🚗 self-drive itinerary
🛏️ minimum 2 night stay recommended
🍽️ dining suggestions offered
📅 visit any time of year
This region is about so much more than discovering a natural wonderland of mountains, lakes, glaciers and rivers – it's about warm welcomes from passionate people who love to share their paradise. Travel to this part of New Zealand's South Island and see for yourself.
Highlights can include:
- strap yourself to a beautiful stranger and Skydive high above spectacular scenery
- experience a piece of aviation history with a vintage scenic flight in an old tigermoth
- enjoy the rustic charm of the Cardrona Hotel, one of New Zealand's oldest and most iconic hotels
- Mount Aspiring National Park is a walker's paradise with a wonderful mixture of remote wilderness, high mountains and beautiful river valleys 🏞️
- bring history, heritage, nature and wine together aboard a 4WD Nature Safari
- take in a birds eye view aboard an impressive scenic helicopter flight 🚁
- social media sensation#thatWanakaTree is the most photographed tree in New Zealand 🤳
- great unique wine tour, colourful characters and spectacular scenery in a Funny French Car 🍷
- the very popular Mount Iron Track loop walk offers excellent 360-degree views suitable for all ages and abilities 👟
- the Illusion Rooms, Puzzle Centre and Maze will leave the family completely baffled at Puzzling World 👪
- Warbirds & Wheels showcases a world-class collection of class cars along with warbird aircraft 🛩️
- challenge yourself on a Canyoning adventure - jump, climb, swim and float through an amazing world of water
- line up on the target and shoot for fun at Crossfire 🏹
- tap into the inner child and get nostalgic at the National Transport & Toy Museum 👪
- boat cruise to remote and magical Mou Waho Island nature reserve, and discover Arethusa Pool also known as the lake on an island, on a lake, on an island, one a lake, on the island, in the sea 🚤
- see the latest blockbuster film in a classic movie theatre Cinema Paradiso, serving homemade ice cream and world-famous hot cookies fresh every intermission🍿🍪
- hiking enthusiasts will want to take in breathtaking views on Roys Peak Track after a steep climb through alpine meadows and tussock grasslands to the summit ⛰️
- jet boat the Matukituki River and Mount Aspiring National Park, with a guided walk to see towering mountains and waterfalls 🏞️
- get your camera's ready again after a short walk, you'll cross a swing bridge and then follow the boardwalk to crystal clear The Blue Pools of Haast Pass 🏞️
- from late June to September you can enjoy snow sports at Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone Ski Area ❄️⛷️🏂
- Kayak in pristine lakes, glacier-fed rivers and soak in awe-inspiring scenery 🛶
- chase wild New Zealand trout on a guided fly fishing trip 🎣
- head to the Cardrona Valley for some family friendly guided horse trekking and quad biking tours 🐴
- climb alongside Twin Falls, one of Wanaka’s most iconic waterfalls on a via ferrata tour with Wildwire 🧗
- quench your thirst for fun on a Mountain Carting adventure, aboard a gravity-fuelled 3-wheeled, alpine specialized mountain cart designed for performance, comfort & safety
AT A GLANCE
📍 # of Visitors6.5
🌦️ Chance of Rain2.5
👨👩👦👦 Family Fun5.5
🍽️ Food + Wine 8.0
🏳️🌈 LGBTQI+ friendly 👍
Note: the highest possible score is an 8.0
🎥video courtesy of Matthew Vandeputte on YouTube
Sit back and relax. We've planned it all for you.
Day 1 : Arrive in Lake Wanaka
You'll travel to Lake Wanaka, either by car, coach, or by flying into Queenstown. Upon arrival into the Lake Wanaka region you'll check in to your accommodation, settle in and get acquainted with your surroundings for the next 3 nights.
That afternoon enjoy quirky Puzzling World, hike the Mount Iron Track loop for 360-degrees views, or head to Cardrona Hotel for a meal, coffee or beer in an instantly recognisable Kiwi iconic locale.
After dark, switch the amazing scenery for the cinema! Settle in for a film at Paradiso where every film still has intermission - the freshly baked cookies served have almost everyone of every age rushing out of their seats to get one - sounds like a great dessert to me!
Day 2 : Unique to Lake Wanaka
We don't want you doubling up and doing the same kind of activity everywhere you visit in New Zealand, so what experiences are unique to Wanaka? How is your sense of adventure? Find hidden pools, towering falls and picnic swimming spots with Wildwire, a via ferrata climbing adventure on Twin Falls waterfall. Prefer to stay grounded? How about a boat cruise out to Mou Waho Island before a guided bush walk to have "high tea" on top of the island overlooking Amethusa Pool, also known as the lake inside an island, inside a lake, inside an island, inside a lake, inside an island in the sea! Ever dreamed of experiencing a piece of aviation history? Step back in time with a flightseeing trip around Wanaka and soak in the scenery in a vintage Tigermoth or Waco Aircraft. Experience the excitement of the early flyers and their flying machines; the smell of oil and aviation fuel, combined with the aroma of fresh leather.
As for food - you're spoilt for choice in Lake Wanaka with no shortage of delicious spots to try - if you're a foodie you could easily spend all day eating! We'll be sure to steer you in the right direction.
Day 3 : The scenery will be soul food no matter what you do!
With such a wide array of activities on offer in Lake Wanaka, it would be almost criminal of us to assume what you might like to do without getting to know you a little better first. Complete our online survey, and we'll throw some ideas together for you.
Whatever you've ended up doing with your day, we'll arrange dinner for you to delight in and celebrate your last night in this region at one of our favourite restaurants in the area.
Day 4 : Depart Lake Wanaka
This morning, make sure you get that quick photo with #ThatWanakaTree before leaving. We'll let you know the best way to get from this region to the next part of your New Zealand trip, wherever you want that to be.