The arrival into Wanaka is nothing short of beautiful. The snow capped mountains surround the sapphire coloured lake and the tree lined streets are full of delicious cafes and funky shops. It was getting to the point in our trip that we were becoming a bit blasé towards the scenery. “Oh look, another beautiful snowy mountain” or “Ah yes, more crystal clear water”.
We parked up by Lake Wanaka in search of lunch. S’s old housemate had recommended Red Star burgers, and not one to stray away from a burger we made a beeline towards the little burger joint. After a little misadventure (we got lost) we finally arrived at Red Star Burgers ravenous and ready to sample their fare.
One might say that Red Star Burgers are competition to Fergburger in Queenstown, one might also say that they are better than Fergburger in Queenstown – but one doesn’t want the wrath of hardcore Ferburger fans so she is staying quiet. Buuuut, Red Star Burgers were bloody delicious. I don’t know whether we chose better burgers there or maybe it was the kumara chips, but my vote sits with Red Star. I think mainly it was because their satay chicken burger was off chops. Though as far as atmosphere and vibes go, Fergburger wins hands down. Red Star was a little out of place on top of the hill in Wanaka, but maybe we were just there at the wrong time.
After our burgers we browsed the little town of Wanaka and tried to digest our massive lunch. Once again we let our eyes order, which we mostly always regret – but those burgers were definitely worth it.
The shops in Wanaka were just a little bit different to those in Queenstown and the souvenirs weren’t like what we’d been seeing everywhere. We shopped for awhile before moving Mimi into the campground at Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park. It was the closest one to town and had a waterfront view – not to shabby for $18pp!
Running short of clothes we spent the rest of the afternoon washing and cleaning Mimi so she was presentable again, before K and I went for a walk around the lake to work off some of the burgers from earlier today. It was nearing dusk by the time we got our runners on and the sun was settling on the lake, leaving a golden glow around the town. The sky was clear and the crisp mountain air made your fingers burn and your breath visible. We followed a track parallel to the lake until darkness descended around us, forcing us to turn back to home.
Dinner was a relaxed affair and we tried to play cards again. The problem with four girls is that we tend to get off topic very quickly and focusing on one thing at a time is near impossible.
It was going to be a quiet night in, but because we hadn’t spent that much money, S, K and myself got dressed up and headed into downtown Wanaka. It was a Monday night so we weren’t expecting a massive night, but cabin fever was getting the best of us (as well as the thought of a cocktail!) Our first stop was Gin & Raspberry, Wanaka’s newest establishment. The beautifully decorated bar was empty when we walked in, but the service was second to none. We ordered some cocktails and settled into the lounges by the crackling wood fire. By the time we drained our cocktails, more people had come and we decided to splurge on a bottle of wine. Moving onto a different bar, this time we took the locals advice and tried Woody’s – which was decidedly more busier than the Gin & Raspberry. We headed back to our campground around midnight, satisfied with our Monday night our in Wanaka and devoured some food in the fridge before passing out for the night.
The following morning we brushed off our hangover with a quick walk down to the lake. It was so darn cold, we decided that a walk to the coffee shop would be a great way to finish our daily exercise session :p
Stopping in at Relishes to warm up with a coffee, we were so tempted by their breakfast menu that we decided to eat out for brekkie. We went back to pack up Mimi and get dressed for the day before moving out and finding the best spot to break our fast. Urban Grind got our vote after we asked a few locals and I was not disappointed at all. The coffee was delish and the food superb. Plus, free wifi – you can’t complain with that!
Another quick shop and then we jumped back in the car for our next adventure. Today we’re headed for Lake Tekapo via Mount Cook. Stay tuned for whats to come!