A Paddle Board adventure on Lake Wanaka

Wanaka seems to breed talent. This tiny South Island town may appear like a quaint holiday destination to many, but under the service you will find a pool of talent that rivals any big city; from photographers, film makers, entrepreneurs, chefs, artists and athletes…. So when I met Stand Up Paddle Board World Champion Annabel Anderson recently, who is from Wanaka, I was fascinated to hear her story and take her out and shoot some photos. After all why not? The best in the world in her home town of Wanaka, whats not to love about that story?

So with some epic weather coming our way we cooked up a plan to journey on our boards to a beach in Lake Wanaka where you can only get to by foot or water. Packing up my dry bag with a tent, sleeping bag and some grub we set off to Damper Bay, one of my favourite spots in Wanaka. I was a little nervous as I’m very new to this sport and we had a hefty 10km to paddle, with gear, up the lake into a what turned into a white cap head wind! this was hard work!

Stand Up paddle boarding on Lake Wanaka
Annabel starting the paddle from Bremner Bay to Damper Bay. The calm waters didnt last long!

After the first 15 mins the wind got up significantly and I was struggling to keep up with this world champ. It was like running up an escalator, any rest or reprieve resulted in you being blown back to where you had started! There was no option but to soldier on for a solid hour and a half. Arriving into Damper Bay my arms where screaming! As luck may have it my friend and fantastic food blogger, Flossie Williamson from Food from Flossie had agreed to meet us at the beach and cook us a healthy camp site dinner for her blog. I find it hard to know what healthy meals to cook when I go camping, so Flossie showed me some tricks! How lucky am I to have such talented friends!

Damper bay, Lake Wanaka
Damper Bay catches a lot of wind, resulting in this lovely wee beach being filled with amazing drift wood from the Lake. Annabel can not only paddle board but make art!!
Dinner on Lake Wanaka
Flossie prepares our dinner
Lake Wanaka adventuring
I shot photos of Flossie preparing our camp site meal for her blog. Her post out soon!
Cooking on Lake Wanaka
We ate the most amazing food Ive ever had whilst camping! All cooked on a small MSR stove…

Jase and Flossie walked home after cooking us dinner leaving me and Annabel in the quiet serenity of Damper Bay and Lake Wanaka. We pitched our tent after the wind died down right on the beach, falling asleep to the sound of the lapping waves.

Camping on Lake Wanaka
Aaah the serenity!

After a good night sleep we rose at 5.30am to get the sunrise and shoot some stand up paddle board shots in the first light. The wind had died down giving us the most spectacular morning. This was pretty much the whole reason to our adventure, to catch the first light up the lake, and we certainly were rewarded. Here are some snaps from our morning.

SUP lake Wanaka
You know what they say about the early bird…
Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lake Wanaka
I used my Outex Water housing to shoot from my board and get close to the water as possible…. Great bit of gear for this such thing!
Paddle Boarding Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.
So peaceful being the only ones on the Lake…
SUP Yoga, Lake Wanaka
After getting some fun paddling shots it was time to shoot some SUP Yoga… What a place to do Yoga!
Stand Up Paddle Board yoga, Wanaka
Annabel knows her Yoga!
Camping Lake Wanaka
After working hard for a few hours getting some shots it was time to head back to camp for breakfast.

The water in Lake Wanaka is so clear, and Ive been playing around with shooting half in half out water shots recently. Still have a lot more practice to do to nail that shot I’m after but this is what we got.

Clear water in lake Wanaka. Sup
The clear waters of Lake Wanaka
SUP in clear water of Wanaka
Glorious gin water
paddle board exploring lake wanaka
My board all ready for the 10km paddle back  to Wanaka. Even with my aching muscles from yesterdays paddle it was a lot easier going home!

Thanks so much to Annabel Anderson for coming with me on my adventure, and Food from Flossie for cooking us dinner!… Im going to invest in more dry bags and Outex gear as I’m hooked on shooting in the water! It was so much fun to journey on the water and in the pristine Lake Wanaka. If you are interested in doing water adventures on Lake Wanaka, check out Wanaka Kayaks SUP and Sail. These guys will take you on one hell of an adventure!