Relaxing by Lake Wanaka – Walks and Food

Relaxing by Lake Wanaka – Walks and Food

Lake WanakaLake Wanaka is the perfect place to relax after a few days walking. It’s also the perfect place to exhaust yourself some more with some gorgeous hikes, but I’ll get onto that later! The day we arrived in Wanaka, we’d woken up at 5:30 to do the gorgeous Hooker Valley Hike over at Aoraki / Mount Cook village. That meant, that although we’d already been up for hours and walked on some beautiful hikes, we still arrived before lunch! But, what an beautiful place to find yourself at lunchtime! This was our first view of Lake Wanaka. It’s so pretty!

We stayed by Lake Wanaka for two nights so we had plenty of time to walk along its shores and try plenty of the local restaurants. I’ll share our best finds below.

First Views of Lake Wanaka

We were slightly too early to check in to our hotel, so we went for a walk along Lake Wanaka’s shore, to the center of Wanaka, looking for something tasty to eat. The shores of the lake were covered in small pebbles, but it is still a lovely beach! We arrived on a pretty warm day and the water was lovely! It is a pretty touristy area, so if you fancy watersports as well as swimming, everything is available!

The lake is pretty shallow near Wanaka, so you can wade in quite far, and the water will still only reach your knees. This means it is a really good place for families with young children that want to learn to swim. We saw sooo many happy children plating in the lake’s waves. There is also plenty of space for sunbathers (although it can’t be particularly comfy to lay on the pebbles!) I personally wouldn’t reccomend sunbathing in the Kiwi sun. It is incredibly easy to get burned here, and I saw quite a few lobster-like people who must not have used quite enough sun cream!

I loved the views over to Roy’s Peak, as this was the mountain we planned to climb the following morning. You can see it will be a decent walk from the level of the lake!

The Wanaka Tree

My research (as always) mainly involved the best hikes in the area, so I didn’t know much about Wanaka itself. Early in the afternoon we wandered past a pretty tree growing at the edge of the lake. I didn’t think any more about it until we came past later to see hordes of people (and a man with a piano) getting ready to take photos of this tree at sunset!

I looked it up later, and it turns out this is New Zealand’s most famous tree. Apparently it is all over instagram, has it’s own facebook page and there are always people there to capture how pretty it is!

Tasty food In Wanaka

In addition to the pretty scenery, the other really good thing about Wanaka is the fantastic food! We used yelp (plus reading menus and seeing how busy places looked) to find good food here. As I really enjoyed our choices, I figured I should share them in case my blogging friends visit the area.

Relishes Café

This was our first stop for lunch when we arrived in Wanaka. It was a hot day, and both felt like something light. We shared some prawn skewers with noodles and a lentil burger. Each dish was fresh, full of flavour and soooo good. The things we saw brought to other tables looked tasty too.

Shinaburo Korean Eating House

We popped into Shinaburo on our first evening just as the sun was setting. The restaurant is HOT in the summer sun, but the food was tasty, so we managed to cope with the heat. The staff are Japanese, but they serve some pretty decent Korean food. If I went back, I’d probably order a meaty bibimbap (as the prawns were not that impressive.) The best dishes were the GIANT mussels and the Korean Fried Chicken.

Urban Grind

On our way to Shinaburo we noticed this hipster-looking restaurant was really busy, so we came back the following day after our long hike. We’d used up so much energy that we needed some good pub food, and that is what we received. The best things here were blue cod sliders and a side dish of broccoli and dukkha. They have s god selection of beers and pimms too!

Just be aware if you are from the UK, the pimms isn’t quite right – they swap cucumber for lemon, so it doesn’t quite have the summery flavour I was hoping for.

Black Peak Homemade Gelato

One final place that I have to mention is the Black Peak Gelato. I tried the chocolate and Rocky Road gelato. We took our ice-creams and ate them on the beach looking out at the beautiful views of Lake Wanaka. Om nom nom.

Sunset over Lake Wanaka

This was the view we enjoyed with our ice-cream. The clouds looked like they have been painted by someone who likes fake-looking clouds. They were sort of bubbly and beautiful.

Once we had walked back around as far as the Wanaka tree, we found a man with a piano serenading a group of photographers. Lake Wanaka did look amazing with those crazy clouds, but I am not sure why so many people wanted to be in this one particular spot, I mean, the views were gorgeous in all directions!

I thought the views in the opposite direction, over to Roy’s Peak were even better as the sun lit up the sky like pink fire.

Lake Wanaka views from Roy’s Peak

The next gorgeous Kiwi walk I’d like to write about is Roy’s Peak. It might take me a while to choose pictures and write about it as I took soooo many photos! For now, here is a sneak peak of the views of Lake Wanaka from half way up the mountain.

Click on the following link if you like the look of this and want other ideas for New Zealand Adventures.

26 thoughts on “Relaxing by Lake Wanaka – Walks and Food

    1. He was there for two nights in a row, and his piano was on a stand, that was just above the waves…so it must be a regular thing!

      I thought it was awesome!

    1. It was pretty warm, but the air was still lovely and fresh. To be honest I noticed it more the following day when we woke up early for more mountain walks!

    1. Yay! I hope you like them too!

      There were a few others that I would have tried as well if we had been there for longer! Wanaka is really good for food!

    1. Thanks Irene! It was one of the most relaxing places on our trip. I’m really glad you like the photos. 🙂

  1. A man with a piano by the edge of a lake on pebbly soil? How strange. Pianos are quite sensitive to extreme moves so how does he keep it in tune? And how does he get it there? Can you drive a truck on to the beach? I mean, it’s cool, and your photo is lovely, but it’s a bit strange.

    As usual, your photos and story are superb. I can’t wait for the next post and more photos. I hope you got a good jumping one?

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. I saw him wheeling his piano up to the waves…but I didn’t see how he maneuvered it onto the beach!

      I was wondering the same thing though! It sounded too good to be a piano that gets even slightly soggy every evening!

      p.s. I have a jumping photo in the next post which was my favourite of the whole trip!

  2. It’s a beautiful area. Yes, Dennis Radermacher took a photo of this tree which won the 2014 New Zealand Geographic photograph of the year. It’s incredibly famous.

    1. Yep, I found out when I was getting ready to write this post!

      I am rubbish at knowing the famous sights that I am *meant* to see on holiday. I’m just keen to find the pretty hikes!

  3. This place is so awesome! I am a big fan of lakes and, yes, I have seen the tree on Instagram. I can’t believe there is a guy with a piano in front of the tree. That is so unique. I need to visit this place one day. Everything in there looks appealing to me. #FlyAwayFriday

  4. The Lake Wanaka area looks absolutely breathtaking. And, I can see why so many people take pictures of the Wanaka tree. It is beautiful, and there’s just something about a tree that stands alone. I have a tree down the road from me that I love to photograph at sunrise. It’s alone in a big field of grass. Oh, and all the food you ate looked delicious! What a wonderful trip you had.

  5. Absolutely love Wanaka! I have happy memories as a child jumping off the wharf with my best friend and into the lake. I didn’t seem to be bothered by the lake temperature. We are planning to move just over the hill, to Queenstown and have bought a piece of land there so we will be frequenting this area in future! I just hope That Wanaka Tree is kept safe and protected from tourists who want to climb all over it for photos. #flyawayfriday

    1. Oooh you lucky thing! I was soooo impressed by Queenstown too! That has to be the most beautiful location for an airport EVER!! 😀

      I thought the lake was pretty warm. At least, far warmer than the sea. I can totally see why it would be perfect for kids to play in!!

  6. Lakes like these remind me why this earth is such a beautiful place. The food here looks so good too. Thanks for the inspiration to return to New Zealand! Pinned for later 🙂 Thanks for coming out on Fly Away Friday! Hope to see you this week!

    1. Thanks Janine! You’re right, we are so lucky to live on such a beautiful planet!

      It was lovely to be involved in fly away friday! I’ll try to find you all again this Easter weekend! 😉

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