A few days after our Glenorchy day trip we headed off for another classic trip in the area: Wanaka with the bonus Blue Pools extension.
Wanaka is a small tourist town about an hour from Queenstown on the edge of Lake Wanaka. Home to roughly 9,000 residents it’s popular for its local ski resort (not in season quite yet) and as a jumping off point for Mt Aspiring national park, and its blue pools.
Wanaka is also famous for “the Wanaka tree” seen below which is very photogenic and a popular shot on Instagram. The photos when it has leaves are definitely better than this winter one, but seeking it out led us to a small park with an amazing sequoia!
After an al fresco lunch at a restaurant with a decent view we headed on to the famous blue pools, another hour drive. As you can see the road was lined with lakes the whole way. Once again an insanely gorgeous road wedged between mountains and lakes. Once again the far side of the water was completely devoid (or nearly so) of humans.
We then headed back to Wanaka and then on to Queenstown. We took a different route from Wanaka to Queenstown (one of the few places we’ve been that had a choice of routes!) and were treated to many many vineyards (this is a famous area for Pinot noir), a marker for the 45th parallel, and the bridge where they invented bungee jumping.