NZ South Island – Wanaka

Hello everyone. It has been another beautiful day in New Zealand. The weather here has been lovely. No rain and about 20 degrees today of pure sunlight.

Wanaka is such a beautiful town. It is small but the backdrops are big. The town surrounds a large lake that has mountains on the other side (some still covered in lots of snow despite it being mid-September). It doesn’t matter where you are in town you are treated to spectacular backdrops.

We started off the day by heading to a place called Pembroke Patisserie which is a little patisserie just outside Wanaka. We went a bit overboard with our orders. We got a Sausage Roll, a Ham & Cheese Croissant, a Pain au Chocolat and a Pecan tart as well as a couple of cappuccinos. The pastry on all of this stuff was delicious. Really flakey and buttery. The coffee was again pretty average. Still looking for a decent drip. Great pastries though.

After this we set out for our first activity. We drove about 5 minutes up the road to a place called Crossfire Wanaka which is a shooting range where we purchased the ‘Big Shot’ package each. The big shot package includes 30 minutes of archery, 25 bullets at the rifle range, 20 bullets at the clay pigeon shooting, a bucket of balls for the golf driving range and 18 holes of mini-golf. Quite a great deal really.

We started off with the archery which was fantastic. They had three different sizes of bow and a stack of arrows. We got to go in together and the guy said we can fire arrows for as long as we want as nobody else was there. We spent about half an hour improving our archery skills. This was really very fun and was the first time either of us has shot a bow. Ronnie definitely won this. Aimee’s first arrow went into the bush.

Then we moved onto the rifle range. With our 25 bullets the first 5 went into calibrating the gun, the next 10 were practice shots and the final 10 were the competition shots. Aimee took a long time to calibrate her gun and only came good towards the end. Ronnie was a marksman, only missing the centre 3 times in the last 10 bullets. A clear victory for him again. This was also the first time Aimee had ever fired a gun. She was nervous about it but ultimately enjoyed rifle range.

We then got our bucket of golf balls and went out onto the range and slogged some golf balls. This wasn’t anything special as it was the same as any driving range. However, the mountains in the background were quite beautiful.

Then it was the main event – the clay pigeon shooting. We got 20 shots each. We shared a booth again which was great. Hitting the clay pigeons is definitely harder than it looks. The shotgun we used was loud and has a solid kick (we both have bruises on our shoulders). Aimee turned out to be exceptionally good at clay pigeon shooting winning this competition 6 to 5, absolutely shattering her final pigeon. This was definitely the most fun activity.

Then we played some mini-golf. The mini-golf course is pretty run down and not really that interesting. We still played our round and enjoyed being in the sun.

By this time we had built up an appetite again. We drove back to our hotel and walked down to lakeside where we bought some fish and chips and ate them next to the lake. We could never, ever get sick of the views here. The fish and chips were okay. We ended up getting a family pack that also came with Dagwood dogs (They call them hot dogs here!…wtf do they call a hot dog then?). Again, we ordered way too much food and it was quite greasy but not did you even go to New Zealand if you didn’t get fish and chips?

After this we decided to go on a walk around the lake and just stroll, talk and take in the views. After a couple of kilometres we got to our eventual destination which was #thatwanakatree. That is literally it’s name on the sign. It is a lone tree that is in the lake with a stunning backdrop and it is Instagram famous (for good reason) because it’s beautiful. We weren’t going to pass up the opportunity to get some nice shots of it either!

We made the long trek back to our hotel and got in the car to our afternoon activity. We went to the Wanaka Lavender Farm. The Lavender farm is exactly what it sounds like. A farm that grows lavender and creates lavender products. They also have farm animals and cool photo spots. We bought some lavender infused Manuka honey ice cream and walked around the farm. It was a really nice way to spend the afternoon. Unfortunately it is not lavender season but you can just imagine how beautiful it would be if the lavender was in bloom.

We had a few hours to kill after the lavender farm and we needed some down time as we had not stopped. We took the opportunity to get some of this before we headed out for dinner. At approx 6PM we walked down to a group of food trucks that are permanently stationed just down the road from our hotel. It is a quaint little area. We ended up getting a Burrito and some tacos from a truck called Burrito Craft. It was a pork burrito. It was okay, nothing special with no real “punchy” flavours that you expect from a decent burrito. It got the job done. It was a set of three tacos. One mushroom, one fish and one beef. The beef was too much. A very strong flavour that was overpowering. The mushroom one was okay but nothing special. The fish one was the best, but still not great. Overall a pretty average meal in an above average location. The passion fruit jarritos was yummy though.

After dinner we had planned to go to a boutique cinema called Ruby’s bar and cinema. We pre-purchased tickets and went. We of course picked the most Arthouse movie that was currently showing because of course we did! It’s a boutique cinema! We ordered a Rocky Road Sundae and some popcorn to eat at our recliner whilst we watched “Three Thousand Years of Longing” starring Tilda Swindon and Idris Elba. Pretty decent movie, cinematography was lovely. Very Arthouse though which ticked the box. The food was delicious and the cinema very comfortable (It seats 16 but there were like 6 people in there). It was a really nice experience.

We have a little bit left to do in Wanaka tomorrow morning before we leave but we sure will be sad to leave such an amazing town.

Breakfast pastries & Coffee – $34
Crossfire Wanaka – $194
Lavender Farm – $13
Fish & Chips – $34
Dinner – $35
Ruby’s food and tix – $51
Powerade – $4
Total – $365

Much love,
Ronnie & Aimee

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