Why bother with Wanaka? I’ll tell ya why!

Wanaka is like Queenstown’s understudy; the two play the same character but only one stands in the spotlight. Queenstown might get the roses of congratulation.  It may have the leading role in South Island tourism. But Wanaka can deliver every line, can offer its audience the same performance, the same joys if only it where given the chance. But then that’s part of the charm of Wanaka, except when Warbirds over Wanaka is on (every 2nd even year at Easter) there aren’t hoards of visitors clamouring to see it. It has a welcome calm, a chilled out ease where you know you’re going to get a table in a good restaurant, and a good spot by the lake.

Reasons why you should travel to Wanaka
Wanaka pier

Plus it’s got a toy museum, as well as Puzzling World Wanaka. What have you got, huh Queenstown?

Here’s a quick rundown on why you should go to Wanaka .

Reasons Why you Should Travel to Wanaka

 It’s a nice place for a leisurely cycle

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to hardcore cycles, there are some unbeatable cycling trails that start at Queenstown including the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail and nearby Otago Rail Trail, but when it comes to going for a leisurely cycle, Wanaka wins out on peace and quiet alone.You can hire out bikes for around $20 an hour but always look out for deals on bookme.co.nz

Reasons why you should travel to Wanaka
Wanaka cycle

I mentioned the toy museum, didn’t I?

Whatever decade you grew up in, the Toy and Transport museum in Wanaka will take you back in time . It’s a jam-packed attic of nostalgia, the perfect way to while away a few hours. And for anyone who likes classic cars and vintage planes and automobiles, there’s a huge collection, including one car covered entirely in yellow fur.

Reasons why you should travel to Wanaka: Toy and Transport Museum Wanaka
Toy and Transport Museum Wanaka
Reasons why you should travel to Wanaka: Plane outside Transport and Toy Museum
Wanaka plane outside Transport and Toy Museum

It’s also a sweet location to get your camera out and play around.

Puzzling World Wanaka

Why it’s called Puzzling World rather than simply Puzzle World is perhaps the greatest puzzle of them all. But I’ll forgive the name because Puzzling World Wanaka is a lot of fun, and kids go nuts for it.

The maze at Puzzling World Wanaka takes at least one hour if you want to make all 4 towers. It’s surprisingly challenging. If you’re there with a group, I’d recommend splitting into teams to add an element of competition. The illusion rooms are interesting for kids and adults, and it’s a great way to introduce young children to science in way that fascinates rather than bores.

Reasons why you should travel to Wanaka: Transport and Toy Museum
Wanaka Transport and Toy Museum

One downfall to Puzzling World Wanaka was the cafe, the standard overpriced fare visitors have become accustomed to. I’d recommend taking snacks with you and stopping of in town for a bite to eat at Urban Grind. We had an excellent lunch here and service was quick and friendly.

Reasons why you should go to Wanaka
Urban Grind Wanaka: Photo Andamarie

Wanaka is the perfect day trip away from the crowds of Queenstown but still with an active buzz around it. The best way to get there is probably to hire a car for the day. The bus will cost you $26 each so if you’re travelling as a group, it makes more financial sense, and as Puzzling World Wanaka and the toy museum are both outside the town, it’s the best way to ensure you’ll see everything Wanaka has to offer.

There are other activities in Wanaka that you might enjoy. Why not stay a few nights in Wanaka?

About keeva

Wandering freelance copywriter from Ireland. Trying to squeeze in as much travel into my twenties as I can. Right now, that involves a lot of camping in New Zealand, my home away from home.

Other posts by the Author

One Response

  1. New Zealand's Best Lakes That Are Worth Visiting | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] by a glacial ridge from Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea is famed for its fishing. Fly fishermen come from all over the country to catch its […]


Leave a Reply