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A local’s guide to Wanaka

The strenuous yet highly rewarding hike to Roy's Peak in Wanaka. The hike is difficult but the views are spectacular. A woman walks down the trail.

A local’s guide to Wanaka

Rose from boutique fragrance company George & Edi gives us an insider's guide for where to eat, drink and explore in Wanaka.

A local’s guide to Wanaka

Best brunch spot and what to order…

Florence’s Foodstore and Cafe (especially in the summer when you can sit out in the garden) and it always has to be the creamy mushrooms with a side of bacon – just delicious!

Where you go for creative inspiration…

A walk along the lakefront or a movie at Ruby’s Cinema. I love movies and escaping into another world for a while. It always wakes my creative brain up after a busy day at work and I love films like Dior & I, House of Cardin and other creative documentaries.

Favourite scenic spot without the tourist crowds…

Edgewater Resort’s Wineglass Café – It has one of the best views out over the lake and in summer you can sit in a beanbag under the trees on the lawn and enjoy the views and in winter you can be inside and enjoy the fire and the views.

It’s my favourite retreat for a break from work to get some fresh air, or be cosy with a cuppa by the fire.

Best place to buy a gift…

We are lucky to have so many amazing shops to choose from in Wanaka. Gifted Design Store is our flagship stockist and have supported us since day one.

They have a great range of products instore to choose from – incl G&E.

Little-known events…

There is a new event being planned for October called TOI – it is going to be a celebration of creativity, design and excellence for locals and visitors who love the arts.

It will feature two days of workshops, exhibitions, events and performances. Slated to take place the weekend of Oct 17 & 18th.

The annual NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival is another great event people may not know about. It runs for about two weeks in late June. You can choose from adventure film screenings, book events and talks from adventurers in different fields etc – it is always a great event.

Best cocktail in town…

The Spiced Quince Negroni at KIKA – a great little cocktail to enjoy before dinner

Restaurant with the most innovative menu and/or beautiful, creative plating…

Wanaka is soo spoilt with amazing restaurants and we love them all, but to answer this question, I think it’s KIKA again, as James always creates a gorgeous and interesting menu.

We last went there for coffee and dessert and it was hard to choose! I had the Medjool date pudding, popcorn ice cream, salted caramel and mandarin ash – divine!!

The one thing you always insist on visitors doing…

Two things: First, visit Pembroke Patisserie for a custard square (or any of their delicious treats).

Second, go to a movie in Cinema 2 at Ruby’s – there are only 12 reclining seats in there, so it’s just a bit special and feels like you are in a private screening. It’s one of my favourite things to do and all the arthouse type movies are screened in Cinema 2 – the best.

Instagram bait that isn’t #ThatWanakaTree…

The fabulous large sculpture ‘the hand that nurtures’, by NZ artist Llew Summers, it is located near the lakefront and is rather majestic.

READ MORE: 11 winery destinations that are perfect for a short-stay holiday.

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