Welcome to Wanaka

What it does share with Queenstown is the fact that they're both lake and mountain towns bristling with outdoors and adventure opportunities. Wanaka's list of adventure options is impressive by almost any measure, except against the Queenstown ruler. The breadth and selection of adventures here might not be as comprehensive, but the lakefront is more natural and less developed – complete with a day-at-the-beach feel on sunny days – and the town centre has a more soulful atmosphere.

Despite constant growth – in both size and costs – Wanaka retains a fairly laid-back, small-town atmosphere. Days are invarably active here, but evenings are an invitation into a wave of new eateries and some truly quirky bars.

Top experiences in Wanaka

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We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

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Wanaka activities

$122.78 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Central Otago Full-Day Wine Tour from Queenstown

Following pickup at your Queenstown hotel, hop into your air-conditioned minivan and head out into the vineyards of the Central Otago wine region to begin your tour. With grape varietals including chardonnay, pinot noir, and sauvignon blanc flourishing throughout the fertile valleys, Central Otago is widely considered the heart of New Zealand’s winemaking industry. During your 5-hour tour, visit up to five award-winning wineries throughout the Bannochburn, Cromwell, Gibbston Valley, and Wanaka wine regions with a guide. Along the way, visit New Zealand’s biggest wine cave and enjoy tastings of the various wines in production. As you travel between the wineries, sample cheeses from across the country and learn how to pair them with the wine. Perhaps stop for lunch at a top vineyard (own expense) and enjoy optional visits to local attractions such as the Cardrona Hotel and historic Arrowtown.After five hours among the vineyards of Central Otago, return in comfort to your Queenstown hotel to bring your tour to an end.

$1223.65 Multi-day & Extended Tours

10-Day South Island Adventure from Christchurch

Day 1: Christchurch to Franz Josef Travel over the famous Arthur’s Pass to the historic gold mining town of Greymouth and then down onto the West Coast. You will visit Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade), en route to Franz Josef, home of the mighty glacier.Accommodation: Lodge in the rainforestDay 2: Free day in Franz JosefThe day is spent in Franz Josef, a World Heritage area. As well as the glacier, the area is famous for its excellent walking trails. There are many great options, but a guided trip (at passenger's own expense) will enable you to get closer to the glacier.Accommodation: Lodge in the rainforestDay 3: Franz Josef to WanakaDepart early to visit Lake Matheson for a walk at this amazing mirror-like lake, stop at Fox Glacier for pickups, and then travel through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora. We pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka by late afternoon.Accommodation: Central HostelActivities: Walk Lake Matheson, visit Blue Pools, explore Wanaka.Day 4: Wanaka to Queenstown Take a scenic bike ride around the lake before we depart Wanaka and cruise down to the famous A.J. Hackett bungy site, where you can bungy if you dare! Then, it’s on to the ‘Adventure Capital of the World!’, the vibrant lakeside town of Queenstown.Accommodation: Central HostelActivities: Scenic bike ride (suitable for all levels)Days 5, 6 & 7: Queenstown With so much to see and do in and around Queenstown, you need three full days to take it all in! You'll also get to experience the exhilarating Shotover Jet Boat ride (Day 5) and take a day trip to the spectacular Doubtful Sound in Fiordland National Park (Day 6). Other optional activities are at your own expense.Accommodation: Central HostelActivities: Shotover Jet, Doubtful Sound day tripDay 8: Queenstown to Mt CookTonight we stay at the base of New Zealand's tallest mountain, Mount Cook. Head out on a hike among awe-inspiring scenery. It's the perfect place for stargazing too!Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge.Day 9: Mt Cook to RangitataWe make our way through the 'Lord of the Rings' landscape past turquoise Lake Tekapo, where we stop for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim at the hot springs. After lunch, we will continue to our overnight stop in Rangitata Peel Forest.Accommodation: One of Canterbury's original sheep stationsDay 10: Rangitata to ChristchurchThis morning, you will have the opportunity to sign up to a Lord of the Rings tour or to explore the stunning Peel Forest scenery on horseback. We’ll arrive in Christchurch late afternoon. We hope you had a blast!

$2147.42 Multi-day & Extended Tours

14-Day South Island Adventure Tour from Christchurch

Day 1: Depart Christchurch Airport and travel to Hanmer Springs to relax in the thermal hot pools.Day 2: Start the day with an invigorating walk up Conical Hill before we head to Kaikoura where you can spot marine life.Day 3: Travel north along rugged coastal roads to the seaside port town of Picton.Day 4: Sample a wine at a local vineyard before heading to the fabulous Abel Tasman National Park.Day 5: Today is a free day to explore the Abel Tasman National Park. Walk along the stunning golden sand beaches, hop on a sailboat or go kayaking.Day 6: Travel the scenic Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast. You visit Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade), before your day ends in Franz Josef, home to Franz Josef Glacier. Day 7: The day is spent in Franz Josef so you can explore the glacier or walking trails. Day 8: Visit Lake Matheson, New Zealand’s most photographed lake, before heading to Mount Aspiring National Park where you go jet boating! Day 9: Doubtful Sound is a true treasure of New Zealand and today you will board a purpose-built boat for an overnight cruise. Look out for fur seals, penguins and dolphins. Day 10: Today head for the "adventure capital of the world", Queenstown. Queenstown is known for its nightlife with excellent restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and live music. Day 11 - 12: You have two free days to fully explore. Queenstown is a great place to spend a few days, no matter your past-time of choice. Some optional activities may include AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging (own expense).  Day 13: Back on the bus, head for Wanaka to spend the morning on a scenic bike ride along the lakeside. After lunch, journey north to your next overnight stop at the base of New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. Day 14: Stop for a break on the shores of turqouise Lake Tekapo and you have the option to join a thrilling white water rafting adventure on the Rangitata River in the afternoon. Those not rafting will carry on to Christchurch, meeting the rafters later in the evening. This is where your tour comes to an end. Accommodation: Comfortable accommodation situated in great locations, staying in a range of cabins, lodges or local hostels

$272.31 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

Wanaka Matukituki Valley 35-Minute Helicopter Flight

Your flight will take-off from our base (address provided on voucher). Take a scenic 25-minute drive from Wanaka Township to the base and check-in at the hangar at least 15 minutes prior to your flight time. Flight times are flexible, operating on demand between 8am and 4pm.Take-off and enjoy the scenic flight from the base in Matukituki Valley above extensive valleys carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago. Relax as you watch the stunning scenery pass by below and around you. See it like never before. Cross snow-capped peaks and land on a glacier at 7000 ft (2,300m)! You will be given up to 10 minutes on the Glacier to take photos and enjoy the snow. During this unique experience take in the stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding Southern Alps. Your pilot will provide commentary on the scenery and surrounding area during your flight on your two-way headsets.

$213.71 Air, Helicopter & Balloon Tours

25-Minute Helicopter Tour Including Snow Landing from Wanaka

Your flight will take-off from our base (address provided on voucher). Take a scenic 25-minute drive from Wanaka Township to the base and check-in at the hangar at least 15 minutes prior to your flight time. Flight times are flexible, operating on demand between 8am and 4:30pm.Take-off and enjoy the scenic flight from the base in Matukituki Valley above tussock covered slopes to the rugged snow-capped peaks at the border of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Land on a snow-covered peak and enjoy the opportunity to touch snow year-round with this scenic flight.This 25-minute flight experience will show you the amazing scenery of this area like no other!Your pilot will provide detailed commentary of the area during your flight on our two-way headsets. With the hangar based at the start of the Matukituki Valley your scenic flight time is maximized over remote back country.

$592.87 Day Trips & Excursions

Guided Fly Fishing Trip from Queenstown

In New Zealand we focus on making the most of the abundant clear water and sight-fishing for trout, casting once a fish is spotted, which is more akin to ‘trout-hunting’. Sight fishing is not easy and can be at the mercy of the conditions, however it is by far the most rewarding of all.We will target both brown and rainbow trout using mostly dry fly and nymphs. Depending on conditions we may visit a wide variety of waters ranging from mountain freestone rivers to meandering, willow lined streams. All locations have spectacular landscape, beautiful water and stunning trout.We will be targeting fish in the average size range of 3-6lb with the possibility of coming across much larger fish. It is important to understand that fishing in New Zealand will probably be some of the most challenging you will encounter in the world and your skill execution will most likely decide how successful your day will be. Therefore it is important to practice your casting before your trip and if you have never fly fished before, much of our morning will be focused on learning the basics of fly fishing.Full Day Itinerary:Our day will set off from your accomodation in Wanaka or Queenstown. From there we will head towards the best option of water for the day to suit the conditions. Generally we will be driving between 1-2 hours each way to reach our water for the day.Depending on the location and your fitness level, we could be walking between 3-6km up and down the river so be prepared for a good day on your feet. We would hope to be back at your accommodation around 5-6pm, or earlier depending on your preferences.Additional Options:To indulge in a true wilderness experience, exploring some of the most remote areas in the country you may choose to try Heli-Fishing. Helicopter transfers begin around NZ$2000 for the closest backcountry river access and this cost scales up in relation to flight time. We will endeavour to keep the cost down by driving to the airstrip that is nearest to the river we will be flying to. If you would like a more detailed quote please just mention it in you enquiry below