South New Zealand | Wanaka, Wakanda

This was one of the most grueling hikes we did, not because it had tons of rocks or anything like that really, there was zero scrambling, but it's just that we're two city folk walking up a very steep hill exposed to the sun for what the sign said was to be 6-8 hours return. That being said, we managed even with a billion breaks to finish it in 4 hours return which I guess meant the sign was meant to give a conservative estimate! 

Started before the sun could roast us, haha.

Started before the sun could roast us, haha.

Yup, that's the parking lot above, but like from only half way up.

 

We then made it to the top! Some really kind couple took these photos off our cameras and we pretty much used each other to keep pace and to have company over the long trip up! They were much more fit than we were - It's hard to scale the height of our trek, but imagine hiking and realising how high up you are because you can see helicopters flying at a level below you.

Probably my favourite shot from up top, the ridge leading up to the photospot is super intimidating with the crazy wind and while I wouldn't call it a cliff on either side, it isn't exactly safe landing either with steep hills and spiky plants.. 

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We finished it, had some lunch (sandwiches for days, and bulk "scoop and weigh" snacks were life savers on this day), and promptly headed out to Queenstown for a sweet drive in the ever changing weather. It got so wet and foggy which means moody photos! Shots below of the drive to Queenstown.

Jonathan Tay