Wanaka/Queenstown Travel Diary: Day 3

Today it poured with rain. Relentlessly. All day. And I learned that when you are in Wanaka on a rainy day it’s all about the planning.

In the school holidays during the ski season, people are largely there to ski. When the mountain is closed, people get organised and book things for their kids to do. There is a lot of stuff to do on a rainy day in Wanaka, but it fills up quickly and it’s important to book.

My tip is if the weather looks like it might be inclement, make some bookings – you can always cancel if things change.

These are some of the good things you can do indoors on a bad day in Wanaka:

Ruby’s (via Tripadvisor)

Ruby’s and Cinema Paradiso are the two movie theatres in Wanaka. Cinema Paradiso is a must see (even if the movie is lousy). Seats are a combination of sofas, plush lounge chairs and the piece de resistance – a yellow convertible Morris Minor, so you can pretend you’re at the drive in. Ruby’s is equally eclectic. All plush red upholstery, velvet curtains and vintage movie posters. Ruby’s has the added advantage of being attached to Basecamp Wanaka (climbing wall) and Lone Star Restaurant (family friendly American style food, but with schist stone fireplace and roaring fire).

Base Camp building, Wanaka
Basecamp Wanaka (via Salmond Architecture)

Which leads me to Basecamp Wanaka. This is on the road out of Wanaka towards Cardrona, and is a wonderful way for kids to burn off steam during a day stuck inside. This is a “clip and climb” concept. Once again, it books out super fast, so call them to reserve a place.

Puzzling World (via Puzzling World)

Puzzling World is a bit of an institution, which has recently gone through a renovation. Sadly, one of their best features is their large outdoor maze – not really an option when the heavens have opened. The maze opened in 1973, and the complex has been added to with a range of mind bending optical illusions. It gets very busy during the holidays, so get in early.

Finally, a new comer, The Air Shed. This is a trampoline complex, similar to Jump in Auckland, but on a much smaller and more rustic scale. They offer instruction in trampolining and skateboarding, but you can just drop in for an hour and bounce. Be aware, that at this point, health and safety appears to be a little on the loose side, so it would pay to have an adult there.

The Air Shed (via Lake Wanaka)

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