With the global pandemic of Covid-19 raging on and New Zealand’s borders still shut the hashtag #DoSomethingNEWNewZealand is being banded about on social media. New Zealanders are exploring their own country more than ever before.
There’s something special about Wanaka in springtime – one moment you can be skiing in fresh snow…
The next moment you can be basking in 20 degree plus temperatures at the lakeside.
Or taking a leisurely bike ride, eating gelato and fishing up salmon from the fabulous ‘Hook‘ for lunch (which we enjoyed for the first time on this trip!).
There’s snow on the mountain tops, whilst blossom trees bloom around the lake, it’s a stunning time to visit!
On previous trips we’ve visited Puzzling World, the National Transport & Toy Museum and the Lavender Farm, we’ve had a go at archery and mini-putt at Crossfire, walked the Mount Iron loop track and hired kayaks on the lake.
On this trip we enjoyed some new experiences, one of which was hiring bicycles and cycling alongside the lake from the township of Wanaka, past Eely Point Reserve, around to the Clutha River and on to Albert Town for lunch, before cycling back – a total of 26km!
It was a great family ride, with countless pitstops of natural beauty.
It was lovely to pull up the bikes for a rest, skip stones on the lake and admire the scenery.
The walk is just 18.5km west of Wanaka on the Wanaka-Mount Aspiring road – a stunning drive with plenty of beautiful stops along the way.
Of course a spring visit to Wanaka had to include a little snow fun too!
The rest of our four days in Wanaka, before heading to Queenstown for a couple of days, was mostly spent relaxing, eating and chucking a frisbee around (frisbee golf is a great way to spend some fun hours outdoors).
Brave Dad and daughters took a quick dip in the lake… with the lake water comprising of snow and glacial melt in early springtime it wouldn’t have been warm!
I braved up to my ankles before wimping out and sticking to taking photos of their bravery!
After a lovely few days in Wanaka we headed to Queenstown, where we had a couple of days enjoying the scenery, hiring bikes and zip lining, though we had to change up the holiday a little to accommodate the need for the man of the house to get back to Wellington in time for our oldest daughter’s Y13 Ball.
The original date of the her ball was when New Zealand was in full lockdown. The Ball had been rescheduled, but then a small community outbreak of Covid in Auckland caused it to be delayed again – as the rest of the country had restrictions placed on gatherings over 100. So, the third time lucky for the ball coincided with a pre-planned holiday.
It was so wonderful that parents were invited to the first two hours of the ball. Year 13 is the final year of schooling here in New Zealand, so this is a very special one for many. We couldn’t change all our flights to be back in time for the ball, but it was particularly special that our daughter’s Dad could be there – as the girls took a spin on the dance floor in a waltz with their fathers. I was sad to miss it, but I have the school leavers dinner to look forward to in December.
Before he flew back to Wellington, along with our second oldest – who had a gym coach training thing to attend, they enjoyed a day of fun in Queenstown.
The last two days in Queenstown were an opportunity for me to spend some special time with my youngest daughter.
We had a wonderful time doing a zip lining experience with ZipTrek Tours on the Friday.
After a fun time zip lining we decided to take the Tiki Trail back down to lake level, which was a 2km steep descent through forest and wonderful wood carvings.
On our last day my youngest daughter and I headed out on a bicycle adventure, cycling from Arrowtown along the beautiful Arrow River Bridges Trail.
After crossing over the last bridge and reminiscing on the time my husband did the Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump (eek!) we cycled onto the Gibbston wine valley for cheese (and wine for me!).
A very fine 14km of trails with a lovely reward at the end!
We slept very well on our last night in Queenstown and flew back to Wellington the next day feeling very refreshed and happy to see the rest of our family and pets again.
Loved our spring holiday down south and can’t wait to visit again. It was definitely quieter without all the overseas visitors, but great to see Kiwis supporting tourism and getting out to do something new.
For fellow New Zealander’s looking for some holiday inspiration, here’s a few more ideas from a favourite YouTuber of mine. #DoSomethingNEWNewZealand !