Blogs from Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka March 13th 2014

Wednesday 12th March - Lyn up early at the crack of dawn with her camera. Great sunrise, great sightings of a NZ Falcon, the moment was shared with a young French girl. Breakfast then back along the 6km gravel road towards Wanaka and the I-Site. Clear blue skies so Tony booked up to go paragliding from Triple Cone Peak (at a 1,000 metres it's the highest commercial paragliding site in NZ). Flight not until 3.30 so drove to Diamond Lake for an hour's climb up to the Wanaka Lookout. Eat our sandwiches at the top, chatted to a Shropshire farmer who appeared over the brow, then back down towards Triple Cone. Arrived just as our French girl's partner was landing. Tony all ready to go - alas the wind had got up and it was too ... read more
Our neighbours at Kidds Bush
Tony's view of Lyn when we start walking
The Summit

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka March 1st 2014

As an addendum to our information about Napier and the Art Deco architecture: we have learned that the 1930s earthquake completely destroyed the city and it was rebuilt totally in the Art Deco style. It is now considered the Art Deco Center for celebration for a week of the way it would have been in the 1930s, Costumes, cars, activities, etc. and draws celebrants from around the world. Driving through vast areas of NZ we are struck by the huge size of herds of dairy cows. Their pasture fields are often irrigated and no barns are needed as they winter over in the pastures. Milking sheds seem to be tucked away out of sight. When we inquired about the small numbers of sheep and huge numbers of cows, we found out why. Two years ago NZ ... read more
Franz Joseph glacier close up
Franz Joseph glacier stream
Franz Joseph glacier

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka February 18th 2014

Donderdag 13 Februari 2014: Ik heb de wekker gezet om 7u30 om vroeg aan de dag te beginnen. Vandaag heb ik de Haast Pas op het programma, het zal echter 50km duren voor ik deze bereik. In men kamergenoten zit nog niet veel beweging. Net voor ik de backpackers verlaat zie ik de Australische fietsers nog even, zij gaan vandaag halfweg van mijn geplande rit. Mijn eerste 50 kiloeter zijn relatief vlak. Ik rijd langs de Haastrivier, als je naar de rivierbedding kijkt, is de rivier een fractie wat hij kan zijn. Langs weerzijde van de weg zijn de bergflanken bedekt met bos. De wolken hangen laag en geven mooi fotomateriaal. De zon probeert erdoor te komen wat voor helder opflankeringen zorgt. Het lijkt als of een Goddelijke entiteit de vallei aanschouwt. Her en der ontspringen ... read more
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Blue Pools

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka December 12th 2013

This morning we were up and out to head to the bungee site at Kawarau Bridge. This was the first commercial bungee site in the world that opened in 1988, and was a 43 metre drop. It definitely didn't float my boat, nor Laura's , and as Gareth and Michelle did it when they were here 2 years ago, Daryl and Rhyd decided someone had to do it. It was a great facility, with a big screen in the cafe/shop area so you could watch each person hovering on the edge of the bridge before diving in. The boys paid their money and had the big weigh before heading down to bungee. The viewing area was great, and it was good to watch everyone pluck up the courage-some of the girls were so nervous but still ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka November 27th 2013

Wednesday 27th November, 2013. Wanaka, Ripon Valley & Wanaka Lake Outlet Track Walk At the Youth Hostel in Wanaka we had a double room in a chalet with one other double bedroom, sharing kitchenette and bathroom and lounge facilities. The night before last were sharing with a couple of honeymooners from Shanghi. She spoke good English but he had very little. Last night was a New Zealaner calle Anton but we didn't see much of him. We had breakfast of Wheetbix, toast tea/coffee and juice an then we had to pack up our stuff as tonight we would be moving rooms as ours was booked up. This was a RESULT though as we had been upgraded to a posher room with private facilities and TV. However we couldn't check in to the new room until 2 ... read more
12. Wine Tasting at Ripon Valley Vineyard
25. The Clutha River (Lake Wanaka Outlet)
23. D on the Outlet Track

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka June 7th 2013

From Abel Tasman we headed over to the west coast of the South Island where we spent two nights. Sadly, our time here doesn't warrant a blog post of its own. We'd planned to visit the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers but the weather was horrendous. Rain had set in and had stuck around for weeks, meaning the trails to the glacier front had been flooded. Instead we amused ourselves by drinking wine and chatting to other people in our campsite. We cut our losses after two soggy nights and headed to Wanaka. Most of the day was taken up by the long, spectacular drive through the mountainous Haast Pass highway but by 3pm we arrived in Wanaka, on the lake of the same name. We parked up on the lake front, visited the tourist information ... read more
Cold morning by the lake
Steam rising from Lake Wanaka
Jump!

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka March 24th 2013

Slept poorly despite having a room to myself because of the crazy storm outside and the wind whistling through the chimney going through the room (on a par with your ariel clanging in a storm dad!). We all have a very chilled out morning – I worked on a job application and organised my photos from the trip. This afternoon I had a great run, nice conditions with a light wind and a tad of drizzle but not too cold, on the biking/walking track to Albert Town and back. After a nice hot shower I headed to the internet to book up accommodation and buses for my next destination, (driving the big 4x4 again which is great fun.) We had a yummy dinner of quinoa and veg with a tad of chorizo, and then headed to ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka March 22nd 2013

The ankle twinges twice as the wanderer steps out of bed this morning so a rest day is in order. So the day is spent watching the first day of the test match I would have been at had I stuck to Plan A. A good day for NZ up in Auckland but I think I'd rather be watching it remotely from the shores of this stunning lake, soaring mountains creating a ridgelined horizon. If the ankle recovers swiftly, then Mt Armstrong might be on the cards for tomorrow.... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka March 21st 2013

We are breakfasted, packed up and on the road by 8.30am – heading to Mount Cook, the highest peak in the southern hemisphere, and in located in and around several mountain ranges with over 3000 peaks and glaciers. We check into the YHA, change and take our picnic with us as we head off to complete the Hooker Valley trail. It is a nice easy flat trail, crossing several very large and fun suspension bridges, ending at the glacier lakes with actual icebergs floating in it, with Mount Cook in the background! We head past the official end of the track, over the large boulders around the lake to where there are no tourists. I go for a paddle in the lake next to the icebergs – it’s rather chilly on the feet, and surprisingly it’s ... read more
Mount Cook - Hooker Valley (2)
Mount Cook - Hooker Valley (7)
Mount Cook - Hooker Valley (8)

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Wanaka March 20th 2013

The abundance of food and lack of exercise has started to get to me now, and this morning I take one of the mountain bikes which are at the house along the track which runs around the lake. This started off as a nice easy route, but soon turns into a track featuring sharp narrow downhill sections with boulders and tight corners and similarly steep uphill’s. It’s been a while since I have been mountain biking which shows by how tiring it is….slightly worrying! However the views are more than worth the sweat and panting it takes to reach the end. The morning mist is starting to burn off the lake, revealing the crystal blue waters beneath which are framed by the surrounding dramatic hillsides and snow-capped mountains. I am back by lunch and after a ... read more
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