Australasia / New Zealand / Travel Tips

Adventures in New Zealand: Wonderful Wanaka – Clutha River/Mata-Au

After spending the morning at Lake Hawea and Kidds Bush, we had to bring Little E and J back home for their mid-afternoon nap.

On the way back to our apartment in Wanaka, we stopped off for a short while in the centre of town to pick up some supplies for dinner.

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Sleepy kiddies at Lake Wanaka

Although J and Little E were sleepy little kiddies, it didn’t stop them from climbing up some of the lakeside trees!

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Happy little J-bird

It was a good thing that we took advantage of the morning (which was cool but dry) to go walking around Lake Hawea, because it was very dull and rainy all afternoon.

The wet weather, however, didn’t stop us from exploring the Clutha River, one of the longest rivers in New Zealand.

We knew that the wind and the rain would keep the sandflies away, so we parked up by the banks of the Clutha River (also known as Mata-Au) near the Outlet of Lake Wanaka where there is a small carpark at the Outlet Motor Camp with beautiful views across the river.

We would shelter in the car if it started raining heavily, but in between bouts of rain, we would run down to the riverside to play on the sand.

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Enjoying a dry moment by Clutha River

Although it wasn’t a sunny afternoon with blue skies, the dark clouds just made the scenery ever more dramatic, and we were happy to spend some sandfly-free time in shorts and tees for once!

Mommy Tip: Sandflies hate the wind and rain, so if you want to visit a sandfly prone area, pick a day that isn’t hot and sunny!

The riverside walking path was very wide and flat, and well sheltered by trees and would be quite easy to traverse with a stroller or wheelchair. If the kids were a little bit older, we might have taken raincoats and wellies along and gone for a walk from the Lake Wanaka Outlet to the Albert Town Recreation Reserve.

However, all J wanted to do was dig in the sand, so we decided not drag him around the place when he was content to play by the riverside.

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Digging an irrigation ditch

Whilst the Barn Owl and I took turns strolling up and down the riverbank with Little E, J busied himself digging irrigation ditches using a piece of driftwood and decorating it with twigs.

For more information on the Clutha River Walking Track click here

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