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Day trip: Wanaka to the Blue Pools in Mount Aspiring National Park

Pocket

The drive from Wanaka to the Blue Pools Track, in Mount Aspiring National Park, is stunning. There are so many perfect photo stop opportunities. We just had a day to explore and that teaser made me want to revisit for a lot longer, to enjoy the many walking opportunities.

New Zealand does scenic drives well!

New Zealand does scenic drives well!

Taking a break from the road for a scenic photo stop!

Taking a break from the road for a scenic photo stop!

Alice taking in the scenery!

Alice taking in the scenery!

To get to Blue Pools, we took State Highway 6 from Wanaka in the direction of Lake Hawea, and then onwards to Makarora (the drive takes about an hour – but we took longer, so we could stop to enjoy the scenery and skip stones!).

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Dan skipping stones on Lake Hawea

Our visit was in the peak of summer and having so many opportunities to cool off in lakes and rivers was a delight. Lake Hawea was so serenely calm and peaceful. The stones on the shore were perfectly flat, designed by nature to entice the playfulness in everyone and invite skipping stone competitions.

Sophie cooling down in Lake Hawea

Sophie cooling down in Lake Hawea

Beautiful reflections of the surrounding landscape in the quiet waters of Lake Hawea

Beautiful reflections of the surrounding landscape in the quiet waters of Lake Hawea

Views from the road (glad I wasn't driving!)

Views from the road (glad I wasn’t driving!)

We stopped in Makarora for lunch, at the very friendly and welcoming cafe, before driving on another 8km to the Blue Pools.

The short walk to the Blue Pools is through mature beech and podocarp forest, alive with the sound of bird call.  The threatened yellowhead/mohua can often be heard in the canopy. We saw lots of Tomtits flitting around in the forest.

Walking through the forest to the Blue Pools

Walking through the forest to the Blue Pools

I was captivated by the rich moss that carpeted the trees and ground, as well as some amazing Bracket Fungi! We also spotted a ‘Toyota Kiwi Guardians‘ post, which made our youngest very happy.

The Blue Pools were very inviting for a dip and our children braved the glacial blue mountain river water. Some people were jumping off the swing bridge, plunging into the cold depths below – very brave and exciting to watch!

Alice taking a brave swim!

Alice taking a brave swim!

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Crystal clear waters

Lots of great rocks too!

Lots of great rocks too!

I would have enjoyed spending longer and tramping on, over the swing bridge, for a longer walk, but we had to head back to Wanaka. I’m just so glad we saw the pools on a beautiful day. Till the next time!

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Icy cold waters straight from the mountains

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Beautiful scenery at every turn.