When we first arrived in Queenstown I was a bit taken aback by how busy it was. After days of soaking up near solitude it was jarring to drive into a busy town overrun by tourism. We left the crowds behind by hiking up to the summit of Ben Lomond. The summit at 5,735 ft offers 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.
Wanaka is a small town in the Otago Region of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park although the lake and some of the surrounding day hikes are draws in and of themselves. One such hike is the hike to Roy’s Peak. It’s a 10 mile roundtrip hike with 4,028 ft elevation gain so starting the hike early is key.
I’ve been dreaming of visiting Aoraki Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand for the past several years and suffice to say, it lived up to all expectations. A must do hike on every visitor’s list to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is the Hooker Valley Track. It was one of our favorite hikes during our time spent on the South Island and one I’d highly recommend as it’s both easy and breath takingly beautiful. The swing bridges, a novelty to most Americans, were super fun too!