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Lake Wanaka is an adventure playground that is fast becoming world famous as a global destination thanks to our world-class guides and owner-operators who offer our visitors experiences of a lifetime. Four distinct seasons, sitting lakeside at the gateway to the Mount Aspiring National Park and only a short drive from Queenstown – Lake Wanaka provides the perfect location for those who love to explore the wide open spaces.
Walking/Hiking - The Rob Roy Glacier Walk incorporates all that you could ever want from an Alpine walk. Stroll along the banks of the Matukituki River, then climb through beautiful New Zealand rainforest, see native birds, including the cheeky alpine parrot - the Kea, waterfalls and of course the glacier itself. It takes around 5 hours for the return trip from Wanaka. You can find out more about our Wanaka walking tracks here.
Mountain River Jet Boating – Fed by Glaciers and surrounded by the peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park, the Matukituki River is one of New Zealand’s, most powerful and pristine jet boating rivers. Along the way your River Journeys jetboat guide will share with you stories of the past, of how these ancient lands were carved by ice and of the first people to come here. Enjoy a wilderness walk, discover a mountain stream and hidden waterfall within the cool peace of a NZ native beech forest. You can also add a helicopter option to your trip.
Helicopter Flights - Fly into some of the South Islands most remote and beautiful places with the experienced team at Aspiring Helicopters. Land on a glacier, lunch by an alpine lake, explore the beauty of Milford and Doubtful Sounds and enjoy a scenic flight around Mt Aspiring & the Glaciers. Your only limitation is your imagination when it comes to these incredible flying machines!
Lake Cruise & Island Nature Walk - Cruise for 35 mins by boat with Eco Wanaka Adventures to the unique and magical Mou Waho Island Nature reserve, situated in the middle of Lake Wanaka and surrounded by stunning alpine vistas. Take an optional 40 minute guided bush walk to the serene Arethusa Pool for the amazing lake and alpine views. See the lake, on the island, on the lake!!!!
Vintage Tiger Moth Flights – Step back in time with Classic Flights and experience a Vintage Tiger Moth or Waco Scenic Flight over some of the most stunning scenery in the world. Feel the excitement of the early flyers, as you don the old-style leather flying helmet, complete with goggles and silk scarf, take a rare journey back in time.
Mountain Biking – The Lake Wanaka Region is fast becoming a world renowned destination for mountain biking. From cruisy lakeside tracks, to purpose built downhill extreme – there is something for every energy level and experience, and plenty of local knowledge to be found at any of the regions fabulous bike hire outlets.
4WD adventures – Climb onboard a trusty Landrover with Ridgeline Adventures and explore behind the scenes of a real NZ sheep and deer farm overlooking Lake Wanaka on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park. Learn about the history of the area, visit heritage sites, enjoy an easy nature walk, a glass of wine or plan your own private photography charter.
Siberia Wilderness Experience - A 4 hour wilderness experience combining scenic flight, valley walk and jet boat ride. Start in Makarora with a scenic plane or helicopter flight to land in the remote Siberia Valley and enjoy a relaxing 3 hour hike on a well marked track amidst the stunning alpine scenery. Rendezvous with Wilkin River Jets for a fast paced return jet boat ride through the icy blue waters of the Wilkin and Makarora Rivers.
Fishing - Anyone will tell you that NZ is a fisherman’s paradise. But when it comes to the specific art of fly fishing Wanaka and its cascading surrounds of rivers and streams could make you think you were in Mecca. Stalk the backcountry rivers with the 'self-confessed fly fishing addicts' at Aspiring Flyfishing or cruise the lake with Adventure Wanaka.
Skiing – During the winter months the Lake Wanaka region is a skiers dream. With easy access to three of the South Island major ski fields – Treble Cone, Cardrona and the Snow Farm – with long uncrowded slopes, wide open trails through to expert shoots, terrain parks to cross country skiing – there is something for all abilities. With Queenstown only being one hours drive away, our neighbours boast a further two fantastic skifields – Coronet Peak and the Remarkables. But wait... there’s more – add a helicopter to the mix and escape into the heart of the Southern Alps – a world above and beyond all others with Harris Mountain Heliskiing.
Canyoning - During summer you can descend the spectacular canyons of our beautiful region. Be professionally guided by the team at Deep Canyon as you explore your way through crystal pools and native forest, plunge down water polished chutes and abseil down waterfalls.
Alpine Chalet Experience - The Ultimate Overnight Chalet Adventure with Whare Kea Lodge includes an incredible scenic helicopter flight (or serious days hike) up to the Whare Kea Chalet located at 1750m on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park. Explore your alpine surrounds with your own personal mountain guide then enjoy luxury at altitude and settle back with a glass of Champagne whilst your host prepares your dinner as you look out to Mount Aspiring in the evening glow. Sleep in luxury and wake to the silence of the mountains before a hot shower, hearty breakfast and a magical scenic flight back with Aspiring Helicopters.
There are so many more adventurous pursuits available in our beautiful region - from world class skydiving to kayaking and horse trekking, to family fun at Puzzling World, or a guided tour of the fantastic Central Otago boutique wineries and a round of golf.
Wanaka is a wonderland for the adventurous traveller – for more information check out the Lake Wanaka Tourism official website. For private luxury lakeside accommodation, with world class cuisine and exceptional service, stay with Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet.
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