Day 27 – Fox Glacier to Wanaka, arguably the most beautiful resort town in NZ

We were collected by the Magic Bus a little before 9:00am and taken down to Lake Matheson which was on my list of must see places in New Zealand. It is also known as Mirror Lake because of the reflections of Mount Cook on its surface when the conditions are still. Sadly the clouds didn’t cooperate but I did manage to get this awesome panorama so all was not lost.

panorama of Lake Matheson (aka Mirror Lake)

Next we continued South along the coast, stopping at Ship Creek, where the sun came out before heading inland towards the Haast Pass.

looking inland from Ship Creek

The Haast Pass is one of only 3 passes over the Southern Alps of New Zealand. It is very dramatic and even more so because of the overnight rain with hundreds of waterfalls cascading off the mountain sides. One particularly impressive waterfall was that of Thunder Creek where the Magic Bus stopped for us to take some photos.

Thunder Creek waterfall

Once over the pass, the clouds cleared and we had our lunch stop at Makarora before continuing on towards Wanaka but before that we had one more photo stop.

The northern end of Lake Wanaka

looking out the Magic Bus window at Lake Hawea

It was here, on  the shores of Lake Hawea – one of the most breathtaking views I came across in New Zealand. Does it get any better than this?

200 degree panorama of Lake Hawea

group photo of our Magic Bus with driver Nick and Lake Hawea in the background

me enjoying Lake Hawea and snow-capped peaks in the distance

From there it was a short drive around the corner to Wanaka which is a little resort town on the shores of Lake Wanaka and it is just such a beautiful setting as you can see. Immediately I was happy that I had chosen to get off the Magic Bus and spend two nights here.

panorama of Lake Wanaka in the late afternoon sun

It was a perfect afternoon and the weather forecast for the next day was just as good so the first thing I did was organise a ski pass and transport from the i-site. Then it was off to rent ski equipment and cart that all back to the hostel. I was very excited at the prospect of skiing again but also a little nervous having not skied for 18 years but I’d cross that bridge when I got to the slopes.

The sun was still up so Karin suggested we get a sundowner. We found a bar with a balcony on the second storey overlooking the lake which was the perfect spot to watch the sun set while sipping on some cold beers.

time for a beer

Karin and I enjoying a beer as we watched the sunset over Lake Wanaka

Dusk over Lake Wanaka

After the sun had set we walked back via a Countdown  supermarket where we bought some pasta and tuna to make for dinner at the hostel.


About Rory Alexander

Ever growing blogger that spent 2 years in living in China, then 6 weeks backpacking around New Zealand and is now back home in South Africa for the foreseeable future.
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5 Responses to Day 27 – Fox Glacier to Wanaka, arguably the most beautiful resort town in NZ

  1. Nadia Elpis says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful sceneries! Make me want to travel again… Thanks!

  2. bananabatman says:

    It looks like a really great trip. I’m envious, but I don’t know whether I can handle that length of flight to get there.

  3. Karin van den Berg says:

    This was a very very very nice day in New-Zealand. And the pasta after the beer was delicious :-).

  4. thirdeyemom says:

    Wow, somehow I had thought I had subscribed to your new blog and I hadn’t! Thus I have missed all your posts! I am going to go back and read them slowly over time as I love NZ and can’t wait to enjoy all your delightful posts!!!!

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