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Things To Do In Wanaka

Nestled behind the towering Southern Alps in the South Island of New Zealand, the tranquil town of Wanaka is one of New Zealand's top tourist locations. Filled with incredible attractions and activities with snow-topped mountains casting their magnificent reflections over Lake Wanaka, making the views from the town virtually incomparable. In win... Show More

Tourist Information About Wanaka

Top Attractions

Winter Intro to Rock Climbing

Winter Intro to Rock ...

Climb outside with snow capped peaks in the background! Our 3/4 day rock trip is ......

Wild Hills Off Road Safari

Wild Hills Off Road S...

Words fail to describe how utterly spectacular this 4WD adventure through West W ......

The High Country Pub Trail Horse Trek

The High Country Pub ...

Mount up and begin the big hill climb which soon gives way to spectacular views ......

Lakeland Jet Boat

Lakeland Jet Boat

Experience one of NewZealand’s most iconic adventure activities in some of the ......

Intro to Rock Climbing

Activity LocationWanaka

It’s no surprise that our ‘Introduction To Rock Climbing’ is our most popular trip. You will experience outdoor r ...

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NZ $399.00 Book Now

Mt Aspiring Full Day Canyon

Activity LocationQueenstown

Get excited! This full day canyon offers the most and biggest jumps and abseils available from Queenstown, no previous ...

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NZ $450.00 Book Now

The Mountain Experience Quad Bike Tour

Activity LocationWanaka

The ultimate alpine quad bike experience! Offering challenging and varied terrain with breath taking panoramic views, th ...

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NZ $299.00 Book Now

Double Kayak Hire

Activity LocationWanaka

Immerse yourself in Lake Wanaka with the freedom to explore at your own pace on a kayak or paddle board. Enjoy the calm ...

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NZ $60.00 Book Now

Single Kayak Hire

Activity LocationWanaka

Immerse yourself in Lake Wanaka with the freedom to explore at your own pace on a kayak or paddle board. Enjoy the calm ...

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From 

NZ $30.00 Book Now

Full day Intro to Rock Climbing

Activity LocationWanaka

It’s no surprise that our ‘Introduction To Rock Climbing’ is our most popular trip. You will experience outdoor r ...

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NZ $699.00 Book Now

Puzzling World COMBO admission

Activity LocationWanaka

Puzzling World is an iconic, unique & award winning attraction that since 1973 has fascinated people of all ages kee ...

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NZ $27.50 Book Now

Boutique Wine Tour

Activity LocationWanaka

Discover some of Wanaka and Central Otago’s wonderful vineyards and scenery, while meeting some of the numerous charac ...

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NZ $269.00 Book Now

The Siberia Experience

Activity LocationWanaka

Experience NZ’s best half day New Zealand wilderness adventure with Southern Alps Air. Fly, Walk, and Jet boat amongs ...

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NZ $520 Book Now

Scenic Trial Flight

Activity LocationWanaka

A scenic trial flight is a short 20min, 30min, or 1 hour flight in a small aircraft with an experienced instructor at yo ...

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NZ $338.00 Book Now

Riverside Bike Tour

Activity LocationWanaka

This great bike tour winds along the banks of New Zealand’s largest and most powerful river, getting your heart rate u ...

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NZ $ Book Now

Mou Waho Island Cruise & Nature Walk

Activity LocationWanaka

Combine the luxury of a big boat cruise through the outstanding mountain scenery of Lake Wanaka with a guided nature wal ...

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NZ $119.00 Book Now

Snowshoeing Experience

Activity LocationQueenstown

This is a real snow adventure in a true alpine environment. The Remarkables Range offers fantastic terrain to explore an ...

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NZ $399.00 Book Now

Jet Ski Tour

Activity LocationWanaka

Enjoy a jet ski tour exploring all the stunning bays, islands and alpine scenery showcasing the beauty Lake Wanaka has t ...

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NZ $235.00 Book Now

Stevensons Is Cruise & Nature Walk

Activity LocationWanaka

Take a luxury catamaran to discover Stevensons Island on Lake Wanaka with a 2 hour small group cruise and an optional na ...

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NZ $79.00 Book Now

Dingleburn Discovery

Activity LocationWanaka

This is one of the most thrilling and spectacular backroad journeys in New Zealand. Your expert guide skillfully negotia ...

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NZ $279 Book Now

The Gold Discovery Trail Horse Trek

Activity LocationWanaka

Let your horse take you across the Cardrona River while keeping a keen eye out for gold along the way! Learn about the g ...

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NZ $349.00 Book Now

Bike The Wānaka And Hāwea Trails - Luxury Shuttle Included

Activity LocationWanaka

Experience the most stunning bike ride in Wānaka. Meander along the river trails from Hāwea and follow both the Hāwea ...

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NZ $150.00 Book Now

Ultimate Lake Dunstan Trail Experience Bike & Dunstan Explorer Return

Activity LocationQueenstown

Experience one of NZ's Official Great Rides - 42km of purpose built trail. E-bike from Cromwell to historic Clyde, meet ...

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NZ $265.00 Book Now

Parasailing

Activity LocationWanaka

Fly high above the beautiful Lake Wanaka with Wanaka Parasailing on either a single, or a tandem flight. This is one ...

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NZ $150.00 Book Now

Milford Sound Fly-Cruise-Fly Ex Wanaka

Activity LocationWanaka

You won't believe your eyes when you Fly from Wanaka across the Southern Alps to Milford Sound. All passengers enjoy exc ...

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NZ $645 Book Now

Happy Hour Cruise

Activity LocationWanaka

Relax with a glass of local wine or beer and bask in the evening light on a 1-hour happy hour cruise on Lake Wanaka. Enj ...

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NZ $59.00 Book Now

Wanaka High Country Walk

Activity LocationWanaka

This is the Wanaka most locals have never seen. We take you well off the beaten track exploring private backroads high i ...

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NZ $325 Book Now

Bike The Lake Dunstan Trail With A Return Luxury Mercedes Shuttle

Activity LocationQueenstown

Experience one of NZ's Official Great Rides - 42km of purpose built trail. Bike from Cromwell to historic Clyde, meet th ...

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From 

NZ $150.00 Book Now

Tourist Information About Wanaka

Nestled behind the towering Southern Alps in the South Island of New Zealand, the tranquil town of Wanaka is one of New Zealand's top tourist locations. Filled with incredible attractions and activities with snow-topped mountains casting their magnificent reflections over Lake Wanaka, making the views from the town virtually incomparable. In winter, the main activity is skiing and snowboarding with skiers flocking here from all over the world for superb skiing and snowboarding at Cardrona and Treble Cone with cross-country skiing activities at Snow Farm and heli-skiing attractions high in the Harris Mountains. There are great things to do with year-round activities which include fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, kayaking, climbing, jet boating, skydiving and parasailing and the ever famous Puzzling World. Surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the lakes and rivers, fresh mountain air, stunning alpine views this natural paradise has something for everyone.

Located 55 kilometres north east of Queenstown and surrounded by sky scraping snow topped mountains often mirrored in Lake Wanaka below them and bordered by the tremendous Mount Aspiring National Park with its Hanging Glaciers, stunning waterfalls, ancient beech forest and fantastic bird life. As well at all of the exhilarating adventure activities. Wanaka has many delicious restaurants, wine tasting and fun free activities and things to do such as strolling through lavender fields, and eating lots of ice-cream.

Top activities are to take a boat cruise activity on Lake Wanaka or an adrenalin packed jet boat ride. Cycle or hike around Lake Wanaka, a 4WD Safari Tour, visit Puzzling World and check out the many activities for Mount Aspiring National Park. The main attraction in NZ winter are the many activities in the snow as Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s primary skiing destinations with breath-taking panoramas and views of snow-capped peaks and lake vistas.


Best attractions and things to do in Wanaka



Visit the Lake Within a Lake on Mou Waho Island

1. Visit the Lake Within a Lake on Mou Waho Island

Mou Waho Island is a protected nature reserve with a natural glacial formed lake at its summit and is home to many native New Zealand birds including the curious and flightless Weka. Take a boat trip activity to Mou Waho Island including a one hour guided eco walk taking you up to the natural glacial lake right on top of the island and magnificent mountain and lake scenery in every direction. This is rated as one of the top activities by visitors to Wanaka and rated among the best Wanaka walks and hikes. Click here for more information about this awesome experience.

 
Boggle Your Mind at Puzzling World

2. Boggle Your Mind at Puzzling World

This is a famous attraction for this area, it’s been around and a constantly developing activity since 1973, and is definitely something you don’t want to miss. Illusions, puzzles, giant mazes, tricks and freaky stuff: Puzzling World never has a dull moment. Try to get your bearings in a tilted room, try to figure out the giant maze, and don’t forget to visit the bathrooms!

 

3. Jet Boating

One of New Zealand’s popular adrenaline activities, Jet boating in Wanaka will take you to places you’d not normally see up the mighty glacier fed Rivers and around Lake Wanaka. This is an an exhilarating jet boat trip activity at the same time as taking in the stunning views and natural surroundings.

 
Horse Trekking

4. Horse Trekking

The Cardrona Valley near Wanaka offers some of the most spectacular riding terrain in New Zealand. A fantastic activity for horse lovers where you journey along the Cardrona River under the willow trees, cross through the river and ascend up in to the mountains of the working sheep & cattle station giving spectacular views down the the Cardrona Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges along the way. This really feels like you are on top of the world in the middle of nowhere! You can even take a horse trek activity that takes you to the Cardrona Hotel where you dismount and tie your horse to our hitching rail and enjoy a well-earned beverage in the gorgeous garden bar. Click here to find out more about this amazing activity!

 
4WD and off Road Driving

5. 4WD and off Road Driving

Wanaka offers excellent 4WD, quad bike and off-road adventure tours. Get off road and explore the authentic New Zealand high country farms, and off road tours into otherwise inaccessible areas. A fun activity that will give you the opportunity to explore the countryside with breath taking panoramic views right from the bottom to the top of the mountain – into the snow in winter!!

 
Take a trial flight

6. Take a trial flight!

This is a fantastic activity and excellent value, a fun scenic trial flight with stunning views of this magnificent area! If you have always wanted to learn how to fly, or if you have ‘flying a plane’ on your bucket list, this attraction is the perfect thing to do. The highly qualified and experienced instructors have many hours flying in Lake Wanaka region. They know the area and the conditions, so you are in the very safest hands.

 
Parasailing

7. Parasailing

A really fun activity for the whole family. Fly high above the beautiful Lake Wanaka and enjoy amazing views of Wanaka's lakes and mountains and 360 degree views with a single, or a tandem flight. Safely parasail up to 300m high and even dip your toes in the water if you like and land back on the boat with a huge smile!

 
Skiing and Snowboarding

8. Skiing and Snowboarding

Wanaka is known for its amazing skiing and snowboarding attractions. Cardrona is a fabulous ski field for the whole family and Treble Cone for more challenging slopes.

 

Free Attractions and Things to do in Wanaka

1. Walking Activities Around Lake Wanaka

One of Wanaka’s main attractions are its walking, cycling and hiking tracks. Lake Wanaka caters for all abilities with short strolls along the lakefront and along the Clutha River running into town, to amazing day long hikes up the surrounding hills and mountains. From the town centre a trail leads for miles along the waterfront and the further you get from town, the quieter it becomes.

2. Take a Picture of #ThatWanakaTree

New Zealand's most photographed tree and a main attraction. Have fun with the different times of day with the light and reflections in the lake!

3. Hike Up Mt Iron

Across the road from Puzzling World is the entrance to the Mt Iron loop walk. A hike up this glacier-carved rocky knoll will reward you with awesome views of Wanaka and its surrounding mountains. The walk is a 1h 30min loop and a great free activity. Location: The Mt Iron car park is well-signposted off State Highway 84 just as you leave Wanaka.

4. Visit Wanaka Lavender Farm

Wanaka Lavender Farm is a beautiful attraction just a few minutes from Wanaka where you can experience 20 acres of beautiful lavender fields, farm animals & display gardens. Play a game in their gardens and treat yourself to lavender ice cream at the cafe. The vibrant fields of lavender make another awesome free photo opportunity in Wanaka. For a very low entry fee you can meet and interact with the resident farm animals

5. The Farmers Market

Treat yourself to some local produce at the Wanaka Farmers Market, held year-round on Thursdays from 3pm to 6pm. Location: Alongside Bullock Creek, between the Speights Ale House and Francesca’s Italian Kitchen.

6. Blue Pools Track.

It's only a short walk to the famous, crystal clear Blue Pools in Makarora. An easy tramp for all skill levels through a beautiful beech forest with great attractions along the way including swing bridges. The track leads you through silver beech/tahina to a swing-bridge overlooking the pools at the mouth of Blue River where you can occasionally see large brown and rainbow trout feeding in the pools.

7. Hiking

With over 750 kms of tracks to explore, you are not short of walking or hiking adventures. There are great half-day hikes include Roy’s Peak and the Rob Roy Glacier Track, two of the most-loved tracks around, both with incredible panoramas. For the more serious trampers, The Gilliespie Park Circuit a 2 to 3-day loop, starting and finishing from Makarora is a stunning hike taking you into the Mt Aspiring National Park. Download the Wanaka Tracks app to help you choose the best track for you. Available on Apple and Android



Top attractions in Wanaka



1. The Siberia Experience - This is a challenging and exhilarating hike that takes you into the heart of the Southern Alps. You will trek through the stunning alpine landscape, surrounded by towering peaks and pristine forests, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The hike is a great way to experience the beauty and ruggedness of New Zealand's backcountry.

2. Lakeland Jet Boat - Get ready for an unforgettable ride on the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wanaka with the Lakeland Jet Boat. This fast-paced adventure takes you through narrow canyons, past towering cliffs, and over shallow rapids, offering a thrilling and unique perspective on the stunning scenery.

3. Parasailing - Take to the skies and enjoy the ultimate rush of freedom with a parasailing experience in Wanaka. Soar above the beautiful lakeside and surrounding hills, taking in the stunning views and experiencing the peace and tranquillity of flight.

4. Paragliding at Coronet Peak - For an unforgettable experience, take a tandem paragliding flight over the rolling hills and picturesque landscape of Coronet Peak. This breathtaking adventure provides a unique perspective on the stunning scenery and offers a chance to see the world from a different angle.

5. Wanaka High Country Walk - This scenic walk takes you through the beautiful backcountry of Wanaka, surrounded by rolling hills, towering peaks, and pristine forests. The walk offers a chance to immerse yourself in nature and explore the rugged beauty of New Zealand's Southern Alps. With its stunning scenery, this is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Wanaka.



Top fun activities in Wanaka



The Gold Discovery Trail Horse Trek - Explore the stunning landscapes of Wanaka on horseback, following in the footsteps of the area's gold-seeking pioneers. This leisurely trail ride takes you through rolling hills and pristine forests, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The High Country Pub Trail Horse Trek - Saddle up and take a leisurely horseback ride through the stunning scenery of Wanaka, ending at a historic high country pub for a well-deserved drink. This unique and fun-filled experience is the perfect way to explore the area's rural backcountry and soak up the local culture.

The Mountain Experience Quad Bike Tour - Take a thrilling off-road adventure on a quad bike, exploring the stunning backcountry of Wanaka. This exciting tour takes you through narrow canyons, across rocky streams, and up steep hills, offering breathtaking views and an adrenaline-filled experience.

Scenic Trial Flight - Soar above the stunning scenery of Wanaka on a breathtaking scenic flight. From the comfort of your own private aircraft, you will enjoy panoramic views of the Southern Alps, crystal-clear lakes, and rolling hills, making this an unforgettable experience.

The Siberia Experience - Immerse yourself in the stunning wilderness of the Southern Alps on the thrilling Siberia Experience. This challenging hike takes you through pristine forests and across rugged alpine terrain, offering breathtaking views and a chance to experience the beauty and ruggedness of New Zealand's backcountry.



Best things to do with kids and children’s activities in Wanaka



1. Puzzling World - Puzzling World is a fun and interactive world of optical illusions, brainteasers, and mazes, perfect for kids of all ages. With its unique and interactive exhibits, kids can spend hours exploring, solving puzzles, and discovering the mysteries of this exciting attraction.

2. The Mountain Experience Quad Bike Tour - Give your kids a thrilling adventure they'll never forget with a quad bike tour of the stunning backcountry of Wanaka. This off-road tour takes you through narrow canyons, across rocky streams, and up steep hills, offering breathtaking views and an adrenaline-filled experience.

3. Parasailing - Give your kids a bird's-eye view of Wanaka's stunning scenery with a parasailing experience. Soar above the beautiful lakeside and surrounding hills, taking in the stunning views and experiencing the peace and tranquility of flight.

4. The High Country Trail Horse Trek - Take a leisurely horseback ride through the stunning scenery of Wanaka, surrounded by rolling hills, towering peaks, and pristine forests. This family-friendly adventure is the perfect way for kids to experience the beauty and history of the area's rural backcountry.

5. Milford Sound Fly-Cruise-Fly - Take your kids on a journey to one of New Zealand's most iconic destinations with a Milford Sound Fly-Cruise-Fly adventure. With its breathtaking scenery, this full-day excursion offers a chance for kids to explore one of the world's most stunning natural wonders and create memories that will last a lifetime.



Best day trips from Wanaka



1. Milford Sound Fly-Cruise-Fly: Soar over stunning glaciers, lush rainforests and rugged peaks before landing in Milford Sound for a cruise on the stunning fjord. This experience will allow you to spend the whole day soaking in the stunning scenery.

2. Scenic Trial Flight: Enjoy a bird's eye view of Wanaka and its surroundings with a scenic flight tour, giving you breathtaking views of the Southern Alps, glaciers and glistening lakes.

3. The Mountain Experience Quad Bike Tour: Embark on an unforgettable adventure as you traverse rugged and scenic terrain on a quad bike, taking in panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

4. The Siberia Experience: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of the high-country as you explore the remote and rugged landscape of the Siberia Valley on horseback.

5. Lakeland Jet Boat: Get your adrenaline pumping as you speed across Lake Wanaka on a jet boat, taking in stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.



Best things to do near Wanaka



Kickstart 2 Flight Indoor Skydiving: Experience the thrill of skydiving without the need to jump out of a plane with Kickstart 2 Flight Indoor Skydiving. With state-of-the-art technology, this indoor skydiving simulator provides the sensation of free-falling in a safe and controlled environment. It's an exciting and unique activity for everyone.

Milford Sound: Fly | Cruise | Fly: Take a scenic flight over Queenstown, then cruise through the awe-inspiring Milford Sound and return by flight. This breathtaking tour will give you an unforgettable experience of the natural beauty of New Zealand.

Jet boat ride on the Shotover & Kawarau Rivers: Hold on tight and experience the thrill of a jet boat ride on the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers. With expert drivers navigating the rapids and shallow water, it's an exhilarating way to explore the stunning scenery of Queenstown.

Milford Sound Nature Cruise: Explore the breathtaking beauty of Milford Sound on a nature cruise. Watch as waterfalls cascade down the cliffs, spot seals and dolphins playing in the water and marvel at the towering peaks. It's an unforgettable way to experience one of New Zealand's most iconic tourist destinations.

Paragliding at Coronet Peak: Take in the stunning views of Queenstown from a bird's-eye view with a paragliding flight from Coronet Peak. Soar over the mountains, lakes and valleys with a professional pilot, and enjoy the tranquility and freedom of flying. It's an amazing way to experience the natural beauty of Queenstown.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wanaka Area