I stayed in Auckland for two days and then decided to make Wanaka my home base while I was on the south island. It’s about an hour’s drive from the Queenstown airport and it’s the best place to be if you want to hike Roys Peak since it’s only a 10-15 minute drive from town. The views from the plane while flying from Auckland to Queenstown were amazing, I’m so glad I sat in the window seat. Wanaka is a very small residential town with cute boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. I enjoyed my time there and I’m looking forward to going back later this month before I leave New Zealand. Here is a rundown of some things I did in the area and where I stayed.
I had to book an Airbnb last minute, but I was able to find this really nice home for the week with amazing views of the mountains and lake. It was a three-bedroom home, but since I only used one bedroom I was able to ask for a discount on the place and the owner gave me 20% off which was really nice.
Take a picture of that Wanaka Tree
Walk around Lake Wanaka
Hike – Roys Peak
I wrote a separate post on hiking Roys Peak, so check that out. If you have a decent level of fitness then I would recommend this hike. It took about 3 hours to reach the peak and it’s pretty tough, but worth it for these views!
Hike – Blue Pools Track
Another hike I researched before I came to New Zealand was the Blue Pools track. This was an easy 2-mile roundtrip hike to some of the clearest blue water I have ever seen. The hike is through a beautiful moss-covered forest that looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. It was nice to do this after hiking Roys Peak since my feet were so sore and I had some terrible blisters going on.