Wanaka in Winter!
We were fortunate enough to visit NZ again in August to attend our friend’s wedding and decided to play tour guide to some other mates who had never visited the South Island. How ironic is that? The Aussies showing the Kiwis around haha! We had a quick day trip planned to take them to Lake Hayes and Wanaka via the Crown Range. Our day started approx. 10am and we needed to be back before night fall to meet with the bride and groom. Could we do it? Of course, we could!!!
First off we headed off the Lake Hayes to see if it was living up to the hype of being the most photographed lake in NZ. So we weren’t disappointed and it lived up to the hype! The reflections of the mountains made for some amazing photographs. As we were on a tight timeline, we took some happy snaps and continued our way. However, if you have plenty of time up your sleeve, there is an 8km walking track around the lake which would only take a little over an hour. A perfect opportunity to take a stroll and settle down for a picturesque lunch beside the lake!
We continued on and headed towards Wanaka via the Crown Range Road, which is the highest road in New Zealand. It reaches a staggering height of 1121m and during winter can be quite the challenge. We were blessed with clear weather, however a week earlier, it was covered in snow and heavy blizzards. It is important to note that if you are driving during the winter months, always be prepared with chains in case they are required. Whilst the drive through the range is shorter than going through Cromwell, it is a longer trip due to the winding roads and in summer, traffic congestion.
Allow yourself some time to stop, there are some great photo opportunities where you can get a get panorama shot over Queenstown. Continuing along our way, you drive through farmland in the Cardrona Valley. There’s an old historic pub to stop at for lunch and keep an eye out for Bradrona! Donate your bra along the fence line (ahem) or alternatively, take one with you and write a message to support breast cancer research, current patients and those who passed as a result of this disease.
We did a quick loop around the city centre, lunched at Francesca’s, did dessert at Charlie Brown again (as if we could pass up the opportunity to eat at these places again) and met up with some mates who were in Wanaka to ski at Treble Cone.
Theres many things to do in Wanaka, be sure to visit our other post that will give you more information as well on such things as the famous Roys Peak Hike including other activities!