#TheBigTrip2012: Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

(Third part of a series.)

Wanaka

The way from Fox Glacier to Wanaka was another breathtaking experience. (You can check out the roadtrip photos in my previous post). Our next destination was this fun and quirky Puzzling World attraction in Wanaka. You wouldn’t miss this unique place as you will immediately notice their unique architecture–the Leaning Tower of Wanaka and the four eccentric Tumbling Towers. We thoroughly enjoyed playing and goofing around these halls. This is visual trickery at its best!

Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

The Great Maze (Labyrinth). Here’s a life-size maze which you can solve. Others walk around this for hours and take a long time to get out of it. Good thing there are emergency doors for those who would like to give up already! ;)

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Roman-style toilets. Roman toilets often had running water under the seats (flush toilets). This diorama / mural is not for use though! It’s just something to look at and take cool photos.

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

 Hall of Following Faces. Giant models of famous faces seem to follow and look at you around the room, left and right (yet the faces are not actually embossed).

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Holograms. Move side to side, up and down, it’ll give you more than one image.

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How many animals can you see? (Six!)

South Island Day 2

South Island Day 24

South Island Day 23

Holograms, Illusion Rooms and art. Creations by some of NZ’s finest artists.

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

The Tilted House. This room is tilted at an angle of 15 degrees yet everything displayed is normal. I swear I got dizzy when I was inside this room. Prepare to get out of balance!

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

The Ames Forced Perspective Room. How can this be? The secret is that floor of this room is tilted. When you look from the outside through a window, the room looks perfectly normal. Cool huh!

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Sculptillusion Gallery.

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Puzzling Cafe. After an enjoyable (and could be tiring) day, you can sit back first and order food in the cafe… and perhaps solve more puzzles and games as well.

Lake Wanaka

It was the day before Christmas when we got here so this quaint town had a lot of tourists and locals just frolicking around the area, drinking in the cafes, lazing by the lake. I won’t wonder why, with its pretty lake, Mt. Aspiring surrounding this, and many unique activities to do, there are definitely a lot of things to be enjoyed here.

But, we’ve got to get going, we were going to spend our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Queenstown!

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

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Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Chill trips by the lake.

Queenstown

I’ve always been curious about this place. Those who have been to NZ tell me that I’ve got to visit Queenstown because it’s really beautiful.

After that steep and windy road in Crown Range Summit, we were finally in Queenstown. This has become one of my favorite places in South Island–surrounded by mountains and the shores of Lake Wakatipu, yes it’s true: Queenstown IS stunning.

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Christmas Day in Queenstown.

TSS Earnslaw Vintage Cruise Ship

We went aboard the iconic steamship TSS Earnslaw, which has been around for 100 years already, transporting passengers to the surrounding communities of Queenstown. It was a great way to see and experience Queenstown’s scenic beauty as it unfolded before our eyes.

Inside the ship, you can view their engine room and steam engines, take a look at the historical photos in their museum, or even sing-along with the pianist.

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Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Skyline Queenstown — Gondola and Luge

We went up Bob’s Peak through the Skyline Gondola to marvel at the wonderful views of Queenstown region. It was a steep ride in the cable car lift! There are viewing platforms and outdoor terraces upon arrival. One of the activities we chose is doing the 800-meter thrilling Skyline Luge ride winding downhill!


Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Queenstown region from up above. Those mountains are called The Remarkables. It’s summer so the snow have all melted.

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Chairlift to the Luge. Start off with the scenic view track.

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Luge! A ‘must do’ activity on a Queenstown holiday!

AJ Hackett Bungy Jump

Oh! The bungy madness!!! This is a 43-meter jump off from the Kawarau Bridge and below a blue-green river. Queenstown is the adventure capital of NZ but even so, I just had to take a look first how the bungy jump is like before taking my own leap (that’s another story next time!). I wasn’t ready yet at this point! Watching the brave jumpers take off, my knees just started to get wobbly…

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South IslandCute signages in their toilets.

Shotover Top 10 Holiday Park

By the way, we didn’t stay in hotels during this South Island roadtrip adventure. We have stayed in cabins, camping / campervan sites, or backpacking lodges such as this one in Arthur’s Point, Queenstown. It has a common kitchen where you can cook and its pretty interesting to see how travelers with different nationalities cook up their own food. It also has a common bathrooms which is quite clean. This is where we spent our Christmas Eve! ;)

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

Up next: Canterbury and Christchurch in South Island.

5 thoughts on “#TheBigTrip2012: Wanaka and Queenstown in South Island

  1. Pingback: #TheBigTrip2012: Bungy jumping in Mokai Gravity Canyon! « The Traveling Havaianas

  2. Pingback: Rotorua and Tauranga: The coolest hotspots – The Big Move: from Manila to Wellington

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