Lake Wanaka

The dramatic blue lakes and rugged mountain ranges of the Wanaka region form a spectacular backdrop to a superb range of outdoor adventures and indulgences. This is the gateway to the pristine wilderness of Mount Aspiring National Park and its superb hiking opportunities.

Around the Wanaka Region

The pretty lakeside town of Wanaka is an inspiring place for relaxation. This region also offers an amazing range of adventure activities from horse riding in rugged foothills to awe-inspiring scenic flights among the frosted white peaks of soaring mountains. West of Wanaka, Mount Aspiring National Park (the nation’s third-largest national park) is renowned for the diversity of its landscapes, from forests to meadows.

Regional Destinations

Wanaka Tucked along the southern shores of Lake Wanaka, this vibrant town has a fantastic array of amenities in a stunning natural setting. It’s an excellent base for experiencing a wide variety of outdoor activities in the surrounding landscape. Proximity to Mount Aspiring National Park makes Wanaka popular with hikers, and fishing, skiing, mountain biking and boating are just a few of the other activities available. Lake Hawea Just up the road from Wanaka, Lake Hawea is a tiny settlement on a picturesque lake. Popular for fishing and boating, it offers a handful of accommodation options.

Highlights

Go hiking in the wilderness of Mount Aspiring National Park. Stop for a meal at the historic Cardrona Hotel. Picnic on the shores of picturesque Lake Wanaka. Try the thrill of white-water rafting on a wild river. Cross-country ski during winter.

Mount Aspiring National Park

Home to New Zealand’s only peaks over 3,000 metres outside of Mount Cook National Park, Mount Aspiring National Park is a huge and rugged wilderness area encompassing mountains, glacial valleys, alpine tussock meadows and native beech forests. Ancient Maori trails cross the park, centuries-old trading routes for West Coast pounamu, and today walking trails are a main drawcard. There are numerous short walks suitable for most levels of fitness, as well as more strenuous multi-day options.