Just north of the bustling tourist hub of Queenstown sits the quaint city of Wanaka (wanna-kah). When we arrived the weather was less than ideal for hiking so we opted to catch a matinee at Wanaka’s famous Cinema Paradiso. Any other day we surely would have braved the rain; however, word on the street (and in the tourist books) was that this theater knew how to WOLO (in a relaxed kind of style), so, of course, we had to check it out!
Cinema Paradiso is unlike any other theater out there – we felt like we were watching the latest Blockbuster from the comfort of our own home! The establishment offered an assortment of libations, ice cream, and instead of traditional cinema seating, lounge chairs, love seats, and full-on sofas! To top it all off, they held an intermission and served us freshly baked cookies! Long story short, if you find yourself in Wanaka on a drizzling, chilly autumn day, keep this place in mind!
Fortunately, the sun was beaming when we awoke so we set our sites on Rob Roy – the area’s hanging glacier! After 54 kilometers (34 miles) of washboard gravel roads, nine rivers to ford (no joke, Blue Rhino crossed nine streams without any mishaps), and swerving around free-roaming cattle, we made it to the Rob Roy Glacier Valley Tramp! From the carpark we walked approximately 90 minutes until we suddenly found ourselves at the base of a massive wall of schist strewn with thundering waterfalls and cradling the icy tongues of the enormous Rob Roy glacier. The scene was utterly and totally humbling as we sat craning our necks, eating our PB&Js, and thinking about the awesomeness of this WOLO-adventure!
Next stop: The Haast Pass
Song lyrics: Rodney Atkins “Take a Back Road”
– Go. Change your state of mind.