I did 3 short walks in Wanaka, and 1 in Fox. Here’s a short recap of each.
1. Last Tuesday, the day after my epic mountain bike ride, I walked about an hour around the lake. From my hostel I passed through town, then curved around into a relatively unvisited section of the shoreline.
I brought a lunch, bathing suit, water, my book and a towel. I hid out under a tree reading for a bit, then ventured into the water. Or my feet made it into the water. It was freezing! And rocky. I splashed some water on my arms and legs and that was enough to cool me down, especially with the breeze.
I chilled out there for 2 hours before I ventued back on the trail for about 15 minutes, then headed up to a vineyard for a free wine tasting. The views on the trail up to the vineyard were incredible.
Plus free wine! I ended up buying a bottle of rose because I felt bad taking advantage of a free tasting. There could be worse things….
2. Mount Iron. This is classified as a hike, but that might be pushing it. On Wednesday afternoon I walked the 30 minutes to the trail head, then began then 1hr and 45 minute loop (according to the sign).
Though the trail is a loop, it climbs a “Mount” Iron, which is more of a big hill as it’s only 240 meters of elevation gain. I made it up the trail in 30 minutes. Once again, spectacular views.
And I got a handstand photo.
The trail down took me 30 minutes and within another 30 I was back at my hostel.
3. Lakeside Trail. My first day in Wanaka I followed the Lakeside trail for a few kilometers (same trail I started my mountain bike ride on).
It was beautiful and it’s the reason I fell in love with Wanaka. There’s this one section that curves through the woods, then opens out into a 270 degree view of the mountains and the lake. I think it was the first time my jaw dropped at the beauty (which has since happened 3 more times, all in or around Wanaka).
Just past that opening in a small beach with very shallow water. Because the sun is so intense the water in the shallows was warm. I didn’t have a bathing suit on but I waded in up to my knees. It was just lovely.
4. Fox Glacier. About 10 minutes after I started I wished I was finished. This did not bode well for the rest of the walk. I’m not sure why but I was done with hiking, with nature, with glaciers, trails, rainforest, rivers, lakes. Just done. My attitude became super cynical really fast. “Oh a glacier. Look a river. ooo mountains. Never seen this before.” Plus it started raining.
The glacier itself is about 4km from town so I walked all the way to the carpark then immediately turned around.
Had I continued for maybe 15-20 minutes more, I would have actually seen the galcier. As it was, I saw a small sliver of the top but otherwise just saw a mountain in front of the glacier. I legitimately could not be bothered to go and see it. It wasn’t a bad walk I was simply not in the mood for it. Thank goodness I was leaving Fox that afternoon.