Lake Wanaka is an inspiring place of beauty and tranquillity in the midst of a distinctive glacier-shaped landscape.
The peaceful town of Wanaka on its southern shoreline generates a huge amount of energy on the ski slopes and also the climbing and tramping routes in the nearby Mt Aspiring National Park.
Wanaka has almost as many adrenalin adventures as its sister city, Queenstown, but it’s also a great place to chill out.
The Wanaka lifestyle is about as good as it gets and there’s plenty of action including these little gems:-
Stroll along the lakefront at dawn or sunset
Wanaka’s backdrop of dramatic peaks takes your breath away at such times.
Indulge yourself in the many restaurants, cafes, bars and taverns
Sit and soak up the splendour of the views while sipping lattes or dining a la carte in a lakeside restaurant.
Take a one hour stroll down to the Lake Wanaka Outlet
This is the source of New Zealand’s largest volume river, the mighty Clutha.
Enjoy local bushwalks to lookouts with superb panoramic views
These include Mt Iron, Waterfall Creek, Diamond Lake and Mt Roy. Drive up to treble Cone ski field for some views to die for.
Savour a real feast of Kiwiana at the Cinema Paradiso
This laid back down-market movie theatre has old couches and even an old Morris Minor car to relax in.
Cruise out on the smooth waters of Lake Wanaka
See the wonderful curiosity of Mou Waho – an island on Lake Wanaka, which itself contains another small lake.
Drive around to sheltered Glendhu Bay
This picturesque little bay has good picnic spots. The exotic trees provide shade in summer and a golden display of colour during autumn.
Visit the acclaimed Wanaka Transport Museum and New Zealand Pilots Museum
See the largest collection of airworthy WWII fighters in the Southern Hemisphere.
Catch the amazing enigmas of Puzzling World and The Maze
The physical world seems to be turned on its head here and your grasp of reality may be challenged.
Drive up to Makarora at the head of Lake Wanaka
Pass the peaceful shores of Lake Hawea and check out the bushwalks and tramps available at Makarora.
Visit the Cardrona Hotel on the Queenstown Road
This old faithful from the gold rush era has its original facade and an authentic colonial interior that oozes comfort and warmth.
Drive down to Alexandra and explore the Central Otago region
Explore the Otago Goldfields Park and try the gold panning, mountain biking, wine trails, wildflower walks and trout fishing.
Suggestions, Edits and Additions
At New Zealand’s Information Network we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date, so if you have any suggestions, edits or additional content you would like to see on our “Free & Low Cost Activities” articles, please do not hesitate to login and comment (below) or Contact us directly, and we will consider these on our next update.