07 Jul 2017

On top of the world! - exploring Wanaka

On top of the world! - exploring Wanaka

We awoke to the beautiful view of Lake Wanaka, with a stunning backdrop of snowy mountains. Sitting at the foot of Mt Aspiring National park, Wanaka is the perfect place for adventure seekers. In summer, you can treat yourself to activities on and around the lake - swimming, sailing, fishing, kayaking, water skiing - you name it! But in winter, the adventures multiply. Ski fields with cross country skiing, tobogganing, sledding, tubing, and snow shoeing bring in thousands of tourists each year, and provide something for everyone.

For some of the best skiing in the Southern hemisphere, Treble Cone or Cadrona ski fields are within an hour’s drive from Wanaka’s town centre. Whether you are a beginner skier, intermediate or advanced, there are lessons and slopes to suit all. The views from the peaks are breath-taking, and even if you just drive up for a mulled wine by the fireplace, it is truly worth the scenery.

If you’re not much of a skier, snowboarder or tobogganer, there are still plenty of activities to take part in around Wanaka. Take a visit to the Transport and Toy Museum, the Warbirds and Wheels, or the renowned Puzzling World, to entertain yourself for an afternoon!

We headed up the mountain to Treble Cone early in the morning, eager to beat the queues. Rising above the clouds, we found a beautiful sunny day and fresh snow ahead of us. At the ticket office, you can buy consecutive day passes at reduced rates, as well as lessons ranging in duration from one hour to all day. We hired out gear, got fitted and kitted out, and then joined the growing queue for the six-seater chairlift.

The snow was fantastic, and we spent the first hour warming into our boots and getting used to the feel of the snow sliding underneath our boards. We took some easy runs down the main slopes, making wide turns and bunny-hopping over the edge of the groomed path. Then we ventured off-piste where the more adventurous stuff was happening! Some mogul-jumping and a few tumbles took place, before we headed down to the cafeteria for lunch.

Renewed with energy after a packed lunch and a hot chocolate, we returned to the snow for a few more afternoon hours. This time, we headed over the saddle to enjoy the more advanced runs on the alternative slope. Meeting up with friends at the top of the saddle, we raced down to the four-seater chairlift and enjoyed some of the fantastic runs the mountain had to offer.

By the end of the day we were exhausted but fulfilled by the exhilaration of the slopes. We were relieved to hop back in our trusty van, and joined the vehicles winding down the mountain. We had booked in to a Top Ten motor camp in Wanaka for the night, and were excited to find the place offered a spa pool for our tired limbs and a drying room for our wet gear! After soaking our muscles, we shared a drink with some friends we had met up the mountain, and retired. What an excellent day!

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