Stunning Lakes, Glaciers, & Snow Capped Mountains
Trip Start Apr 12, 2011
86Trip End Apr 01, 2012
The rest of our drive wasn’t as eventful but pleasant all the same. We cross the mountains to go inland to Wanaka where there are several waterfalls, lakes and stunning scenery all around us. We arrive at our hostel in Wanaka called Wanaka Backpaka – a really nice hostel overlooking the lake. We can even see the snow capped mountains in the background.
The next day we are up early for a walk. When coming here we wanted to do the Rob Roy track which is meant to have some really spectacular scenery and glaciers
We spent the rest of the time relaxing by the lake and it’s beginning to feel like summer holidays as people enjoy a drink in the sun, sunbathe by the lake and some are even brave enough to swim – not us, it’s still a little chilly. So we’re struggling to come to terms with the fact that it’s less than a week to Christmas. However we like Wanaka so much (something to do with the hostel bbq overlooking the lake looking like the perfect spot for a Kiwi Christmas) we decide to come back here in a couple days to spend Christmas here.
First we have Mount Cook to conquer – or at least see
To add to this we also drive past the clay cliffs that were used in the filming of Narnia so all this makes quite bizarre scenery. We pick up our supplies from the last town before Mt Cook as there are no shops or petrol and head up towards the national park. We’re staying at a YHA hostel up in the mountains and from the hostel garden we look up into snowy mountains. A very surreal location. We get straight on to the walks and first head for the Tasman Glacier. The Tasman Glacier drops into a lake and so there are icebergs floating about in the lake. The glacier itself isn’t as impressive as a layer of stones and dirt lies on top of the ice due to the way it is melting. But Jonny and I are always happy to take the time to sit and take in the scenery. Later on we took a walk through the village which contains a pretty hideous hotel building (the Hermitage Hotel – it’s quite a historic hotel but this rebuild doesn’t say much), a tourist office and a few other buildings
The next day we’re up early for another walk to see Hooker Glacier and more views of Mt Cook. First we walk to Kea Point which was a relatively easy walk to a Mt Cook viewpoint. We didn’t see any Kea which is a type of New Zealand alpine parrot that apparently like to eat the rubber off cars. The views are pretty good and you can see where the Mueller Glacier has melted away. We also learn that the beautiful purple and pink flowers that we have seen by the roadside all over New Zealand are classed as weeds here and they are spraying to destroy them – so even the weeds are pretty! The highlight was definitely the walk to the Hooker Glacier as the views of Mt Cook are spectacular and we had good weather so that we even got to see the top without cloud coverage. Mt Cook is a bit off the main travel trail but was definitely worth seeing as we think it may be the best scenery we have seen yet in New Zealand.
Tonight we stay at Lake Tekapo but are a bit tired from our earlier walk so don’t get up to much apart from a walk along the bright blue lakefront. The next day we are ultra lazy and drive up to the viewpoint over the lake and enjoy some coffee and cake with a great view. Jonny thinks he has found his perfect location for a coffee, scone and paper! Then finally we are back on the road south back to Wanaka for Christmas time!!!