Wildwire Wanaka

Stories from our backyard: Wildwire Wanaka

Wildwire Wanaka

Wild Thing climb

Laurel Morrison is both an adventurous and a generous soul. Together with her husband Mark they established the world’s highest waterfall cable climb in stunning Wanaka, on the South Island New Zealand. Designed by adventurous souls for adventure seekers, Wildwire Wanaka offers three amazing climbs and enables those with no climbing experience to reach remote locations and enjoy places and sights that they might not otherwise be able to encounter. It’s all about turbo-boosting your holiday up a notch and getting hooked on those scenic views and adventure. But Laurel did not foresee that 2020 would bring such left-of-field detours such as payment for climbs with honey. Yep, that’s right. Honey. How lucky is she?

Wanaka

Lake-Wanaka Photo: Miles Holden

Wanaka is a picture-perfect town set around Lake Wanaka with Mount Aspiring National Park as a backdrop. It’s gorgeous. Wanaka is famous also as the site of the determined, solitary Willow Tree #ThatWanakaTree, which is very Insta-worthy, as well as being the anchor point of the Haast Pass, one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand. The town is easily accessible with a 60-minute drive from Queenstown Airport and a quieter option with only 11,000 residents. The town is a year-round destination with your choice of four ski fields and of course, the incredibly scenic tramping or trek options exploring the remote wilderness of Mount Aspiring National Park. The trekking highlights are the half-day Rob Roy Glacier Track and the must-do short walk to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Blue Pools. In short, Wanaka is naturally beautiful and the perfect place for Wildwire to establish their base back in 2015.

Wildwire Wanaka

Wild Thing climb

Set amongst the natural beauty of the Twin Falls waterfalls, Wildwire offers participants a truly unique experience with breathtaking views. The falls are located on private land and is part of a large farm called Cattle Flat Station. The ability to admire the beautiful blue pools, grassy plateaus and dramatic canyoning sections are exclusive to Wildwire climbers. Hundreds of steel rungs, safety cable and epic wire-bridges have been secured to the canyon walls, enabling easy access and an unforgettable climb experience. With 20+ years’ experience, the Wildwire guides have scaled the world’s greatest heights, led climbers at the base of Everest to the top of Mt Aspiring and almost everywhere in between. Wildwire take safety seriously! The team offer three climbs that range from easy to the more challenging. Go Wild is the entry level climb and is a fun and easy activity for climbers from 8 to 80. The next climb, Wild Thing, is the most popular and offers a bit more adventure and height for climbers 12+ years. Finally, the Lord of the Rungs climb leads up to the highest waterfall cable climb in the world, and descent is via helicopter. It’s truly spectacular!

Life is about experiences, not stuff…

Now, back to the honey. The onset of COVID has meant crazy and tough times for us all, and for Wildwire it delivered the additional stress of demand for full refunds, no international travellers and no income/bookings throughout lockdown. But the good news was that New Zealand were successful with their COVID restrictions and domestic travel resumed mid-year. That’s when Koha for Kiwis kicked in. In recognition of tough times, Wildwire introduced a pay-what-you-can scheme for locals and received an overwhelming response with over 1,000 Kiwis taking up the Wildwire challenge on one of their climbs. It was all about recognition of tough times and delivering a feel-good option for the local community…

Wildwire Wanaka

Go Wild climb finish

Wildwire Wanaka is more than a community-minded adventure company with a window view of the spectacular scenery of the South Island of New Zealand. The company is also dedicated to maintaining the natural integrity of the local environment and are actively involved in predator free activities. That involves both laying traplines to stop predators entering Mount Aspiring National Park as well as planting indigenous trees to encourage the native species to thrive in their natural habitat once more.

And so, as they say…. take a walk on the wild side, push your limits, and claim victory. Celebrate daring deeds and moments truly lived! There are plenty of very good reasons to support the good guys. Make sure to include Wildwire Wanaka on your wish list for your next New Zealand holiday…. I know I will be doing just that 😊

Facts:

The summer season (December-February) is traditionally the most popular time to visit. The daytime temperatures average 22 degrees Celsius and the nights are cool. The shoulder seasons just prior and after summer are also good times with less crowds but expect the daytime maximum to drop to 18 degrees. Perfect weather for all activities.

Wanaka

Roy’s Peak, Wanaka. Photo: Miles Holden

Good to know:

The lakeside town of Wanaka has the buzz of a genuine alpine town and is the ultimate hub for outdoor adventures. It’s the perfect destination for exploring the Southern Alps with Mount Aspiring National Park located on the doorstep. Wanaka also has plenty of cafes, restaurants and interesting shops for those more inclined to the quieter pursuits. You could stay for a day or 4 days, there is plenty to do! Apart from the great outdoors and Wildwire Wanaka climbs, other top highlights include some unique attractions like the 3D maze at Puzzling World, checkout one of the world’s largest private collections at the National Transport & Toy Museum and enjoy a working lavender farm with farm animals at Wanaka Lavender Farm.

Wildwire Wanaka

Wild Thing climb finish

And finally:

Australia Expat Travel (AET) specialises in exceptional holidays to Australia and New Zealand. We make it simple with our local knowledge, seamless logistics and trusted advice since 2004. Expect a bespoke itinerary curated with the big picture and the small details. Contact Us

Bruny Island Cruises

Stories from our backyard: Bruny Island Cruises

Bruny Island Cruises

The monument

Rob Pennicott used to own a fish & chip takeaway shop in Tasmania. Fishing and the Tasmanian wilderness were and still are his passion. That was over 20 years ago. Those initial passions seeded the beginnings of Bruny Island Cruises, and his company Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. Today he shares the magnificence of the Tasmanian wilderness with the world and fields over 8 journeys showcasing stunning landscapes, local gourmet produce and wines, historic sites, native wildlife, and spectacular walking experiences. Pennicott Wilderness Journeys is the award-winning operator that presents Bruny Island, and the cruise shines the spotlight on wilderness places you normally would not be able to get to.

Bruny Island Cruises

Bruny Island is 50km long and only a 40-minute drive plus 20-minute ferry from Hobart. It’s a popular day trip. Discover some of Tasmania’s most beautifully preserved natural environments with abundant wildlife and spectacular cliff top views. These are the highest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere. Take the time to spot a rare white wallaby and enjoy hiking through the South Bruny National Park with its amazing towering cliffs. Bruny Island was inhabited for tens of thousands of years by the Aborigines before featuring on the well-worn path of the Southern Ocean discovery by many European explorers. The parade included Abel Tasman, Captain Cook, William Bligh and the French explorer, Bruni D’Entrecasteaux who named the island in 1792. Bruny island developed over the years with whaling stations, settlements, farming pursuits and quarries. Today there are only 800 residents. According to Rob Pennicott, Bruny Island is one of the best nature shows in terms of scenery and its local wildlife.

Bruny Island Cruises

Fluted Cape

The showcase Bruny Island cruise is an absolute must-do to appreciate the wilderness and get up close and personal with the rich variety of local wildlife. The 3-hour wilderness cruise runs up to three times daily in summer. It explores the rugged coastline as well as delving into the deep sea caves. Guests search for the abundant coastal wildlife such as seals, dolphins, migrating whales and sea birds.  The highly trained interpretive guides love what they do – they work hard to ensure that the experience is fun, enjoyable, entertaining, and informative. If you choose the day trip from Hobart, you begin your Bruny Island adventure with morning tea and enjoy a lunch after the cruise at the Visitor Centre featuring premium Tasmanian fish sustainably caught. It really does deliver an exceptional day out!

Legacy of conservation….

Albino Bennetts Wallaby. Photo credit: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys and Bruny Island Cruises is more than a window view of the splendour and wonder of southern Tasmania. The company is highly acclaimed as both an environmental tourism operator and they are 100% Carbon Offset. The good news does not stop there. A portion of each cruise ticket fee goes towards philanthropic activities. In the past these have included conservation efforts, eradicating feral cats from Tasman Island, and eradicating rats from the big Green Island. Since the successful eradications, over 100,000 breeding seabirds are saved each year! The aim is about operating in harmony with the environment and local communities and protecting the environment for future generations. That’s a very worthy cause and one which I hope encourages you to include Tasmania and Bruny Island Cruises on your wish list for your next holiday….

Bruny Island Premium Wines. Photo credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Facts:

The summer season (December-April) is traditionally the most popular time to visit. The daytime temperatures range around 22 degrees Celsius and the nights are cool. Perfect weather for all activities.

Good to know:

Tasmania is an island at the edge of the world – a natural paradise … small in size yet big on experiences.  The unique wilderness and pristine environment is the main drawcard for Tasmania, and Bruny Island is no exception. Connect with the unique wildlife, taste the outstanding local produce, and explore the South Bruny National Park. You could stay for a day or 3 days, there is plenty to do! Apart from the Bruny Island Cruise, other top highlights include visiting the Neck for some magnificent views, if you are a seafood lover then a must is the Get Shucked Oyster restaurant, sample some local creations at the Bruny Island Cheese Company, enjoy some great walks through the South Bruny National Park, and don’t forget some tastings at Bruny Island wine or the Tasmanian House of Whisky.

Bruny Island Cheese Co. Photo credit: Adam Gibson

And finally:

Australia Expat Travel (AET) specialises in exceptional holidays to Australia and New Zealand. We make it simple with our local knowledge, seamless logistics and trusted advice since 2004. Expect a bespoke itinerary curated with the big picture and the small details. Contact Us