Sights & Sounds: Lake Hawea, Wanaka
I would say most roads on the South Island of New Zealand are just beyond words. The congenial surroundings includes long stretch of straight roads, with hectares of open grasslands, distant mountains, and occasional herds of cows and sheep. All these are in a great cosmos; all these are situated in a little region we call Middle Earth; where really, the magic of God’s creation happens.
How to get there?
We headed down from Fox Glacier Township towards the Wanaka region (approximately a 3 hours drive; nonstop), which will ultimately bypass the pristine Lake Hawea. So beautiful… …
And since we are passing Lake Hawea, why not have a respite at the Lake Hawea Hotel to soak in the cerulean crystal clear waters of Lake Hawea! A little pit stop before entering the main Wanaka Township! Sounds like the great plan! 😀
Taking a very straightforward cruise, drive on Haast Highway (a long drive of approximately 1.5 hours from Fox Glacier Township), towards Haast Township. Continue along Haast Pass-Makarora Road, and onto Makarora-Lake Hawea Road. Then make a left onto the filter lane on Capell Avenue. And voilà, Lake Hawea Hotel is on the right! From Haast Township to Lake Hawea Hotel, it is an approximately another 1.5 hours more.
If you continue on Makarora-Lake Hawea Road, you would be driving towards Albert Town, which will soon lead you to main Wanaka Township.
Place to stay: Lake Hawea Hotel
Because we will not be passing Lake Hawea again, we wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to just be sluggish for a day or two by the Lake, doing absolutely nothing. And when I mean nothing, I really do mean snapping photos of course. Haha! 😀
Get some groceries done prior to Lake Hawea!
There’s really nothing much to buy at Lake Hawea, though there’s a humble grocery store within the Hawea community. Cafés and restaurants are also available as well. Heard Sailz Restaurant and Bar is worth a stop by, though we did not try that- we survived mostly on sandwiches, cookies and whatnot because we wanted to leave the binge-eating for when we enter Wanaka Township!
‘Cause you save some here, you indulge some there, right? 😀 Haha!
The best thing about Lake Hawea Hotel is that is situated close to the highway heading to main Wanaka Township; which allows for extreme easy access. We could practically see the highway from our balcony!
With a clean spacious room layout, clear glass slider door that allows maximum natural sun rays to shine in, huge counter to dump all our groceries, a simple armchair (which J is always fascinated about) and, of course… the view of the star attraction; Lake Hawea- just within our peripheral version, this respite is just heaven on Earth!
Just slide open the door, and the view of the Lake is there. Perfecto!
At SGD$86.25/night per room, I would say this hotel is reasonably priced. Though based on individual’s budget, preference, and travel style, this might be very much otherwise.
J and I are not into the super high-end accommodation, though who wouldn’t want it right? While (J always calls it) Princess Living, is not the deciding factor here, a decently well maintained, clean ambience is a MUST for us.
All I can say is that we each have found the travel partner to last. Having travelled together for so long now, we know each other’s standards; for cleanliness (me having the lowest of low threshold for it, which has now subtly rubbed off some onto J), budget, location, etc.
And yes, to some, this may already be regarded as Princess Living, but it’s all about the travel style. What you splurge, and what you stinge on, is really on what you have higher regard for. And when we splurge on something, we always make up for it in other areas. Because, obviously we are not made of money too. Haha! 😀
So yeah, Lake Hawea Hotel was definitely to our satisfaction!
What you might experience?
En Route To The Wanaka Region From Fox Glacier Township
The magic happens along the stretch of Makarora-Lake Hawea Road. Well, excellent weather too does enhance the magic!
And how do you know the magic has happened?
You cannot ever miss it! It’s just too eye-catching because the entire vista is awash with the natural beauty of Lake Wanaka, along with the clear mountain hills as backdrop. Coming from Fox Glacier Township, you would first reach the tip North of Lake Wanaka on the right. And even then, it is already insanely swooning! Not being melodramatic at all.
I recall us having a conversation similar to this… …
‘OH MY GOSH! LOOK!’
‘Shall we stop?’
‘I think there more lookouts ahead, we can drive further.’
‘OH MY, IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL!’
‘Take out the camera!’
‘Oh no, it’s at the back!’
‘Damn it. HANDPHONE!’
We did stop awhile to snap photos once we found an empty space for vehicles to safely park by the highway. And it was just even more gorgeous stepping out of the car, and viewing it through the lens. The natural sunlight was insanely good; perfect lighting, perfect landscape! At that moment, it was really the happiest day of our lives. Literally!
We noticed that road works were happening slightly up ahead to clear rock falls, and soon, cars were in tandem on the highway. After capturing the pictures I wanted, we joined in the queue, and admired the view from inside the car. Aaaa… … That’s the life…
Lake Hawea is definitely the younger sister in this Wanaka region, as compared to Lake Wanaka. Wanting a more private time? Lake Hawea is the place to be. Away from the main Wanaka Town, this pristine Lake gives you solace within nature.
Picture does speak a thousand words, but trust me when I say, you need to be there to really believe it. Believe that there’s just so much more out there in this world. Believe that there’s so much beauty in this world.
So get out there, and explore! Remember to Travel Whenever!