After our 4 days 3 nights cycling from Dunstan to Lawrence and around 150kms, Trail Journeys drove us back to the start and to our next journey…

2 hours later, we got dropped off and got our hire car at 6pm, left Queenstown at 6:20 on our way to Wanaka up the Crown Range dropping into the Cardrona Valley – everything was just so beautiful! I didn’t know where to look

A really scenic drive, only around 1hr from Queenstown
Our car was dented and bashed pretty badly – At least it had 4 wheels so no complaints!
On the road! But with another type of vehicle
Queenstown Basin View point
Everyone in NZ is an outdoor adventurer! I LOVE IT!
Lupis growing all along the highway
We couldn’t help but stop and take in the beautiful colours of the Lupins


We had to stop here! The outside was all historical and sucked us right in to explore!

Established in 1863, the Cardrona Hotel is one of New Zealand’s oldest hotels, and is one of only two remaining buildings from the Cardrona Valley gold rush era. In it’s hey-day Cardrona was a prosperous settlement and significant commercial hub for the area. During this period the hotel – one of four in the township – offered accommodation, livery services and an accommodation stop for itinerant travellers. The historic hotel facade is representative of this now vanished town and is an important part of New Zealand’s history.

The pub was so cute and very unique, the fire was on outside and seating areas were plenty!
There is a lot of old history in this pub and you could tell as you explored it’s gardens
One of their old trucks still in the garage!
Comfy family friendly pub with great kiwi beers and pub food
The gardens around the hotel area were well looked after with beautiful colourful flowers
The inside is still quite historic, the old pic shows Cadrona Hotel in the past
The glass covered lit up hole on the floor on the right is an old mine where they used to get in from

Wanaka town centre
Scroggin Cafe for breakfast – a popular place with awesome food and coffee
Wanaka is a place to shop boutique style! Bring your $$$$$$$$
Wool wool wool
Wanaka town views of Mt Aspiring
Swimming in the waters in Wanaka Bay – so much to do here
Cardrona Ski fields under the clouds
Cardrona Distillery


We had to have a booking to visit this winery, gates were locked and we had to be buzzed in, the tasting was lovely with light whites, rose and light reds, no preservatives and organic

The view was just beautiful!!

Rippon’s story begins in 1912 when Sir Percy Sargood bought a high country station on the western flanks of Lake Wanaka. Three decades later, while serving in the Second World War as a submarine lieutenant, Percy’s grandson, Rolfe Mills, was struck by the vines growing on the schist slopes of the Douro Valley that reminded him of those back in Wanaka and, with that, a hunch was born. In 1975, Rolfe and his wife Lois began planting experimental vines and, in 1982 began the commercial planting of the 15ha that today comprise Rippon

We tried all these wines – the rose was our favourite!

Biodynamic farming, wild ferments, no irrigation and some of Central Otago’s oldest vines on their own roots all help to produce fruit and wines which are true to their place

Hand picked, wine is kept in barrels for over 2 years and they grow their own fertiliser

That night we got ready and went to Paddys friends place for some drinks and a chat, they are SO lovely! We had a great time talking to them and sharing stories 🥳


Muttonbird was an awesome place to eat! Paddy had wanted to try this out for a while and knew the chef, George well and was curious to try the menu there – the girls loved the food there!

The place was modern and spacious and the wines were lovely
My favourite was the onion flower! so creative and delicious!