Top 5 things to do in WanakaTop 5 things to do in Wanaka

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Top 5 things to do in Wanaka

Wanaka is my place of retreat. Only three hours drive from Timaru, close enough to go for a weekend and far away enough to feel like you're on holiday. Last week my husband and I were lucky enough to have a week down there. Wanaka is simply stunning, surrounded by mountains and water. So here are my top five things to do! Ok, I couldn't decide so now it's top six!

1. Cardrona Distillery is a newly opened, impressive place producing fine traditional single malt whiskey - a ten year process! While they patiently wait, they are producing Gin, Vodka, Liqueur and even perfumes. Founded by Desiree Whitaker an ex NZ dairy farmer and Craighead Old Girl. We went on a tour for $25 around the Distillery which was a true highlight. Finishing with a tasting, and a wee takeaway bottle for the drivers. The Gin was delicious!

cardrona distillery
Left: Sophie wearing Loobies Story Belverdere Jacket (sold out), Preen Metallic Spot tee (sold out, preorder for October), Betty Basics Jade Pants (sold out, preorder for September) Chrisspy X Quay Jetlag Sunnies | Left bottom: 6 ingredients in the Cardrona Gin 

2. Go skiing or boarding. Wanaka has two amazing fields. Cardrona and Treble Cone. After ten years out with a few injuries, I thought it was time to dust off the board and hit the slopes. Our day was full of hilarity. Hamish couldn't work Dads ten-year-old bindings; my goggles foam had rotted and Ham's pants split! An excellent lesson for everyone (you can thank us later!) to check your gear before you go! Despite the hiccups, it was a stunning day. 

wanaka skiing
Left: The view to Queenstown on Cardrona | Right: Split pants

If you're a bit of a gun or like more of a challenge (wasn't us) you can go heliskiing. An amazing adventure available in Wanaka.

wanaka helo skiing alpine helicopters
Southern Lakes Heliski and Alpine Helicopters. Photo taken in the Minarets Lake Wanaka. Photo credit: James Hamilton

3. Kika restaurant just opened a couple of months ago. After living in Melbourne for many years, I miss the wide variety and abundance of amazing restaurants. But this night I was blown away. We chose the 'feed me' experience. Nice and easy as the menu is decided for you. It is Italian, but not the typical type; it's more about share plates with plenty of flavour. You won't go home hungry.

kika restuarant wanaka
Left: Dinner at Kika with friends | Right: Lamb shoulder (delicious) Photo credit to Kika facebook (sorry my phone was not on form, but it did look this good!)

4. Golf is a frustrating sport for me. But I enjoy a walk with a view. Wanaka Golf Course is stunning, overlooking the lake. So I was the caddy without having to take the clubs, win-win. I do enjoy the odd whack, so I did manage a hole or two with a wager of lunch. I paid.

wanaka golf course
Left and Right: Wanaka Golf Course |  Left bottom: Rubys cinema

5. Rubys Cinema is a delightful, cosy, old school picture theatre with great ambience. You can have drinks and snacks, before, during or after the movie. We watched Suicide Squad in 3D with wine and cheese. A perfect accompaniment to Will Smith & Margot Robbie. 

6. Bike riding is probably best in the Summer in Wanaka. But I needed to loosen the legs after boarding. I thought I'd go for a casual ride down to the Clutha River Inlet and back. I somehow found myself on an intermediate mountain bike track called Hikuwai Loop. Not having any track knowledge, no water and a hybrid bike (not made for mountain biking!) you could say I was a little hesitant. But it was a loop, not made for turning back so I continued on. It ended up being rather enjoyable, except for my small fall, mud galore and a few hairy parts of the track I would definitely go back, but more prepared. After my ride, I did my due diligence (the incorrect order I know!). Turns out this track is not recommended in Winter as the frosts turn the track to mud - whoops! 

wanaka biking

There is so much to do and see in Wanaka, this is only a taste. If you had all day I could continue on and on. If you're considering Wanaka as a holiday, do it!

beautiful wanaka
Left: Beautiful view up towards Treble Cone | Right: Sophie wearing Quay Chrisspy X Jetlag

I'm now back to the retail world. Auckland for two days this week seeing Winter 17 Loobies Story, Verge and a new label called Fray. Oh and all our new Spring Arrivals are looking amazing. It's so exciting to see all the colour.

Sophie xxx   


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