into another realm, not so far from home DAY TWO

New Zealand Winter trip 2015 DAY TWO.

LR and I got up early to do the gym and spa (you probably wouldn’t call it a workout, we had too much fun and not enough sweat). A good start as we had high hopes for our first outing, it was said that we would be going into paradise.

lake Wawahi Pan
Scene from Queenstown to Glenorchy drive

Still looking for paradise, but the scenic Queenstown to Glenorchy drive there was close. I feel the bush walk we did was maybe too short to get us to paradise but the fitness and health issues of our little group limited us a bit (I thought for a while that maybe the interpretation of paradise may be a bit arbitrary till I read later that it may have been called that because of the paradise ducks that live in the area …lol)

The deep green moss covered….well everything was indeed magical, and in line with the beauty of lord of the rings forest scenes. However, after 30min in it was all looking the same?

Moss Walk NZ2015
Routeburn Nature Walk

My recommendation is that if you are limited by time or health, do the wetlands walk at Glenorchy ( Northern Lagoon Circuit ), it looked fascinating. Lots of boardwalks, trails and little bridges through open wetlands. Unfortunately we only got to view it in passing as we were now too exhausted and wanted some time for Arrow town (still kicking myself for preferring to look for paradise).

NZ Bus 2015BW
Travellers around NZ are big on campervans and old busses.

Arrowtown is certainly a star town. Its historical Buckingham St is lined with slate gutters and heritage buildings, capturing the beauty and uniqueness that only days gone by could previously express. Not just a bit of history, the buildings are well maintained and blended into stylish modern shops and cafes.

one of the more authentic buildings in Arrowtown, with some old village charm

Make sure you get to Arrowtown in the middle of the day though, as by 3pm in winter it’s shadowed by those magnificent mountains and a little cold and dark to enjoy to the fullest.

We found our first encounter with the white stuff on the Cardrona Valley Rd to Wanaka. The hair pin stretch at the start took us up to amazing heights, normally only seen from a plane (we were actually higher than the plane we watched fly in).

Airplane mountain NZ 2015
Putting sizes into perspective

Once up, the snowy outlook moved from Dalmatian to snow leopard in coverage. Small runs of water hung frozen on the hillside like some surreal artwork, with fingers of water trails becoming frozen mid motion.

Pass Snow Coverage
mountain pass Arrowtown to Wanaka

The sun hung low in the sky as we entered Wanaka but this managed to highlight the epic lake in all its glory. The leafless trees lined the sides with brilliant orange branches, accentuating the snow top peaks in the background. Wow, what a beautiful place.

A Touch of Light Wanaka Lake
Sun setting on lake Wanaka New Zealand

Like some grand entry, giant trees lined the drive up to Wyndham Resort. Having never stayed with whyndam before we didn’t really know what to expect. After all, the reason we purchased a caravan was because we were never happy with accommodation in our travels. So when our friendly host opened the door I think my mouth may have hung open involuntarily for a few moments. It was spacious, elegant, stylish, clean and just perfect. LR and B ran to their room to bag beds, as you do. However, there was a strange silence in B when he emerged. Quietly he pulled me aside and leaning in he said.” There is a TV in my room” and no more needed to be said.

Wyndham Vacation Resort Wanaka

Glenorchy – 1.15hr drive via Glenorchy-Queenstown rd
Routeburn Nature Walk(1hr return) – 35min from Glenorchy (Glenorchy Paradise Rd, end is gravel)
Arrowtown – 1.40hr back along same road. Old Chinese mining town at end of Buckingham Street(Off Villiers st) Buckingham street is full of historic buildings.
full of historic buildings
Wanaka – via Crown Range rd (1hr). Wyndham Vacation resort 109 mt aspiring rd lake Wanaka

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