With overgrown valleys, unspoiled rivers and tumbling glaciers, the Wanaka region is crowned with the colossal Mt Aspiring (Tititea; 3035m), the highest peak outside the Mt Cook region. Enter this area from the north via Haast Pass, and you encounter Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, wedged between awesome hills and cliffs. From the south via Cardrona, stunning valley views and mountain vistas are on tap. The Wanaka region, and especially the activity-filled town of Wanaka itself, is seeing more and more travellers, but it’s still quieter than Queenstown. It's also very easy to escape the town's growing tourist buzz by exploring the Mt Aspiring National Park or the forested wilderness around Makarora.
Beautiful scenery, tramping and skiing opportunities, and a huge roster of adrenaline-inducing activities have transformed the lakeside town of Wanaka into a year-round tourist destination.
Best of Southern Alps Trek
A dramatic trek, including heli-trekking, offering a grand overview of this spectacular mountain landscape
Mount Cook Aoraki Ascent
Climb Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest summit, and develop the mountaineering skills to get you there