Chapter 9: Fantail Falls and Rippon Vineyard
2 December 2015
We had the entire day to explore Wanaka so our next stop was Fantail Falls!
Actually I wanted to explore the other waterfalls but it would require us to hike quite a distance and we were not in the right outfits and we were not mentally or physically prepared. This 2 minute hike was fine lol.
Actually in less than a minute of walking into the forest, we could already hear and see the waterfalls.
Fantail Falls is a 23 metre waterfall, located in Mt Aspiring National Park, along Haast Highway. It was easily accessible, and the water drops into the crystal clear Haast River.
While we could clearly see the waterfalls from where we were standing, we thought it was still too far away. We thought of crossing the shallow river but the uncountable annoying sandflies fluttering around us made us think twice.
I was still thinking about it but guess who was already taking off her shoes, getting ready to cross the river? Corrine! Upon seeing her do that, all of us followed suit.
The water was unexpectedly freezing cold and I was seriously questioning my life decisions while standing in the middle of the river. The rocks beneath the water was pretty sharp and slippery so I could not speed up. I could not feel my feet because it was numb from the cold lol.
I thought it was stupid to turn back so I persisted and continued to cross the river. I finally made it!!
It was pretty painful to walk on the rocks. Perhaps abandoning my shoes at the other side of the river was not such a good idea. I suffered a pretty nasty cut on my feet and it bled profusely for a while. You might want to carry your shoes with you if you decide to cross the river.
The really rocky pathway. Please be careful when you walk on it.
However, it was all worth it as we were able to see the waterfalls closely. We could have cross again to be even nearer to the waterfalls but the water seemed deeper there. By this time, the sandflies were clinging all over us and annoyed the crap out of all of us. Oh well, all part of the wild nature right? Lol.
I really love how clear the waters were. It seemed that no one would choose to have a picnic here due to the presence of the kingdoms of sandflies but it was still a worthwhile stopover.
Time to leave the waterfalls but not before spotting these beautiful wild flowers by the bushes that matches my yellow dress. Lol.
We had to find the toilet after all that excitement. Being in the wild, it can sometimes be challenging to find a toilet. Thankfully we found one about 20 minutes away.
This was a site for outdoor camping and the view was spectacular.
We made our way back to Wanaka town. The Fantail Falls was about an hour away from the town so we were back in town in no time. Our next stopover was Rippon Vineyard.
Rippon Vineyard is definitely one of the tourists’ attraction in Wanaka. Please bear in mind that this is a private land and you need to make reservations to go on a tour around the vineyard.
They have wine tasting tours available but since none of us drink, we did not really want to sign up for any tour. Instead we took a few minutes just to look at the scenery.
Actually we were waiting for the staff to ask some questions about going for a tour without the wine tasting but they were too occupied with the tourists from China that we were cleanly ignored. Oh well. The things we see, like this rustic little lorry was enough to keep us happy.
This place really reminded me of Chexbres Village in Switzerland. The vineyard was by the lake and the mountains too. Every place has its own beauty thus I think it would be a great injustice for me to even compare the two.
Both are good experiences nonetheless. We had some time before sunset so we have to do what we came here to do. To look for That Wanaka Tree!!