Which is The Best Track for Me?

To help you choose the track that’s just right for you, we’ve put together a great selection. Families, cruisers, serious hikers and mountain bikers, we've got you covered.

Download the  “Wanaka Tracks App” walking and biking guide (on Apple and Android) to help narrow down your search by allowing you to select tracks by:

Difficulty – Easy / Moderate / Hard
Time – Short / Half day / Full or multi day
Bikes allowed – Yes / No
Dogs allowed – Yes / No
Pushchair access – Yes / No
Viewpoints – Yes / No
Map or list view
Shortlist & 5 Most Popular Tracks
Nearby attractions

It will give you turn by turn voice directions to the start of the track.

Family Friendly Tracks

The track from town around to Eely Point, Bremner Bay and Beacon Point is ideal for the kids. It’s flat and short (about 5 km) and there are plenty of lovely beaches to stop for swims on the way.

The Gladstone Track (6.5km one way) located at Lake Hawea is another family friendly option with plenty of opportunities for swims along the way to Johns Creek. There are a few hills to negotiate but they are short and easy to walk or ride up.

If you’re looking for more of a challenge then try the track to Lake Hawea along the Hawea River Track. It’s 12km one way and has a few gentle hills but is wide and well formed.

Insider tips:

  • When you’ve all had enough head to Sailz or the Lake Hawea Hotel at Lake Hawea to relax and have a snack before you head back to town.

Scenic Lakeside Tracks

Starting from town head to Stoney Creek, past #thatwanakatree and along the Waterfall Creek Track,  which is flat and gives you plenty of time to admire the views out to Ruby Island. For more of a challenge take the track from Waterfall Creek and continue on to the Glendhu Bay Track (15km one way). There are several short, steep climbs as well as some exposed sections so a level of expertise is required on this track if you are riding, and it’s not recommended for young or inexperienced bikers. Return the same way or if riding you can head home along the road. For a longer ride you could continue on to West Wanaka and ride the Minaret Burn Track as well.

The Minaret Burn Track starts at the end of the West Wanaka Road and has stunning lake views towards town as well over Mou Maho Island. Apart from a short, steep section at the start the rest of the track to Colquhoun’s Beach is on a 4WD track.

Insider tips:

MTB Loop Tracks

The best known and most loved is Deans Bank Track – a fast, flowing single track loop for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers. The track weaves its way through tussock, with great views of the Clutha River and Southern Alps. It starts and finishes at the Albert Town Camping Ground beside the Upper Clutha River.

On the other side of the Clutha river is the new Hikuwai Loop, a 9km one-way circuit above the Outlet Track. The track is not particularly technical but there are some wooden bridges over fences and little bit of single track to negotiate so it’s best for intermediate riders.

For a longer, more challenging ride, locals combine two tracks with a little bit of road to make a nice 26km circuit which starts and finishes at Albert Town. Start at the Hawea Swing Bridge and ride down the Newcastle Track (12km), at the end of this track you will need to ride a short distance on the road across the Red Bridge to the start of the Upper Clutha River Track (14km).

Insider tips:

  • Finish your ride in Albert Town and stop for a coffee and refreshments at Double Black Café.

Bike Parks

Lismore Jump Park has different lines, catering from beginner to expert with everything from a fun pump track to big gap jumps. Sticky Forest has a fun network of single tracks which make the best of the pine forest above the Wanaka township. There are over 20 tracks to choose from; from the technical switchbacks of Stumpy and Yumpts, to the beautiful berms of Venus, to Crankin' Fine's legendary uphill, these trails are expertly designed to be enjoyed by beginners and pros alike. Click here for a detailed map

Cardrona Bike Park has trails for all levels and is NZ's highest bike park offering the ultimate alpine mountain biking experience for everyone. The Cardrona Bike Park is serviced by a 4-seater express chairlift so there's no need to pedal uphill. 
Open every day from December 2, 2017 – April 2, 2018.

Insider tips:

Overnight Trips

Experience a classic Kiwi back country hut.

The easiest access to a hut is from Raspberry Creek to Aspiring Hut (DOC). This 10km track has a gradual up-hill gradient to the hut with only one steep rocky section and takes a little over an hour if riding and two hours if walking. The Aspiring Hut is well positioned to do some day great walks or just sit back, relax and admire the views. Note: mountain biking beyond the hut in Mt Aspiring National Park is not permitted.

The Pisa Range also offers a number of tracks of varying difficulty and has a range of huts to choose from. One of the most popular is up Tuhoys Gulley to the iconic Meg Hut (DOC). From the Snow Farm base building, tracks lead to Meadow and Bob Lee Huts (managed by Snow Farm) and the Kirtle Burn and Deep Creek Huts (managed by DOC). The views from the top of the Pisa Range are phenomenal and worth the effort. Several tracks lead down off the Pisa Range and finish near Cromwell and in the Kawarau Gorge. For more information contact DOC.

Make sure you follow the 5 simple rules of the outdoor safety code.

Insider tips:

Remember when riding your bike please wear a helmet, respect other users and give way to walkers. Click here for more information on more MTB and walking tracks around Wanaka and remember you can also download our “Wanaka Tracks” app (available from Apple Store & Google Play). The Wanaka Tracks App will help you decide which track is the best one for you.