So it’s been about 4 days since we had any wifi and nearly a week since we posted on the blog so we have all got some catching up to do !

The last time we chatted we were in Mt Cook and Odie was going to wake Sue at 0 Dark 30 to look at the stars. So at precisly 0300 on Monday (the 11th we think…) Odie got up to check the stars and confirmed all was good ! Sue bounded out of bed like it was Christmas morning (well…maybe not that excited….) and we spent 15 mins starring at the stars.  Sue then jumped back into bed whilst Odie stayed up to record the event for the blog !

The Night Sky

That morning ended our Mt Cook journey.  So we put the van into drive and headed out for Wanaka.

The drive to Wanaka took a couple of hours or so, and we had a quick stop at Lindis Pass so Odie could take a picture and so Sue could practice some yoga poses 🙂

We finally arrived and after checking into to our campsite we headed into town to stock up on provisions.  Wanaka was a lovely town; the busiest we have been to outside of Christchurch and is the most popular holiday destination in South Island.  The lake that the town surrounds is home to lots of watersport activities – and that Wanaka Tree !  There were plenty of bars and restaurants so we opted for an early dinner out and an ice cream (naughty we know) rather than the self catering option. Then Odie went to take a photo of a tree !

So for those of you that don’t know (i.e. everyone..) there is a famous willow tree which grows in Lake Wanaka.  It is so famous that it has its own web page !!  So as the sun started to set we headed over to take a look – only to find it surrounded by tripods and photographers ! (Or geeks as Sue likes to call them). So Odie took a shot from the side away from everyone else……and then we did it again at 0600 for sunrise !!  Well Odie is an Uber-geek after all !! Do you think it was worth the effort?

That Wanaka Tree
More tree action

Then came Mt Iron.  Mt Iron is a 6km route track around an impressive, glacier carved, rocky knoll that rises nearly 250 m above the surrounding countryside. As a result, from the summit there are excellent 360-degree views of the Pisa range and the Upper Clutha Basin. As you can see the view from the top was fantastic. 

View from Mt Iron

Not content with one hike in a day, we then drove over to the Upper Clutha river for another 6km walk, along the bank.  The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed the flatness of it 🙂

Strolling along the Clutha River.

Next up was the big one ! We got up at 0345 on Wednesday morning to climb Roy’s Peak so we could catch the sunrise from the top.  At the start of the walk it was a pleasant 12 degrees with a perfectly clear sky and the Milky Way shining. Sue asked Odie why he had got her out of bed the previous morning to see it as she would have happily waited.

Odie also neglected to tell Sue that climbing Roy’s Peak was comparable to climbing Ben Nevis – except Ben Nevis is smaller – by some 200m.  But Sue was in mountain goat mode and legged it up, dragging Odie behind with all his camera gear.  The total climb was 1578m (poor Ben Nevis tops out at 1345m) and we made it well before sunrise, only to find that we were the eldest by about 30 years.  We stayed for the sunrise with all the kids, before making our way down.  It was absolutely freezing !! Can you see Sue on the Top of the World ?

Sue on Top of the World
View from the top of Roy’s Peak
Just to prove Odie made it up with all that gear
Sue ‘Mountain Goat’ Miller

After a well earned late breakfast, we then headed off on the 3.5 hour journey to Te Anau for the start of our Fjordland adventure.

2 thoughts on “Wanaka

  1. So happy to hear from you. Realised that wi fi would be a problem in the Southern Alps but that didn’t stop us worrying! The photos are stunning- can’t believe the level of fitness required to do all that climbing- have you considered tackling Mount Everest!! Enjoy the next stage of your journey. XX

  2. All awe inspiring!
    Altitude training ?Your London Walkathon should be a pushover after all of this Sue !!
    Can’t wait for your Milford Sound Blog!
    Take care,love John & Dee xxx

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