Drive from Franz Josef through to Lake Wanaka ♡

 In Backpacking, Budget Travel, New Zealand, South Island

After a couple of my favourite days so far in Franz Josef, we were back on the Kiwi Experience an heading towards our next stop – Lake Wanaka.
As usual the Kiwi Experience stopped off at a couple of hotspots along the way for refreshments and photo opportunities.
When the sun is shining New Zealand’s beauty reaches its peak.
Or just when there isn’t low cloud blocking the mountain skylines.
Today we were in luck and managed to squeeze in a few Selfies along the way.
The drive from Franz through to Wanaka involves driving through the Haast Pass, one of the most beautiful drives in New Zealand.
The stunning reflection of Mount Cook in Lake Matheson.

 

 

 

 

Fox Glacier…

 

 

Thunder Creek Falls…
… which apparently you can’t visit without pretending you are drinking the waterfall.
It was quite a picture without the waterfall…

 

 

We then headed on through to Lake Wanaka…
Lake Wanaka is home to a beautiful town that accommodates for backpackers, families and luxury travel seekers.
The town is indulged within the most beautiful mountains and sits alongside the 4th largest lake in New Zealand. Lake Wanaka is 45.5km long and is 311m deep – pretty massive huh.
Pretty cold too.
(I’ll save that story for in a minute).

 

It’s the kind of place that makes you feel instantly at home – well it did me.
There are lots of beautiful lake front bars and restaurants, with views to die for and the best thing is – it’s peaceful.
It didn’t feel overpowered by tourists at all, which is nice (even though I’m a tourist).
I sat with the girls for about an hour or two on the lake front with an ice cream and just stared into the serenity of the lake, watching the world go by.

 

We had arrived in the afternoon so it was soon time to be thinking about dinner. As we decided on what to eat, I decided that I was going to go for a pre-dinner swim in the Lake.
As we had been sat with our ice creams i had watched a group of teens swim out to this viewing platform which is suspended in the lake (the perfect place for a photo).
Always keen for a challenge and a good photo, I popped on my cozzie and left the girls cooking dinner. Perfect…
…or so it would seem.
So apparently the people i saw swimming were CRAZY.
I won’t go into details but I honestly had a near death experience with no-one on the shore watching me. (Sorry mum – hehe).
So the temp of an average commercial pool is around 27deg.
Our average body temp is 37deg.
And the average temp of Lake Wanaka is 8.9 – 20deg.
I have NEVER been so cold in my life.
Cold enough that my body froze up completely and i lost my breath, drinking a bit of Lake Water along the way (at least it was fresh mountain water).
Oh and I caught the whole thing on my GoPro, but I won’t share that horror movie with you.
All I can say is, do NOT attempt to swim these fresh water lakes without some kind of thermal layering! And if you are crazy enough to do so make sure you have someone on shore watching you…
New Zealand providing yet another memorable experience.
And I certainly won’t be forgetting this one any time soon! Haha!
Shop my swimsuit here
Of course once I got to the platform, I HAD to get a good photo to make the experience worthwhile. Looks pretty huh 🙂
(you better agree after all that.)
Proving yet again that you shouldn’t judge someones life by a photo – you never know what goes on behind the scenes!

 

 ♡
Thank you for reading, lots of love all the way from New Zealand…
Mollie xxxx
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