Wana Walk? (Diamond Lake, NZ.)

Wanaka, Day 2.

Not sore from snowboarding for the first time EVER!! … Miracles do happen! Could be thanks to that (SO GOOD) soak in the spa yesterday. Those things should be compulsory in all holiday houses, like toilets.

Spent a lazy Sunday morning sitting on the balcony soaking up the spring sunshine with a cuppa tea and boysenberry jam toast. Didn’t even see the boys until after ten because they were downstairs glued to the foosball table battling all the cousins.

No snow fun today, though the boys kept asking. Plenty of other stuff to do!

Wanaka Skate Park

Walked to town so the caffeine junkies could get their coffee hit, stopping off at the skate park on the way so the boys could hoon around for a while.

See the big bowl behind them? Every time our nearly 3 year old nephew went near it I shat myself. But he handled all the ramps and avoided the holes like a pro.
Look at these jokers – delinquents, the lot of them. GO GET A JOB!

I was surprised at how advanced it was; lots of rails and ramps, quarter pipes and two big, deep bowls. See the bowl behind them? Every time (nearly) 3 year old nephew went near it I shat myself. Unnecessarily, as it turned out, he has riding skillz. And when Finn jumped into the steepest-sided, swimming-pool sized one I had visions of having to call firefighters to get him out, but then he ran up the wall like Spider-Man.

After they burned off some energy, we had morning tea at –

A Lovely Cafe

…I can’t remember where we went. There’s plenty of great places in Wanaka. You’ll be right; just let your nose follow the aromas of coffee and freshly baked pastry.

After that we hit the famous…

Wanaka Dinosaur Park!

Image by Douglas Van Bossuyt
This loch’s Nessie is a bit less shy. And since she’s Kiwi her name is probably ‘Nussie’. Image by Douglas Van Bossuyt.

The younger kids were instantly doing laps on the brontosaurus slide…

… / diplodocus / brachiosaurus / generic sauropod slide?


… while the big kids took turns in the nice relaxing whirly barf chair. Had a flashback to the first time we came here, spinning four-year-old Macy. Now she’s practically driving!

Has he hurled yet?
No barfing until you’ve stopped spinning thank youuuu!

The lake foreshore is also a favourite for running around, chasing seagulls, skipping stones, finding interesting pebbles and bits of flotsam and jetsam…

Lake Wanaka New Zealand black and white

Also… ducklings!

*squeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeee

Picked up lunch at our favourite bakery The Doughbin, then walked home. You can walk everywhere in Wanaka. I love it!

You can walk everywhere out of Wanaka too. This whole region is full of tramping tracks of all lengths and difficulties, from a quick, wheelchair-friendly stroll to multi-day trips into the Mt Aspiring National Park wilderness that are of the take-your- tent- and -snow- gear- and-survival- Mars- Bars variety. Wanaka’s just one of many regions in NZ with incredible walking that I look forward to enjoying more of with the boys when they’re a bit older, but in the meantime we’re sticking to walks under 5km.

So later that arvo we opted for a 40 minute walk to the lookout at Diamond Lake. The drive out took less than 10 minutes and it was an absolutely stunning day.

Lake Wanaka reflections

Even gorgeous shot from the window of a speeding car. I need to hire a bike and come out here sometime!
Glendhu Bay. Even gorgeous photographed from the window of a speeding car. We need to bike it sometime!

We parked at DOC’s typically well-signposted trailhead, climbed the fence stile and the boys promptly took off.

This is my fence style.
This is my fence style.

The walk starts off flat and easy but there’s climbing ahead. You need elevation to get the best views!

Diamond Lake walk

Can you make heads or tails from this picture?
The Treble Cone snow field is over that way somewhere.
Aaah, pretty snowy mountains! The Treble Cone snowfield is up there somewhere.
Don't know what this is, but I like it.
Don’t know what kind of plant this is, but I like it. Needed a macro lens. And a tripod. Dammit!

There’s a few steep switchbacks, and then once you round the lake you climb quite a lot of stairs up to the lookout. There’s some flat sections between the stepped parts though, so it’s not all nonstop climbing. Didn’t see the rest of the boys for dust so I took my time with my SIL and her youngest, who found all the steps a bit much and decided to add an extra 16kg challenge to Mummy’s workout.

Mr. 3: Where's Daddy? Bec: He's up at the lookout. Mr. 3 (2 mins later): Where's Daddy? Bec: I told you, he's up at the lookout. So where's Daddy? Mr. 3: I don't know.
Mr. 2.5: Where’s Daddy?
Bec: He’s up at the lookout.
Mr. 2.5 (2 mins later): Where’s Daddy?
Bec: I told you, he’s up at the lookout. Remember? …Where’s Daddy?
Mr. 2.5: …I don’t know.

About 15 minutes later we were at the lookout too, where the boys were busily throwing rocks at the lake.

One day we'll come back and go further - to the Lake Wanaka lookout and the Rocky
One day we’ll come back and push on further – to the Lake Wanaka lookout and the Rocky Mountain summit which opens up even more stunning vistas. That trip’s an additional hour each way. Bookmarked!

We couldn’t see or hear anyone on the track below, and no little cartoon birdies, stars or curses of pain came floating up from the trees, so we figured our rock throwing wasn’t damaging anyone. I was most impressed when a couple of times Finny even made it to the lake! He’s got a bloody good arm.

Mirror, mirror...

Mirror, mirror...
Mirror, mirror…
We had to call Finn back
Good work, boys! Now it’s time to walk back.

Had a very nice dinner at the Speight’s Ale House when we got back. The evening’s entertainment was also included, as we sat outside watching the boys playing in the green reserve that adjoined the beer garden, racing laps on the footpath and playing with some other kids.

We saw ducklings again too!
Leaf and stick races were popular, although they left the stripping to your thermal underwear and splashing around in the freezing cold creek to the other kids, who were presumably part polar bear.


On the drive home I spotted some sunset colours starting so I bailed on the boys, jumping out of the car at the corner and sprinting for the lake. I ran across a football field (literally a football field, it had goals and everything), plus the equivalent of another football field, dodged traffic across the road and down to the waterfront.

I did get some shots in time but I wouldn’t recommend running that kind of distance after having just drunk a pint of beer and eaten half a bowl of seafood chowder and three pork sliders. Plus chips. I got the shot, and as a bonus didn’t puke. I really needed to pee though.

Next post: back to beautiful Arrowtown!

– Michelle

Lake Wanaka sunset
Such a beautiful, calm, serene twilight! It was pretty special, especially since I have seen how this lake rages when the wind is up.
Totally worth it!
Totally worth the impromptu run!





8 Comments Add yours

  1. Mila says:

    It is my absolute lifetime dream to visit New Zealand. And it’s like I’ve just been there a little with this post.
    As usual, gorgeous photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle says:

      Thanks Bookie! 😉 Though, as usual, mere photos don’t do it justice. You absolutely must go, it’s not just visually stunning, the people are lovely too, and they are the best at making the most of their rugged outdoors. My first trip there with a friend way before I met hubby was over 6 weeks long which I would argue is a good start, though we still didn’t get to everything we wanted to see. The more places I tick, the more I seem to add! 🙂


  2. Robyna says:

    Looks so awesome. How gorgeous are those ducklings? Isaac sends love and hopes for a play date soon 🙂


    1. Michelle says:

      Yes I lurve the duckies! 🙂 As to play dates, when does surfing start? And do they also teach adults? 😀


  3. Looks like you had a great time in Wanaka! It is now and will always remain one of my most favourite towns in the entire world. Golly I miss New Zealand! Thanks for the link to my blog too. Now I’m off to check out more of yours! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle says:

      You’re welcome Jenny! Wow that’s high praise indeed from someone so well travelled as yourself! Wanaka is a special place that’s for sure, a mutual love of it was one of things I had in common with hubby when we first started dating. 🙂 I’m kind of torn blogging about it though because I think everyone should go there, but I don’t want TOO many people there because I’m also quite selfish 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear ya there! I would hate for it to get overrun like a certain neighbour it has. But I still can’t help myself, I have to tell people how great it is!

        Liked by 1 person

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