Our New Zealand Camper Van Vacation – Day 5

We had just passed Lake Wanaka this morning when people started falling from the sky.  Beautifully colored pink and yellow and red parachutes carried those people as they landed near the Wanaka Airport.

new zealand south island

Photo by Bruce N. Meyer

Since weather had prevented us from climbing on the glaciers and because the sky filled with falling people was a perfect blue, we once again altered our plans and turned into the Wanaka Airport.

Our dilemma was which flight-seeing tour to book – one with glaciers only, one with Lord of the Rings filming sites, one that included a cruise and Milford Sound. The budget and time constraints prevailed, so the hour-long glacier tour was it.

But we had a couple of hours to kill, so back we motored into the town of Wanaka that we had simply zoomed past earlier. And so glad that this detour in plans brought us into Wanaka.

Mike – our campground host this night – said Lake Wanaka is one of those places that, in the heat of the summer, people can be found running to the water, stripping their clothes off as they go.New Zealand south island

I’m pretty sure he was exaggerating, but since it’s early spring in New Zealand, it was a little too chilly for any serious strip-tease into the lake’s icy cold waters.

But we picnicked by its shores and reveled in the stunning beauty of this community that we almost drove past.

New Zealand Milford Sound

 

Then, it was time to return to the airport, and the second bout of good fortune for the day. Due to a conflict in scheduling, our plane was required to go to Milford Sound much farther south on the South Island to pick up a couple from Great Britain. 

 

So although we had paid for just a 60-minute flight, we received almost two hours in the air, plus a little time to explore Milford Sound.

Milford Sound New Zealand

 

Our flight took us over snow-capped mountain, glaciers and waterfalls, and a valley where scenes from the Lord of the Rings triology was filmed.

 

 

Milford Sound New Zealand

 

 

 

A very good day indeed in the skies above our little Maui camper van.

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