10 great places to paddle around Wānaka

Hit the water

Get your boat and get in the lake. 

1. Roy’s Bay

Probably the easiest and most sheltered paddling is to be found in Roy's Bay right in town. Paddle along to #thatwanakatree, Waterfall Creek and around Ruby Island. Stop for a walk on the island and a quick dip. Return via Eely Point and the marina where you can paddle quietly past the endangered Crested Grebe.

2. Glendhu Bay & Emerald Bluffs

Another really sheltered spot is Glendhu Bay. Paddle over to Emerald Bluffs for a swim and enjoy the free BBQ facilities before paddling back. 

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New Zealand

3. The Clutha River

If you've got a bit more experience then a paddle down the Clutha River is fun. Start from the Lake Outlet Holiday Park and pull out at the Albert Town Bridge for a short but challenging paddle. Remember to always check the river conditions and this is especially true if paddling below the Hāwea River. 

4. Clutha Outlet

From the outlet of the Clutha River by the Lake Outlet Holiday Park you can paddle out to Bull Island, around to Penrith Beach or even over to Dublin Bay. Or if you've got small children then just potter around the edge of the lake.

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Fun in the sun ☀️

A post shared by @ stellanightingale_ on Dec 6, 2017 at 7:40pm PST

5. Bremner Bay - Penrith Beach

Bremner Bay is a very shallow bay and a great spot to learn to paddle board. From here you can paddle to Penrith Beach and around to the Outlet or head the other way to Eely Point and town. Plenty of options on a good day.

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Here in Wanaka, sunsets go something like this . . . .

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6. Stevenson’s Arm

Start at Penrith Beach, the Outlet or Dublin Bay and head up Stevenson's Arm and explore. This part of the lake is reasonably sheltered so make sure you plan on stopping for a picnic and a swim on Stevenson's Island.

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Epic day shooting with @paddlewanaka today! Couldn’t ask for better weather. #filmnz #nzfilm #wanaka #paddle

A post shared by The Film Crew (@thefilmcrewnz) on Apr 12, 2018 at 6:39pm PDT

7. Lake Hāwea

Lake Hāwea has plenty of places to paddle including the lakefront beach, John Creek & Kidd’s Bush. Just remember Lake Hāwea gets more wind than Wānaka so check the weather and webcam before you head out. 

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8. Mac Daddy Adventure

For the ultimate paddle adventure try this 2-day, 1-night fully catered package with Paddle Wanaka. Paddle around the lake past Mou Tapu Island to your overnight destination - Mou Waho Island. Enjoy a night camping under the stars with the locals - you're sure to meet a few!

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9. The Hāwea River Wave

Yes you can surf in Wānaka! For very experienced paddlers the ultimate challenge is the Hāwea River Wave by the Camphill Bridge. Be sure to check out the river flow to make sure it's not too large or too small. 

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A post shared by George Hayhoe (@georgehayhoe) on Sep 5, 2020 at 9:55pm PDT

10. Heli paddle with Paddle Wanaka

The ultimate paddle package; a one hour helicopter ride to a secluded alpine lake, a gourmet picnic lunch and a paddle board tour. A magic day out with Paddle Wanaka.  

Wānaka Map

Here's a link to the town map and regional map so you can plan your Wānaka paddling adventure.