Wanaka is the perfect place to enjoy water activities, cycling, hiking and food & wine. Don't miss the top 8 experiences in Wanaka.
Only an hour drive from Wanaka town, exploring the wilderness of the Mt Aspiring National Park World Heritage Area is easy. Hike up to see the spectacular Rob Roy glacier, jet-boat into the heart of the mountains or take a scenic glacier flight.
Wanaka has four diverse ski areas and the winter season runs from mid-June to early October. Cardrona Alpine Resort is a family-favourite and offers world-class freestyle park while Treble Cone is the South Island’s largest ski area. Snow Farm offers cross-country skiing, where you can ski out to a backcountry hut for the night or take a dog-sled ride, and Soho Basin is a private ski area providing exclusive access to 264-hectares by snow-cat.
Wanaka is a haven for foodies with a vibrant lakefront café scene and restaurants showcasing the best of the regions award winning local produce from merino lamb, artisan bread baked, pinot noir, to the town’s award winning ice cream. To discover the full picture of the Wanaka food scene, visit the local Farmers Markets or take a tour of the Cardrona Distillery and learn how New Zealand’s only single malt whisky is produced with pure alpine water.
From meandering lakefront trails to the adrenaline rush of heli-biking Wanaka Bike Tours provides a trail for all abilities. Ride gently around Lake Wanaka, while your guide provides you with local information and stories about the Wanaka area or for those with a more adventurous bent take a helicopter ride and land at 6500 feet on one of New Zealand's highest mountain bike trails, then make your way back down through the stunning views of Mt. Aspiring and surrounding landscapes.
Enjoy a peaceful cruise across Lake Wanaka to the magical Mou Waho Island nature reserve, home to the rare flightless Buff Weka. Once you arrive at the island take the one hour guided nature walk to reveal the large lake on top of the island, and enjoy morning or afternoon tea overlooking two lakes. As part of your tour help with the conservation project to restore natural habitat and plant a native tree to give back to this beautiful environment.
Climb the world’s highest waterfall via ferrata (Italian for Iron Road) for breathtaking views. WildWire Wanaka offers an accessible yet exciting tour alongside the Twin Falls. Along the way you will cross wire bridges, discover hidden pools and stop for lunch at a beautiful picnic spot with stunning views. If you can climb a ladder, you can do it!
Take a spectacular fly–hike–jetboat tour through the wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park with Siberia experience. Start your adventure with a 25 minute aeroplane flight over rugged mountains, glaciers, mountain lakes, valleys and rainforests. Land in Siberia valley and begin your hike from the Siberia Stream, through valleys and beech forest, spotting native wildlife along the way. At the end of the hike, meet your jet boat at Wilkin Valley for a thrilling half an hour journey along Makarora River.
Lake Wanaka sits beneath the Southern Alps and the pristine waters of the lake invite exploration. Whether you choose to enjoy a relaxing half day paddle, a more adventurous overnight kayak trip, or a fun and energetic paddleboarding tour you will be rewarded with an unforgettable experience.