The manager of Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka, Kaydee George, gives us a local’s lowdown on the best way to spend a winter’s day in her town, Wanaka.
My favourite place for breakfast is Kai Whakapai, which is Maori for ‘food made good’. It serves one of my favourite dishes, eggs benny with Akaroa salmon – a perfect start to the day. Kai is a local favourite and a great spot to indulge in some people-watching! By night, Kai becomes Wanaka’s most relaxed bar. It also serves a mean mulled wine, the perfect winter warmer.
Good coffee is an institution in Wanaka and, for the best, you cannot go past The Federal Diner. This hidden gem is tucked down a lane way in the middle of town. Don’t forget a cheese scone – it’s a staple in the Southern Alps!
Hit the slopes
Wanaka offers the best of both worlds with two mountains (Treble Cone and Cardrona) ideal for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Whether you’re looking for wide beginner trails, pristine runs or freeride off piste terrain, you won’t be disappointed. Both mountains offer shuttle services and hire gear to get you all decked out for a day on the slopes. True powder hounds, try Southern Lakes Heliski, a tour known for its extensive terrain, stunning scenery and untouched powder.
After a leg-burning workout on the mountain, you cannot go past a movie and legendary hot cookies at Cinema Paradiso. Comfortable old couches, an old Morris Minor car and a mid-movie interval which gives you the chance to indulge in some handmade local ice-cream makes a visit to Cinema Paradiso the perfect rest-day activity.
What better way to end the day than to watch the sunset over Lake Wanaka? For the best view in town, head to Gin and Raspberry. This boutique bar has a huge range of cocktails, 50 different types of Gin and locally-brewed craft beers. A cocktail by the roaring log fire at Gin and Raspberry will be sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy!
Francesca’s is an authentic Italian restaurant serving homemade pasta and traditional wood-fired pizzas. The Merino Lamb Shoulder Ragu is melt-in-your-mouth, and no Italian feast is complete without tiramisu and house made mascarpone! If you’re looking for a light dinner, try Francesca’s sister restaurant Kika, which serves Italian-style tapas.