Queenstown to Lake Wanaka, Hawea – New Zealand

 

 Lake Wanaka and Hawea are two beautiful glacier carved lakes about an hours drive from Queenstown. We drove there through Fall colours of Arrowtown and then through the velvety  carpet like mountains of Crown Range alpine route through the Cardrona Valley

Old bridge over Shotover river near Frankton

We started early in the morning . Picked up our rental car. The good thing about driving is that you can stop anywhere to explore. Here above we made a completely unplanned stop while driving after seeing a sign board for a Historic Bridge. This bridge is just in the outskirts of Queenstown. The bridge was destroyed by flooding and then subsequently restored.

Adventure speed boating on Kawarau river

The bridge gives a vantage point from which to observe adventure jet boating on Kawarau river below

Lake Hayes en-route to Arrowtown

Lake Hayes en-route to Arrowtown. This is a nice stopover point as apart from sceneic views of the lake, there are lush green lawns to take a walk as well.

Fall Colours in Arrowtown

Fall Colours in Arrowtown

Fall Colours in Arrowtown

Fall Colours in Arrowtown

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As we drive through the winding roads of the Crown Range route, there are numerous lookouts to stop and admire stunning vistas. An Air New Zealand flights makes its way through clouds and the mountain ranges on either side as it lines up to land in Queenstown

Scenic lookout Crown Range

A lookout point as we drive through the Crown Range route from Arrowtown to Wanaka

Driving along Crown Range to Wanaka

Driving through the Crown Range route towards the historic town of Cardrona - known for being heavily populated during the gold rush in the eighteen sixties. The winding roads of the Crown Range route steer through velvety carpet like mountains but is known to be one of the most dangerous roads to drive in New Zealand specially in the winter snow

Lake Wanaka

We arrive at the beautiful town of Wanaka and Lake Wanaka. Lots of places to eat along the lake shore. We also happened to get there on a Sunday fair on a lovely Sunny day. Browsed through numerous yard sales, a vintage car show and then stopped to listen to a performer playing the guitar and singing..."Did you ever know that you are my Hero... " on the backdrop of mount Aspiring . A perfect romantic Wanaka afternoon you are bound to fall in love with...

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Lake Hawea

If you are in awe with the romance of lake Wanaka, wait till you get to Lake Hawea. About a twenty minutes drive from Lake Wanaka, the serene and crystal clear , Lake Hawea is mesmerizing. Hawea is much less crowded, in fact you may not see anyone at all and this is what adds to its beauty.

lake Hawea from my room in the Lake Hawea hotel

Beautiful view of lake Hawea from our room in the Lake Hawea hotel. This is perhaps the only place to stay here and the view is certainly not disappointing ! The duplex cottages all have a nice balcony overlooking the lake. A drive from Hawea nothwards to "The Neck" ( see map ) is a must do. You will see lake Hawea end leading to East of Lake Wanaka separated through a narrow stretch of road.

That Wanaka Tree

Definitely the most photographed tree in Wanaka. ( Check Map for excact location of this tree )  The tree looks stunning with mountain ranges in the background with unique views as the water level changes through the seasons

Experience more of New Zealand in the escapade from Queenstown to Milford Sound here

As our time ran out , we left with only one thought in our minds - that there is so much more to explore in South island of New Zealand that we would definitely make it back here again and next time we would give time a break...

Want more of New Zealand? Then read "Kohit's Anomaly" - a fictional short story inspired by our New Zealand travel...

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