I have always been fascinated with the modern home. The clean lines, stark interiors and I wondered if anyone who lived in them had any “stuff” and where did they put it? The homes in NZ all have a slight to extreme modern look to them, which we saw referred to as “Kiwi Modern”. The clean lines, lots of windows, and a great variety of angles. They were all over the town of Wanaka as we drove around and it was hard not to stop and take pictures of all of them. They were building homes in several areas of town and we drove through a few of the developments. They build their homes using scaffolding which I found very interesting. I would love to see the inside of these homes and ask where they put their stuff.
The home we were staying in, the Kauri House, was not of modern vintage. It was a traditional style house, built in the 70’s from wood and slate that was previously used in other houses that were torn down. It was a very beautiful home and the part we stayed in was an addition to the second floor. The house sits on a big hill overlooking the town, giving us great views.
The drive up to the house was a challenge though. It was a dirt, switchback road that was only wide enough for one car, maybe a mini cooper. We had a Toyota SUV. Scary drive up and down as there is a wall of rock on one side and straight down on the other. The advantage of having a house on a hill is that you are already halfway up and there are some paths right outside your back door to the top. The hill is called Mount Iron and it was a nice walk up to the top. There are old horse trails and dirt bike trails that meander all around but if you kept going up, you knew you would eventually arrive at the top. From this flat-topped mountain you have a view of the whole area.
We enjoyed the view and decided to go back to the house. We started ok, but then…things began to look all the same. The bike paths went in all kinds of directions and we just could not seem to find the way we walked up. At one point, we could see the pointed rooftop of the house so we thought we were ok. We ended up on a steep slope following what appeared to be an old sheep trail. We are not sheep. We cannot stand on a steep cliff so we headed back up a bit, found a trail that looked familiar, and managed to get back. Took a little longer than expected, but we survived!
Wanaka is a nice little town on the lake and we decided to take advantage of a Fish n’ Chips place called BoaBoa Food Company that was supposed to be famous. You can choose what kind of fish you want, how you want it and they wrap it up in a newspaper. It was awesome! The NZ soda, Lemon & Paeroa (L&P)…not so much. Created in 1907, it was traditionally made by combining lemon juice with carbonated mineral water from the town of Paeroa. I am not a fan of bubbles but it is the kind of soda you grow up with and love. A bit like our Mountain Dew.
While enjoying lunch on the waterfront, we saw another of the many vans that we see here driving around. They are very colorful! Some are hand painted, others are rental vans. Beats our boring old blue cars!