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A trip out on the lakes to one of the islands is a must. If you're lucky you may be visited by the cheeky Buff Wekas.
Image: Looking at Arethusa Pool on Mou Waho Island. Alpine Image Co
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Lakes & Rivers

Lake Wanaka's Lakes & Rivers

Crystal clear lakes and rivers are at the heart of our outdoor lifestyle, fed from the glaciers of Mt Aspiring National Park.

Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea, the Matukituki, Clutha and Makarora rivers not only form an integral part of the landscape, they’re host to a wealth of recreational pursuits and sporting activities in the Lake Wanaka region of New Zealand. 

Swimming, kayaking, water skiing, white-water rafting and fishing are some of the activities to indulge in. Discover our secret beaches by boat or uncover the hidden world of deep ravines while canyoning. Both relaxing and exhilarating, the crystal clear water connects you to the breathtaking scenery around you - there’s no better way to experience the magic of Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.

More information on Lakes and Rivers, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

  • Boat Cruises in Lake Wanaka

    Boat Cruises (7)

    Lake Wanaka is New Zealand's fourth largest lake, spanning 45km in length and reaching depths up to 300m, there are beaches, bays and bush clad islands just waiting to be explored. The rivers leading into and out of Lake Wanaka also offer a variety of recreational opportunities.
  • Canyoning in Lake Wanaka

    Canyoning (1)

    Descend the spectacular canyons of the Matukituki valley. Explore your way through crystal pools and native forest. Plunge down water polished chutes, abseil down waterfalls. Climb, swim and float through a spectacular world of water sculpted rock and sparkling, crashing waterfalls.
  • Scuba Steve snorkelling

    Diving & Snorkelling (1)

    Don your wetsuit then slip into the lake for a dive to remember. Do a PADI dive courses, hire equipment, refill your tanks or go on a guided dive trip.
  • Drift fishing in Lake Wanaka

    Fishing (10)

    Stalk wild brown and rainbow trout with a professional guide, drift fish on a purpose built raft, try fishing from a boat or learn the art of fly fishing. Wanaka has a wealth of fishing guides willing to share and pass on their expert knowledge.
  • Jet Boating, Lake Wanaka

    Jet Boating (5)

    Whether it's jetboating down one of the braided and ever-changing rivers which flows from the glaciers and mountains of the Mount Aspiring National Park or down the mighty Clutha River - this iconic New Zealand activity is a must.
  • Kayaking In Lake Wanaka

    Kayaking (2)

    We have a superb range of rivers available to kayak; the mighty Clutha (New Zealand's largest volume river), the Hawea (medium volume), to the remote and spectacular glacial fed Makarora and Matukituki rivers both in Mt Aspiring National Park. We also offer kayaking on Lake Wanaka and multi day tours.
  • Wanaka Parasailing

    Parasailing (1)

    Parasailing is a truly unique experience where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the exhilaration of free flight up to 400 feet while admiring the views of Wanaka.
  • Rafting in Lake Wanaka

    Rafting (1)

    Rafting trips combine a nature experience with easy whitewater, providing an ideal rafting adventure for first-timers, families and veteran paddlers. Navigate the upper reaches of the Clutha Mata-Au, which flows swiftly from Lake Wanaka into the semi-desert landscape of Central Otago.
  • Sailing in Lake Wanaka

    Sailing (1)

    Yacht charter and yacht hire on Lake Wanaka. Yacht hire is arranged on an hourly basis from the Wanaka lake front. There are a variety of vessels to suit operating weather conditions and sailing abilities.
  • Watersports in Lake Wanaka

    Watersports (6)

    Jet skiing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, aqua bikes and banana boats. When it comes to watersports we have the toys to help you enjoy your time on the water.
  • White Water Sledging in Lake Wanaka

    Whitewater Sledging (1)

    River purpose-designed and built right here in New Zealand, the sledge is the best way to get up close and personal with the awesome white water in the Southern Lakes region.

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Highlights from exploring the Lakes and Rivers