Central Otago Wine Trip (Day 5/5) Wanaka, Rippon Winery, Cardrona Bra Fence

central otago rippon winery wanaka tree

【Day 5】Wanaka –  Visit Rippon Winery, Cardrona Bra Fence, Lake Wanaka

Wanaka Location New Zealand Map
Map: Wanaka – South Island of New Zealand


  • See: Wanaka town (Scenic hike, kayak, cycling, skiing, skydiving)
  • See: Wanaka artisan market (Thursday 3pm – 6pm)
  • Wine Tasting 11: Rippon Winery (Most beautiful winery in New Zealand)


  • See: Cardrona Bra Fence (Why people hang their bras on this special fence beside the road)
  • Taste: Cardrona Distillery (spirits, liqueurs and cocktails)
  • See: Cardrona Hotel (Historic old hotel beside the main road, great place for a drink)
  • See: Cardrona Ski Field (Go skiing during winter or just simply drive up for the view during summer)


Day 5 Central Otago Wine Trip Itinerary Wanaka Rippon Wine, CArdrona Bra Fence

1. See: Wanaka Town

Wanaka is a popular city on the south island of New Zealand for its ski resort and summer activities. It’s a beautiful small town with quite many tourists here for hiking, skydiving, skiing, or just enjoy that beautiful lake. Even if you are not into any of those adventurous activities, it is still good to stay at least 1 night in Wanaka to see the view or just visit the most beautiful vineyard in New Zealand – Rippon Vineyard.

We spent the morning walking around Lake Wanaka and just soak in that beautiful atmosphere. If you walk around the lake it will lead you to that famous Wanaka Tree. If you haven’t seen it, you should at least take a picture as it is the most photographed tree in the whole New Zealand. See my previous post about Wanaka Tree, here.

The water there as usual in New Zealand was crystal clear with ducks, swans and birds around. We can even see the giant eels in the water (not sure if you still want to swim in the water).

Lake WAnaka big eels
Spot the giant eels in Lake Wanaka

2. Shop: Wanaka Artisan Market

This small street market opens on every Thursday afternoon from 3pm-6pm just next to Speights Ale House on the main street. Selling local crafts, pastries, bread, plums, fabric gifts, handcrafted wooden bowls, local wine and more.

Wanaka Artisan Market Thursday afternoon

3. Wine Tasting: Rippon Vineyard

That was the 11th vineyard that we have visited in the last 5 days in Central Otago, New Zealand.

Just like #thatwanakatree, Rippon Vineyard is also famed as the most photographed vineyard in New Zealand. But unlike #thatwanakatree, Rippon vineyard has one of the most amazing views!

Having travelled to many wine regions around the world, I can safely say Rippon Vineyard is the most beautiful vineyard that I have ever visited up to today.

Rippon Vineyard Central Otago Wanaka Most beautiful vineyard
This view at Rippon Vineyard, Wanaka

Rippon Vineyard is Wanaka’s oldest vineyard and a Central Otago pioneer. Family owned, farmed biodynamically, wild ferments and no irrigation (which not many wineries in New Zealand can have old enough vines to do dry farming).

Rippon Vineyard is very popular and quite crowded when we visited. The tasting was free and the staff was very professional and conducted the tasting session well.

Wines are in corks closure instead of screw caps, which is also quite rare in today’s New Zealand wines. Apart from the flagship Pinot Noir, Rippon also produces some interesting grape varieties such as Osteiner – a white grape from Rheingau, Germany that was a cross variety between Silvaner and Riesling, and Gamay – a red grape variety from Beaujolais, France.

My personal favourite was Rippon Sauvignon Blanc (med bodied, citrus peel, mouthwatering acid and very long finish) and we brought home a bottle of Rippon Pinot Noir 2014, NZD $59(expressive red fruit and peppery, slightly structured and medium bodied). Surprisingly wines here is not too expensive ranging from $25 – $105.

Rippon Vineyard Wanaka New Zealand Wine Trip
Rippon Vineyard – The Most Beautiful Vineyard We Have Ever Visited In The World
  • Highly Recommended! (No matter you are wine lovers or not)
  • Open daily 11am-5pm
  • Free wine tasting of 5-7 wines
  • Private 1-hour tasting for groups of 7 or more:  $25 per person (booking required)
  • Website: www.Rippon.co.nz

4. See: Cardrona Bra Fence

This is an interesting sight to see if you are near Wanaka. Just drive approximately 20-25 minutes south of Wanaka town, there’s a fence beside the road where people hang their bras on it.

It all started at some point between 1998 and 1999, passers-by began to attach bras to this rural fence. As more and more people added their bras on this fence, it had become a quirky tourist attraction.

Today, the fence has renamed as “Bradrona” and a donation box is set at the site to raise money for breast cancer and so far more than $30,000 has been raised.Cardrona bra fence Bradrona Wanaka Day trip


5. See: Cardrona Hotel

After Cardrona Bra fence, we drove a few minutes down the road to Cardrona Hotel – one of New Zealand’s oldest hotels, and one of only 2 remaining buildings from the Cardrona Valley gold rush era.

Cardrona Hotel Wanaka Bra Fence NZ oldest hotel

Cardona town was established as a gold rush township back in the 1860s, and Cardona hotel was established in 1863. Today, the building has been nicely preserved and still serve as a hotel, bar and restaurants.

We stopped for a drink and took some photos.

6. See: Cardrona Ski Field

We were there during the summer month in March but doesn’t mean we can’t drive up for the view. Nice drive up the slopes with almost no other cars around, only some sheep were seen eating grass on the steep slopes.

Cardrona Ski Field summer drive

The temperature dropped significantly the higher we went. On top of the mountain was like a ghost town in summer. It was beautiful and quiet. If you have nothing else on your itinerary while visiting Wanaka, add this interesting ride to your list.

The view was good but not as spectacular as Mt Remarkable Ski Field that we went in Queenstown.

Cardrona Ski Field Drive up in summer
Cardrona Ski Field in summer – like a ghost town with a beautiful view.


Watch: Wanaka & Cardrona travel video

Next destination in New Zealand – Mount Cook

We stayed another night in Wanaka before departing to Mount Cook the next day. Driving journey from Wanaka to Mount Cook = 2 hours 30 minutes (209 Km)

Stay tuned for my next post: Mount Cook




My Previous Post On Central Otago Wine Trip, click below:




Central Otago Wine Trip (Day 5/5) Wanaka, Rippon Winery, Cardrona Bra Fence
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