NewZealand Oceania Travel

Most memorable drive in New Zealand

As the title reads, this blog is for the most beautiful drive we experienced during our stay in New Zealand. While the entire country is scenic and no matter where you go, there is something to look and experience, the drive we did for going to Mount cook from Lake Tekapo has to stand out.  This was on day 3 of the visit, and we were already enamored by the sight at the Lake Tekapo. We had seen the lake on previous evening, and also did a star gazing trip in the night, but we made sure to visit the lake in the morning again, for its crystal clear blue waters. We immediately set off towards Lake Pukaki after this.

Beautiful views of the lake and mountains on the drive

The drive started from along the countryside and we could see so many farms and a huge number of sheep along the highway. We also spotted some small tourist airports along the way for scenic flights and we definitely plan to come back and experience them. After driving for about 45 mins, we started to see a big water body ahead of us. While we had heard about Lake Pukaki, nothing could have prepared us for the marvel we saw as we approached the eastern side of the lake.

Lake Pukaki from above (Drone shot)

The water looked crystal clear, and turquoise in color, and we kept discussing which spot should we stop at. After a few mini stops, we finally decided to put our heads down at a stop near the lake which looked pretty empty.  The car couldn’t get to the lake all the way, so we walked down to the lake and were awestruck looking at the scenery in front of us. Firstly, we couldn’t believe how clear and turquoise the lake is. Secondly, the mountains were looking stunning, all snowcapped. Thirdly, the sun was completely out, with clear blue skies.

We just sat there admiring the scene in front of us. After some time, we decided to fly our drone so Shobhit quickly got it from the car and we got some amazing flying shots here. You can see a bunch of them in our 100 seconds of flying through NZ video as well.

Drone video of our roadtrip in 100 seconds

After spending considerable amount of time here, we decided it was time to head over to Mount cook village. So we started driving towards it, and soon we were seeing the other side of the lake. On this western side, there were a lot more yellow larches, so we did a stop every now and then taking pictures with them. After driving another 30 mins, we crossed the lake, and were soon greeted by mountains on all sides, none better than Mount Cook staring right in front of us. We decided to stop along the way here again and take some shots. More yellow larches followed along the way.

Beautiful Larches along the lake

We finally got to the Mount Cook village, which has some small shops and restaurants, and a visitor center overlooking the mountains. We knew we didn’t have a lot of time to do some hiking trails, so once again we decided to check out the village and soak in the scenery, and set up a mini picnic and grab some home made lunch.

View from the visitor center


Staring down Mount Cook

Our next destination was Wanaka, which was another 2.5 hours or so of a drive, so we started towards it. On our way back, we first backtracked the western side of lake Pukaki again, soaking in the entire landscape once again, and then we were back to the countryside drive.

Finding the Wanaka Tree all for our self at the end of the long day

If you have another day or two in the area, there are some other smaller lakes along this drive which would be worth checking out. There are also some small towns like Twizel, Omarama along the way if you need a quick stopover for fuel/rest.

Chilling at Wanaka Lake (Drone shot)

We were able to get back to Wanaka before sunset , and see the famous Wanaka tree, but we weren’t tired even a little, after what had been the best bay of our drive in NZ.

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