Pretty simple, it’s awesome! Wanaka is what I expected out of New Zealand. Beautiful scenery, a lot to do, sunny weather (at least when we were there) and plenty of cool bars and cafes to choose from. It is a place to go all year, a beautiful resort in the summer and a ski resort in the winter. Wanaka is just about an hour away from Queenstown but shouldn’t be overshadowed by it’s popular neighbour.
Things to do?
Kayaking and Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on Lake Wanaka: Opposite the tourist information centre, right on the lake front, there is the opportunity to rent kayaks and SUP boards. Ranging from an hour rental to all day excursions you will find something to fit your budget. 1 hour rental of either piece of equipment costs $20, two hours costs $30. If it’s a calm day it’s a great place to learn how to SUP board because the lake is super still. We were standing as soon as we got onto the water! Some may say a miracle…
Roy’s Peak: For those feeling fit enough, Roy’s Peak gives some of the best views I have seen in New Zealand. Check the weather before you leave and don’t underestimate how steep this hill is. It took us 4 hours to climb to the summit (with two lunch breaks) and around 2 hours back down.
Haast Pass: The drive from Haast to Wanaka should be a must do in itself. Haast Pass is full of little stop offs including Roaring Billy Falls and Lake Hawea.
A Place to Stay
Lake Outlet Holiday Park: We stayed here for three nights in a tent. The standard for camping at a holiday park in New Zealand is around $20 per person per night (expensive I know…). Lake Outlet Holiday Park offers camping for $16 per person however if you grab one of their discount leaflets from the information centre, in town, you can get it for $13 per person. The camp is around a 12-15 minute drive from Wanaka but it is well worth it for the view you get coming out of the tent in the morning. There’s a kitchen and showers at the campsite. Lake Outlet Holiday park also offer cabins starting at around $70 for two people.