Stop #16: Wanaka

Number of nights: 4
Distance: 268 KM (4,024 KM Total)

Wanaka, the first city on what I’ll call the “Beautiful Mountainous Region of New Zealand” chapter of our journey. We had already seen and drove through the mountains, however this town really felt like a gateway to the area. We didn’t take many photos of the town itself, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t picturesque. It had a charming “ski village” feel to it, and we always enjoyed walking around at the end of the day. It also had a very nice iSite that gave every little bit of information about the many trails and hikes around the area.

There was a freak snowstorm a few days before we arrived, and the surrounding mountains looked like someone had sprinkled icing sugar on them, making for some very majestic looking scenery.

This beautiful sunrise was taken early one morning from our campsite.
This little fella came to visit us often while at the campsite. As you can see, he was very well fed.
A beautiful morning beside Lake Wanaka
Having lunch on the edge of Lake Hawea, which is right next to Lake Wanaka.
The incredible countryside of the South Island!
Most of the snow you see on the mountains wasn’t permanent: it was from a rare snowstorm a couple of days earlier. By the time we left, only half remained.
Taken from “The Neck”, a short stretch of road between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea.
The famous Lake Wanaka Tree. I took only about a thousand other photos of this spot.
Zoomed out, you can see it wasn’t so serene.
This was taken at the start of our climb of Roy’s Peak.
The main trail was closed due to it being “lambing season”, but that didn’t stop us from climbing Roy’s Peak! We were told by a local that we could reach the summit using a “Goat’s Trail”, which led straight up the side of the mountain. As you can see from this photo, the slope wasn’t bad, but there was no telling how far we were from the summit, as it was out of view.
This was our view from behind. I think we were about a third of the way up.
As we climbed higher, we encountered more snow.
At this point we could finally see our goal, but it was a bit daunting with all the snow in front of us.
Near the top, some incredible views!
You can see the town of Wanaka way down below.
Along the top, the snow was deep and very hard to traverse. But hey, we had the whole place to ourselves!
After reaching the summit, we climbed down the other side to get to one of the “money shots”, but it was too cold and the snow too deep to continue. This was about as far as we got before we turned around and headed back the way we came.
From the summit of Roy’s Peak.
Back in Wanaka, this was taken at the pier, which was also a popular photo spot (but nowhere near as popular as the Wanaka Tree).