Day 4: Lake Hawea
After seeing all those beautiful views driving to Wanaka the day before, we decided to head back and do that drive again. When heading out from Wanaka, it’s much easier to pull off at all the lookouts as they will mainly be on your side of the road. We pulled off at nearly every single lookout and also stopped at a small open area right next to the water at Lake Hawea. There were heaps of cars parked here and it was one of my favourite moments in NZ, being next to Hawea. The water was so magically blue and calm and the sense of stillness here is just something you have to experience for yourself.
I didn’t lie when I said we stopped at basically every look out haha! But really, look how beautiful it is?
We kept Day 4 easy and the afternoon for errands (Tom went to the spa at our Holiday Park haha) because Day 5 is going to be a big one!
Day 5: Roy’s Peak
Roy’s Peak! My most anticipated track in NZ! I’m going to do a full separate post on Roy’s Peak because there’s just so much to say about this hike. But the main thing to note is to keep a whole day spare for it and to keep the itinerary for the next day relaxed because you’re going to have sore feet. Lastly, you can totally do it so don’t be scared!
– Read my full Roy’s Peak post soon –
Day 6: Rob Roy Glacier Hike
Despite the challenges of Roy’s Peak the day before, we decided to put Rob Roy Glacier on the itinerary for Day 6. Look, it was definitely achievable and ok to do if you’re strapped for time too, but it’s not really the most fun experience – when your feet are totally dead from the day before!
Google Maps says that the drive to Rob Roy is about 1 hr from Wanaka, however we found that it was more 1.5 hours because of the fact that a fair chunk of the road is gravel meaning that if you’re in a rental vehicle (or any vehicle that you want to take care of), you’re going to be driving much slower than the speed limit.
Also, in the last 3 km to Rob Roy, there are numerous fjords / small river crossings to cross. If it’s been raining for the past few days, it’s not a good idea to visit because the crossings get quite deep and your car can get stuck. However, if it is sunny, then it’s safer to visit as the water dries out more. For us, we went because the weather had been great. However, at about 2km out from the glacier, we did get to a deep looking fjord. If you are ever concerned, make sure you get out and measure the depth of the water first by either walking through it or using a stick before attempting to drive through it. Otherwise it can get quite dangerous and there’s no reception in the area either.
Luckily, we made it and we were able to head to this hike!
Rob Roy Glacier track has two lookouts. The first lookout is not as impressive as the second so it’s best you head all the way to the end because this is where you can get close to the glacier face and really appreciate the beauty of it. The hike itself is steep at parts but nothing difficult at all. It takes 3 hours return, officially, but we took 4 hours plus including taking pictures.
For those who haven’t seen a glacier before, Rob Roy will be quite impressive as you can get really quite close. When we first caught a sight of the glacier from far away, I thought I was looking at clouds. It wasn’t until later I realised we were looking straight at the glacier face!
If the weather is on your side then I’d totally recommend visiting Rob Roy. There’s no reception out here and the slight difficulty to reach the track makes this place really serene and peaceful. The area is really open and it’s definitely one of the nicer walks we’ve been on!
Drive: Rob Roy Glacier to Queenstown (2 hr 30 min)
After Rob Roy Glacier, it’s time to head to Queenstown. There are two routes from Wanaka to Queenstown and the route you’ll want to take is the Crown Range Road because it is just beautiful though quite windy. On the way there, make sure you stop at Crown Range Summit Lookout for a stunning view of Queenstown from afar.
Once you pass Crown Range Lookout, you’ll see non-stop beautiful landscapes until you arrive into town. Here are a few snaps we caught whilst on the road to Queenstown.
Overnight: Queenstown Creeksyde Holiday Park & Motels
Our camper home at Queenstown was at Queenstown Creekysde Holiday Park & Motels – one of the best rated places to stay for campers in Queenstown. This was one of the larger holiday parks we stayed at however with all of the landscaping, spacious powered campsites and multiple facility blocks and bathrooms, you wouldn’t have even realised at all. The staff were friendly and helpful and gave us tips on the area. The location is really convenient and just down the road from the town centre. There’s also a supermarket 2 minutes walk from the park, as well as a more fancy grocery store directly opposite. Petrol is literally a minute away as well!
We loved our stay here, it definitely made coming in and out of Queenstown very convenient.
Stay tend for a full post on Roy’s Peak and then Part 3, as we explore Queenstown next.