Wanaka, New Zealand

Wanaka has slowly built up over the years, being probably the second most popular tourist area in Central Otago. It has (in my opinion) probably the most stunning lake in Central Otago, and the lake is accessable from many small beaches around the shore. During winter it is another main destination for skiing.

With Lake Wanaka being the primary drawcard to the town, most the activies in the area centre on the water. Aside from swimming and going out on the water in a canoe or kayak, there is a hovercraft, and a high-speed jet boat to help you discover the whole lake (and beyond). There are also things like water-skiing and para-sailing.

On the main road just before you reach the township is the Wanaka Maze and Puzzle Centre. If you have never walked through a proper maze before, then here is your chance. In addition to the puzzle centre, there are exhibitions of holograms, and a variety of visual illusions. This whole complex is being expanded on a regular basis, and a leaning clocktower that makes the Leaning Tower of Pisa look fully upright is one of the most recent additions.

The downside of Wanaka is that because it was never quite as built up as Queenstown, more and more people have flocked there - this has apparantly sent property prices soaring, and no doubt prices on everything else (which were already up there) have followed.

Hawea, New Zealand

Hawea is just a short drive from Wanaka, and boasts yet another beautiful lake. It has yet to be hit by a tourism boom, and as such is a very small town with very few people. The downside of this for visitors would be a lack of activities in the area, although if you are looking for a place to just kick back and relax, Hawea could be for you. Remember - it is just a short drive to Wanaka should you wish to do something.

More detail in late February / early March once I have been back to refresh my memory.


Wanaka, Hawea, and surrounds

For more information, go to:

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