3 days | 182km
Route: Wanaka local - Central Otago
Best time of year: All year
Day 1 Wanaka to Luggate
Car 21 mins | 24km
Start your foodie tour of Wanaka with a drive down to Archangel Vineyard, which sits on two ancient glacial terraces high above the Clutha River. This 23-hectare estate nurtures Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling vines. Along with a bottle or two you will also take home the story behind this vineyard - that is sure to stay with you long after you leave.
On your return to Wanaka stop in at the iconic Luggate Hotel and then pay a visit to Wanaka Beerworks. Wanaka’s oldest boutique brewery has been brewing beers since 1998, but has been joined by 5 other craft breweries, making Wanaka home to one of the highest breweries to population ratios in New Zealand. Let's just say there must be something in the water here.
Watch the sun go down over the lake and mountains from Bistro Gentil, Wanaka’s only hatted restaurant, serving modern French inspired cuisine with an extensive wine list that features many of our locally produced wines.
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Day 2 Wanaka to Central Otago
Car 1 Hr 40 mins | 120km
No visit to Wanaka would be complete without a wine tour to sample some of the world’s best Pinot Noir or a range of other cold-climate varietals. Guides will take you to the best vineyards where you’ll meet some of the wine industry’s characters and also sample some locally sourced gourmet food as well. Travel in a quirky Citroen 2CV or in spacious vans – whatever suits your style and budget. The wine and food tours can be either half or full day experiences.
In the evening visit the popular Francesca’s Italian Kitchen for dinner, but make sure you book well ahead to get a table, their wood fired pizza’s and polenta chips are famous in Wanaka and further afield.
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Day 3 Wanaka to Cardrona
Car 10 mins | 10km
Today is about visiting a few of the local producers and vineyards and if it’s Thursday then a visit to the Artisan Market is a must! Sourdough bread and ginger bread biscuits judged some of the best, taste locally brewed beer, amazing cakes, and mulled wine. But you’ll have to wait until 3.00pm to sample these.
In the meantime, a lovely walk or bike ride around the lake will take you to Rippon Vineyard where you can sample wines at one of the oldest vineyards in Central Otago.
For lunch, call in to Florences Foodstore and Café. It’s an experiential food destination where you can eat, drink and also wander through the store, tasting and enjoying the display of foods both local and imported. Other great places to try are Fedeli, The Big Fig, Soulfood and Urban Grind.
After lunch head-up the Cardrona Valley to The Cardrona Distillery. This is a family-owned artisan distillery producing hand-made artisan spirits including: single malt whiskey, vodka, orange liqueur and gin. Book in to do a tour and tasting and see how they make their spirits using time-honoured traditional methods.
Finish the day with a great pub meal at the historic Cardrona Hotel.
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