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.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
safari
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Architecture & Design
Castles and Fortresses

A Defending World: Castles and Fortresses that Resist

Under threat from enemies from the end of time, the leaders of villages and nations built castles and fortresses. All over the place, military monuments like these continue to resist.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Adventure
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.
Newar celebration, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Mao Tse Tung, Dragon Heart, Tianamen Square, Beijing, China
Cities
Beijing, China

The Heart of the Great Dragon

It is the incoherent historic center of Maoist-Communist ideology and almost all Chinese aspire to visit it, but Tianamen Square will always be remembered as a macabre epitaph of the nation's aspirations.
Meal
Markets

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
shadow of success
Culture
Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

Champoton, in Campeche, hosts a fair honored by the Virgén de La Concepción. O rodeo Mexican under local sombreros reveals the elegance and skill of the region's cowboys.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Sport
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.
Serra da Leba, the road designed by Eng. Edgar Cardoso
Traveling
Serra da Leba, Angola

Ziguezaguing. Throughout the History of Angola.

A bold and providential road inaugurated on the eve of the Carnation Revolution connects the plains of Namibe to the green heights of Serra da Leba. Its seven hooked curves emerge from a troubled colonial past. They give access to some of the grandest scenes in Africa.
Ethnic
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
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Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Nelson Dockyards, Antigua Docks,
History
English Harbor, Antigua (Antilles)

Nelson's Dockyard: The Former Naval Base and Abode of the Admiral

In the XNUMXth century, as the English disputed control of the Caribbean and the sugar trade with their colonial rivals, they took over the island of Antigua. There they came across a jagged cove they called English Harbour. They made it a strategic port that also housed the idolized naval officer.
Efate, Vanuatu, transshipment to "Congoola/Lady of the Seas"
Islands
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.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Literature
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Sunset at Flat Lake, Louisiana
Nature
Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana, USA  

The Great Swamp of the Deep South

For some reason the indigenous people called it “long river”. At one point, the Atchafalaya spills out into a swamp made up of canal-connected lagoons dotted with cypress, oak and tupelo trees. We explored it, between Lafayette and Morgan, Louisiana, on the way to its mouth on the Gulf of Mexico.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Mangrove between Ibo and Quirimba Island-Mozambique
Natural Parks
Ibo Island a Quirimba IslandMozambique

Ibo to Quirimba with the Tide

For centuries, the natives have traveled in and out of the mangrove between the island of Ibo and Quirimba, in the time that the overwhelming return trip from the Indian Ocean grants them. Discovering the region, intrigued by the eccentricity of the route, we follow its amphibious steps.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
UNESCO World Heritage
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
Characters
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Varela Guinea Bissau, Nhiquim beach
Beaches
Varela, Guinea Bissau

Dazzling, Deserted Coastline, all the way to Senegal

Somewhat remote, with challenging access, the peaceful fishing village of Varela compensates those who reach it with the friendliness of its people and one of the stunning, but at risk, coastlines in Guinea Bissau.
Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Religion
Tawang, India

The Mystic Valley of Deep Discord

On the northern edge of the Indian province of Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is home to dramatic mountain scenery, ethnic Mompa villages and majestic Buddhist monasteries. Even if Chinese rivals have not passed him since 1962, Beijing look at this domain as part of your Tibet. Accordingly, religiosity and spiritualism there have long shared with a strong militarism.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
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.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Society
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.
herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Bwabwata National Park, Namibia, giraffes
Wildlife
PN Bwabwata, Namíbia

A Namibian Park Worth Three

Once Namibia's independence was consolidated in 1990, to simplify its management, the authorities grouped together a trio of parks and reserves on the Caprivi strip. The resulting PN Bwabwata hosts a stunning immensity of ecosystems and wildlife, on the banks of the Cubango (Okavango) and Cuando rivers.
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.