WHAT YOU WON’T FIND IN TRAVEL GUIDES: BLUE POOLS NEW ZEALAND

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New Zealand stole my heart last year when I went over to explore the South Island – twice. I’ve been skydiving over Queenstown, heli skiing on top of The Remarkables, I’ve enjoyed a hot onsen overlooking the Shotover River, I’ve hiked Coronet Peak, I’ve driven up to Milford Sound, I’ve experienced the Shotover Jet and I’ve skied down the slopes at Cardrona, plus much much more. On my third trip to the South Island on the weekend, I found myself exploring Lake Wanaka and the surrounding areas. I had a free afternoon spare and after hearing about Blue Pools from a friend I decided to check it out.

The Blue Pools experience starts as soon as you step into the beech forest. For about five minutes you’ll walk down a windy dirt pathway through moss covered trees and then you’ll see the first swing bridge, which crosses the Makarora River. Stop in the middle if you aren’t afraid of heights and remember to look for trout swimming in the crystal clear water.

Follow the timber footpath to a second bridge and there you will see the majestic Blue Pools. I’ll let my photos below do the talking…

You can swim in the Blue Pools so when you walk off the second swing bridge, walk down one of the many narrow dirt footpaths down to the water’s edge and enjoy a swim in the stunningly azure glacial water.

TRIP NOTES What: Blue Pools When: All year round. Best on a sunny day. Where: South Island, New Zealand How: One hour drive north of Lake Wanaka. Look out for signs on the Haast Highway. Cost: Free! Car Hire: Go Rentals New Zealand

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Note: There is no exact address for the Blue Pools New Zealand so I have included a map below. When leaving Wanaka, take Highway 84 off Ardmore Street then turn left onto State Highway 6 Makarora-Lake Hawea Road. You’ll drive along the left side of Lake Hawea and then find yourself driving on the right side of Lake Wanaka. After 50minutes or so from when you leave Lake Wanaka, you will pass a brown ‘Blue Pools’ sign and there is plenty of spots to park as you pull off the road.