Visiting the region of Wanaka is often listed as one of the best things to do in New Zealand. It has a plethora of things to offer that even locals will find it challenging to suggest all the best options for the visitors.
Wanaka New Zealand is fabled for its lake and mountains along with its outdoor opportunities. The natural lakefront and the small tow laid back ambiance has attracted travelers from all over the world to New Zealand. It is not only nature that the town provides, but there is also a lively evening scene with many eateries and bars in the scene.
When you are finally taking the leap to visit Lake Wanaka New Zealand, here are the places that you would want to remember.
Wanaka is tucked away comfortably between towering mountain ranges. Parts of these mountains are indeed accessible opening up many chances for nature lovers to explore the terrain. You would want to get a glimpse of everything, take a part of the mountain, water, and sky with you when you return.
The best to do that is to take a hike. The best trek for the most spectacular view is to find your way to the top of Mount Roy. But if you want a scenario not overloaded by cell phone cameras, then head to the Roys Peak track past the Treble Cone Ski area, from where you can take the less traveled gravel road to the right to reach the beginning of Rocky Mountain tracks and the Diamond Lake.
Visitors can also find numerous trails here to take a hike. A stroll along the river or the quiet waterfall creek with the views of Mount Aspiring or even a walk along the lakefront will offer breathtaking views of the unspoiled landscape.
Raspberry Creek is situated inside the Mount Aspiring National Park close to Wanaka. The creek itself is tucked away in one of the most dramatic settings of the region. However, the drive to the creek is even more mesmerizing.
In fact, the road is only an extension of a dirt track that runs alongside the river. You will have to have strong willpower to keep your eyes focused on the road as the scenery is distracting. From the car park, there are two choices. Either you can take a 5-kilometer hike through the first to see the Rob Roy Glacier or take the 9-kilometer meandering path along the Matukituki River branch to get more impressive views of the landscape. Either option you choose, you will not regret it.
Wanaka lake is much favored for activities like kayaking, boat tours, and cruises. There are several tours offered in the region, and you can easily take your pick. As beautiful as the lake it, it is also quite vast, making room for all these options.
The lake is also home to three islands. Ruby Island is famous for kayaking and could take half a day to enjoy the most. Stevenson’s Island is preferred by more experienced kayakers and those who want to spend an overnight or weekend on the island.
For any of these options, make sure to check for the weather as it could easily take a turn to windy. The open waters only seem to encourage the wind and could tip you over into the water. If you are not experienced with kayaking, make sure that the weather is in your favor. For kayaking, February and March are considered the best months for calm waters.
Wanaka is not just for summer activities. When the lake is more suited for summer, it is during the winter that the mountains come alive. There are ski resorts for all kinds of winter activities just half an hour drive from the town.
Backcountry skiing is one of the most popular winter entertainment here. The alpines are lined with ski trackers and dotted with huts that cater to expeditions that last for days. The ski resorts in Queenstown are also worth considering if you want a bigger setting. You might want to make reservations and book your tours much ahead, as the season tends to get quite busy.
When you have got mountains and lakes, there is no way that New Zealanders do not find a chance to include adventure there. Wanaka has the epitome of all the adventure thrills you can find in the country.
There are nearly 1000 routes all with terrain most suited and used for rock climbing in New Zealand just 15 minutes from the town center. The waterfalls in Aspiring National Park are exhilarating and is open for all the adventure canoeing kicks. If looking at the mountain from the ground was too upstream, you can also take a scenic flight over the Southern Alps.
Or take it all a notch up and parasail while strapped on a speeding boat, or do the ultimate jump and strike of skydiving off your list. Whatever you wish to do to get the adrenaline pumping, you are most likely to get your chance here in Wanaka.
Of course, no trip can be categorized as a great one without the right ingredient of food and drinks. For a place this mind blowing, the food has to be comforting and exciting at the same time. If you are looking for a caffeine fix, then you are in safe hands as Kiwis do not joke around with coffee. There are plenty of cafes with great waterfront views that entertain visitors 24x7.
What you might find lacking is the chain food joints, but what you will find are the freshly prepared options, best for stomach after churning your inside out. If you want more options, then you might just have to take a scenic drive to the neighboring Queenstown for a fancy dinner may be. But believe it or not, you will not have to. The gourmet food will suffice and is indeed a treat.
Aren’t you already excited to visit Wanaka? Book cheap flights to New Zealand from USA already!