Date of Adventure: 12-14 March 2021

Having driven up and over the Crown Range from Queenstown, it was already dark by the time we drove into Wanaka. As soon as we had cooked and cleaned up from dinner, Cameron grabbed his camera bag, walked to the lakefront, and set up his tripod to capture the famous Wanaka lake tree under starlight.

After packrafting a couple times down the Clutha, we made our way to an interesting place on the edge of town called Puzzling World. We had driven by it each time we drove to the campground and we were super intrigued by it!

It was something else! They had little wooden puzzles at every table in the lobby for you to figure out.

Kiwi Puzzle!

There were hallways lined with holographic images! And the tilted room was really fun, though sometimes hard to navigate!

Tilted room
Impossible box?
The floor in the bathroom

Outside there was a very large maze. There were towers in the four corners of the maze, each with a unique color. The goal was to get to each colored tower before finding your way out! It took us well over an hour, it was so much fun!!

Yellow tower in view from the green tower

After escaping Puzzling World, we went back to the Wanaka tree to see it in the day!

It was still early afternoon, so we moseyed around town popping in and out of shops. Probably our favorite store in Wanaka was Racer’s Edge, an outdoor clothing and gear store! We overheard one of the salespersons talking about packrafting, so we decided to ask him about it. We all got to chatting about the recent places he had been, and we told him about our DIY packrafts. It was great!

Another one of our favorites we keep coming back to is Glowing Sky, a merino wool clothing store. We love their little half-gloves they sell! We also checked out The Theiving Kea, a super cute little souvenir shop!

Merino half-gloves, nice for winter!

We returned to the tree again at dusk, hoping for sunset colors. There was a storm rolling in that night, so the winds were whipping our face. We heard a small noise behind us, only to see a Jeep bearing down on us as they had a joyride along the shore. We scrambled to get our stuff as they zoomed around us, with the passenger shouting “Sorry, not sorry!” as they drove by. Must not have been Kiwis!

Stormy tree

Our final day in Wanaka we decided to drive down as far as we could to the end of the peninsula and go for a walk! During this walk, we found a tree seat, a tree swing and an apple tree. You could say the walk was in-tree-guing! What a beautiful sunny day!

Sitting on a big branch
Roy’s Peak in the background
Fresh picked apple!

After our walk we drove back to the lakefront, parked up, and got to work on our current sewing project. We had been working on winterizing our van, and the first thing we were working on was sewing insulation onto the backs of the window curtains. The lakeside in the sun was a perfect place to winterize the van!

Sewing in the van!

We’ve returned to Wanaka a couple times since then, but always as a stopover to go elsewhere, and it’s not quite as warm as it was then. We will have to return in the spring and see if the apple tree is in bloom!

Thanks for reading, see you next time!


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