At 45 kilometres long and covering 193 square kilometres, Lake Wanaka is perfect for jetboaters, sailors and kayakers to explore.
Located in the spectacular alps of the South Island, New Zealand, visitors from around the world are drawn to the Wanaka region by its outstanding beauty. The stunning mountain and lakeside setting and proximity to Mt Aspiring National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Area, makes it the ultimate base for outdoor activities.
With four distinct seasons, Wanaka is a year-round destination. Summers are hot and dry - perfect for water-sports, hiking and biking. Winters are cool and crisp with four diverse ski areas offering great options for skiers and snowboarders. Spring is the ideal time to get out and explore the lakeside tracks and trails, and the vibrant colours of autumn are perfect for photography.
It’s not just the outdoor enthusiasts who have plenty to do, stroll the streets and be inspired by galleries, stylish shops and be spoilt for choice with a great selection of cool cafes, excellent restaurants, craft breweries, award-winning wineries, and an artisan distillery.
Wanaka is also home to more world class events than most, from international triathlons to music and arts festivals. Warbirds over Wanaka, Festival of Colour, Rhythm & Alps, and the Audi Quattro Winter Games, just to name a few.
Some of The Many Attractions
Mt Aspiring National Park
Stretch your legs and feed your soul in this beautiful wilderness of native forests, towering mountains and long river valleys.
Named for Mt Aspiring, one of New Zealand's highest peaks, this park is a dreamland of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes.
A hiker's paradise, Mount Aspiring National Park offers a large number of short walks that are mostly concentrated at the end of the park's access roads.
Longer hikes through beautiful valleys, with options to traverse mountain saddles, include the Routeburn, the Dart/Rees River circuit, Greenstone/Caples and the Wilkin Valley tracks. In summer, it’s possible to walk from one valley to another over spectacular mountain passes.
Shorter walks include Routeburn Nature Walk, Haast Pass Summit, Lake Sylvan near the lower dart River and the Blue Pools Walk. A highlight of any South Island adventure, the 30-minute Blue Pools Walk leads through silver beech/tahina forest and over a swing bridge to a viewing platform overlooking magnificent crystal-clear pools at the mouth of Blue River.
Boat Cruises in Wanaka
The crystal clear waters of Lake Wanaka are home to beautiful islands, secluded beaches and inlets; it's the perfect place to take a boat cruise.
There’s great salmon and trout fishing to be had on Lake Wanaka and neighbouring Lake Hawea, as well as swimming and sunbathing in summer. Cruise or even kayak out to one of the isolated beaches for the day, or take a nature walk to the top of Mou Waho Island to see rare flightless birds as well as the island's picturesque lake.
Away from the lake, jet-boating is a great way to explore the braided river systems of Mt Aspiring National Park and experience the wilderness of the Southern Alps.
Adventure in Wanaka
With the Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring National Park on its doorstep, Wanaka is an awe-inspiring natural playground.
Wanaka has a reputation as one of the world’s best adventure towns with access to the stunning Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring National Park right on its doorstep.
If you’re looking for a rush, then activities like skydiving, canyoning, mountaineering, or climbing the world’s highest waterfall via ferrata will give you a kick of adrenaline, or if prefer to take things at a more leisurely pace then there are hundreds of kilometres of hiking & biking trails to explore, or crystal clear lakes and rivers to paddle.
From mid June to early October, Wanaka transforms into a winter playground for skiers and snowboarders with four diverse ski areas to choose from as well as epic heli-skiing terrain.
Check out the Tourism New Zealand website for more information about the amazing things to see and do in New Zealand