Friday, August 24, 2012

Explosion at Waterfall Creek

A glorious sunny day in Wanaka doesn't have to be spent skiing the white stuff on the hill, although it's pretty tempting to do just that. But this year I told myself I'd do more than just ski, that I'd try and be more of a tourist as well, so last Friday I hired a bike and headed off around the lake to cycle to Glendhu Bay.
Glendhu Bay is a sheltered inlet which hosts a caravan park and not much else. Spectacular mirror like reflections of the surrounding peaks, a vista of snow covered mountain ranges and Mt Aspiring in the distance make this bay a really popular summer holiday destination. But at this time of year the water temperature is a chilly 10 degrees, so the caravans sit in abandoned rows waiting for Spring.

A trail exists from the town centre all the way to Glendhu Bay, so with a packed lunch, the iPhone and Olloclip I headed off for the day. I cycled along the shore to the solitary spindly willow in the water (google Wanaka and you are sure to see a shot of this tree) and dutifully took my own mini series of photos, before heading off again.........only to find I had a puncture.
Since I was still in town it was a mere 15min walk back to the hostel to grab another bike, then I was off again. The path meanders along the lake shore, through some small forested areas then joins the lake again at Waterfall Creek. I'd jogged out to here last year, from now on it was all new territory.
Crossing the creek on a bridge, the path begins to climb as it hugs the cliffs above the lake. Formed by glaciers, most of the lake's circumference is steep and rocky, with only a few small beaches and inlets. It makes for great elevated views and a fairly rigorous ride. But flying down a hill and around a corner I am suddenly brought to a stop by a very loud explosion! I look around to discover nothing more spectacular than a full blowout of my rear tyre. Bummer!!

Still within mobile coverage I call the hostel, and soon Ian drives out to try and fix my second puncture in an hour! A new inner tube won't solve the problem of a rip in the tyre, so I abandon the bike with Ian, and continue on by foot. Much slower, but in actual fact easier to appreciate the magnificent scenery.
Lunch is enjoyed at a picnic table down a minor track with a million dollar vista.
A cliff walk above a rocky shoreline with two shags drying their wings - I would have appreciated the zoom lens for that shot.
A secluded beach
Mt Aspiring peeks out from some wispy clouds
At the end of my walk it's a simple matter of thumbing a lift back into town from one of the many cars returning from the ski fields.

links to all the rest of my New Zealand pictures here

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