New Zealand: Queenstown and Wanaka


We woke later than usual but compensated for it by getting ready quicker than ever. We then drove into the centre and after the usual problems finding parking for a 7.2m long vehicle were sitting down in a cafe for breakfast.

The breakfast menu included lots of organic options but Joel and David opted for the full fried option instead. Basically a full Irish breakfast with out the white pudding. Quite tasty and once followed by an organic orange juice it really got us started for the day.

We headed off around Queenstown to do a small amount of shopping before David got the bus and we drove back to Wanaka.

The drive was uneventfull and quiet, we got to Wanaka slightly ahead of the bus and put the time to good use: taking photos of the lake and checking what was on in Cinema Paradiso - which had been recommended by some friends.

Puzzle World Wanaka

Our first stop once David arrived was Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World. This is slighty outside the town centre but in the camper we got there in minutes.

There were two parts that we were interested in visiting: the maze and the hall of illusions. As it was going to be dark in a few hours we decided to try the maze first. This is supposed to be the first "modern" multi-level maze.

We decided to try it individually and so entered with a short delay between us; Joel then David and Cristina last. The goal was to visit all four of the towers marking the cardinal points of the maze.

David in the maze The maze from one of the towers David and Joel in the maze

In the end we all mananged to complete the maze in less than the "average" time and exited in the same order as we'd entered.

The hall of illusions was less enjoyable and we more or less passed straight through, probably would have been better if we had actual children with us rather than just acting like children ourselves!

Leaning Tower of Wanaka

After the hall of illusions we took some typical tourist photos of the "Leaning Tower of Wanaka" and headed to David's house for some supper.


When we'd first mentioned to some friends who'd visited New Zealand that we'd be going there they were kind enough to send us a list of recommendations. One of them had been the "Cinema in Wanaka" (and this before they knew that David was going to be there). We were intrigued but the website seemed to indicate that it would be closed during July.

Luckily we asked in the i-site and they assured us that it was both open and well worth a visit and David's housemates were in complete agreement.

As a result we ended up all going to the Paradiso cafe for a glass of wine to wash down supper and to wait for the cinema to open.

We'd already been told that the cinema was more comfortable than the normal multi-plex but even so we were surprised to see sofas, armchairs and even a Mini!

Cinema Paradiso Relaxing in the cinema Joel enjoying his cookie

Half-way through the film the lights came on and it was time for freshly baked cookies - still warm from the oven. All cinemas should be like this!

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