The New Zealand west coast made a good impression on us with a fun-filled day on the Buller River, beautiful scenery with rock formations in Karamea, seals in Westport, small towns with charming pubs, Hokitika Gorge, an incredible hike on Franz Josef’s glacier and a wild dolphin experience.
When we felt done with the west coast, we ventured inland. Next stop: Wanaka! We rolled up the hills through magnificent ”Haast Pass” which is the road between the mountains. After several days of rain, the sun’s rays were beaming again. The west coast is the place that gets the most rain per year – the mountains makes the clouds drop their water. But driving inland was like turning off a tap – when we got into the basin where Wanaka is situated nicely by the lake, there was no trace of rain.
We wanted a different experience, therefore we booked an 4WD adventure with Ridgeline Adventures, they offer day trips in a four-wheel drive. They took us to West Wanaka Station, which is a high country farm located on the steep slopes with some of the land above 1000 meters. West Wanaka Station are farming cattle, sheep and deer.
In addition to a brief insight to the life on a high country farm, we are rewarded with incredible views of the surrounding landscape. I know that I have over used this expression, but I will ute it again: It’s so beautiful it hurts.
The Lake Wanaka with its blue color in contrast to the high mountains in the background makes it the perfect drawing. Our guide for the day is Steve, he is the one who drives us up and down the hills in the black 4WD. He has a lot of interesting and fun stories to tell about the area, the farm and Lake Wanaka.
When the sun is at it’s highest point it’s time for a cuppa. Coffee, tea or hot chocolate to enjoy with a piece of cake. The sun is shining and the sky is blue, but it is quite windy and therefore we can’t have a break with a view. We sit down in the grass sheltered behind a hill, near a small brook that trickles in the background. It can’t be better.
After the nice break we round off the day with a walk along a stone beach next to the lake. Steve also managed to squeeze in a last stop down at the farmyard where an alpaca, a few sheep and a horse was hanging about in the sunshine. Who can say no to cuddling with some animals? Not us anyway!
Our day on a 4WD adventure is a collaboration with Ridgeline Adventures. All written before and after this trip is my own opinions and I would never write something that I don’t stand for. All posts are written by me and are written based on how I experienced it.