Saturday, April 25, 2009


Today we climbed a hill - by the time we got to the top we were prepared to call it a mountain - outside Cromwell. It seems that all the interesting walks start with a climb - this was no exception! We left the car in a car park on the south side of the town, crossed the road and after a steep climb for 10-15 minutes we came across the reservoir (now empty) that once served the town with water. That was the easy bit! The next hour and a quarter was all up with some sections of the track being steeper than others. However, it was well worth the effort. From the top (estimated between 800-1100m)we enjoyed specatacular views west to Cromwell, south west to Bannockburn with the Nevis hills in the background and north to Lake Dunstan.


Lake Hawea is another beautiful place to visit. Much of the attraction is finding a spot on the south side of the lake - the local pub is ideal - and looking north across the lake to the mountains. In this photo we are looking westwards towards the camping ground.

Autumn around Wanaka

At this time of the year most of the attention goes on the autumn colours of Arrowtown; and rightly so because that is a beautiful place in which to observe autumn. However, there are several other places in Central Otago in which the autumn colours can be seen; Wanaka is one of them. I have included a few photographs taken from around The Pines Timeshare Resort as well as some from the main entrance to the town.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Diamond Lake Walk

Today’s walk took us firstly to Diamond Lake on the road just past Glendhu Bay, Lake Wanaka, and then on up Rocky Hill (777m) where we took in some fantastic views of Lake Wanaka. The walk was impressive for how quickly it rose above road level. That’s a nice way of saying ‘this was one steep’ walk! However, the views were brilliant. DOC has done some great work putting in wooden steps to help get up and over some of the steeper sections of the climb.

When we left the car park there were 4 vehicles but when we returned 3 hours later that number had risen to 20 – obviously a very popular walk. For some, the 10 minute walk to the lake for a picnic would be a satisfying day out.

Davis Flat

550m above the highway near Davis Flat you can take in two wonderful views. The first is of the Makarora River as it flows towards Lake Wanaka. The second view looks towards The Gates of Haast. The path to the look out was steep and caused a lot of puffing. However, the view made it all worthwhile.

Thunder Creek Falls

The Thunder Creek Falls can be accessed about 2 km north of The Gates of Haast. They are about 200 m from the car park.

Lake Mahinapua

It’s Good Friday and time to check out some quiet spots on the West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand. This is Lake Mahinapua, about 9 km south of Hokitika. The area caters for campers and camper vans. A paddle steamer also operates on the waterway. We have been travelling past this spot for 26 years and have never made time to check it out – I’m glad we did so this time – lots of holiday potential here!