“Wow.” It was the only thing we could say as Wānaka Trike Tours owners Ian and Yvette Piercy rolled up on their German-made Rewaco trikes. These three-wheeled beasts were to serve as our transport for this one-hour tour and we couldn’t wait to hop into the hot seats and hit the open road.
After getting our helmets on and teeing up the built-in intercom system (so we could all speak to each other during the tour), we rolled out of the Wānaka i-SITE carpark and onto Ardmore Street. I could already feel the eyes of curious Happy Hour indulgers upon us, probably trying to figure out what the heck it was that we were riding. Ian was quick to explain that we would need to perfect our “Royal” waves – we’d be getting a few stares along the way.
And how could you not? The trikes are fitted out with 1600cc and 1800c VW engines, one with twin carburetors and one fuel-injected. The three-seaters are fitted with seatbelts for passengers, while the driver rides like a traditional motorcyclist. Admittedly, it’s an unusual sight, and certainly an unusual feeling riding as a passenger – but we came to love the thrill of it.
As we cruised out of town and towards our first destination – Glendhu Bay – things really shifted into gear (literally). When you’re driving in your car, you don’t quite realise just how fast 100km/h is. On the back of the trikes, it quickly becomes apparent – and it’s exhilarating.
We stopped in beautiful Glendhu Bay to take in the view and marvel at how clear the water is. Ian explained that Glendhu Bay might perhaps be one of the best places to swim in Wānaka; it’s a shallow part of the lake and is therefore much warmer than some of the other preferred swimming holes.
After getting our fill of the mountainscapes from Glendhu Bay, we hopped back on the trikes and headed for Albert Town. As we passed through Wanaka town centre, we pulled over at the Wānaka War Memorial and got an incredible view of the township, the lake and mountainous backdrop.
Cruising into Albert Town, we stopped up at where the Hāwea River joins the Clutha River, forming the largest river in New Zealand. After a blustery ride to the riverside, it was incredibly peaceful to sit and listen to the babbling river water and listen to Ian tell us stories about Wānaka’s rich history.
What’s a road trip without a stop at a winery? Paddon’s Paddock have just opened their new tasting room and it is absolutely gorgeous. Watching the golden hour sun set over the beautiful grounds was definitely one of the highlights of our tour.
If wineries are your fancy, Wānaka Trike Tours totally has you covered; they can tailor a wine tour to your liking and even add in a picnic to mix! Imagine, responsibly wine touring from the back of a trike! Yes please.
As we headed back into Wānaka, we did a quick stop over at Copper Beech Wānaka, the luxury accommodation owned by Yvette and Ian. The property is absolutely fantastic, with a lush green lawn, a spa and a guest quarters in a separate wing of the house. The stay is famous for their incredible breakfasts, which include fresh bread baked daily by Ian.
We should also mention that Wānaka Trike Tours do airport transfers and transport to Wanaka tourist hotspots. Copper Beech Wānaka is also just a two-minute walk from Bistro Gentil, one of Wānaka’s finest restaurants. So, why not make a weekend of it? Airport transfer, a beautiful stay, luxurious dining and of course, an epic trike tour.
What more could you want?