Sitting on the shores of Lake Wanaka, this popular resort town enjoys an international reputation for it’s beauty, peace and tranquility. Like Queenstown, Wanaka is an upmarket area with something for everyone – whether you are looking for fishing, golfing, jet boating, sky diving, rock climbing or a choice of shops or restaurants. Not only is it an alpine playground providing superb ski resorts for thousands of skiers and snowboarders during the winter months, Wanaka is also the gateway to the Mount Aspiring National Park, a haven of forest-cloaked slopes, glacial mountains and river flats.

The expansive open lake frontage gives easy access to the stunning vistas. Wanaka is a stunning place to spend a few days, especially as we managed a quick visit to the Rippon vineyard for a wine-tasting session.

This area of New Zealand is better known to many people as Middle Earth, the fictional setting of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy writings, including The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. New Zealand born Peter Jackson filmed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in various locations around New Zealand.