to Queenstown for free by a rental firm relocater.
Woodhouse, staying in Queenstown for the summer, hopes to use the
car for trips around the South Island.