A South Island road trip to Wanaka

Summer’s long sunny days and lingering twilight evenings are perfect to journey around the South Island and spend a few days in Wanaka.

Summer’s long sunny days and lingering twilight evenings are perfect to explore the South Island. 

The further south you travel the longer the twilight, and this is certainly so in Wanaka.  The last of the days light finally disappears around 10pm, at the height of the season in January. 

Pick up your rental car from one of the international airports in the South Island (Christchurch or Queenstown) and set your course for Wanaka. By the way, Queenstown is the closest international airport – only one hour away.

Nestled around the edge of Lake Wanaka, which is New Zealand’s fourth largest, is Edgewater. This resort style property is spaciously situated on the edge of the lake and within 10 minutes walking distance of the chic, boutique town of Wanaka. Rooms open out onto balconies or patios, which give you direct access to the lake-front and views of the spectacular mountains beyond.  This is the place for you to totally relax in the tranquil surroundings. Bring your favourite book and ‘kick back’.

The enticing lake will beckon so a slow cruise to Mou Waho Island is an ideal way to enjoy the lake.  Mou Waho is a nature reserve close to the centre of Lake Wanaka.  Guided walking of the island reveals protected flora & fauna and spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

This region is fast gaining a reputation for excellent Pinot Noir wines. Vineyards around Wanaka and nearby Cromwell are home to this varietal – plus many others. The best way to explore these vineyards is on a hosted tour which gives you insight into the vineyard and the region.  A tour means you can taste all the fascinating flavours without having to drive yourself!

At the end of the day continue to tantalise your taste-buds at the Wineglass café at Edgewater.  Dine outside on The Terrace and enjoy the long twilight evening….that just goes on and on.

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