A day in Wanaka

Published: 04/29/2012 by iTravelNZ

Morning
Take in the beauty of Lake Wanaka and the stunning Rippon Vineyard on the Waterfall Creek Walk. Starting off on the shores of Roys Bay, this track will take you past a picture postcard collection of vines set against the region’s majestic mountains.
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Dust down your walking shoes and climb up Mount Iron for the most jaw-dropping vistas of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, and the towering peaks of the Mt Aspiring National Park.
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Pack a picnic of delicious local produce and explore Wanaka by foot. You can take the gentle lakeside stroll out to Eely Point for a swim or a picnic (follow the Wanaka lakeshore to the right, past the marina), or walk or cycle along the Outlet Track, a local favourite that follows the Clutha River from the Lake Wanaka Outlet.
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Visit Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World – a local Wanaka icon with some brain-teasing puzzles and illusions to keep you entertained, including an indoor, interactive puzzle museum with holograms, tilted rooms and water that flows uphill!
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Check out the classic cars, vintage fighter planes and original New Zealand art at Warbirds & Wheels out at Wanaka Airport.
 
Afternoon
Drive up to the historic Bendigo Gold fields on Bendigo Loop Road. Once a thriving town of 200, today, the crumbling stone cottages and huts are still standing alongside deep mine shafts and tunnels. They are not all marked or covered, so stick to the tracks, and watch your step!
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Head out to the Bannockburn-Cromwell area for an unbeatable combo of gold mining history and picturesque vineyards. You’ll find some world-famous wine and food in these parts, so visit the vineyards for a tasting, or lunch among the vines.
After lunch, head up to the Old Bannockburn goldfield, where the imposing cliff faces created by gold sluicing are set against the vast, dry landscape.
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Drive to Cromwell town for a wander. Check out Cromwell and Districts Museum for an overview of the region’s goldmining and pioneering history, and take a stroll around the carefully restored Old Cromwell Township on Melmore Terrace.
Lunch at a local café then walk it off on the Cromwell to Bannockburn Lakeside Walk. This 11km walk has 360 degree views of the mountains, and old stone huts and gold workings left over from the gold rush era. Pack a hat and lots of water in summer.
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Drive to Clyde and soak up some gold mining history at picturesque Clyde township. Wander past the beautiful stone buildings and colonial architecture, and check out the local history at the town’s three museums.
Walk up the hill from the town to see the largest concrete dam in New Zealand. The massive Clyde hydro dam is a feat of engineering, and makes for a majestic sight against the rocky Central Otago terrain. Bring your camera!
 
Evening
Wanaka’s nightlife may not be as full on as its sister resort of Queenstown, but that’s part of its charm. The most popular haunt is Shooters Bar on the lakefront, where the backpackers hang, or check out the more intimate Barluga under the Post Office. It’s a small place, so just take a wander and check it out!
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Catch a movie at local institution Cinema Paradiso on Ardmore Street, where the unusual seating includes couches, recliners, pillows and even a yellow Morris Minor! During intermission you can snack on homemade ice cream and warm cookies.
 
Don’t stop here! Discover more by just typing a keyword into the ‘keyword’ field on the Explore page. You’ll find wineries, walks, lakes, markets, galleries, gold mining heritage and much more. Want to see what’s around your current location? Simply select Nearby and set the distance. To see what else is near a chosen point of interest, just tap on a red flag above the image.

Images by bluetraviethedailyenglishshowsaspotatosandwichgirl

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A day in Wanaka