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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Wanaka, New Zealand

Apr 11, 2014 - Wanaka, South Island, NZ

Today is a short staging drive, getting positioned for longer drives the next several days. Several interesting stops along the way, though, to fill in the travel time. First up, the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement. As with many gold rushes around the world, there were a significant number of Chinese attracted by the possibility of gold and definite escape of the poverty, crowds and lack of prospect in their home province. Many stayed to work the slimmer pickings as "the whites" left for the richer strikes in Australia. Eventually they began...

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Apr 7, 2014 - The South Island adventure continues - Greetings from Wanaka

When we left you we were on the coast just outside Christchurch. We left South New Brighton on Wednesday 2nd April and headed inland towards the Southern Alps mountain range and a village called Arthur's Pass. On route we stopped at a cafe in a village called Springfield. There was no sign of Homer Simpson but the woman who served us coffee did a very good impression of Mo the bartender. To say that she lacked customer service skills would be an understatement. After a hasty departure from the cafe we drove into the mountains and stopped at...

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Mar 12, 2014 - Wanaka

For those of you who think all we are interested in is scenery and wildlife, today was a counterexample. This morning we decided to go to a museum called Warbirds and Wheels before leaving Wanaka. As the name indicates, there were warplanes flown by New Zealanders in WWI and WWII and after. Also many classic cars, including a Duesenberg owned by Carole Lombard, a 1930 Austin 7 you could sit in (see photo), a 1957 Chevy station wagon, and many others. Also, as seen in the photo, some dresses from a biennial presentation of “wearable art,”...

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Mar 11, 2014 - Omarama to Wanaka

This morning dawned quite cloudy, but not very cold. Once we got on our way, we went to the Clay Cliffs near Omarama. After the turnoff from the highway, you turn off on a gravel road, then another gravel road, then there is a gate, asking you to pay $5 per car somewhere else (private property, but not commercialized), then we opened the gate and drove on some more gravel road, then another gate and more gravel road, and finally a parking area and a sign 4WD only past this point. So we parked, and followed the trail. This is an area like...

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Mar 9, 2014 - DAY 14: Arrowtown to Wanaka

Spent the morning exploring downtown Arrowtown - although busy and quite commercial it still retains heaps of 'gold rush' character. Apart from the main street itself, other attractions include another excellent museum and the Chinese Village. All well worth visiting. On the advice of a local couple we met on the cruise, we decided to brave the notorious Crown Range route to Wanaka. Much-improved in recent years this road is now perfectly do-able in a motorhome, although the initial succession of steep hairpins is still not for the...

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Feb 9, 2014 - Down down down

Wednesday was the day to head out of Wellington, and it was a very early start! We boarded the bus for a prompt start at 7am, but then had to wait for stragglers, which we had been told would got happen! Eventually though, we finally headed off for the very short journey to the ferry terminal. This would finally be the day we would make the South Island! Our driver bought the tickets, and handed out our boarding cards....which stated the sailing wouldn't be until 9am! However, we had to have an airport style check-in. We then boarded for...

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Trip Journal


Fly on the Wall

Dec 18, 2013 - Franz Josef - Wanaka

Nach der Party am Vorabend stiegen wir alle ziemlich verkatert in den Bus ein. Das regnerische Wetter trug auch nicht dazu bei, dass wir uns besser fühlten. Der erste Stop des Tages führte uns zum Lake Matheson - besser bekannt als der Spiegelsee. Ein paar wenige machten sich für die Wanderung um den See auf. Von verschiedenen Aussichtspunkten konnte man in der Ferne auch den wolken- und nebelverhangenen Mt. Cook sowie die Fox Glacier sehen. Danach machten wir uns auf die Berge zu erklimmen und fuhren über den Haast-Pass auf die andere...

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Feb 25, 2013 - Feeding the Dolphins in Wanaka

We arrived in Wanaka in the afternoon, we were staying at Base a chain we used a lot in Australia. Us 6 girls shared a dorm, which is really handy as it was Amy’s birthday tomorrow so was nice for her to wake up with the girls we have been with. In Wanaka there is a huge lake where you can go swimming, hire a boat and feed the dolphins. So we were told by our bus driver that dolpins lived in the water and you can buy fish flavoured bread from the tourist information. So all very excited 10 of us went to the information centre – we now have...

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Feb 19, 2013 - Wanaka

This was the highlight of our trip so far, we did a 12,000 ft skydive overlooking the lakes of Wanaka and the mountains... it was incredible. we had a legend in our group, a northern 60 year old doing the dive with us too; living on the motto of YOLO.

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Dec 23, 2012 - Christmas in NZ

Hey everyone quick update here, dont worry I realized last one was more of a rant at some points than an update. So for the Christmas break I was invited to Wanaka with my two Kiwi brothers family, whom I have met many times before to stay with them at their summer house in Wanaka. It has been just a blast as another family is their as well, and the weather has been just fantastic! Weird being able to be in shorts and shirt, swimming and kayaking in the Middle of December. But I am fully embracing the Kiwi Christmas! I am having a blast...

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Nov 23, 2012 - Day 20 Oamaru to Omarama - Visit Arid MacKenzie Basin; Look for World's Rarest Shorebird, The Black Stilt

Today, we woke up to a drizzle of rain. That soon was left behind, as we headed inland to the arid MacKenzie Basin. The landscape was filled with glacial silt-colored lakes and streams and snow-capped mountains. Throughout the day we had awesome views of Mount Cook (Aorangi), New Zealand's highest mountain. The focus of the day was the Black Stilt, the world's rarest shorebird, with a population of about 200. This bird's population is declining, due to loss of habitat and its hibridization with the Pied (Black-winged) Stilt. We found one...

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Nov 18, 2012 - Day 15 Franz Josef to Wanaka - Travel Towards the Township of Haast; See Fiordland Crested Penguins

The day began with a hike to the Franz Josef Glacier. No new birds were found, but it was an enjoyable hike. The glacier has receded significantly and by 2020, it will not be visible from the overlook we hiked to. In route to Wanaka, we hiked out to a coastal beach. Although it was a long hike, it was well worth it. The beach was beautiful and we saw a Fiordland Crested Penguin coming in on the surf to the beach. It was too far away for pictures, but we would see them better, later on. The scenery is beautiful as we drive to our...

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