We Made it to Wanaka

Today was a big day- we made it a month into this thing called marriage. Here’s to the next 100000000000 months together :). We also got our wedding album slideshow from the photographer, stay tuned for that coming your way soon…enjoy today’s picture heavy post of beautiful scenery and our favorite food (salmon)

Our last real day of driving started off with a bang and a visit to the famous Fairlie Pie Bakehouse – NZ has a thing for “hearty” potpies for breakfast so we figured we’d continue the exploration with a steak/cheese pie and some egg/bacon frittata.

After getting a nice meal in, we began our 3-hour trip towards Wanaka with our first stop at Lake Tekapo. We pulled over to explore a super old Church as well as the beautiful lake. There were probably 50+ people there doing the exact same thing – including two wedding couples that had waded out into the water to get some pictures. After getting an ample number of pictures, we made our way back in the car.

Today’s drive was beautiful like the others but in a different way. Two days ago we had the best drive as we made our way to Christchurch hugging the ocean but today’s adventure brought us through the mountains as we moved further away from the coast and further inland. We actually ended up driving through a bunch of mountains that were used in the Lord of the Rings movies.

The drive had a really long stretch of plains and there were a handful of lookouts that I had sarcastically suggested to the group that we pull over for pictures. While the joke was funny in my mind, it finally reached a point where John said we weren’t stopping at the next one unless there was a dramatic change in scenery. We had maybe a 1/2 mile heads-up until the next spot and it seemed like it be fruitless but we couldn’t have been further wrong.

We pulled up and were very much in awe by how beautiful the stop was and after getting some additional pictures, continued on our way. We finally arrived in the town of Twizel for our planned road trip activity of the day- biking around the surrounding area and lake. We grabbed a quick snack and loaded up the bikes for our 3-hour, 16 mile adventure around the area.

We made our way through a variety of hills and rocky paths back towards the crystal blue lake and found the best pit stop we’ve had all week- a salmon shop. Debbie was thrilled beyond possible description that they had salmon sashimi for us to purchase and we may or may not have returned for a second helping. The fish had been caught the day before in the canals outside the shop and surprisingly beat out any of the fish we’d had while in Japan. We continued on our bike tour of the area, running into a few folks along the way, but really getting a nice combination of some well needed exercise and peaceful time to take in the views.

We returned back to the car for the final 2-hours of our journey and not more than 5-7 minutes into the ride, pulled over once more as we’d come up to a salmon farm. After our first salmon stop of the day had gone over so well, we knew we had to stop. We ended up purchasing a 2-lb piece of salmon to make for dinner as well as feeding the fish which was loads of fun.

Two more hours in the car and we’d finally arrived in Wanaka- our destination for the next 3 nights before we close out NZ in Queenstown for another 3 nights. We ran to the store to get the remaining dinner items and returned for yet another strong home-cooked meal on the road.

Tomorrow’s adventure in Wanaka likely includes some hikes around the surrounding lakes and whatever else we stumble into…

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