Wanaka, located on New Zealand’s South Island was one of our favourite places in New Zealand. Situated only a one hour drive from Queenstown and a six hour drive from Christchurch, it is full of seasonal activities making it an amazing place to visit in both the summer and the winter. So here are our top 7 reasons for why we think you should visit!
- Some of the best views you will see in New Zealand: When you drive into the town, from almost any direction, the views are incredible. This includes the Haast Pass, the Crown Range (highest road in NZ) and the route from Lake Tekapo. Not to mention the views from Mount Iron and Roy’s Peak!
- One of the best places to skydive in the world: If you are looking to do your 1st or 100th skydive, Wanaka is a great place to do it. The trip in their plane is amazing and on a clear day you can see all the way over to Mount Cook. During the 45 second free fall from 12,000 feet, after getting over the initial shock of jumping out of a plane, you have time to marvel at these amazing views from a unique perspective!
- A great place to learn how to paddle board: Paddle Wanaka offer great options for stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking. Lake Wanaka is often quite still so it’s a great place to try out paddle boarding for the first time. For 2 hours it only costs $30.
- The coolest hills to climb: Roy’s Peak is a tough 5-6 hour climb but it’s worth the views. Mount Iron only takes around 1 and a half hours and you get some awesome views of Wanaka. We climbed Mount Iron on Christmas day with Santa and elf hats!
- Cheaper camping options: To pitch a tent near or around Queenstown it costs $20-25 per person for an unpowered tent site. Around Lake Wanaka there are cheaper options including Lake Outlet Holiday Park ($13 with a discount voucher from the i-site in Wanaka).
- The Wanaka Tree: It’s one of the most Instagrammed views in New Zealand and with the dramatic mountainous background you’ve got to go take a few snaps!
- A great variety of cafes, pubs and restaurants: Wanaka is a small place but there are plenty of places to eat and drink. We would recommend Patagonia Chocolates for breakfast and coffee or Boaboa for lunch or dinner where you can grab a delicious burger or fish and chips to take away and eat by the lake.
Like it? Pin it!