As my mom and I drove into Wanganui (or Whanganui), we passed the beautiful Virginia Lake and decided to spend the day there. There are three different tracks of varying difficulty that lead you around the lake, and we ended up doing two of them.
We were lucky enough to have had good weather on this road trip, and Wanganui was no exception. With blue skies above and a cool breeze blowing, it was a perfect time to do a short hike. I was actually surprised that my mom wanted to do the walk. She doesn’t particularly like the outdoors. However, she really seemed to enjoy herself at Virginia Lake.
As we walked along the lake’s edge, we stopped for photos of the local wildlife. I really liked the pukeko, which is also known as the purple swamphen. The pukeko was often along the muddy shores of the lake and their bright feathers looked beautiful in the sun.
One of the trails took us high above the water and into the thick growth of trees that surrounded the area. From this vantage point, we could see across the lake. The smell of the forest permeated the air, and everything felt a little damp despite the sun’s constant presence. Leaves that had fallen on the trail muted our footsteps, and we saw many different types of vegetation thriving under the canopy of trees.
Even though Virginia Lake appeared to be a popular area, the trails were quite devoid of hikers. It almost felt like we really were hiking in a forest instead of a park within the city. I imagine this is why it’s a great place for locals who want to escape the daily hustle and bustle of life.