Family Holiday Itinerary

Wanaka is an outdoor playground for families with activities for adults and children to enjoy together whether it's a free or a guided trip to explore the region 

Take a look at our range of accommodation, cafes and restaurants and other activities that you can do to add to make your own personalised itinerary.

3 days | 31km

Route: Wanaka local - Cardrona

Highlights: Fishing, swimming, Puzzling World, Basecamp, kayak, SUP

Best time of year: All year 

Day 1 Wanaka

Bike 1 Hr | 1km

Bike or walk, everything is right here in the heart of Wanaka and getting around won’t be a problem. Take the kids to Lismore Jump Park to practise their biking techniques – you don’t have to be a daredevil to find a track they can master, then it’ll be time to hit town for a well-earned ice cream by the lake. 

In the afternoon, just hang out at the lakefront and enjoy all the activities on offer. Hire a paddle boat, a kayak or a SUP and get out on the water, or just sit back and watch the kids swim out to the pontoon or do bombs off the wharf. The Dinosaur Park is always a hit, as is feeding the trout and eels – but watch out the ducks don’t steal all your bread! 

Finish the day by watching a movie at Cinema Paradis, complete with comfy couches, an old Morris Minor and intermission. The home-made ice cream and hot cookies are world famous! 

Things to see and do:

  • Lismore Jump Park
  • Wanaka Skate Park
  • Kayaking & SUP
  • The Dinosaur Park

 Day 2 Wanaka

Walk 2 Hrs | 7km

Start the day with a walk up Mt Iron before it gets too hot – the panoramic views around the Upper Clutha Basin are well worth the effort. Once you’re back at the bottom, then it’s time for some fun and games at Puzzling World – just make sure you allow plenty of time. There’s heaps to do and it will take longer than you think, but don’t worry they have a great café and some very unusual toilets. 

After lunch head out on the lake for a spot of fishing, the little kids (and some of the big ones) too will love it. You’ll get two for the price of one here – a boat cruise and some fishing and even better still, they’ll put the fish straight on the BBQ and lunch’s sorted as well. 

If you don’t like water, then there’s always the Transport & Toy Museum out at the airport. This place will blow you away, it has one of the largest private collections of vehicles and toys in the Southern Hemisphere. It also has an amazing toy shop, so while the kids are busy, you’ll have time to do a bit of sneaky shopping and stock up for those special occasions. 

Things to see and do:

  • Mt Iron
  • Puzzling World
  • Fishing
  • Transport & Toy Museum 

Day 3 Wanaka

Drive 17 mins | 24km

Explore a unique slice of the high country up the Cardrona Valley on a horse trek. See some of the history of the area and ride through a working sheep station and then stop off at the historic Cardrona Hotel for a hot chocolate, coffee, beer or wine. If you ride around Rippon Vineyard then your ride will finish near the tasting room and it would be rude not to try at least one glass of the local wine. 

In the afternoon chill out at the local pool or if they’re still feeling frisky, a trip to Basecamp climbing wall should sort that out! 

Things to do:

  • Horse Trekking
  • Wanaka Pool
  • Basecamp Climbing Centre

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Flights to Wanaka

Getting to Wanaka is easy. It’s a short, scenic 60-minute drive over the Crown Range to Wanaka. All major rental car companies are based at the airport and scheduled bus services provide transport to Wanaka throughout the day.

Queenstown Airport is serviced daily from all major New Zealand airports as well as over 40 flights a week direct from Australia.

How to get to Wanaka

Driving to Wanaka

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 Wanaka.

How to get to Wanaka

Explore the Region

Wanaka 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 Wanaka region by its outstanding beauty.

Explore Wanaka

  1. New Zealand
  2. Auckland 1 h 50 min
  3. Wellington 1 h 20 min
  4. Christchurch 55 min
  5. Queenstown Airport 1 h 4 min
  6. Australia
  7. Brisbane 3 h 50 min
  8. Gold Coast 3 h 30 min
  9. Sydney 3 h 15 min
  10. Melbourne 3 h 35 min
  11. Tokyo 10 h 30 min
  12. Los Angeles 12 h 5 min
  13. Beijing 16 h 10 min
  1. Christchurch 5 h 14 min
  2. Ashburton 3 h 56 min
  3. Geraldine 3 h 19 min
  4. Tekapo 2 h 17 min
  5. Mt Cook 2 h 6 min
  6. Twizel 1 h 39 min
  7. Omarama 1 h 21 min
  8. Franz Josef 3 h 32 min
  9. Fox Glacier 3 h 6 min
  10. Haast 1 h 43 min
  11. Cromwell 39 min
  12. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  13. Milford Sound 4 h 34 min
  14. Te Anau 2 h 52 min
  15. Dunedin 2 h 52 min
  1. Makarora 50 min
  2. Lake Hawea 1 h 7 min
  3. Wanaka Airport 11 min
  4. Luggate 13 min
  5. Tarras 27 min
  6. Cromwell 39 min
  7. Cardrona 18 min
  8. Arrowtown 53 min
  9. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  10. Matukituki Valley 51 min
  11. Raspberry Creek 1 h 6 min