To Wanaka

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Sun 24 Aug 2014 21:57
To Wanaka
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I opened my eyes this morning and saw nothing, that’ll be because my hat was pulled down over my face, there was ice on the windows, outside we could see nothing. I pulled myself upright at the promise of a steaming hot bowl of porridge. Do you know how much you look like the ‘feed the birds, tuppence a bag’ lady in Mary Poppins. Stern words uttered. As payback for his cheek, I made Bear go out to pose with Mount Cook or where it should be. 
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We enjoyed our sundown pictures of Aoraki / Mount Cook yesterday but equally looked forward to our sunrise photographs this morning. Spot the difference between nine thirty this morning and five o’clock yesterday. I got Bear to point exactly over the plant I was going to use as my line up picture at sunrise. Oh well there we are then............
We both got a fit of the giggles as we left our nest beside Lake Pukaki at ten o’clock.
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Spot the difference. The lake visitors centre looked a little different this morning.
By eleven things cleared a bit.
By midday the view was quite something.
By one, so crisp and sunny.
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Little traffic about, a happy bus coming toward us.
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Hard to imagine this lady in action when the sun is so warm.
The scenery levelled out.
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Over the Clutha River bridge.
The river was an incredible colour.
The airport on the outskirts of Wanaka.
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Nearing Wanaka we saw the leaning tower in a fun attraction called Puzzling World.

Perhaps the prettiest roundabout with the best scenery we’ve yet seen.



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We drove through the very chic town, facing the lake.


Wanaka is situated at the southern end of Lake Wanaka, adjacent to the outflow of the lake to the Clutha River. It is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park. Wanaka is primarily a resort town but has both summer and winter seasons and is based around the many outdoor opportunities. Owing to the growing tourism business and the increasing number of retirees in Wanaka, large growth is occurring, with a population increase of up to 50% in the past ten years. The town is part of the Queenstown-Lakes District and was originally settled during the gold rush of the 19th century.

History: The first European in the area was Nathaniel Chalmers, who was guided inland by Chief Reko in 1853. Maori knowledge of the region is evidenced by an earlier sketch map from Chief Te Huruhuru at Waimate. European settlement began in the Upper Clutha River Valley in the 1850’s, with the establishment of sheep stations by runholders. The first station was at Albert Town, the only place where settlers could ford the Clutha River. The present site of Wanaka was first surveyed in 1863, and settlement increased in Pembroke (the old name for Wanaka) during the 1870’s because of timber milling in the Matukituki Valley and the use of Lake Wanaka for transport. Tourism in the town began in 1867 with the opening of the first hotel, by Theodore Russell. Wanaka proved a very popular tourist destination because of its borderline continental climate and easy access to snow and water. The world's first sheepdog trials were reportedly held in Wanaka in 1867. Pembroke was renamed Wanaka in 1940.



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Lake Wanaka is located in the Otago region, at an altitude of a thousand feet. Covering an area of seventy four square miles, it is New Zealand's fourth largest lake, and estimated to be nearly a thousand feet deep. Its name is Māori, a corruption of Oanaka ('The place of Anaka', a local tribal chief). A new one on us as we cleared the town was a sign warning of ducks crossing. Just beyond on the left was our campsite. After checking in we went for a drive.




On our return we played backgammon outside in the last of the afternoon sun, friends waiting.



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It just took the first to be brave, then the gang hopped in.








                     THICK FOG TO BRIGHT SUNSHINE