After a long relaxing stay in Franz Josef, it was time to get back on our trusty green bus and thankfully with a new driver and a few friendly faces that we’d met on the north island. Today’s destination is Wanaka but it’s so much more about the journey! One of the most beautiful scenic drives EVER. You really see it all in this small section of the journey, the ocean, rainforest, mountains, lakes and luckily we had a beautiful day for it so everything was sparkling blue, white and green. We made several photo stops, each one more beautiful than the last.
In the morning we had an hour stop at lake Matheson, and while Guy our driver insisted we only had time for the short walk, we all decided that we could walk super fast and fit in the longer walk. It was unexpectedly tiring but the views of fox glacier and the mountains in the reflective lake were so worth it!
We also made a quick pit stop at the famous Thunder Creek waterfall, famous simply for the obligatory photo that everyone gets of themselves ‘drinking’ the fall. Then with the scenery getting even better the closer we got to Wanaka and staring out the window, chin to the floor, we finally made a stop to take some pictures of lake Wanaka and lake Hawea. Both incredibly beautiful (someone buy me a thesaurus, I’m running out of words!!) and the photos don’t even do it justice no matter how many I took!
Eventually we arrived at our hostel in Wanaka early afternoon. We’d originally hoped to stay an extra night here so we could rent some bikes and really explore but the bus timetable didn’t really allow and we are running out of days. That being the case, we were straight out once dropping our bags and headed through the small town to the lake and to ‘That Wanaka Tree’. Yes, that is the trees name, so called as it has to be one of the most photographed trees in the world, I swear it appears on my Instagram feed most days. After trying to get the best angle possible and realising that it had more leaves than I thought it would, it was back to the town for a beer. It’s such a cute town and set amongst such beautiful scenery. It’s overshadowed by its neighbour Queenstown which is such a shame! Although hypocritically, we had an early night to prepare for our five nights in Queenstown.