Beautiful sights of Lake Pukaki and Lake Wanaka
Wanaka, New Zealand
I didn't sleep a wink all night as I was worried we were going to get a knock on the window from an angry Kiwi policeman, demanding 250 dollars from us. We set our alarms for 7.30am and made a swift exit from the street we were parked. I hate feeling as though I'm in trouble, Matt didn't worry a bit and slept like a baby!
We really wanted to use the campsites showers as both of us were in dire need but the reception still wasn't open. We decided to make the most of the morning as we were up anyway. We drove about 30 minutes to Pukaki lake which we past the night before. The sky was a gorgeous bright blue over the top of the flat teal lake. The mountains were directly behind the lake, with white snowy tips. It was honestly one of the most beautiful sites I've seen. It was so tranquil and quiet, we were pretty much the only ones there at that point. We unpacked our camper chairs and little gas stove to boil some water for a nice cup of tea. I forgot just how long it takes to boil water over a gas hob but after waiting what felt like a lifetime, we were sat enjoying the view together. We were in our element!
We made are way back to Twizel to see if we could use the campsite showers. The receptionist was lovely and said they were about the close for cleaning but we could use them quickly for 5 Dollars each. There was never a better 5 dollars spent on anything in my life! I was so grateful it's actually concerning. After a freshen up and new clean clothes we decided to head to our next destination, Lake Wanaka. It took us around 1 hour 45 mins to drive there and it was 100% worth the journey!
The town in Lake Wanaka was so cute, the houses reminded me of a country and western, they were all made of wood with porches out front. It gave the town a rustic feel, I loved it and I've never been anywhere like it so it was exciting to see. We made a picnic from our camper kitchen and headed down to the grass area that over looked the lake. The sun was shining as we looked on at the blue lake and snowy mountains in the background. It was like something off an advert it was so beautiful! I can see why New Zealand has won awards for being the most beautiful country in the world.
We walked around the town and had a wonder in all the little shops. We sat in a coffee shop with a mocha each whilst making the most of their wifi. It was difficult for us to get wifi in New Zealand as we were either in the Campervan or out doing some sort of sightseeing or activity. The only places to get wifi are at night in campsites (if we were actually at one) or in restaurants (if it was working properly). It would be easy to go a few days here without having access to it, but I'm sure we'll cope!
We were both keen to climb one of New Zealand's Glaciers, and after spending some time researching the two in a tourist office, we booked ourselves onto a tour of Franz Josef Glacier. The Helicopter would take us up to the top of the Glacier then pick us up once we had finished the walking explore tour, I was so excited for this as it's something I've always wanted to do. However, the tourist lady said that there was a chance it could be called off because of the weather as it is notoriously difficult and sometimes unpredictable on the West Coast. After checking the weather forecast, she assured us that she thought we would be fine. As it was a 5 and a half hour drive there from Wanaka, we wanted our odds to be pretty good. We set off for Franz Josef as soon as we booked the tour as it started at 9am the next day! The scenery on route to Franz Josef was incredible and we made loads of stops to take photos. We also stopped at a picnic area to make some dinner before it got dark. Unfortunately we picked a bad stop right in the middle of the mountainous forest as we were instantly swarmed by sand flies. We quickly cooked and ate our scrambled eggs and beans whilst trying to fight them off. I think we made our food, ate it all and washed it up in a record time of 12 minutes to avoid being nibbled anymore than necessary.
Our final stop for the night was MacDonalds campsite which was a DOC site so it only had toilets and a sink but we were able to park there for a small fee of around 10 dollars each. After getting ready for bed, we noticed there were about 30 sand flies in our camper, mainly by the windows. We wanted every b***** dead before we slept. As there's not a lot of room in our camper, we decided to leave our camp table and chairs outside resting on our van until the morning, as this is what Sarah and I did the last time with no problems, and hit the sack ready for our early start.