New Zealand: Wanaka

Hello Wanaka!

Another lake side town in the Queenstown area. Wanaka is what I had imagined Queenstown would have looked like before it exploded with tourism. A cute little town set in a valley that is where all the kiwi’s live in the Queenstown area, as the cost of living is much less. All the lakes around the Central Otago area are stunning and Wanaka is no different.

Wanaka is one of the best places that you can go hiking and truly be involved in the natural habitat that surrounds you. The mountains, valleys and lakes are all that you could ever want to see around the town. We headed there for a weekend and it was a most adventurous affair. We went camping which I haven’t done since I did my Duke of Edinburgh award back when I was still at school. It was a cold nights sleep that is all I need to say on the matter, but the stars. Oh my days! The stars were like nothing I have ever seen before, it was incredible to see them in their full glory on a perfectly clear night as well we really did luck out.

Something of a future challenge for myself is to learn how to adjust the camera I have to take photographs of the night sky so that I can show as well as tell about how incredible the stars look.

Rob Roy’s Glacier trail

Mt Iron

Length: 45 minuet round trip

Terrain: Easy and clear walking track

We did a couple of walks while we were staying in Wanaka which I would recommend to everyone and anyone. Although we do still have more hikes in the area to do we started off with two walks, Mt Iron and Roy’s Glacier. I have to say that Mt Iron is a much smaller walk that would take around 45 minuets at a slow place. It allows you to have a beautiful view over the town of Wanaka and the surrounding lake. The top of Mt Iron has a full 360 degree of the basin that the towns sit within, a good spot to relax and enjoy the sunshine and take in the scenery.

Rob Roy’s Glacier

Length: 3-4 hours round trip

Terrain: Easy and clear walking track

The other day hike that we ventured on was the Roy’s Glacier track. This track was a much more what we were looking for because it was just a much longer walk than Mt Iron (3-4 hours). Although it was mainly an uphill walk without much flat, I would put it in the easy to intermediate category when it comes to hiking difficultly, obviously this will differ based on how fit you are. Trust me we aren’t that fit, so don’t worry about that! The hike was stunning. From the very beginning, starting off along a road that you have to drive down to get to the trail head which has a fair few fords that you have to cross, builds the sense of adventure before you even put on your hiking boots. I am glad that I had hiking boots though as the way back down was hard on the knees and the extra ankle support was greatly appreciated. The up hill was rewarded with crystal clear glacier waters passing by us on the way to a clearing at the top with incredible views of the glacier in full glory. Well worth it. After a victory cider and a snack, we headed back down the trail to the car once again.

That is a weekend well spent in Wanaka in my view. Plus a token visit to the iconic Wanaka tree – It has to be done. I am a tourist after all.

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