Thursday, 17 January 2013

My New Zealand Adventures: Wanaka, Lake Tekapo, Mt. Cook and Lake Pukaki

Welcome to Part Two of my New Zealand Adventures!

We hired a car the last day we were in Queenstown and headed slowly North towards Christchurch stopping at a few places on the way. During this part of the trip I was so amazed by the scenery, I literally felt like I was in a postcard at times. Some of the places were just breathtaking. By the end I actually stopped taking photos because I just felt like they weren't doing these places justice and I wanted a little break from viewing through a lense, but hopefully this gives you a little idea of what we saw.

The drive itself was really nice, at every turn there was more beautiful scenery and if you're visiting from Australia, you don't even need to worry about changing what side of the road you drive on. Quite convenient really!

Our first stop along the way was Wanaka, it is a pretty town, smaller than Queenstown, it very much seemed like the family friendly place to visit. We strolled along the lake, there were lots of people doing water sports, we saw boats, jet skis, even paddle boards. We only stayed in Wanaka for a break and to check out some shops, we did end up at the Black Peak ice creamery, oh my! If you are ever in Wanaka, this is a must do, the Malteaser ice cream was amazing, so amazing I forgot to take a photo for you, sorry, you'll have to take my word on it's deliciousness. I did get one of the lake though...

Next stop Lake Tekapo! It really was so beautiful, a very relaxing spot, we stayed here two nights and I feel like that was the perfect amount of time. The water was gorgeous and clear and there is a little old church by the lake which has the most beautiful view out the window. If you are looking for some relaxing/unwinding time, this would be a really good spot. If you are in Tekapo it is definitely worth heading to Run 77, a local cafe, for breakfast, my French toast was divine!
Here is the view of the lake from inside the church, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the clearest water I have ever seen in my life.
While we were in the area and the weather was good we thought we would do a little day trip out to Mt Cook. Apparently we were incredibly lucky to even be able to see Mt Cook, 1 in 3 days the mountain isn't visible due to cloud cover. Our timing was perfect!
We took a little hike through the national park, the people there were really helpful and there are walks ranging from 30 minutes to week long treks to the peak. We chose a 1-2 hour track called the Governers trail, it was a nice walk with beautiful views.

Then we went on a Glacier Explorer tour to check out the Tasman Glacier, the biggest in New Zealand, it really was huge! Just to give you some perspective it is melting at a rate of 300m per year, if it is getting that much smaller each year you can imagine how big it is! There are constantly ice bergs breaking off and floating around the river. I was really glad we got the opportunity to go out on the boat and see it up close.

That's the glacier there at the bottom, it is covered in dirt and not really what I expected, but it really is quite amazing.
Emma and I headed out to dinner that night, this photo was taken at about 10pm, this really was possibly my ideal holiday destination. I love those really long Summer days where you just feel like you have so much time to fit everything in, but I hate the scorching heat that accompanies them over here, so this was just ideal!

Last but absolutely not least was Lake Pukaki. This lake was potentially one of the highlights of the whole trip for me, it was absolutely breathtaking. The water was the brightest turquoise and the mountains in the background just topped it all off. I think with this one I am just going to let the picture speak for itself.
I hope I managed to be a little more concise with this one than my Queenstown post... I would love to hear about your holiday adventures, tell me about them in the comments below or leave me a link to your blog, I would love to read it.
Zoe xx


  1. GORGEOUS! Ugh, you're making me so jealous. I love every single aspect of this post!

    x Jasmine

  2. It's just beautiful isn't it! I did a road trip on the South Island a few years back with a friend who also happened to be a local...I'll never forget driving out of Christchurch on our first day and saying 'wow, those mountains are huge!' only for her to laugh and reply 'those are hills, you ain't seen nothin yet'! She was right, those were the biggest hills I'd ever seen haha. We weren't as lucky as you with the weather, we got 2/2 of those cloudy days though the lake was still an amazing colour. The glaciers are best appreciated from above, I took a chopper ride over Fox and Franz Josef on the west coast and managed to score a free upgrade to an ice landing on top :) truly spectacular! And then there's the skydiving!! I think I'll have to go and look through my photos again right now to relive my travels to that amazing place Glad you are having such a great time too :) x