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Day 11: Wanaka Wanaka...

Day 11 – Friday 01 March –Wanna stay…

We had a relaxing morning and went for a walk around Wanaka Lake, photographed the tiny ‘Wanaka tree’ in the lake; and then made our way to our rendezvous with the minibus that would take us to the ‘River Journeys’ jet-boat launch on the Matukituki River. On the very fast jet-boat ride, we looked up at the glacier from a distance among the snow-capped mountains and looked forward to getting closer to it. The mini-bus driver was from Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire UK(!). The jet-boat driver was a true New Zealander, ex-farmer, young gold-prospector and all together nice guy with a great spirit. He took us off down the river weaving through the deeper flows of the half-empty river bed carefully picking our path so that we didn't run aground. The jet-boat only needs 4 inches of water to run on and for fun, the driver spun us round in a full 360-degree spin. I got a bit wet when he did that, but we were all given waterproof spray jackets along with our life-belts.


The wilderness surrounding the river and overlooked by the amazing mountains gave us some awesome and unforgettable views. I took lots of photos especially when we hopped off the boat halfway up the river and walked up to a waterfall. I really recommend the jet-boat trip. It will stick in mine and Jeff's memories. It has been quite warm today so the jet boats are anticipating a big melt from the glacier and hopefully the river will be a bit deeper and fuller for them over the next few days. We met Neill on our return to Wanaka, at the bar just around from our hotel. He had walked all the way to the top of Roy’s Peak; the second most legendary walk in New Zealand; second to the Tongariro crossing. We had too much beer then went on to the 'Amigos' Mexican restaurant beside the hotel. Apart from last night's meal I'm not really that impressed with New Zealand cuisine. The ingredients were all present but the flavour just wasn't there. I don't know what it is but it's not like the food I cook back home when it comes to flavour. Never mind; you can't have it all.


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