Thursday 13 April 2017

Exploring Wanaka

I chatted with a member of a New Zealand backpacking group prior to this NZ trip and was told that Wanaka is a much better place to stay than Queenstown. The cost of living is said to be a lot cheaper too.  I almost regretted making the decision to stay in Queenstown when I first heard this but it was too late to make changes as all bookings have been made then. The best way to see what I have really missed was to make a day trip to Wanaka.

Wanaka Town
I was finally in Wanaka to explore the place.
There was an air of festivity when we arrived in Wanaka Town. Apparently a big time event which looks like a fun fare was going on in Pembroke Park. The streets were bustling with people. This town appears very robust indeed!  
Wanaka is quite a charming town built on the edge of Lake Wanaka and surrounded by mountains. Just 20km away is Treble Cone Ski Area but we didn't go that far to visit the ski resort.
The most happening street in Wanaka is Ardmore Street which faces the lake directly. The i-site visitor information center is located along this street. There are also ample dining options here.

Lake Wanaka
The main attraction of Wanaka is Lake Wanaka I supposed. The shore of Roys Bay fronting Ardmore Street looks like a favorite hangout among the locals as well as visitors. Bremner Bay which is further from the hub of town is a lot quieter and is probably the preferred hangout for those who wish to get away from the crowds. Both make great sites for photography. Below are some pictures of the lake taken from the shores of these bays.
Roys Bay

Roys Bay

Roys Bay

Roys Bay

Bremner Bay

Bremner Bay

That Wanaka Tree
There is a very famous tree in Wanaka. It is simply called 'That Wanaka Tree'. Growing out from the waters of Lake Wanaka and standing in solitude this tree is a popular subject of photography for the professionals as well as the amateurs. But what's so special about the tree?
Against the backdrop of the lake and mountains it looks like a piece of art and if you gaze at it long enough it is very calming. 
And it became famous just like that.

Dining In Wanaka
Scouting around for food, we were attracted by what we saw on some diners' tables outside Big Fig Restaurant. They were dining al fresco and the food looked so tempting.
Pick one choice of meat and top your plate with any side dishes till it's full. That's the concept at Big Fig.
The main meal can be purchased in large or small portion. The large portion is served on a plate and the small in a small tub-like bowl.
Ronnie's large portion is RM 59.
And my 'small' portion is RM33. The food was good but generally food in Wanaka is not cheaper than in Queenstown as I was told.

Albert Town
We took the opportunity to visit Albert Town, located about 8km from Wanaka. It is just a tiny town with a few shops.

There wasn't much to see in Albert Town, just Clutha River and the bridge across it so we didn't spend a lot of time there.

Puzzling World
We also dropped by Puzzling World, an attraction in Wanaka which features bizarre buildings, rooms of illusion and a lot other weird things. There is an admission fee of NZ$20 but visitors can loiter outside these weird buildings for free. 

We walked the streets of Wanaka, ate its food, saw its lake, strolled the shores of the bays and visited some of its attractions but we still prefer Queenstown so my initial regret was really unfounded. Maybe one man's meat is another's poison. Having said that Wanaka is still a lovely place but Queenstown offers much more.

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Lewis Clark said...

A very adventurous blog full of travelling stories. I didn’t know New Zealand is such a fun place to visit. Pictures are amazing, seems like I am exploring all of these places while going through this blog.

Lily... said...

Hi there, thanks for following. Appreciate your compliment.

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