A Week in Wanaka

October 2013, by Tom

After laying low for a few months (except for Gini and Olive venturing to Melbourne), we decided it was time for another family holiday.

Robin and Helen were keen on Wanaka and managed to book two neighbouring timeshare units. We jumped on board and Lauren, Paul, Ali and Lachlan also decided to make the trip over from Melbourne.

The timeshare was situated in a beautiful spot, 50 meters from Lake Wanaka, with stunning views all around. After settling in (after Tang negotiated taking the top master bedroom!), we awaited the arrival of the Turner/Pant clan.

I had not seen them since Christmas - and I had not even met 8 month old Lachlan.

It was a fantastic week, we managed a few walks - the first of which was the most strenuous, up to the top of Mount Iron to view the 360 degree views. It wasn’t overly taxing and Ali managed to nearly walk to the top by himself. The views from the top were lovely, but it was a little on the windy side. We hurried back down as Olive was getting very sleepy and tried to nod off in the back pack. That’s early mornings for you!

Another day we walked along the foreshore of Lake Wanaka. It was a beautiful day and the lake was very glassy. We found a nice spot for some stone skimming and Olive and Ali spent an age trying to fill up the lake with drift wood. The scenery was spectacular with the snow capped mountains behind the shimmering lake.

I managed two rounds of golf with Paul and Robin - and Ali came along for a ride too. The views from the golf course were beautiful. I actually played quite well on the first round - I think the squash I’ve been playing has been strengthening my golf swing. Or something.

While we golfed, the girls (and Lachie) found a pretty duck pond and watched as a mummy and daddy duck cared for their 12 ducklings.

With bad weather supposedly on it’s way, we decided to make the most of a nice evening and had fish and chips in a nearby park. The kids played with bubbles, swung on swings, kicked a ball around and Lachie showed off his new found crawling moves, taking his commando crawl to a new level (literally), while we waited for the arrival of a very tasty pile of Wanaka's best fish and chips. Yum.

We also managed a night out at the hotel's restaurant - where perhaps bangers and mash wasn’t the best thing to feed a messy eating toddler at a fancy restaurant. Olive has been spoilt with two dinners out now.

We planned a day trip out one day - with an hour drive to Arrowtown for pies, coffee and a spot of shopping. Unfortunately Ali’s breakfast didn’t like the windy Crown Range Road to get there. Luckily Robin had an emergency blueberry and yoghurt cleaning kit in his car. Prepared for anything! We had super tasty pies and coffee in the pretty Arrowtown square, where a female version of Lyon started to round us up! Cute dog, and made us wish Lyon was with us.

Afterwards, we ventured near Cromwell and up to the Mt Difficulty vineyard where Gini and I had been two years prior. Beautiful views and tasty wines to boot. Not a bad spot if I do say so myself.

It was really fun seeing the cousins interacting. Olive reaching an age where she is copycatting others and had a fantastic time copying Ali. There were both moments of joy and moments of steal the toy from the younger kid. I can already envisage a time in a few years where the kids can run amuck unsupervised while the adults kick back with a book and a glass of wine. We are not there yet though. As it is, holidays with kids are pretty exhausting but still very rewarding. Olives sleeping was pretty good all week, which definitely made it more enjoyable for Gini and I!

After a week of mostly sunshine and a little wind, the day we were to pack up and leave was wet. It non stop rained the whole morning. It was easily the day with the worst weather and luckily all we had to do was get to the airport and fly out. We made it in plenty of time - and even had a stop for McD’s breakfast and to buy Gini some shoes from Queenstown on the way!

We said our goodbyes to Paul at the airport, as he was heading home, while Lauren, Ali and Lachlan were joining us in Wellington. The flight was fine - Olive happily sitting in the spare seat between us for the majority of the journey. The landing, however, was nasty. It was the bumpiest approach I have ever felt - and we were all relieved when we were finally nearly touching down on the runway. Unfortunately, the pilot couldn’t get the plane low enough to land on the first approach, so we had to do it all over again! We all felt rather queasy by the time we collected our suitcases and journeyed home.

Lauren, Ali and Lachlan were staying with us for two nights, which was great. The first time we’ve had visitors staying over (except for the odd occasion where people have crashed for the night after a party). It was lots of fun - with Lauren and Lachie fitting nicely in the shrunk down spare room, and Ali sleeping on the floor of Olives room.

After a week away and two nights with the cousins, it felt sad when the house was returning to normal again. With post holiday depression kicking in, Lyon returned home after 10 days with Alan and Trish - so that was a perk up all round! We missed you buddy!

We get to do it all again in a couple of months when we venture to Melbourne for the wedding of the year! Can't wait!


Pretty lane

Pretty lane

Tasty fish and chips in a pretty park near the timeshare

Tasty fish and chips in a pretty park near the timeshare

Happy to have her buddy home again.

Happy to have her buddy home again.