From Wanaka, we headed through the Haast Pass to the west coast. On the way, there are some nice waterfalls to stop and look at. One of them was Fantail Falls, to the south of Haast Pass not far from Thunder Creek Falls. When plenty of water is plummeting over the 15m waterfall is when it is most likely to look like a fan. They can be seen from the road, but it is best to take the bush walk to the riverbed to appreciate them fully.
There is a sign posted car park, and the walk is no more than 5-10 minutes so it is a good place to stop and stretch those legs!
For those days where weather intervenes and you cant get up the mountain, puzzling world provides hours of 'puzzling' entertainmet.
Lots of optical illusions and other cool stuff to keep you busy.
Visit a Vineyard
The Central Otago region has many good wineries and you could do an entire day or two visiting all the wineries and sampling tasting (get a driver though). See for detail
However, when in Wanaka, a local vineyard, Rippon provides a close to town experience. In fact you could walk around the Lake to the vineyard (it would take about 20-30 mins), taste some nice wine, buy a bottle or two & walk back. Perfect!
While you are there try a game of GolfCross which is sort of like golf but with an oval ball.
Wanaka - New Zealand
"Wanaka - New Zealand"
Would love to say that I went skydiving with most of the Magic Bus travellers in Wanaka - but would be telling porkies if I did!!
Apparently it's the cheapest place to do a tandem skydive in the whole of NZ, so pretty much everyone did it apart from me!!!!
Instead they took us to Puzzling World which is a place full of weird stuff and optical illusions - great for taking photos to fool the folks back home as you pretend to hold a giant tower up with just your two hands!! - you get the picture!!
So I had lots to tell the skydivers back on the bus as we went to our next destination - and they told me a few boring tales about jumping out of planes!!!
Warbirds over Wanaka 2006
"Aircraft at the Airport"
April 2006 and we were headed for a mountain trek in Mt Aspiring National Park. That mean driving past the airport at Wanaka, where the Warbirds were gathering for this year's airshow. Something of a tease, to be there but not able to stop. These photos were all taken from the coach, through the windows. As you can see the day was glorious. This was Friday, the practice day.
"Impressive flying boat."
The Catalina is always a huge attraction, and its sound and form flying slowly through the air are unmistakeable.
"Flying Boat heading for the Water..."
Wouldn't you know it! I walked back to the coach from the lake and then the Catalina decided to do a "Touch and Go" on the water. I didn't have time to run back down to the waterfront. This photo is the best I could do though. Well it's something, and you can see the lovely backdrop. You can just see the water at the bottom of the photo.
They were still setting up but most things were in place when we drove past. This was likely the best day weatherwise, but I hear the weather was still ok over the weekend for the airshow. This venue is amazing and magical with the snowy mountains around and about.
The Nanchangs and Laks (I can never tell them apart) were lined up for all to see. Later they would be putting on a refined display of their agility.
"Stars of the show."
No airshow is complete without the Hurricane and the Spitfire. Look carefully and you can see these two stars in the photo. They are both true favourites of mine, and a lot of other people's too :-)
"More at the airport."
Also, along with static aircraft displays there is a Transport and Toy Museum at Wanaka Airport.
"Old Flying Machine Company"
Looks like the Hanna's Old Flying Machine Company has set up a kiwi base here too. They are a well known UK aircraft restoration and display company. Sadly Ray Hanna died last year, and his flying son Mark was killed flying a display aircraft back in 1999. Ray was originally from New Zealand, but Mark was born and raised in the UK.