When I reached Wanaka, accomodation didn’t jump out and grab me. So I started walking, I saw a sign that pointed to a Backpackers (the YHA) which I walked past, and wasn’t too impressed, continuing my walk I stood watching some skateboarders playing on a half-pipe with the beautiful Lake Wanaka in the background. When I turned around, there was the European Chalet stylings of the Purple Cow.
The Purple Cow, had a really friendly vibe, with a log fire, a nice big tv room, Ping Pong and Pool tables. The kitchen was large and clean and all of the people were happy to have a chat. I stayed in a 4 bed dorm with an ensuite, very reasonably priced at $24 a night.
Wanaka itself is a strange town, it has a very hippy casual feel, with a lot of (excuse my generalisation) dreadlocked snowboarders sitting at the coffee shop, Kai Whakapai (prononounced Ky Fuka-Pie), which might I add served a mean hang-over cure breakfast.
While I’m on the topic of hang-overs, there are almost more pubs in Wanaka than all the other shops added together. It seems that Wanaka has grown faster than businesses can move in. Anyway, I went to an Irish bar, Slainte where the Guinness was cold and served with a smile. The publican was more than happy to help me with finding a game of AFL to watch even though this meant sending me away from his establishment.
The other pub of note I went to was Red Rock, (named after my favourite chips), the DJ was spinning up funky hip-hop beats, the couches were comfortable and the beer was really well priced.