Wonders of Wanaka
STAY: Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet A haven away from city life in the delightful resort town of Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island, with breathtaking views; wharekealodge.com.
EAT: Francesca’s Pizzas The wood-fired pizzas from this mobile trailer based in Brownston Street are the best in New Zealand — and they deliver; francescaspizzas.com.
SEE: Rippon Vineyard One of Central Otago’s celebrated wineries, with a striking rammed-earth and timber tasting room, it has fabulous views and runs an annual outdoor sculpture exhibition and a biennial music concert; rippon.co.nz.
WILDERNESS ESCAPE: Siberia Experience The South Island is all about adventure and this experience will immerse you in the most spectacular scenery, from mountains and glaciers to valleys and rainforests. It involves a flight in a light aircraft to the remote Siberia Valley, then a three-hour walk through beech forest and a jetboat ride back; siberiaexperience.co.nz.
SHOP: Racers Edge I always buy a few pieces of outdoor clothing or gear here. The owner, Shaker, is a great friend and he stocks selected international products to complement his New Zealand range; racersedge.co.nz.
STOCK UP: The Mediterranean Wholesale Market This establishment sells superb local produce, as well as selected imported foods. Outside the main shopping precinct, this market is off the tourist radar; 50 Reece Cres; +64 3 443 4181.
ESCAPE: Kayaking on Makarora River The ideal escape is getting away from people and technology and this guided kayak trip to the Makarora River’s spectacular Blue Pools and gorge is perfect for that. You stop to fish in glacial water so clear you can see the trout, although that doesn’t mean they are easy to catch; alpinekayaks.co.nz.
INDULGE: Aspiring Helicopters This company offers a fabulous flight through the Southern Alps to Fiordland and the West Coast, which includes landing on the beach and on the glaciers — the contrast is mind-blowing. The tour ends with a high alpine picnic and walk; aspiringhelicopters.co.nz.