Treble Cone is also reputated for off-piste skiing for advanced skiers and snowboarders. You will find here more advanced terrain for the off-piste powder skiing enjoyment. Just look at the snow/weather forcats for the next powder session.
Treble Cone offers one of the best freeriding terrain in the region for snowboarders. There are great natural half pipes on the upper mountain and a terrain park is built each year.
Its not really off the beaten path as its the quickest road from Wanaka to Queenstown but most tour buses and people travel around the gorge rather than up over this road, especially in Winter.
Its the highest tar-sealed road in Australasia and takes around 1 hour. Make sure you stop at the Cardrona Hotel which is around 15 minutes from Wanaka.
Its a great way to spend half a day or day exploing this valley and there are many activities at Cardrona itself from skiing, horse riding, snow farm and alpine cross country, quad bike adventure and monster trucks. All for a town with a population of 150!
As you leave Wanaka and drive towards Queenstown for about 10 mins, you will come across a fences with lots of bras hanging on. You may even find some G-strings hanging there.
I dont have any idea who or how it started.
But I guess someone just hang them there and many travllers do like wise when they came across this way.
Its amazing since they comes in all sizes and colours and they dont smell at all. Must be the long hours baking and suntanning under the heat.
Look out for it as it is about 5 mins away from Wanaka and 5mins before Cardrona Hotel.
There is a fences of shoes on may way at Arthur's Pass.
Arriving in Cromwell from Queenstown, we saw numerous Fruit Trees & Vineyards, surrounded by poplar trees in a Valley. There are a lot of wineries in Cromwell and surrounds, the area is idealy suited to them. The vineyards had not quite turned colour when we were there, still nice with the Mountains in the background.
Some of the Orchards let you pick your own fruit. There is quite a variety...Cherries, Apricots, Peaches, Nectarines, Plums, Apples and Pears, with most of them in season from December throught to March, and Apples & Pears from February - September.
Cromwell was settled by miners after the discovery of gold in the region in 1863.
Originally located at the junction of the Kawarau and Clutha Rivers, a part of Cromwell was relocated after the construction of the Clyde Dam in 1993. The construction of the dam formed what is now Lake Dunstan, causing what was formerly the town centre to become flooded. Many of the historic, pioneer buildings were saved and relocated to a historic area located on the lake shore, so don't forget to check them out!
Another waterfall in the Haast Pass and located close to the road, is the Thunder Creek Falls. This is a graceful and narrow 28m waterfall, dropping from the level of the glacier ice when a glacier was carving out the future bed of the Haast River 10,000 years ago. They fall into the pretty Blue Haast river.
In the Gates of Haast gorge just above the waterfall track, you will come across enormous boulders and steep walls.
There is a car park and a short walk of 5-10 minutes that is wheelchair-accessible. Do stop and have a look!
There is wheelchair access to the Falls.
This is a hard alpine route that is in the Mt Aspiring National Park.
The best way to do it is to start form the Aspiring Hut which is some 9kms or 2 hours in from the Raspberry Creek Car Park. From the hut, you climb quite steeply upto an area 1800 meters high known as the pylon. From here you are in alpine territory thru to the Cascade Saddle which then flattens out onto the Dart Hut. From Aspiring Hut it will take you 4-5 hours to get to Cascade saddle and in all around 8-10 hours from hut to hut. Do not do this track in bad weather, there have been a number of tragedies here with river crossings and the steep parts adding to its difficulty. Don't be put off though, the views are tremendous.
Best to check conditions with the DOC (Department of Conservation) office in downtown Wanaka before you leave.
To get there take the road from Wanaka on the west side of the Lake past Glendu Bay, down the Matukituki valley to the Raspberry Creek Carpark which is along an unsealed road around 1 hours from Wanaka,
You will find one of the oldest hotel in New Zealand here at Cardrona.
This is the central attraction of this small little township.
Cardrona Hotel is located 15 mins away from downtown Wanaka. It was built in 1863 among the hills and valleys of the Crown Range.
There is a general merchant and post and telegraph building which was built in 1871.
A few houses can be seen along the quiet town.
From Wanaka, we headed through the Haast Pass to the west coast. On the way, there are some nice waterfalls to stop and look at. One of them was Fantail Falls, to the south of Haast Pass not far from Thunder Creek Falls. When plenty of water is plummeting over the 15m waterfall is when it is most likely to look like a fan. They can be seen from the road, but it is best to take the bush walk to the riverbed to appreciate them fully.
There is a sign posted car park, and the walk is no more than 5-10 minutes so it is a good place to stop and stretch those legs!
From Wanaka, we were heading to the west coast, so we followed State Highway 6
across the Clutha River at Albert Town and onto Lake Hawea Hydro Dam, 10kms from Wanaka. This lake is vivid blue because of the depth of the water - 410 metres.
The road then follows the shore of Lake Hawea to the Neck, a narrow strip of land separating Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. Stop along the way at the viewing point for views of Silver Island and some interpretation panels.
The lake beds of Hawea and Wanaka were gouged out by the Hawea and Wanaka Glaciers. The strip of land known as the Neck, was where a branch of the Hawea Glacier joined the Wanaka Glacier.
The road drops to lake level before rising over the Neck, and then follows the shores of Lake Wanaka.
Leaving the head of Lake Wanaka, the road then runs through an open valley to Makarora before entering Mount Aspiring National Park.
The Haast Pass is the lowest crossing over the Main Divide (563 metres above sea level) and is a scenic route.
Years ago, in the 1800's,a gold prospector called Charles Cameron is considered to be the first to find the pass and buried his flask there as proof. Close behind him came Julius von Haast who named the pass after himself and claimed to be the first pakeha to have travelled through it, but the discovery of Cameron's flask discredited this claim.
The road is sealed, and there is plenty of beauty to see along the way. Located at the Pass itself, (563 metres above sea level), a memorial marks the summit of the pass and acknowledges the dedication of those who built the road.
There are nice waterfalls, places for those wanting to stop, have a rest, or just to enjoy at Picnic lunch. These are Boiler flat, where an old boiler is rusting away, Davis Flat & Pleasant Flat.
The Alpine Fault line is 4ks east of the township of Haast the road, we didn't see it, maybe you will!
its not off the beaten path, as its the most direct route between Wanaka and over to Arrowtown or Queenstown. It is a very high road and susceptible to ice and snow during winter months, but the views are stunning.
Its only 56kms long with Cardrona skifield and town at the mid point. The other way round (SH 6) takes about 20-30 minutes longer through the gorge.
One of the southern glacier lakes. It is separate with its neighbour, Lake Wanaka, by a narrow isthumus called the neck.
This was a scenic stop we'd while driving from Makarora towards Wanaka. Worth a stop for the magnificant view!
Lake Hawea is about 35 kilometres long and the water looks more greenish while it's sister lake - Lake Wanaka - is more blueish.
It's a good site to stretch those tired legs after a pretty long drive.