Monday, January 19, 2015

Wanaka: Part One

Wanaka is a small town located about an hour's drive North of Queenstown. It's quaint, and often quiet, the locals are incredibly friendly, and the food from most of the joints in town is superb. People often brag about the beauty of Queenstown, which believe me, is a truly stunning place. However, Wanaka's charm has stolen my heart and I know I'll be returning for many years to come.

Why Wanaka? We went to Wanaka courtesy of Flight Centre. Our trip had been in planning since I had won their competition during the middle of last year. We were provided with seven nights at Edgewater Wanaka, which is a beautiful and spacious lodge style hotel. It sits right on the water, and is about a half hour walk, ten minute bike ride, or five minute drive from the town centre. We took this walk multiple times. It's a fantastic walk as you walk the whole way alongside the lake. As we are under 25, we could not hire a car. So, on the times we needed a ride anywhere, we would call Yello, a super efficient (However, not cheap) taxi service. The driver would often be five minutes away. A trip from our accommodation to town would cost roughly $12NZD. 

Additional to the accommodation, Flight Centre paid for two full day tours, one was a half day Jet Boat and Helicopter ride, and the other was a full day Eco Adventure 4WD tour, along with a river cruise. We missed out on the river cruise due to high winds. However, the parts we did do were all equally amazing, and here are the photos to prove it.

We went to Puzzling World, a unique landmark about Illusion in Wanaka. It's not all that impressive, but worth it for a bit of fun. It cost $16NZD to do the Illusion rooms and giant maze. This photo was snapped on the walk back to town, which takes about half an hour.

We hired bikes for 3.5 hours, which cost $25NZD from the log cabin at the beach in town. The log cabin is great as you can book heaps of activities there. There's paddleboats, bikes, kayaks, fishing equipment, and tours such as jet boating which can be booked from the one location.

We had a picnic in our accommodation's backyard. We bought fresh fruit from a market stall in town. The price of the fruit was quite expensive, but well worth it as the fruits were very juicy.

Breakfast from Wineglass Cafe at our accommodation in Wanaka. (Recommended!)

Jet Boating & Helicopter Ride
Jet boating is awesome. We had never tried it before, so I was worried that I might get sick (I don't have a very strong stomach). However, I was completely fine! The driver/guide was a bit nuts and liked to throw us around the boat, doing 360 degree turns every so often. While we all screamed our lungs out, it was so much fun and I would recommend it to anyone. We sailed down a lake (I forget it's name, whoops!) for about an hour, and got out at the end for a half hour walk. The location we reached was so beautiful. We reached a peak to take photos and enjoy the serene sites, and then turned back to get on the boat. James and I were the lucky two who were able to enjoy a helicopter ride. So we separated from the group and got sent off with a helicopter pilot for about twenty mins. It was truly one of the greatest experiences of my life! I kind of gaped in awe the whole time. Haha. Here's what I snapped on this tour.

P.S. Our Jet Boat and Helicopter tour was booked with River Journeys.

More Food!

We had dinner at Trout on Ardmore. This steak was amazing, and Jame's Filo was super delicious as well. (Recommended!)
This was actually just after we landed at Frankton Airport. Blue cheese chicken pizza was perfect after a lack of food for many hours. (Recommended!) 

We had this for lunch one day. I forget the name of the Cafe, but it's located next to the iSite on Ardmore. It wasn't one of the better meals, but the pork bun was okay. The meal at the back was really cold raw fish served with tortilla chips. It was pretty disappointing in my opinion.

I didn't really go for a swim as the water was quite cold. James went for a few dives as he was trying to get lots of GoPro footage. This beach/lake is the most beautiful beach I have been to in my life. While the sand is nothing like Aussie sand, the view really got me every time. 

Hope you enjoyed part one of my Wanaka photo diary!
Stay tuned for part two!


  1. Wow! These images are breathtaking! What camera was used to take these photos, if you don't mind me asking? I'm currently on the hunt for a new DSLR and the quality of these photos are amazing!
    Looks like a great trip, hope you enjoyed every second of it! X

  2. Hi! Thank you so much. I use a Canon 600D. I'm no professional - just point and click! I'm super happy with mine, I've had it for four years now and have never felt the need to upgrade. :)
    And we certainly did, thank you! So glad I was able to capture the best moments.

    1. Thank you for replying! I see a lot of people using Canon 70Ds or 6Ds but they're a bit pricey!
      Oh that's so good! Thank you so much for your help. :)

  3. Hi Tara, Trish here from Edgewater in Lake Wanaka. Loved your story and your pictures are fabulous. Pleased you enjoyed your time in Wanaka. I've shared across our social networks too. :-)

    1. Thanks Trish! Our trip was incredible. Thank you to Edgewater for the amazing hospitality!

  4. Yay! I loved seeing the pictures from your trip and I am so glad you enjoyed Wanaka. I hope you come back soon! xx

  5. Tara omg this looks absolutely amazing!! x