Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Exploring Glendhu Bay, Wanaka


What was that I said about trying to catch up on photos and blog posts and not going exploring? Well that all went out the window this morning when I woke to this stunning view of Lake Wanaka from our front door! Hey, but at least I'm sitting here this evening doing a blog on it. Warbirds will have to wait.

While I was getting breakfast, two vehicles towing River Journey jet boats on trailers passed through the camp ground, they were launched from the boat ramp in the middle of the camp. Soon afterwards, two small buses loaded with passengers also passed by. After a short briefing they donned lifejackets, climbed on board and roared out of the bay. On their way to jet boat up the Matukituki River exploring far into the Mt Aspiring National Park. 

While we donned lifejackets, check food supplies, wheeled our inflatable to the water's edge and pushed off  in our super fast, ultra lite Takacat. And puttered out into the bay.

Glendhu Bay was a millpond and the reflections magnificent. This is looking back towards the camp ground with The Stack Conservation Area behind, including Roy's Peak on the left.

We were heading towards Paddock Bay, which is a tiny bay in the scheme of things when you look at the size of Lake Wanaka, but a good size for a little boat to explore on a perfect day. 

We'd also heard that there was good fishing in the bay and David wanted to check it out, see if he could find a some ideal spots to fish when he comes out on his own.

As you can see, the willows and poplars at the water's edge are starting to turn. Those further back haven't started yet, it must have to do with the cold off the water giving the close trees a head start. 

The very first birds we saw on the lake were our favourite Australasian Crested Grebes, a single adult followed by an adult feeding a juvenile(top right). Later on we saw two more single adults and two more adult & juvenile pairs (bottom left). Grebes are alive and thriving on Lake Wanaka thanks to the efforts of of one man in particular, John Darby.

The bird life was plentiful around the lake edge and because we were following the shoreline we ended up disturbing many flocks of ducks; mallards and paradise with the odd pair of Grey Duck (top left) and lots of small gatherings of shags. Wherever there was a fence line into the lake the top wire had a row of evenly spaced shags perched on it, any logs or rocks were also covered in shags. We also passed hundreds of Canada geese milling about under some willows feeding in the shallows way back in a swampy delta area where we couldn't take the boat (and I imagine it could well have been at least a thousand birds, there were so many)

We weren't the only ones enjoying a beautiful autumn day, two groups of kayakers passed by.

And later, on our way home, we passed this rental campervan with the family enjoying a swim. Brrrr!! It was hot but not that hot.

We saw plenty of large trout in the shallows, many raced off back into the depths as we approached but some weren't too concerned with our presence and just dawdled along beside us. When one leapt out of the water in front of us, David couldn't contain himself any longer. Out went the line and we did a few circuits trawling, but with no luck.

We headed to a small beach below Emerald Bluffs to have lunch. It's a tiny area that's obviously used by boaties; there's a public gas BBQ in the trees and even though the bluffs are on private land it looks like many walk the track up to the top. The land owners are restoring the area and there are plenty of pest traps, new plantings and signs warning about lighting fires (hence the supplied BBQ and fire extinguisher, I would think). 

We followed the track up the rock face a little way and found a comfy place to sit and have lunch. What a magnificent view- another stunning place to add to our lunch site list. Afterwards David climbed down to the rocky overhang and watched as half a dozen trout made their way over the edge of the rock shelf and into the shallows. One even came in as far as the prop on the dinghy to take a look!

After lunch we made our way quietly back along the shoreline heading for home. The road to Mt Aspiring National Park runs along behind the poplars here.

Here are a few more reflections for you.

And approaching the camp ground, which stretches right along this shoreline behind the willows.

And finally home to 'Out There' tucked in behind the trees.

David dropped me off and headed back out to see if he could catch a fish. He didn't. But never mind he has a few days to practice. 


  1. Breathtaking! The colours of the sky and lake are just unbelievable. And those!

    1. You have all this to look forward to....very soon. I always remember arriving back in NZ after any overseas travel and been amazed at how green the grass was and how blue the sky is compared with wherever we'd just visited. And especially when we'd been away for a few months. It was good to be home.


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