I must admit, right from the very start, that I think of myself as a local, despite being born on the other side of the world.
Being an exiled Englishman, I arrived on these shores 16 years ago, and have spent most of that time working in a variety of accommodation places - currently Bella Vista Wanaka
Being in touch with travellers on almost a daily basis means that I never tire of this stunningly beautiful location.
I relish in their stories, and vicariously thrill for the umpteenth time their delight in seeing Mount Aspiring, the crazy tumbled delight of Puzzling World or the perennial "yes, how blue the lake does look in the middle of summer".
Even a mundane trip to the post office can be a joy.
Let me share with you 10 quirky delights about Wanaka.
Stand on the bridge in the town centre next to the library and catch a glimpse of the trout patiently waiting for their food to float downstream
Drink what is possibly the sweetest tasting water in the world from a spring over the road from the Dinosaur in the childrens park
Brace yourself for the excited rush for freshly baked cookies at Paradiso cinema when the lights suddenly go on half way during your favourite film.
If you are here on a Monday or Friday why not join in the social tennis at the superb Wanaka courts. Everyone is welcome, and they serve delicious cakes and tea to slate your thirst.
As mentioned before a trip to Puzzling World is a must. Ask about the psychic challenge which no-one has beaten yet!
If you have been driving for too long and want to stretch your legs why not hike up Mt Iron (opposite the entrance to Puzzling World). Its likely that you will meet many locals with the same idea!
Visit the famous Lone Star restaurant which has an amazing climbing wall - should you feel energetic after one of their meals!
My favourite cafe? Well I do like Yohei...they are tucked away in the mall opposite New World and they do fabulous sushi. If Jon the owner is in ask him how his training is going for the next Wanaka challenge! Oh and do try their new mini choc/peppermint cakes - Yum!!!
To celebrate the Millenium, Wanaka created a walk which has historical tiles along the waterfront.
Bring a picnic to eat in Pembroke Park which has unparalleled views across the lake.
I hope that has whetted your appetite!
More to follow :D
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