popular activities of Wanaka

Tourist Activities & Attractions in Wanaka

Experience our distinct four seasons, each season with its own unique set of special varied features, activities and attractions to explore and enjoy. There are so many reasons to visit and spend time in our Lake Wanaka region. Every day is a day to celebrate the beauty of the natural environs of our Southern Alps and Lakes alpine environment.

For example, in Wanaka alone, a sample offering includes arts, music, colour and seasonal festivals, wineries, skydiving, funky cinema experiences, ice/rock/mountain climbing, Ironman triathlons, amazingly varied skiing terrain and parks, fabulous walkways/cycleways, the famous Warbirds over Wanaka airshow and Puzzling World entertainment.

Add in the specific unique Clip and Climb indoor/outdoor facility, Have A Shot shooting venue, an incredible selection of novel toys, vehicles and collectibles at the Transport and Toy Museum and get amongst the real landscape with horse-riding next to the Cardrona River or trekkiing around the lake edge to the Rippon Vineyard.

Experience the regions air, water or land activities, include the NZ-renowned Wanaka Skydive, famous guiding with Eco-adventures and Wanaka River journeys alongside more extreme canyoning, river surfing, water sledging, para-gliding and ponting, kayaking, yachting, guided fishing and hiking. Take a helicopter or fixed-wing flight in a jet fighter or a Tiger Moth. Mountain biking or golf, croquet or golf cross. Mix wine-tasting with a 4 wheel drive tour with with horse-riding. Try wake-boarding, wind surfing or charter a yacht or houseboat. Or instead relax and picnic at the many lake beaches or river spots or play a game of tennis, mini-golf, paintball or walk Mount Iron or visit our awesome Aspiring national park and hike up through natural varied alpine terrain to the "must see" unique Rob Roy Glacier.

You name it, Wanaka has got something for everyone with a diverse and enjoyable assortment of indoor/outdoor pursuits, with something for all tastes, interests and fitness levels. Increasingly, Wanaka is chosen as a prime wedding venue for both New Zealand and international visitors, with its superb and stunning backdrop scenery and a quieter laidback retreat for a romantic getaway.

As you can see, Lake Wanaka is an ideal central location as an accommodation base, well positioned between the West Coast, Aoraki Mt Cook, Mount Aspiring and Fiordland national parks. Wanaka is only an hour's drive from Queenstown and Arrowtown. Make the "relaxed choice", kick back and enjoy! Finish off with an Archway cedar hot tub soak, take in the stars and reflect on the day!

Spring activities of Wanaka

Spring

Just like the array of our different tulips and daffofil that border the Archway driveway, spring brings the added attraction of new colours, pastels, famous lupins and a selection of activities to experience. There is spring skiing, longer daylight hours for après-ski, café culture, twilight golf or hiking and biking. Or do a bit of everything, your spring playground offers so much choice. Our choice is a walk through the Wanaka Station Park, the original Sargood Homestead, an array of trees, scrubs, flowers and varied colours and textures.

fun things to do in summer

Summer

The summer is ideal for walking, golf, swimming, boating, fishing, sailing, biking or hiking. Whether gentle walks or extreme skydiving, there is plenty to fill in the long daylight hours.

Many like to start or finish their day with a strong espresso coffee or a gourmet dinner with local wines or dance the night away at the many bars.

autumn is king for Wanaka

Autumn

Our Archway garden provides the clue. Of all the seasons autumn is king for Wanaka and its surrounds. The gorgeous contrast of the flora of trees, vines and grasses with their rich golds, reds, browns and yellow tones mixed with various shades of green provide the perfect backdrop, foreground or complement to the pristine blue lake and outstanding variety of mountains and valleys. A photographers paradise, the season offers plentiful opportunities to snap the glorious colours as well as explore and traverse the amazing landscapes. Our pick is a walk or bike ride along the shores of Lake Wanaka, past the golden poplar trees, over bridges, past the glorious Rippon grape vines up and around the hills to Glendhu Bay.

go for skiing in Wanaka during winters

Winter

In winter Wanaka is a very popular alpine base for downhill, telemark, cross country, heliski and terrain park skiers and snowboarders, being home to four international ski resorts, Treble Cone, Cardrona, Nordic Snow Farm and with nearby ski-fields Ohau, Remarkables and Coronet at our back door, within 1.5 hours drive away.


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Seasonal Highlights

January: High summer season. School holidays right through the month. Weather is warm (20-32 degrees). Enjoy biking, hiking, swimming, skydiving, jet boating, kayaking, fishing. Wine and cultural/theme tours. All the outdoor water, air and land experiences you can imagine with lake and mountain back drops!

February: International visitor peak season. Settled, warm and calm sunny days (temperature varies 18-27 degrees). No school holidays but Waitangi Day (6th February) is the public holiday. Chinese New Year is 8th February 2016. Pre-bookings essential. Accommodation and activities, tours, attractions. We are agents for most of these at no extra cost and often we have special Agent-Only deals, packages or specials. Look also on our Specials page.

March: Still warm and ideal for outdoor pursuits. Weather is generally settled and the temperature range is between 18-23 degrees celsius. Still a busy visitor season. Advance bookings are advised as we have many high demand events on in March. Check our Events Diary page. Local A&P Show, Motatapu Gutbuster and in 2016 Easter is early, Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow 25th 28th March. (Advance bookings essential, availability at Archway, enquiries/bookings direct only.)

April: The perfect time to witness the autumn colours. The most picturesque time of the year, a myriad of various reds, greens golds and browns. A photographers dream. Temperatures drop but still many sunny days. Daytime temperatures are 12-21 degrees.

May: Beautiful contrasts still of gold/red autumn colours, calm, crisp mornings and the lake like glass. Temperatures can vary between 3-16 degrees. Duck shooting season. The days get shorter, snow starts to fall.

June: Queens Birthday Weekend Holiday is the 1st weekend in June. Skifields open mid-late June. Cardrona 13th June and Treble Cone 25th June 2015. Snowfalls and storms mostly in the mountains. Temperatures are minus 1-12 degrees on average. Shortest Day is the 21st of June.

July: Busy ski season and continued snow for the mountains and settled colder weather. Temperatures are minus 3-10 degrees. 3rd-19th July are New Zealand school holidays 2015.

August: Ski high season, settled, crisp, cold weather. Days a getting longer and temperatures and weather settled. Vary from -2 to 12 degrees. Consistent prime snow and skiing conditions.

September: Early spring, snow storms and great skiing but also biking, hiking, golf, warmer weather and longer daylight hours. Daylight Saving begins 28th September. NZ School Holidays are 25th September to 11th October. Treble Cone Skifield closes 27th September.

October: Weather can vary considerably being Spring with warmer temperatures but often windier weather. NZ School Holidays until 11th October. Fishing Season begins. Cardrona Skifield closes on 10th October. Labour Weekend long holiday weekend is 23-25th October.

November: Early summer weather and shoulder season but with beautiful Spring colours, flowers and a wide variety of greens and new growth. Early Lupins can be seen in late November through December in the region, very pretty borders to roadsides, lakes and rivers.

December: Quieter time before Christmas, so a great time to visit with no crowds, enjoy all the Summer activities and warm weather. After Christmas bookings are essential for the rest of the month. NZ School holidays start 15th (secondary schools), 18th December (primary schools).