30 November 2017

NZ Travel diary : Wanaka

Wanaka. A small town on New Zealand's south island. A picturesque haven encircled by mountains and a lake. A landscape so beautiful you can only wonder how such terrible things can be happening in other places around the world. It's almost like you're trapped inside a protective bubble, a bubble where only peace reigns. The magical landscape, the meadows that are quite literally from Middle-Earth, the colours of the lake and the sound of the birds all contribute to this peaceful feel.

I felt so safe here. Like nothing bad could possibly happen when such beauty surrounds me. It's one of those places where you could happily live at peace, a little disconnected from the world and all that comes with it. 

Despite only being a short way away from Queenstown this little town is so quiet. There are quite a few restaurants to choose from and there are several cute souvenir shops. I think two full days is sufficient to see everything, although there are some stunning walks you can do which would require a couple of extra days. We were there for a total of 4 nights and we had our little studio with a kitchen, indoor bathroom (a big deal for backpackers) and a double bed each! It felt like pure luxury after spending over a week in and out of a new hostel every night. Having those few extra days allowed us to recharge after our busy few weeks driving down the west coast.

Wanaka is home to a famous insta-worthy-shot: the strange tree in the lake only a few meters away from the shore. This tree has become an iconic image in New Zealand, featured in the majority of Wanaka postcards, It's the most picturesque setting, with the snow-capped mountains as the backdrop. We were fortunate enough to see it in two contrasting weather conditions, both as magical as the other.

During our stay we did the beautiful Millenium Trail walk which takes you along the edge of the lake to Ironside Hill. It was one of the most stunning walks I have done here in New Zealand: hidden beaches, magical meadows and breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains and lake. A lovely experience.

A lot of people had chosen to cycle the track which is a good idea if you plan to reach of the other side where there is a little carpark & picnic area. There are quite a few hills but overall this walk is for all fitness levels. You can complete over half and turn back if you want to avoid steep paths and still see some stunning views!

A dragon could have flown over this lake & I wouldn't even have been surprised. The beautiful weather added to this magical setting and it's no surprise so many of these locations have been used in films. It is magical. This scenery is breathtaking. Hues of green and blue at every turn. The sharp edges of the mountain tops against the sky. The meadows, home to hundreds of sheeps & rabbits. It's a true reminder of the beauty of nature and it puts a lot into perspective. New Zealand's landscape will suffer a great deal because of global warming. Unlike the rest of the world, NZ's temperatures are suspected to rise between 3-4 degrees due to the hot winds from Australia that hugely contribute to their unusual climate. The effects will be devastating.

This post has a lot of visual content but I hope you enjoy the breathtaking landscapes & that it inspires you to visit here someday so you can experience it for yourself. You can do day tours in Wanaka from Queenstown too. November is finally upon us which means the end of our trip is in sight. As I type this, it's day 47 of our trip. I'm sat in a hostel and my stomach is growling as I haven't eaten properly over the past 3 days due to the activities we've been doing. We're checking out of our hostel and into an Airbnb where I will hopefully be able to cook 3 meals a day for the next 4 days, a rare luxury when you're backpacking.

Summer x

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