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Adventurous travelers will love this waterfall climb, with hidden pools, towering waterfalls, swimming spots, and mountain views. Climb steel ladders and cross high, narrow bridges. Enjoy a picnic lunch beside beautiful falls. While no experience is required and full safety briefings are given, this trip is best suited to active travelers who are sure-footed and unafraid of heights.
Take a cruise across Lake Wanaka to the remote Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve and make a memorable, eco-friendly impact by planting a native tree before you leave. Opt to take a 1-hour-return guided bush walk to reveal Mou Waho’s hidden secret - another lake, nestled atop the island with panoramic views of Wanaka and the Southern Alps. Enjoy “high tea” surrounded by this spectacular alpine scenery.
Saddle up for a horseback ride through the wild landscapes of the Cardrona Valley. Trace the path of the 19th-century gold rush, climb the mountains for a thrilling view over Wanaka Lake, and trot or gallop through the valley plains. Rides can be tailored for all levels, from complete beginners to experienced riders.
Experience the rugged beauty of remote Milford Sound from Wanaka, all in half-a-day. With a choice of morning or afternoon flight departures, fly over lush national parks, epic glaciers, and alpine lakes, before touching down in the Sound. Enjoy a scenic cruise, keeping an eye out for some of the local inhabitants including seals, penguins, and dolphins, before returning to Wanaka by plane.
Saddle up and explore New Zealand’s rugged wilderness on this 3.5-hour Cardrona High Country pub trail horse-riding trek. Head on horseback into the New Zealand countryside with your guide. Discover points of historical interest along the winding mountain trails, and gain insight into the 19th-century gold rush that brought wealth to the area. Pass through a working cattle farm, traverse choppy rivers and enjoy panoramic views over the rugged scenery. Stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel for a complimentary drink, then return to base along the mighty Cardrona River.
Discover the idyllic landscapes of the Mount Aspiring National Park, where filming for the Lord of the Rings took place, on this action-packed half-day tour from Wanaka. Zip along the Matukituki River on a jet boat, admire spectacular views of Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring, then hike past forests and waterfalls to see the Avalanche Glacier.
Central Otago is one of New Zealand’s most popular wine regions, producing well-respected reds and whites in alpine vineyards. On this afternoon tour, visit four of boutique wineries in the region and taste some of their award-winning offerings. Learn the secrets behind these wines from the winemakers themselves, and stop at one winery for a gourmet food and wine matching – tasting dishes of local produce matched with wines from the vineyard.
Sail around the serene Lake Wanaka on this late-afternoon ‘happy hour’ cruise. With a complimentary beer or wine in hand, cruise around the southern end of Lake Wanaka, the majestic Southern Alps in the distance. Sail around Waterfall Creek, Ruby Island and Stevensons Peninsula, and even see the famous ‘Lone Tree’ – a famous willow growing out of the lake.
Kayaking on serene Lake Wanaka, with its clear waters and beautiful coastline, is a great introduction to kayaking. Beginners and those with more experience will enjoy a calm half-day tour approximately 5.5 miles (9 kms) around the lake. Take in the views while experiencing the unspoiled nature that New Zealand is famous more, but without breaking too much of a sweat.
Running from Lake Dunstan in North Otago through to the East Coast, the wide and blue Clutha River is flanked by glacial terraces and stunning New Zealand bush. Speed down the river on this half-day jetboat trip through Upper Clutha Valley, take photos of the towering Southern Alps and thrill at the river’s long winding stretches and switchback corners.
Wanaka is surrounded by rolling alpine farmland, but most of it is privately owned and inaccessible. This half-day tour opens the gate to one of those farms, the massive West Wanaka Station. Explore the Otago back-country in a private four wheel drive vehicle, stopping for astonishing photo opportunities against the backdrop of Lake Wanaka, the Southern Alps and Mount Aspiring National Park.
Hidden away behind a peninsula, Stevensons Island is one of the harder islands to get to on Lake Wanaka. On this half-day trip, catch a luxury ferry from Wanaka and sail out to the island past local mountains and lush countryside. Upon disembarking, hike to the island’s summit and take in grand views of the peninsula, the lake and the Southern Alps
A lot of the South Island’s natural hideaways are tough to get to, and that’s definitely the case with Mou Waho Island. This half-day cruise makes it easy; sail from Wanaka Marina to this isolated island in the middle of Lake Wanaka. Walk to the island’s very own lake, the Arethusa Pool, and take panoramic photos of the lake and the nearby Southern Alps, or take a dip at the beach near the island’s only jetty.
The pōwhiri, or welcome, is an important ritual in New Zealand’s Indigenous Māori culture, inviting visitors as they arrive on their whenua (land). Experience a full pōwhiri, including the wero (challenge) and mihi whakatau (welcome speech), first-hand with this unique cultural experience. Connect with local Māori traditions in a way that you simply can’t through guidebooks and museums; learn more about the local iwi (tribe) and their responsibilities as kaitiaki, or custodians of the land.
Enjoy high-octane thrills in the New Zealand wilderness on this 2-hour Cardrona Valley quad bike experience from Wanaka. Following a comprehensive safety briefing, pull on your helmet and hop onto your 350cc quad bike. Master the controls in safety, then spin off into the mountains of the mighty Cardrona Valley with your guide. Navigate winding dirt tracks through rolling alpine farmland where Merino sheep and cattle graze. Bounce and roll over the rugged terrain, and enjoy panoramic views over the wilds of New Zealand’s South Island.
Try your hand at mind-bending games and puzzles at Puzzling World in Wanaka. This prepaid admission ticket lets you plan your vacation in advance and have guaranteed admission to this popular attraction. Try out the world's first 3D Great Maze, visit the illusion rooms, and test your problem-solving skills.
This is a cutting edge experience that everyone can enjoy.
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This is the largest Virtual Reality experience in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest Infinity Platform establishment currently in the world.
After a catamaran cruise across Lake Wanaka to Mou Waho Island—which sits in the middle of the lake—spot rare native birds that are extinct on mainland New Zealand. Thanks to successful conservation efforts, the island is a rare haven for birdlife. Enjoy a guided hike with an expert guide to a lake at the top of the island, an experience that’s rated one of the best must-do activities in Wanaka.
The snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and waterfalls of the Mount Aspiring National Park lie along the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. This action-packed tour lets you explore the park by plane, boat, and on foot. Soar overhead on a scenic flight, hike along the banks of the Siberia River, then hop aboard for a thrilling jet boat ride along the Wilkin River.
Inject some thrills into your standard sightseeing adventure and whip through the Southland forests at high speed on this thrilling jet boating experience. Race around Lake Wanaka and down the winding Clutha River, through rapids and tunnels, tight channels and tighter corners, on this compact and comprehensive journey that’ll get you back to shore in time for your afternoon or evening plans. Travel the river at rocketing speeds of around 50mph and enjoy remarkable stunts like the 180-degree Hamilton Spin!
Outdoor adventure lovers will enjoy the chance to spend the whole day kayaking around Lake Wanaka. Although you need to be reasonably fit to paddle the 7.5-8.5 miles (12-14 kilometers) around the lake, you do not need to be an experienced kayaker. You’ll be treated to gorgeous views of the mountains surrounding the lake and town, and can also go for a walk on the protected island of Mou Waho.
Experience the scenic highlights above and around Lake Wanaka during a 2.5-hour 4WD excursion. Choose your departure time from the Wanaka i-Site and journey through West Wanaka Station. Gain insight into Wanaka’s history and rich agricultural heritage with commentary from your guide. You’ll see it all, from alpine vistas to a working mountain farm.
Wanaka is a popular base from which to experience some of New Zealand’s most thrilling outdoor adventure, but the more extreme activities require pretty specific technical equipment. On this tour, climb, hike, jump, rappel, and swing through the spectacular Matukituki Valley—with all safety equipment included. Explore rugged terrain along the Niger Stream, and enjoy panoramic views over the frozen summit of Mt. Avalanche.
For travelers short on time in Wanaka, this one-hour cruise and walk to Ruby Island is an ideal way to experience the lake and mountains. Glide across Lake Wanaka to Ruby Island in comfort on a luxury catamaran. There, enjoy an easy walk to lookout points that are great places to take pictures from. Families and senior travelers will enjoy this tour, as it’s suitable for all levels of mobility.