The town of Wanaka was one of my favourite destinations in NZ. Sitting right at the bottom of the lake of the same name the mountain scenery was much less impressive but the feel of the town was very welcoming. There’s a fair few walks in the area, which I will get to shortly but one of the biggest attractions is #ThatWanakaTree.
It’s a tiny tree growing in the lake (although mostly growing in mud and puddles when we visited for whatever reason) and it really just a photographer’s spot. Not that exciting but only a short walk from town so why not visit it and take a photo or several.
The two walks we conquered during our stay in Wanaka were Mt Iron and the famous Roy’s Peak. Mt Iron is a small uphill climb with great views over Wanaka and its surrounds, there’s two pathways up/down and which way you go will most likely depend on which carpark you are in as the other path is not at all obvious or easy to find, but it probably doesn’t matter a whole lot which way you go the destination is the same.
Mt Roy is a pretty well walked track thanks to the incredible views and photo spots. It’s a relatively tough uphill day walk depending on your fitness level when it comes to uphill walking. The track is pretty clear and easy to follow until you get to the very last section to get to the main peak, where there is a super steep shortcut pathway which seemed a bit more obvious than the less steep pathway (there are shortcuts along the track but they all look specifically like deviations from the main path) this part is probably the hardest part of the climb but to get right to the top is definitely worth it if not for the view but for the bragging rights. It’s such a great experience with views that are so much better than the photos suggest.
Other than the spectacular sights I loved the food in Wanaka. Unfortunately I’m not much of a food photographer because by the time I think about taking pictures I’ve already scoffed most of my meal, but had some delicious eats. My favourite was Big Fig where you pick the size of your plate and choose from different slow cooked meat options and veggie and salad options. For Burgers Red Star is great, and also Boaboa (the burgers in NZ are HUGE by the way) and Black Rock does yum ice cream.