Another area that allows easy access to the stunning Southern Alps, and all the mountain-based activities available there; Wanaka is a lovely town with a beautiful backdrop.
In many ways, it is the smaller sibling to nearby city Queenstown. The smaller scale of the town is a big bonus. It flies under most people’s radar as a destination, meaning that you get all the benefits of views, activities and travel options, without fighting thousands to share them.
Experiences in Wanaka
During winter, Wanaka sports a very ‘ski town’ vibe, with plenty of people seeking ski slopes and snowboarding experiences, using it as their base. Nearly half of New Zealand’s Olympic skiers and snowboarders live in around the town!
Strike out into the snow and there are four excellent ski areas easily accessible and within driving distance of the town. Alternatively, take a heli-hike and conquer a glacier for astounding views of once-in-a-lifetime beauty.
If you’d rather not risk your extremities to the cold, then head there in summer and you’ll soaked in sun, with plenty more activities available.
Things to Do in Wanaka
One of the best things to do in Wanaka is exploring the lake and river, with a Wanaka River Journey. This boat-based trip will whisk you through Mount Aspiring National Park, enabling you to enjoy towering mountains, crashing waterfalls, and iconic Lord of the Rings filming locations. As well as letting the engine make all the effort, this exhilarating jet boat ride has the added bonus of a generous, informative guide who will share stories at every stop, adding rich depth to the scenery you gorge on.
This speedy sightseeing expedition is only one of the available tours in Wanaka. If you’re looking for a less well trodden track to explore, let us sign you up for a Eco Wanaka Adventure Tour. This will send you skimming across the lake to the remarkable Mou Waho Island, in the company passionate guide with an encyclopedic knowledge of the native the flora and fauna. Mou Waho is the definition of an untouched paradise, hidden from view on the shore and completely uninhabited except for the wildlife. You’ll feel awed, and honoured, to set foot in this magical place, and being able to contribute to its future by planting a tree as part of your tour is another highlight!
If you prefer your tours to be entirely on foot, then the Rob Roy Glacier Guided Walk should be top of your list. This 10km trek runs the length of the Matukituki Valley, along the riverbank, across a swing bridge. As you begin to ascend through the bush, you’ll start to catch a glimpse of the Rob Roy glacier, considered by many as the jewel of the Mt Aspiring National Park. Even so, nothing will prepare you for your first full look of the magnificent glacier. The sheer scale of it is humbling, but almost always it is shedding, and you will be able to witness ice chunks, sometimes as big as cars, plummeting down the falls. The significance of this destruction, the scale of nature, is never lost on an observer. And it’s never forgotten.
Ready to Experience Wanaka Yourself?
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