Wanaka

Day 14….instead of the heavy rain forecast, we awoke to clear blue skies and warmer temperatures outside. Eager to make the most of the unexpected dry weather we were out before breakfast to photograph and sketch the famous 100 year old willow tree more commonly known as That Wanaka Tree. This graceful little tree started its life as a fence post before deciding it would rather be a tree and rise out from Lake Wanaka.

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By 9am we were all finished. With the sun getting hotter, a walk into town and relaxed breakfast looking out onto the Lake seemed a sensible idea.

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Our choice of eatery was limited to those with outside seating in the sun, many were still in the shade. We ended up in a busy cafe/bar ‘Kai Whakapai’ ordering Bacon and egg on Turkish bread and tea for two. Our tea came in a proper teapot with a woollen tea cosy to keep the pot warm, just how we make it back home in Dorset. It was one of the tastiest breakfasts we had ever had the pleasure to eat.

Sustained by food, two hours became four hours, as we ambled in Wanaka town and then took a dry blustery 20 minute one way walk out to the marina and Eely Point.

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We walked in total almost 5 miles and got back to Aromoana just as the heavy rains came in, persistent until late evening. Some of our enforced down time was spent reading, writing, photo editing and relaxing in the lovely warm hot tubs – warm massaging jets doing wonders for our aching feet and legs.

Day 15. Glendhu Bay Lakefront Track 12km one way…. We chose to start this walk from the Wanaka Tree car park but first we drove up to Glendau Bay Lookout – our finish point – to park up Aramoana. A taxi drove us back down to our lakeside start.

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Early flowers of the many Lupins….

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Fungi growing fairy ring style….

We followed the edge of Lake Wanaka on undulating paths wide enough for two – with good reason – this is also a well used bike friendly trail. The path zig-zags steeply and narrows in parts and it is here where the odd speedy cyclist and walker may collide. Long-suffering almost had one such mishap, luckily the bike had good brakes!

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Fields of Grape Vines….

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We ascended along the bluffs above the lake providing us with panoramic views over hills, lake and mountains.

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The muse was once again left slapping any exposed body part – most was covered – from the biting sandflies while long-suffering took his time setting up the best image!

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The landscape changed dramatically as the track dropped down to lake level, the walking surface became pebbles surrounded with what looked like burnt rocks and tree debris some laying bleached white and some still rooted but black. We felt like we were walking through a disaster film set of devastation and carnage.

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A rock mimicking the shape of the mountain behind it looked snow capped as the lichen shone pale in the bright sun.

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At times a strenuous walk, the sun shone throughout, in exposed areas the wind was keen. Sweating man was back not only discarding his upper layers but the lower half of his trousers were zipped off too!

Bombay Palace Wanaka…. for a dinner date, the restaurant is reached via a set of stairs and affords fabulous views overlooking Lake Wanaka- we managed to get a window seat. Wonderful flavoursome food and great friendly service, if you like Indian food this is the place to go.

 

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