Sometimes there is need for a rest day and this could be the perfect place.
I do want to go and see the beginning of the Clutha River/ Mata-Au, the second longest river in New Zealand and the longest in the South Island. The ultimate source of the river is at the head of the Makarora River, close to the saddle of the Haast Pass, which flows into the northern end of Lake Wanaka.
A bike ride to the start of the Clutha from Wanaka township – the track begins to the right of the playground on the lakefront seems like a good idea. Once past Beacon Point, the recreation ground known as ‘The Outlet’ opens up before you. The track continues along the riverbank all the way to Albert Town. It is particularly scenic, with constant views of the Clutha’s emerald-green water, the odd trout lurking in the shadows and the tangy aroma of the manuka trees.
Dasha and I stayed at the Outlet Holiday Park. arriving after dark and after driving along an unsealed road. I had quite an adventure parking by our cabin and left in the morning, after a few photos. Little did I realise that we were staying at the source of the Clutha *sigh*
We found a lovely bakery on the waterfront and had dinner in a bar (I don’t like bars, they creep me out) but I had the best ever garlic butter there. It’s almost worth a return visit.
From humble beginnings over 70 years ago as a wooden fence post charged with keeping stock from wandering, the Wanaka Willow has become the beautiful tree we see today with photographers flocking from around the world, all trying to capture the perfect photo