Okay so this is a big claim, but Wanaka might be my favourite place so far. It might just be the fact that it’s the first bit of sunshine we’ve had in a while, but I think it’s mainly down to the AMAZING snow capped mountains and beautiful lake that we’re surrounded by!
We started off our day at the crack of dawn with a trip down to the lake to check out the views (as there were none yesterday and today we had clear skies.. yay!). We had a wander round it and went to see ‘that Wanaka tree’… have you even been to NZ if you don’t have a picture of it?!
We drove out a little way to Roy’s Peak, to start our 16km hike to the top. From reading trip advisor reviews we were both a bit scared to do this walk as it’s definitely the hardest one we’ll do on the trip! It took us about 2 and a half hours of purely uphill walking to get to the top. And when I say uphill, I mean uphill… not a gentle slope, an actual steep hill the whole way up. But once you get to the top, you see why so many people rave about it. The views are just breathtaking. You can see the whole way across lake Wanaka, and over the snow capped mountain range that borders it. It’s just incredible to see, and so weird to be cold and surrounded by snow after being in a basically tropical climate just the other day!
We got some great pictures from the top and then started the descent. I was hoping that the way down would be a breeze compared to the climb, but oh no. It was so hard to control your pace cause it was just so steep, you felt like you were going to start running and then fling yourself off the edge!
We had a picnic lunch by the lake once we had finally reached the bottom, and then headed into town to have a wander. There’s so much going on in Wanaka, lots of bars and places to eat and shop. We got a well deserved jug of beer on the lake front and chilled out in the sun.
We had dinner at red star burgers and a beer at Speights ale house and then headed back to the hostel. We ventured back out around 10.30 to see the stars down by the lake. It was such a clear night and you could literally see the whole Milky Way!
That Wanaka Tree
Owen at the peak
Lake Wanaka at sunset