Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

Ins and Outs of Matukituki
Diffuse sunlight illuminates the canyon of the Matukituki River.
By amphibious pastures
Vaqueiro leads a herd through the thinned bed of the Matukituki River.
baron will
Will poses at the front of his historic plane that continues to fly day after day over Wanaka's skies.
Rob Roy Green
The thawed emerald green of Rob Roy Creek.
cold waters
Diving platform on Lake Wanaka.
intriguing world
Portico of Puzzling World a small theme park that distracts visitors with illusions.
on hold
Suspension bridge over the Matukituki River, near the place where the Rob Roy stream flows into it.
With the help of the saints
Serious cross-country exercise down the sloping path of Rob Roy Creek below.
Dilemmas of local life
Visitors to Puzzle World in a small wooden maze.
Baron Will II
Will, a local classic aircraft pilot, about to take off at Wanaka airfield.
The Wanaka Transit
Herd of sheep advances, in a row, parallel to the Matukituki River.
Business in Nature
Weekend fair, taking place outdoors by Lake Wanaka.
Rob Roy White
The Rob Roy Glacier, installed against much of the homonymous peak.
New Zealand, were there any doubts?
Scattered sheep on a green meadow with the Southern Alps mountains in the background.
If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.

Sunday dawns bright.

We walked aimlessly along the grassy edge of Wanaka, New Zealand. We are stopped by the caricatured challenge to which a teenager had undertaken. “Win 50 or 100 dollars” entices the poster. The participant clings as best she can to the flexible plastic ladder.

To the surprise of the game's dynamizer, he overcomes his whims and leaves with one of the disputed notes, strolling through the kind of flea market and, at the same time, the garage that takes place all around.

Fair in Wanaka, New Zealand

Weekend fair, taking place outdoors by Lake Wanaka.

Wanaka is distracted as he can and with little. Situated just 70km away, Queenstown is New Zealand's adrenaline capital. He hasn't rested a second for decades. Instead, most of Wanaka's inhabitants pride themselves on the bucolic peace they've grown accustomed to worshiping, and share a certain terror at the prospect of their village becoming like its neighbor.

Until the date we passed through there, there was no fast food in Wanaka, nor did hordes of teenage strangers arrive with the almost sole purpose of bungee jumping or any other such radicalism. The most extreme practice in these parts is skiing and snowboarding, even so, a good distance from the village.

From Maori Origin to Kiwi Favorite Shelter

The origin of the name Wanaka comes from the corruption of Oanaka, “Anaka's Place”, Anaka was one of the first Maori chiefs in this area. The village, on the other hand, resembles so many others in the vast domain of Southern Alps of New Zealand.

It appears in the vicinity of snowy mountains, on the idyllic shores of lakes fed by melting ice. Its look, however, has something special. And if it wasn't just the setting, the wine and gastronomic culture and the community profile would always make a good difference.

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

Diving platform on Lake Wanaka.

People from the land know each other and greet each other in an affable manner whenever they are on the street or in an establishment. More than mere greeting, residents engage in frequent outdoor activities and pastimes. In this way, they see a stronger feeling for each other and, more importantly, the solidarity that helps them to overcome difficult moments in their lives.

But those who live in Wanaka were not necessarily born there. Migrants arrive fed up with the heartless, cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of Auckland, the nation's great city. They move from Wellington, the much more restrained capital. They come from Christchurch that earthquakes insist on ravaging, from Queenstown, the mecca of extreme sports and even from European or North American countries.

As soon as they settle in, the new residents are infected by the self-love of the place. They come to revere and praise him in every coffee conversation, between residents or with passing visitors.

On the edge of a breathtaking lake of the same name

As part of the last category, we marvel at every step we take around the blue lake Wanaka, with the snow-capped peaks that jut beyond its opposite shore and the verdant hillocks that help make them stand out.

We go inside the houses, mostly made of wood, along the alluvial and verdant plain of the lake, between its sand of small washed pebbles and a sample of mountain range almost clean of both vegetation and snow. We don't come across ostentatious homes.

In good kiwi fashion, everything stays as down-to-earth as possible. When faced with the unavoidable question of what to do to support themselves, several residents limited themselves to activating the organic creativity that proliferates among New Zealanders: a certain family opened a lavender farm.

A group of friends opened a craft beer bar, which is mandatory today. A couple accompany visitors down a river on a paddle board. A lady who collected old Citroën cars, started to take people who were more enthusiastic about wine to the local wineries.

Toward the Dazzling Heights of Mount Aspiring

Several hikers and climbers guide expeditions through the surrounding valleys and mountains. After all, we are in the middle of Mount Aspiring National Park, part of you Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage stronghold covering more than 3500 km2 of the South West of the South Island.

Not being New Zealand's supreme peak – title held by Aoraki/Mount Cook which rises to 3724m, Mount Aspiring, is by far the most emblematic in the area. Seduces the fans of Great Outdoors to memorable hikes and climbs. We couldn't resist the first modality.

Meadow and Mount Aspiring in the background, New Zealand.

>Sheep scattered in a green meadow with the mountains of the Southern Alps in the background

We leave the village very early, the sun still struggling to get rid of the double blockage of mountains and morning clouds. We skirt the lake shore. We enter a succession of huge green meadows dotted with sheep, in canyons carved by the prehistoric slide of glaciers and, at intervals, in pockets of southern forest and the cold.

The asphalt quickly gives way to the gravel and imposing backdrops of Rob Roy Valley, named in honor of Scottish hero Rob Roy MacGregor, who has been revisited over and over again by Hollywood, including by the box office hit starring Liam Neeson.

Along Matukituki Flow

We follow a road that advances side by side with the Matukituki River and subjects us to as many or more meanders as the river. But it's not just the curves. The narrow way goes up and down in its entirety and almost makes us feel at sea.

As if that wasn't enough, from time to time, we come across large traffic signs that display “FORD”. After each one of them, we subject ourselves to crossing a stream, all of them, luckily, at that time, shallow.

In times of sparse rains, Matukituki also flows less, away from the torrent generated by the melting that intensifies with the increase in spring temperatures.

It didn't take long to cross a herd of cows moving in the middle of the bed, guided by kiwi cowboys supported by an old pick-up truck.

Cows on the Matukituki River, New Zealand

Cowboy leads a herd across the narrowed bed of the Matukituki River

But animal transit does not stop there. On the other side of the Matukituki, half camouflaged in the dry grass of the slope, a herd of sheep advances autonomously in a long line and in the opposite direction to the cattle, the same one in which we were moving.

Finally, we arrived at the Raspberry Creek parking lot and left the car. We inaugurated, there, a glorious path along the edge of the Southern Alps, towards some of its renowned mountains: Pico Rob Roy, Mount Avalanch and, seen in the distance, the culminating Mount Aspiring.

The trail quickly makes its way to the first slopes and inclines. Consequently, Matukituki narrows and flows in fast mode. On a suspension bridge that opens onto a hillside and a shadowy beech forest, we cross the river and meet a couple of trampers.

Matukituki River, New Zealand

Diffuse sunlight illuminates the Matukituki River Gorge

Up the Slope of Peak Rob Roy Above

On the opposite bank, we climb a good climb and sweat a good sweat. We marvel at the purity of the landscape of those islands in the South Pacific. ok, one of ten endemic New Zealand parrots that, at almost half a meter in adulthood, we see flitting above the treetops.

Suspension Bridge Over Rob Roy Creek, Wanaka, New Zealand

Suspension bridge over the Matukituki River, near the place where the Rob Roy stream flows into it.

Another stream, that of Rob Roy Creek, descends furiously from the heights. It skirts huge boulders lined with thick, velvety moss. It runs in an almost emerald green, no longer in the milky white of the Matukituki to which, at the height of the suspension bridge, it had surrendered.

When we think we're alone, left to Nature, we come to a tight elbow of the road and two cross-country runners almost drag us down the slope. Athletes reach the bridge in a flash. We, crawled up Rob Roy's rivulet.

Before long, we reach a point halfway up the slope that, at last, frees us from the dismal undergrowth. The clearing catches us with the unexpected sight of the glacier that feeds the stream and gives it its name. But a mist makes the ice diffuse and, from time to time, hides the peak overlooking the glacier.

Rob Roy Glacier near Wanaka, New Zealand

The Rob Roy Glacier, installed against much of the homonymous peak.

Only two hours had elapsed since the start of the trek, but its last stretch pointed to the sky called for a decent rest. For now, taking our time, we take the snacks out of our backpacks and improvise a picnic. As soon as we open the repast, pitch-black clouds from behind the mountains ambush us.

Confident that trouble is going to set us up, we rearrange our backpacks and make our way back to the car, just in time to avoid most of the deluge. We complete a semi-amphibian return to the village. We ate something more substantial on a terrace and planned a quick passage through Cardrona.

The Puzzling Word and Cardrona Gold Legacy Puzzling Games

Along the way, we let ourselves be intrigued by the “Puzzle World” location, a simple theme park full of puzzles and illusions of everyday life or science.

Puzzling World, Wanaka

Portico of Puzzling World a small theme park that distracts visitors with illusions.

Cardrona doesn't take long. We can identify it by the yellow and red façade of its old roadside hotel, built in 1860, in the middle of the gold rush of this southern region of New Zealand, when several villages competed for the status of greater prosperity in the then British colony.

There was Arrowtown in the vicinity of Queenstown; Otago further to the southeast, the coast of the Gulf of Hauraki on the North Island, and the Cardrona we were approaching, among others. Today, in Cardrona little more remains of this golden heyday than history and the hotel. Cardrona itself is home to a small ski resort, humble compared to Treble Cone, the most reputable on the South Island.

Whether it's snow or hot, scenes like kiwis require aerial views. Accordingly, the more affluent New Zealanders maintain a national passion for light aircraft and scenic flights. It didn't take long to discover that, again, Wanaka goes further.

The Aero-Reverence of the South Island of New Zealand

It houses a New Zealand Fighter Pilots museum that features elegant Hawker Hurricanes, Havilland Vampires and Chipmunks. We visit it. At the airfield, we ended up chatting with Will, a Classic Flights pilot dressed in a thick leather jacket, glasses and a cap, as the name suggests, all in keeping with the classic aviation era.

Classic Airplane Pilot, Wanaka, New Zealand

Will, a local classic aircraft pilot, about to take off at Wanaka airfield.

Will is about to take off for a test flight. There's a vacant seat. In good New Zealand fashion, he barely knows us but, out of nowhere, he asks us if one of us wants to accompany him.

We still hesitate, but there are several conditions and mitigations that we are forced to consider: we had a stay booked for that night, in distant Dunedin and the inns in the downunder do not forgive delays. In this visit to the kiwi nation alone, we had already flown three times over the indescribable scenery of the Southern Alps.

Finally, we didn't know if we wanted to trust the old engine of that baked museum relic. We still watched Will's noisy take-off. Confirming the waste of the aerial experience, we pointed via road to the southeastern edge of New Zealand.

Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s - Calhambeque Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.
Mount cook, New Zealand

The Cloud Piercer Mountain

Aoraki/Mount Cook may fall far short of the world's roof but it is New Zealand's highest and most imposing mountain.
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
bay of islands, New Zealand

New Zealand's Civilization Core

Waitangi is the key place for independence and the long-standing coexistence of native Maori and British settlers. In the surrounding Bay of Islands, the idyllic marine beauty of the New Zealand antipodes is celebrated, but also the complex and fascinating kiwi nation.
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Architecture & Design
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
Full Dog Mushing
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.
The Crucifixion in Helsinki
Ceremonies and Festivities
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
Creepy Goddess Graffiti, Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, USA, United States America
The Haight, San Francisco, USA

Orphans of the Summer of Love

Nonconformity and creativity are still present in the old Flower Power district. But almost 50 years later, the hippie generation has given way to a homeless, uncontrolled and even aggressive youth.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Efate, Vanuatu, transshipment to "Congoola/Lady of the Seas"
Efate, Vanuatu

The Island that Survived “Survivor”

Much of Vanuatu lives in a blessed post-savage state. Maybe for this, reality shows in which aspirants compete Robinson Crusoes they settled one after the other on their most accessible and notorious island. Already somewhat stunned by the phenomenon of conventional tourism, Efate also had to resist them.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
The Toy Train story
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Unusual bathing

south of Belize

The Strange Life in the Black Caribbean Sun

On the way to Guatemala, we see how the proscribed existence of the Garifuna people, descendants of African slaves and Arawak Indians, contrasts with that of several much more airy bathing areas.

Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Resident of Dali, Yunnan, China
Dali, China

The Surrealist China of Dali

Embedded in a magical lakeside setting, the ancient capital of the Bai people has remained, until some time ago, a refuge for the backpacker community of travelers. The social and economic changes of China they fomented the invasion of Chinese to discover the southwest corner of the nation.
Ruins, Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
Discovering Tassie, Part 2 - Hobart to Port Arthur, Australia

An Island Doomed to Crime

The prison complex at Port Arthur has always frightened the British outcasts. 90 years after its closure, a heinous crime committed there forced Tasmania to return to its darkest times.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Winter White
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
Enriquillo, Great Lake of the Antilles, Dominican Republic, view from Cueva das Caritas de Taínos
Lake Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

Enriquillo: the Great Lake of the Antilles

Between 300 and 400 km2, situated 44 meters below sea level, Enriquillo is the supreme lake of the Antilles. Regardless of its hypersalinity and the stifling, atrocious temperatures, it's still increasing. Scientists have a hard time explaining why.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Argentinean flag on the Perito Moreno-Argentina lake-glacier
Natural Parks
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
Tequila, Jalisco City, Mexico, Jima
UNESCO World Heritage
Tequila, JaliscoMexico

Tequila: The Distillation of Western Mexico that Animates the World

Disillusioned with the lack of wine and brandy, the Conquistadors of Mexico improved the millenary indigenous aptitude for producing alcohol. In the XNUMXth century, the Spaniards were satisfied with their pinga and began to export it. From Tequila, town, today, the center of a demarcated region. And the name for which it became famous.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Dominican Republic, Bahia de Las Águilas Beach, Pedernales. Jaragua National Park, Beach
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
Kongobuji Temple
Mount Koya, Japan

Halfway to Nirvana

According to some doctrines of Buddhism, it takes several lifetimes to attain enlightenment. The shingon branch claims that you can do it in one. From Mount Koya, it can be even easier.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Sentosa Island, Singapore, Family on Sentosa Artificial Beach
Sentosa, Singapore

Singapore's Fun Island

It was a stronghold where the Japanese murdered Allied prisoners and welcomed troops who pursued Indonesian saboteurs. Today, the island of Sentosa fights the monotony that gripped the country.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Jeep crosses Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

Hundreds of kilometers north of Swakopmund, many more of Swakopmund's iconic dunes Sossuvlei, Damaraland is home to deserts interspersed with hills of reddish rock, the highest mountain and ancient rock art of the young nation. the settlers South Africans they named this region after the Damara, one of the Namibian ethnic groups. Only these and other inhabitants prove that it remains on Earth.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.