When I first made my South Island itinerary, Wanaka wasn't part of the plan. Then I talked to quite a few people who said they preferred Wanaka to Queenstown, or that it was one of their favourite places to visit, so I figured I better check it out.
Having left a chille and rainy fox in the morning, it was a pleasant surprise to arrive to warmth and sunshine in Wanaka. And even more, to arrive and find this view from my hostel.
On my first full day in Wanaka, I forgot to take my camera, so here are a few phone pictures instead:
After a leisurely breakfast, a German girl staying at my hostel and I went for a hike by the lake. The hike can basically be summed up by lots of sheep and beautiful views at all times. On the way back we stopped by Rippon vineyard. If anybody reading this ever finds themselves in Wanaka, I would highly reccommend going to the vineyard! Not only is it absolutely beautiful, they offer a free tasting. Though they do ask for donations, and as can be seen from the pictures, we did end up sharing a bottle of wine.
The next day we went to check out Puzzling World, which is an attraction with different kinds of illusion rooms and a maze. And a leaning tower, with people doing poses and everything. It actually turned out to be quite fun. An example of the illusions is the rotating cube below; they are really inverted, but look like cubes in movement.
Afterwards we climbed Mount Iron, which offers these views, and I decided that climbing a hill was a good enough excuse to get ice cream from Black Peak Gelato (like you really need an excuse).
I haven't really eaten much New Zealand food while being here, as the non-Maori variety is mostly British and lamb, but I love hokey pokey ice cream, which is the one to the right (the left is the best salted caramel ice cream I've ever had). Hokey pokey is basically just vanilla with honeycomb toffee pieces, so right up my alley.
This tree is one of Wanaka's most famous sights, often referred to as the lone tree, and possibly one of the most photographed trees in the world.