Wishing Wanaka’s Water Was Warmer While we Waterfall-ed


A low-key weekend compared to our usual adventurous romping, but still a great one.  The week started off fabulously, with a “rave in the cave” to celebrate our friend Eliza’s birthday on Tuesday.  To clarify, by “rave” we really just mean cheap speakers, an iPod, and a couple of bottles of wine. We had two cars packed to brim set out to Long Beach, where we camped out a couple weeks back.  Song highlights include: No Air by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, No Speak Americano, Me and Julio down by Schoolyard and of course, a little Avicii.   There were about 12 of us this time around, so it’s safe to say things got a little more out of hand.  After recapping the night in the morning, all while refusing to get out of our sleeping bags, we decided to walk back on the beach and play in the sand.  We started this game where someone scribbles some random lines in the sand, and someone else has to try to make it into something distinguishable.  I was impressed with some of the creativity within the group, but then Max made everything into something phallic and the game ended…fairly typical for Max.  We convinced a couple of the others to wiggle out of their bags and jump in for a quick swim before class, but by this point the waters absolutely frigid even when the sun is shining hard.


No pictures from the cave...but here's some of us chasing some sheep

Usually we’re all out of town off to adventure by Thursday night, but we decided to stick around this week and take some SLU kids visiting from Australia out for a night in town.  We must have jumped between 4 or 5 difference bars, chasing the good music and vibes.  Highlights include several strange hats, freestyle battles, convincing a night-shift construction worker to take off his shirt, and our friend Hannah desperately trying to convince Velvet Burger to re-open and our other friend Zoe kicking the door in frustration, ultimately breaking it and sounding off a fierce alarm.  I didn’t witness this firsthand, but it sounds like they made a clean breakaway.  Zoe promised to buy Velvet burger at least 3x a week for the rest of the semester to pay them back for the damage…good deal on both ends, I think.


Understandably sluggish by Friday morning, we sat in the driveway with our packs for a while before heading off to Wanaka.  We ended up taking an accidental detour that luckily turned out to be extremely scenic (I think most detours around here are…).  A 5.5 hour drive ended up taking about 7 but as always, hours around here fele shorter because of the good conversation and tunes.  Our car finally met up with the two others we were traveling with, and we whipped up a delicious meal of pasta and vegetables. Most of us were still catching up on sleep from the night before, and passed out in our sleeping bags before 9pm.



The next day we had a relatively short hike planned to check out the glaciers.  Emma whipped up delicious breakfast burrittos and we didn’t exactly rush to get the day started.  Dave and Max dug up sleeping pads from our carefully packed trunk and started some sort of make-shift boxing game.  They look a lot more graceful in the picture than in real life…

Power stance


The hike was gradual and wider than usual, making it plenty social.  By the time we reached our destination, we had only spent 2 hours hiking.  The glacier were unreal, although we couldn’t help but wonder how much of them will have melted away if we returned to the same spot in a decade.  Some of the glacier was bright blue, which I found out happens when ice becomes incredibly dense.


We saw a waterfall about a half mile off from the “end” of the hike, and decided to wander on up there for a shower.  The rocks ended up being pretty loose, making each step more treacherous than the next.  All of us made it up there and back safely, though…even Zoe!


Sweet rock carved smooth by dozens of years of glacial water

We decided to head back to our favorite campsite for the night, at Moke Lake in Queenstown.  This is my third time to that campsite, but the view never seizes to do much other than take my breath away.  Set in between dozens of golden mountains on each side, all reflected on this stunningly still lake, you can’t help but feel like it’s some sort of a hideaway.  That night we were relatively low-key that night as well, after being somewhat comatose as a result of one of the most epic burritos I’ve yet to experience.  Although we wanted to sit around and admire the stars, the cold sent most of us sprinting to our sleeping bags.


Honking to get all the cows out of the road on the way out of Moke

The next morning we didn’t have much of a plan.  Luckily Queenstown never seizes to disappoint, and a group of us found a perfect climbing tree that sat over the water and admired the sunny day.

Skipping rocks by the boats

About 6 other St. Lawrence students couldn’t pass up the opportunity to skydive because, well, YOLO (you only live once).  All in all, certainly one of our more relaxed weekends but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Also, I slept more nights in my sleeping bag than without it this week.  Sign of a great one, I think. Life is always great here.

ALSO just added a ton of new pictures to the “picture” tab. Check it.


2 responses »

  1. Oh Alli ! What a beautiful place. I can see why you love it so much. I love your adventurous spirit and the fact that you are taking the opportunity to see all that New Zealand has to offer. Make the most of it! I love you. XOXO Mom

  2. Spectacular views – seems so tranquil – What an amazing experience you are able to partake in..XOXOXOX Aunt Pattil

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