August 2014

The journey to Lake Wanaka

The story continues.. we left off, having had our very first encounter with the beautiful snow capped mountains, we continued to drive toward that heavenly sight. Michael and I are big talkers, we’re the type of people that talk and talk so much that we never actually finish a sentence and then half an hour later we realise we didn’t finish what we’d begun.. but I distinctly remember being so awestruck by the beauty of this place, we just drove and drove without a word. It’s amazing how safe you can feel with someone, no matter how many kilometers you travel you just know… that with that person the world is a better place.

During this long drive we had our first glimpse at snow, there wasn’t much but it was stunning. I guess we’re not used to seeing snow much in Newcastle, so white winters are so exciting! We felt like little kids, pulling over to “stomp” into the snow. That feeling of your foot falling through the snow because it’s so fresh and powdery.. a percentage of it from fear and the rest just from overwhelming joy.. it’s SNOW!!! wanaka wanaka2

We drove past so many lakes, many that took an hour or so to completely pass, we started to wonder what was so beautiful about Lake Wanaka? Why didn’t anyone build a town around these other lakes that we were passing, which were equally stunning? We never found that out, I’ll assume it’s because Lake Wanaka is so close to Queenstown which is the number 1 tourist destination in the South Island. We had a joke between us that Lake Wanaka was better looking which turned into many ridiculous jokes about “good looking” mountains and sheep being attracted to mountains.. yeah we won’t go into that. wanaka3

Without a doubt, Wanaka is STUNNING. Huge, green water, surrounded by the same snow capped mountains. It is essentially a little ski town, quite touristy. I purchased my very first pair of proper thermals in Wanaka and boy was I grateful for those babies for the remainder of the trip! If you’re planning a NZ trip, I recommend staying at Wanaka over Queenstown, it’s only about an hour drive through the snowiest roads, but so worth it for a less tourist populated destination. Also, best sushi ever at Wanaka, ask me if you go, I’ll let you know! wanaka4

We made a day trip to Queenstown to go zip lining which was the coldest experience I have ever had, actually couldn’t feel my toes!!! I’ll explain as you scroll through the photos!wanaka5

Ahhh  snow chains, the most annoying things ever! We’ve never driven together on snowy roads & so we’ve never had the experience of putting on snow chains. I sat in the car for the first 5 minutes, assured by M that “he’s got it”. Eventually I realised that I should probably at least “supervise”, which I did and in my opinion I was helpful. MC is very very handy and clever, but I was the one who pointed out that the chains probably weren’t designed like that.. (logic right?). I ended up asking another lady who was near us to help… oh man.  wanaka6

Yepppp that was both of our faces for agggges ^ (we are much better at it now though!). Life skill right?wanaka8

This view…..! ^wanaka9

GONDOLA!!! (no, not the venice boats.. I was confused). wanaka10


wanaka11The view from the top of the mountain.. breathtaking right?


Yeah that’s MC….wanaka13

Zip lining is an amazingly FREEZING experience, but so cool to fly through the trees. wanaka14


And there it is, the view from the top of the big mountain in Queenstown! Afterward, we found a local pub, sat by a fire for almost 2 hours while our toes thawed out… OH NZ you are just so spectacular!

Until next time,

Lots of love, B x

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