Adventure Itinerary

Live in the moment, push personal boundaries and escape comfort zones.

Where to start? Try canyoning, wakeboarding and river surfingskydiving, acrobatic flightsheli tours, via ferrata, 4WD tour, paragliding, parasailing, jetboating or hunting.

This recommended itinerary covers 90km in three days and is best enjoyed from Spring to Autumn.

Don't forget to add accommodation, cafes and restaurants and other activities to make your own personalized itinerary.

Day 1: Cardrona

By car from Wanaka: 35 mins | 34km

Head up the Cardrona Valley to The Cardrona for a quad bike tour over a high country farm. There are river crossings (but not too deep) plus dips and hollows, rises and ridges and for the more adventurous, you can ride to the top of the mountain. 

At the end of your tour, head next door to the Cardrona Distillery to taste their hand-crafted spirits. All their spirits are made starting with just malted barley, water and yeast. They have single malt whisky, gin, vodka and orange liqueur and do tours and tastings daily. There’s also the historic Cardrona Hotel for a beer and some chips. 

Things to see and do:

Horseriding in the Cardrona Valley in New Zealand

Day 2: Matukituki

By car from Wanaka: 35 mins | 34km

The Matukituki Valley is home to a whole host of activities which generally take half a day to complete. For the lovers of water, try canyoning or jet boating, while the whole family can do the via ferrata climb up the iron rung ladders beside Twin Falls. The off road 4WD tour over a real working farm and to Colquhoun’s Beach is a real classic Kiwi adventure.  For the really adventurous types try a tandem paraglide off Treble Cone and a heli skiing in winter.

Things to see and do:

Canyoning in Wanaka, New Zealand

Day 3: Wanaka Airport

By car from Wanaka: 12 mins | 11km

It’s time to head out to Wanaka Airport and take to the skies for some thrills and spills. No visit to Wanaka would complete without skydiving from an airplane strapped to the back of a stranger. But don’t worry as they won’t be a stranger for long.

If you’re a bit of a control freak, then you probably won’t be content to sit back and let someone else fly the plane. Take the controls yourself and fly your very own 20-minute scenic flight or better yet an extreme trail flight in your own stunt plane with Ivan, twice the NZ national champion and with over 20-years aerobatic experience.

No experience required, and no experience like it.

You can spend all day at the Airport as the Warbirds and Wheels Café and Luggate Hotel will help keep your energy levels up for as many adventures as you can handle.

Things to see and do:

Skydiving with Skydive Wanaka in New Zealand

Day 4: Lake Wanaka

The lake holds tons of adventure opportunities - both high-octane and low and slow. Explore our rivers on a jetboat experience. Tour the lake on a jet-ski or even rent a powerboat and go wakeboarding and water-skiing

If you want to get airborne, check out parasailing for an incredible 360 view of the township and surrounding landscape.

Finally, take a slow approach and rent a paddleboard or kayak. Or even hire a tour guide and learn all the ins and outs of our lake.

Kayakers on Lake Hawea in New Zealand

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Click on your location below to see how close you are to Wanaka

Driving to Wanaka Explore the Region

Driving to Wānaka

Driving on the South Island roads of New Zealand is a great way to experience the region, with relatively quiet roads and some of the most amazing scenery right outside the window.

Major car and campervan hire companies are all located at Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown airports. There are also a number of rental car companies based in Wānaka.

How to get to Wānaka

Explore the Region

Wānaka is unique and captivating; it inspires you to discover, and gives you the freedom to explore.

Located in the stunning alps of the South Island, New Zealand, visitors from around the world are drawn to the Wānaka region by its outstanding beauty.

Explore Wānaka

  1. Mount Aspiring
    National Park
    54 min
  2. Christchurch 5 h 14 min
  3. Ashburton 3 h 56 min
  4. Geraldine 3 h 19 min
  5. Tekapo 2 h 17 min
  6. Mt Cook 2 h 6 min
  7. Twizel 1 h 39 min
  8. Omarama 1 h 21 min
  9. Franz Josef 3 h 32 min
  10. Fox Glacier 3 h 6 min
  11. Haast 1 h 43 min
  12. Cromwell 39 min
  13. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  14. Milford Sound 4 h 34 min
  15. Te Anau 2 h 52 min
  16. Dunedin 2 h 52 min
  1. Mount Aspiring
    National Park
    54 min
  2. Coronet Peak
  3. The Remarkables
  4. Cardrona
  5. Treble Cone
  6. Snow Farm
  7. Heli Skiing
  8. Heli Skiing
  9. Makarora 50 min
  10. Lake Hawea 1 h 7 min
  11. Wanaka Airport 11 min
  12. Luggate 13 min
  13. Tarras 27 min
  14. Cromwell 39 min
  15. Arrowtown 53 min
  16. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  17. Queenstown Airport 59 min
  18. Matukituki Valley 51 min
  19. Raspberry Creek 1 h 6 min

Flights to Wānaka

Getting to Wānaka is easy - click on your city to see how close you are to Wānaka. It’s a short, scenic 60-minute drive to Wānaka from the closest international airport, where you will find all major rental car companies and scheduled bus services that provide transport to Wānaka throughout the day.

How to get to Wanaka