Driving Franz Josef to Wanaka (Haast Go), New Zealand
The street from Franz Josef to Wanaka covers essentially the most various set of landscapes you will note in New Zealand, and maybe in the entire world. That may be a daring declare, however watch for it!
From snowcapped peaks and historic glaciers on Mount Cook dinner to sandy seashores, extremely blue rivers, towering waterfalls, and mega-lakes. This street just about has all of the stops you could see the world in a day. Then there’s the street itself, a winding mountain move with panoramic views, flip scenic ocean drive. What extra may you need?
Google “Franz Josef to Wanaka” and you will note this 285 kilometer drive takes roughly three and a half hours.
I can guarantee you Google is incorrect this time.
They are saying drive gradual, New Zealand roads are totally different. Right here on the street from Franz Josef to Wanaka they couldn’t have been extra correct.
Observe this plan and the street from Franz Josef to Wanaka, and as an alternative of three hours you’ll have a twelve hour day on the street So get up early, and be ready to go to mattress late. That is one epic street journey we’re about to embark on.
Franz Josef is a medium sized city positioned on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s hottest for the Franz Josef Glacier and quite a few different climbing trails. I counsel doing the 5.4km Franz Josef Glacier stroll the day earlier than you proceed on to Wanaka, in any other case, you’ll not full every thing in time.
In the event you stroll shortly you’ll be able to match a couple of climbing trails within the in the future. One other standard quick stroll is the Blue Swimming pools which with a tremendous view of the Franz Josef Glacier mirrored within the lake.
If you end up completed climbing and legs are worn out, head over to the Franz Josef Glacier swimming pools. There’s no higher technique to loosen up than to soak away in a sizzling pool. You’ll be able to go for both a two hour entry, or a a number of entry day-pass.
Additional down the coast is the Fox Glacier Valley Monitor. It is a 2.6 kilometer round-trip climbing path. The stroll, which takes about one hour complete, will lead you to the bottom of Fox Glacier.
Throughout our go to to the West Coast, the street was closed because of climate. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to verify New Zealand’s Division of Conservation web site for extra particulars.
Salmon Farm and Café
Save your breakfast and head all the way down to the Salmon Café, positioned 85 km south of Franz Josef. That is the place you will discover the freshest salmon in New Zealand.
The Salmon Café truly farms the salmon on website, in three massive nets down under the cafe. Seize a bucket of fish meals for a greenback, and throw it into the nets to see simply what number of salmon reside right here.
In the event you love your fish, then check out a salmon steak, salmon bagel or only a serving of smoked salmon on toast for breakfast. You can too purchase a bit of smoked salmon in your lunch on the street. The smokey taste on this fish is intense!
Knights Level Lookout
The Knights Level Lookout is only a fast cease on the facet of the street. The lookout has nice views of the tough Tasman Sea alongside New Zealand’s South-West Coast. The attention-grabbing rock formations right here resemble Australia’s Nice Ocean Street, albeit smaller and additional away.
Roaring Billy Falls
The Roaring Payments Falls are the primary in a sequence of three waterfalls on the street from Franz Josef to Wanaka. This part of the street is much like the Atherton Tablelands waterfall route in Queensland, Australia the place you’ll be able to go to a sequence of waterfalls in a brief distance.
The waterfall is a 30 meter tall cascade within the Mount Aspiring Nationwide Park. The water runs down into the Haast River and is accessed by a 40-minute hike from the carpark.
Thunder Creek Falls
The Thunder Creek Falls are positioned a 5 minute stroll from the primary street. The quick, straightforward strolling, forest path takes you out to a viewing platform on the river’s edge the place you’ll be able to see this 96-meter tall waterfall with out getting moist.
It’s doable to get nearer to the waterfall and even bathe underneath it. To do that, you will have to cross the river. That is the tough half because the river is deep in elements and has a powerful present. The glacial water can be freezing chilly!
The Fantail Falls are the third waterfall cease on the street from Franz Josef to Wanaka. On account of time, we didn’t go to this waterfall. As there are such a lot of locations to go to alongside the best way, I counsel stopping at two of the three waterfalls listed on this information.
The Fantail Falls are positioned a brief 5 minute stroll from the primary street. Verify right here for additional info on visiting the waterfall.
Cameron’s Flat Campsite
Cease by Cameron’s Flat picnic space for lunch with an awesome view. A small camp kitchen sits on high of the mountain trying again over the valley with the massive Mount Cook dinner within the background.
With bathrooms and working water out there at Cameron’s Flat, it is a perfect place to spend the night time in case you are working quick on time. Tenting charges are customary as per all nationwide parks in New Zealand, simply drop the NZD 12 per individual within the field and seize a tag in your campervan.
Blue Swimming pools Swimming Holes
The street signal for Blue Swimming pools doesn’t counsel a lot about this secret little spot. Nonetheless, as you attain the carpark and see each side of the street lined with campervans, you already know there’s something good down the hill.
A 15-minute strolling path takes you thru an outdated pine forest, throughout rope swing bridges and all the way down to the clearest glacial waters you’ll ever see. And sure, you’ll be able to swim right here, so deliver your towel!
Alongside the Nanda Blue Lagoon in Santo, Vanuatu, that is the bluest water I’ve ever seen occurring naturally on the earth. Leap in for a fast swim within the freezing chilly water. If you’re courageous sufficient, you’ll be able to even make the 15-meter soar from the rope bridge into the deep water under.
There are extra climbing trails that proceed additional into the forest from the Blue Swimming pools. If you wish to spend longer right here to discover the paths, then spend the night time at Cameron’s Flat Campsite simply 1km again up the street.
Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea
Persevering with on to Wanaka, the panorama adjustments fairly dramatically from forested mountains to very large blue lakes. Once I say enormous lakes, I imply they actually appear to go perpetually. Each Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea are amongst the highest 10 largest lakes in New Zealand.
To offer you an concept of the dimensions, Lake Wanaka is over 40 kilometers lengthy within the north to south path and covers over 192 sq. kilometers. It’s estimated that the deepest level is over 380 meters deep. That’s quite a lot of water!
The street stays scenic with loads of wonderful lookout factors the place you’ll be able to admire simply how enormous these lakes are. There may be one level specifically name The Neck the place the 2 huge lakes are separated by lower than 2 kilometers.
Warning: whereas the view is wonderful, the wind could be sturdy. I counsel in opposition to flying a drone right here in excessive wind, I virtually misplaced my model new DJI Mavic Air!
Wanaka is the tip of this enormous 285 kilometer drive, and what a spectacular place to cease. Situated on the southern finish of Lake Wanaka, this little city has a vigorous vibe with cafes, pubs, bars, and eating places open from early till late.
Rejoice the tip of your drive with a domestically brewed craft beer on the terrace of Kai Whakapai. You’ll get a superb view of Lake Wanaka at sundown. You’ve earned it.
There are many climbing trails to discover round Wanaka over the following few days. Probably the most Instagram well-known hike is Roy’s Peak, nevertheless, Rob Roy’s Glacier is arguably extra scenic and far much less talked about.
For finances campervan lodging in Wanaka try the Wanaka Lakeview Vacation Park. Regardless of the identify, it’s truly set a couple of streets again from the lakeside.
Eager to remain a bit additional out of city? Proceed one other 30 minutes round Lake Wanaka to the Glendhu Bay Motor Park. You may get an awesome unpowered lakeside spot right here, although there aren’t any outlets round.
What was your spotlight of the street from Franz Josef to Wanaka?
The place to subsequent in New Zealand?
- Uncover Mount Cook dinner alongside the Hooker Valley Monitor
- Cruise by way of Fiordland at Milford Sound
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