New Zealand Part 3: Mt. Aspiring National Park, Wanaka, and Queenstown

From Lake Ohau, we set off on our first overnight backpacking trip. This was my first time ever backpacking, and it was a great first trip. The walk to and from the hut was about 5.5 miles each way so it took less than 3 hours. The scenery was breathtaking, the animals were lining the mountains, and the hut had a fireplace & mattresses. The guides cooked up a delicious dinner, complete with wine & dessert, and I rediscovered my love of playing card games with my new favorite 10 and 12 year olds. The only negative was the fact the winter bathroom was 50 yards behind the hut, and I had just read a thriller novel where the victims were forced to walk from dairy cellars in the ground up to the farmhouse. Whoops!

After walking back to the van the next morning, we went back through Wanaka and did a quick hour long bike ride around the lake. I am not used to not being on a road bike so it took me a bit to get comfortable and enjoy it. Once I did I allowed myself to look at the spectacular views.

Then it was onto Queenstown for a free day. Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world, and I really struggled with what I wanted to do. I ended up deciding against the longer adventures since I only had one day. Instead, I had a great diner breakfast at Joe’s Garage, took the gondola up to the top of the mountain to see the town from above, went jet boating in a canyon, went for a run around the lake, and had a delicious indian dinner at The Taj. I also spent a lot of time reading my book at most of those locations. All in all, a great day “off” 🙂


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