New Zealand South: Wanaka

NZ: Day 26 cont. 

Wanaka 

We reached Wanaka in the early afternoon, a tranquil town which is recognized by the Kiwi Experience as ‘the calm before the storm’ -The storm being Queenstown.
This idiom didn’t really add up as when we arrived, there was literally a storm in Wanaka. It was the first time we had seen rain in over a month and it lashed it down, mostly restraining us to our hostel, Base Hostel ($28), where we cooked up a mean group Burrito dinner.

6

We had initially planned 2 days in Wanaka, allowing a day of hiking up into the mountains and to Roy’s peak, one of the most famed views in New Zealand, (internet photo)

01Yet, although the weather eased off, the rest of the bus was only spending one night in Wanaka and heading to Queenstown the following morning.
For the four of us, our brief reunion in Franz Josef with the group ahead and bond with a group of people on our current bus was enough to want to end our time early and try to get on the bus in the morning- we didn’t want to miss out on the epic first night out in Queenstown!
However, as mentioned in previous posts, its not as simple as just picking and choosing dates on the spot in peak periods on the Kiwi Experience and Bods couldn’t promise us any seats on the already oversubscribed bus for the morning. We would just have to wait until 9am and see if there was any room available.
In any case we devised a plan that, if we didn’t get on the bus, then we would hike the peak and head to Queenstown the day after.
If there were only one or two spots, then we would do heads/tails and hitch-hike to Queenstown with these carefully designed placards- either way we needed to spend the first night out in Queenstown as a group!

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I probably look back and say that we missed out on really experiencing Wanaka. The place looks stunning and it would have been great to walk a few of the trails up into the mountains, or go skiing around the region in the Winter months. Yet, I don’t regret for one moment leaving early to be with the group for our final few nights together in New Zealand, in Queenstown. Plus, it always gives me a reason to head back to New Zealand in the future- not that I am short on any !

Base Hostel: $28 / £14 p/n: **

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