Archives for posts with tag: Wanaka

A few months back I enrolled on a distance learning horticultural course with the Southern Institute of Technology as I am VERY keen horticulturalist and wanted to back up my gardening experience with some theory.  The course is brilliant, I have learned a lot and am over half way through. My current module is on weeds, so I have to take photos of weeds and identify them. To make sure I don’t cheat I have to give an identifier of something that  links the photo with me. I chose The Spaniel as I thought she would be a unique identifier!

I took these photos on a 14 K trail run alongside Lake Hawea on Sunday morning and posted them on Facebook for friends to identify. They didn’t do very well), Can you do any better?

Weed or Spaniel? Sorry, I mean Weed or native plant? You decide..

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We are now well and truly into Spring in Central Otago, the snow is melting on the tops and the weather has become a little more unsettled as Winter and Summer battle it out between themselves. Fortunately we know Summer will be the victor. But credit due to Winter as it blessed us with huge dumpings of snow on the mountains, which gave us the opportunity to learn how to ski.

So, at the beginning of July with ski passes in hand for Cardrona ski field, and a little bit of gusto we started weekly treks up “The Mountain” as the locals call it. Mrs. E has never skied before and I have only done it a few times, so we were effectively learning from scratch. At first, it was really tough. There was tiredness and bruises, together with belly laughs and moments of thrill when we managed to stay up on our feet. It was a delight watching Mrs. E progress from a petrified jelly-legged beginner to a very competent skier. I never forget the day when she just “got it” and was going up and doing the slope like a yo yo – I just couldn’t keep up. It was lovely to see her having the time of her life.

We got to become good beginner skiers, skiing well on green runs and being a little bit scared of the blue runs. But, by jove we did it – we can now ski!

We are looking forward to Summer, but Winter has become our new best friend.

See you on the slopes again soon!

p.s. I love this photo of Mrs. E with friends Pri and Jo – happy times !

Liz and Priya and co

More pics below:

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The other week a group of us from our running group heading out for a 12K run along the Rob Roy Glacier track.

We drove down the Matukituki Valley, which is an adventure in itself with its fjords, creeks, and windy and rubbly roads, and finally an hour later, parked up at Raspberry Creek car park.

From the car park, we ran alongside the Matukituki river, and then across a swing bridge onto the main track, which passes through a small gorge and then winds up through  a beech forest, which transitions into more alpine vegetation. At the top of the valley, the glacier can be seen in all its glory. In fact it is SO big it casts a dark shadow across the valley floor. The sounds of the furious river, the bellbirds singing, the smell of rain on damp moss, and so much more stopped us from feeling the pain of what was essentially a 6K run up a hill!

One of the most beautiful runs I have ever been on. I shall be heading back with Mrs. E  – I know she will love it.


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Today is the Queen’s Birthday in New Zealand, a public holiday given by the Queen for kiwis to celebrate her birthday.

We had a quiet morning, and then headed out to Diamond Lake on the west bank of Lake Wanaka. I have been enjoying getting into my running again after joining a running group, so I decided to run the route from the car park to Diamond Lake, and then up to Lake Wanaka viewpoint. Mrs. E followed and walked the route. The Spaniel had to stay in the car as dogs were not allowed (she was NOT HAPPY about this).

The track starts from the carpark and follows an old road to Diamond Lake. It then skirts around the lake up a steep incline to the first viewing platform over Diamond Lake. From there, the track climbs to Lake Wanaka Viewpoint which has panoramic views across Lake Wanaka and beyond.

The run took me about 50 minutes at about 5K with 774 metres of ascent, it was a corker. I managed to pace myself pretty well, taking it nice and easy on the ascents. Mrs. E loved her walk too. The Spaniel on the other hand was not happy about being left behind, but I took her for a good spin by the river to compensate as Mrs. E descended down the track.

What a fabulous place we live in. When are you coming to visit?

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Every week, Mrs. E, myself and The Spaniel go for our yomp up Mt. Iron just outside Wanaka about a 20-minute drive from our home in Hawea.
I love this quality time with Mrs. E. The Spaniel loves it too, as there are many wabbbits (we can’t see the real word in case she shoots off again).

Mount Iron is an impressive, glacier carved, rocky knoll that rises nearly 250 metres above the surrounding countryside. From the summit there are excellent 360-degree views of the The Pisa mountain range, the Upper Clutha Basin, Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps. It’s not an easy climb, but something you can do in an hour and half, and you really feel like you have achieved something.

If you come to visit, I think we will drag you up here – it’s a Must Do for visitors.

Enjoy the views!

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