For year round trips and tips on Wānaka!

Family Holiday Itinerary

Wanaka is an outdoor playground for families 

There are plenty of activities for both adults and children to enjoy together. This suggested itinerary covers 31 km of ground over three days and is best enjoyed all year round!

When planning, be sure to check out accommodationcafes and restaurants and other activities that you can do to add to make your own personalized itinerary.

Four-Day Family Itinerary PDF Download

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 practice 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 Paradiso, 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:

The dinosaur park in Wanaka, New Zealand

 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) 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 is sorted as well. If you want to almost guarantee a fish then head out to Hook and let the kids fish in their ponds while you try their salmon inspired dishes.

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:

A family checking out fish from the wharf in Wanaka, New Zealand

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 in Wanaka, New Zealand

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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