Top 10 Must Do's in Wānaka

To help you make a start here's a list of the top ranking activities from Trip Advisor. You might also like to check out our most popular tracks as well.

If you'd like to see what to do with the kids, what to do on rainy day, free things you can do in Wanaka and lots of other suggestions then take a look at our Wanaka Top 10 Lists

1. Adventure

If you like an adrenaline rush, then these are our top four ranked adventure activities:

Wildwire Wanaka - Climb alongside Twin Falls in West Wanaka, the highest waterfall via ferrata in the world!
Deep Canyon - Challenge yourself: jump, climb, abseil and swim our canyons 
Skydive Wanaka - Strap yourself to a beautiful stranger in the best place to skydive in NZ!
Wanaka Paragliding - Take a breathtaking Tandem Paragliding flight from Treble Cone Mountain down the lake.

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2. Landscape & nature

It begins with our nature and the landscape here and it's what continues to draw people to Wānaka year-after-year. 

      • WanaHaka - For a wine tour with an authentic Maori welcome
      • Wanaka Lavender Farm - Enjoy a breathtaking walk lavender fields, meet the resident animals, try treats at the cafe and take home a little lavender for yourself from the gift shop!
      • #thatwanakatree - We couldn't leave this one out... New Zealand's most photographed tree. Please remember to be respectful of other people and the land while taking in the beautiful view.
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And don't forget about the gloriously epic Mt. Aspiring National Park. The easiest way to see this UNESCO World Heritage area is by plane or jet boat, but there are some great walks as well for the more adventurous.

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3. Walking & hiking

Two of New Zealand's most popular day walks are located near Wānaka - so be sure to hike at least one of them:

  • Roys Peak Track - An #NZMustDo this day walk will give you magnificent views of Wanaka, the lake and the Southern Alps.
  • Isthmus Peak Track - A long, steady climb that rewards walkers with spectacular, panoramic views of Lake Wānaka and Lake Hāwea as well as the mountains of the Southern Alps.
  • Mt Iron Track - One of Wānaka's most popular short walks with spectacular views
  • Blue Pools - The Blue Pools track and the Young Link Track are located just outside of Makarora and snake through beautiful beech forests to the famous Blue Pools site
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4. Biking

With the highest helibiking trip in New Zealand and the incredible bike parks on our doorstep - be sure to bring your bike or hire one!

Wanaka Bike Tours - Take out the hassle on a fully guided tour, mountain biking tours and helibiking trips for all abilities.
Dean's Bank - This fast and flowing single-track mountain biking circuit has million-dollar views of the mighty Clutha River and Wānaka Basin.
Bike Glendhu - Turns out, Mother Nature was a mountain biker too. Check out Wanaka's newest bike park, built into the natural hillside of Glendhu Bay Station.
Cardrona Bike Park - The highest bike park in New Zealand has trails for every skill-level. And after a day on the trails, check out star-gazing or mountain carting.

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5. On the water

It is called Lake Wānaka after all! Whether it's jetboating up braided rivers or exploring the magic of Mou Waho island. There are endless epic ways to get out on the water.

6. Horse trekking & 4WD off-road tours

Getting off the beaten track and enjoying time out in the landscape is one of the most popular things to do in Wānaka - you just need to decide if you want to ride a horse, a quad bike or sit back and relax in a 4WD vehicle.

Horse Trekking & Quad Biking - The Cardrona Valley near Wānaka offers some of the most spectacular riding terrain in New Zealand with The Cardrona 
Ridgeline Adventures - Get off the beaten track with a private 4WD journey into the iconic high country. Be sure to check out their new tramping tours; the Wanaka High Country Walk and Dingleburn Safari

7. Airborne adventures

There's no better place to take a scenic flight or land on a glacier than Wānaka. Try flying the plane yourself, hop in a helicopter or fly around Mt Aspiring and onward to Milford Sound.

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8. Unique attractions

Wānaka is famous for its slightly weird and wacky attractions so be sure to give these a go:

Puzzling World - The Illusion Rooms, Puzzle Centre and Maze will leave you baffled!
National Transport and Toy Museum - Visit the largest collection of toys in the Southern Hemisphere.
Warbirds & Wheels - Classic cars, warbirds and wearable creations.
Crossfire - Line up on the target and shoot for fun
Wanaka's famous cinemas - Cinema Paradiso and Ruby's Cinema & Bar
Hook - a unique lake to plate salmon fishing and restaurant experience not to be missed! Great for the whole family.

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9. Food & drink

While Wānaka might be small, our reputation for good food is legendary. 

Bistro Gentil - Bistro brings the delights of French gastronomy to the beautiful shores of Lake Wānaka, and of course some decent Gallic wines too.
The Big Fig - Slow food served fast!
Kika - Internationally acclaimed and award-winning, Kika takes comfort food and elevates to an incredible level
Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen - Try their famous signature dish, Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder
Kota - Serving progressive International cuisine with one of Wānaka's best views over the lake. Local wines, beer & cocktails.
Patagonia Chocolates & Black Peak Gelato - For the best chocolates, ice creams and gelatos!
Bonus: best cheap eats - Charlie Brown Crepes

If you're in search of a good beverage, check out our craft breweries, wineries and even the iconic Cardrona Distillery. Don't forget about wine tastings like Wanahaka Wine Tours or the tasting room at Pembroke Wine & Spirits Wanaka.

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10. Skiing & snowboarding

With four ski fields within 45 minutes of town, Wānaka is the ideal base for a winter holiday.

Treble Cone, CardronaSnow Farm & Soho Basin - Four of NZ's best ski options within a 45-minute drive of the town centre.  
Heliski - The best of both worlds, skiing & helicopters!

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