Posted by: Wink | February 1, 2011

From temperate rainforest over the divide to Central Otago to Wanaka

It poured like I’ve never heard it pour before last night. Our hotel’s tin roof was singing. In the morning, we had breakfast at the Matheson Cafe. See cappuccino’s below. The look beautiful but let’s face it, they can’t hold a candle to Dave’s.

We spent the day driving and hiking – alternating between the two, as the weather improved from rainy/overcast to bright blue skies. We headed south on the coast and hiked out through the temperate rainforest to Munro Beach. Then on to the Haast River and a walk to the beach there. We drove inland (east) along the Haast River, where waterfalls from the cliffs above were around every corner. At Haast Pass, Jon stopped and let us off so we could hike the old bridle trail through the pass. (The road through the pass wasn’t built until 1960.)

The scenery on the other side of the pass changed dramatically. The mountains are less forested, because of grazing sheep, cows and domesticated deer, and Wanaka Lake with its bright blue/turquoise water, along with Hawea Lake next to it were stunning. They are “kettle” lakes, formed by glaciers. The small town of Wanaka sits at the southern end of the lake and that is where we are staying, at the Te Wanaka Lodge. It is a charming B&B in a pretty hip town. There are lots of restaurants, so we had our choice. Ended up having a beer or two on an outdoor terrace overlooking Wanaka Lake, before eating in a pub.

Here are a few photos from our hikes today.

Sent from my iPad



  1. Dear Winky and Dave,

    Your trip looks wonderful! Jake asked Cara to send me the link, so I took a look this evening. Stay away from sharks….


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