Lake Wanaka
Outdoor Sports

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Our most recommended Lake Wanaka Outdoor Sports

Wanaka: Jet Boat Ride on Clutha River

1. Wanaka: Jet Boat Ride on Clutha River

Experience the water like never have before on a jet boat adventure in Wanaka. Skim across shallow water, over sand bars, through rapids, and around rocks at speeds in excess of 80 kilometers per hour. Departing from Wanaka’s waterfront, enjoy a short jaunt across the lake taking in stunning snow-capped mountain views, and prepare to enter one of the world’s swiftest-flowing rivers, the Clutha River.  Of course, a jet boat ride wouldn’t be complete without the iconic Hamilton Spin, a high-speed maneuver causing the boat to spin rapidly on the spot. Your expert driver will raise your adrenalin, demonstrating the maneuverability of the jet boat and pushing it to its absolute limits, safely and skillfully navigating you on an unforgettable adventure.

Wanaka: Self Guided Bike Tour from Lake Hawea to Lake Wanaka

2. Wanaka: Self Guided Bike Tour from Lake Hawea to Lake Wanaka

Get the most bang for your buck as you experience the most popular of any bike trip in Wanaka. Start your journey in Wanaka Town center where you will meet the experienced team to get you fitted for your equipment and receive a comprehensive safety briefing. Then, enjoy a leisurely shuttle from downtown Wanaka to the neighboring lakeside town of Hawea. Feel free to grab a coffee from a local cafe before setting out on the Hawea River Track, an easy riverside amble set in mountainous surroundings. Pass by Albert Town, where there are a few places to grab a refreshment, before continuing along the mighty Clutha River towards its source at Lake Wanaka. A picturesque lakeside trail will lead you back to Wanaka township, where ice cream and the famous Wanaka Tree await. After arriving back to Wanaka, extend your ride with a visit to Rippon Vineyard at your leisure. This is an exceptional ride offering great value for money. Upgrade your trip to an e-bike for an easier ride.

Wanaka: 1.5-hour Beginner Iron Road Waterfall Climb

3. Wanaka: 1.5-hour Beginner Iron Road Waterfall Climb

Enjoy a thrilling 1.5-hour introduction to ‘via ferrata’ or ‘iron road’ climbing. This unique experience uses cable, iron rungs, pegs, bridges, and ladders, allowing you to climb routes that may not have been accessible otherwise.  Start your journey in Wanaka town center where you will meet your friendly and experienced guides. Embark on a short 20-minute ride in a minibus through the stunning countryside around Wanaka, to the location of The Twin Falls Waterfalls. After a safety briefing, grab your helmets and harness and prepare for a practice climb over a small rock at the base of the waterfall. Once you have mastered the practice route, join an intimate group of no more than 4 people per guide - ensuring your safety throughout the experience. After a short walk up to the cliffs, the real fun begins. On this beginner route, spend approximately 1 hour scaling vertical and horizontal rock climbs, crossing suspension bridges over pools and discovering hidden waterfalls. At the end of this trail, take the opportunity to stop for a small snack and drink, admiring the stunning panoramic views over farmland, mountains, and Lake Wanaka. If you feel like you're climbing journey is over, begin a 20-minute descent back down the mountain to the base of the waterfall. Your wonderful guides will assist you with your equipment and drive you back to Wanaka Town Centre in the minibus.

Wanaka: Water Taxi & Mou Waho Island Tour

4. Wanaka: Water Taxi & Mou Waho Island Tour

Hop aboard a comfortable water taxi and make your way to Mou Waho Island. Along the way, your tour guide will explain the island's unique geology and history. Of the Lake Wanaka’s 5 islands, Mou Waho is the most remote and the most beautiful. Once there, you will have 1.5 hours to yourself to enjoy this special place. Hike 20 minutes to the island’s hidden lake. Created by glacial action thousands of years ago, this secluded lake contains an island itself. This island is known as the “island on a lake, on an island on a lake on an island in the sea.” (Close your eyes and visualize that for a moment). Walk 5 minutes from the hidden lake to reach Tyrwhitt Peak, the highest point on the island. From the top of the peak take in the luscious panorama of lakes and jagged peaks. Witness the diverse bird life of this predator-free nature reserve. See the elegant kereru (wood Pidgeon), the adorable korimako (bellbird), the delightful Tomtit, and the Weka. Wekas are charismatic birds that disappeared from the mainland of New Zealand but were introduced to these islands as a part of a breeding program in 2002. When you spot one, stop and say hello. These birds are particularly charismatic and cheeky characters and are often attracted to human interaction. Relax on the island’s small sheltered beach. Cool off with a swim in the waters of Lake Wanaka before taking the water taxi back to Wanaka.

Wanaka: 4-Hour Intermediate Waterfall Climbing Adventure

5. Wanaka: 4-Hour Intermediate Waterfall Climbing Adventure

Enjoy a thrilling 4-hour guided experience at the highest waterfall climb in the world. This unique activity uses cable, iron rungs, pegs, bridges, and ladders, allowing you to climb routes that may not have been accessible otherwise. Start your journey in Wanaka town center where you will meet your friendly and experienced guides. Embark on a short 20-minute ride in a minibus to the location of The Twin Falls Waterfalls. After a safety briefing, grab your helmets and harness and prepare for a practice climb over a small rock at the base of the waterfall. Once you have mastered the practice route, join an intimate group of no more than 4 people per guide - ensuring your safety throughout the experience This intermediate route will have you climbing up 350m of vertical cliffs, crossing over blue pools, and braving suspension bridges. Take the opportunity to stop on a bridge next to a huge cascading waterfall for an unforgettable photo. When you reach the summit of the climb, relax at the base of the 60m waterfall for lunch. Enjoy a quick swim or sit back and take in the stunning views over the mountains and farmland surrounding Wanaka. When you’re ready, begin the 45-minute descent down to the starting point. Your wonderful guides will assist you with your equipment and drive you back to Wanaka Town Centre in the minibus.

New Zealand North & South Island: 14-Day Tour

6. New Zealand North & South Island: 14-Day Tour

Day 1 - Auckland to Hot Water Beach Depart Auckland and head south-east to the pristine beaches of the Coromandel and the world-famous Cathedral Cove. Kayak around this stunning coastline (optional activity) and have the opportunity to visit Hot Water Beach; a unique surf beach where if you catch the tide right, you can dig a hole in the sand to create your own personal spa pool. Day 2 - Hot Water Beach to Waitomo Venture into the enchanting Karangahake Gorge nestled among the Kaimai Ranges, for a hike amongst the walkways and old mining tunnels. Next, head over to Waitomo for a magical tour of the world-famous glow-worm caves. You will also have the opportunity to experience a Black Water Rafting trip. Day 3 - Waitomo to Rotorua Start the day with a walk through the Ruakuri Reserve. Pass through The Shire of Hobbiton where you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Hobbiton Movie Set (optional activity) before rolling on through to Rotorua; a mystical land of bubbling mud pools, rocketing geysers, and natural hot springs. Optional activities are luging down the SkyLine, White Water Rafting, Hells Gate, Mountain biking through the Redwoods, Zorb, Wai-o-tapu, Polynesian Spa, or National Kiwi Hatchery. Day 4 - Rotorua free day and Tamaki Maori Village Explore the geothermal reserve of Te Puia, with New Zealand’s largest geyser, and a chance to see a real live Kiwi bird. Visit the Tamaki Māori Village and be immersed in the traditions and cultural values of the Māori people. Participate in a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), learn about the history of the marae (village) and the Rotorua-area from a local Māori guide before feasting on some top kai food from the hāngi pit. Gather around a blazing bonfire and enjoy listening to Māori myths and legends before relaxing in a private forest spa pool and retiring for the night in a traditional carved whare moe (sleeping house). Day 5 - Tamaki Maori Village to Taupo Day 6 - Taupo free day Day 7 - Taupo to Wellington Day 8 - Wellington to Kaikoura Day 9 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Day 10 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Day 11 - Lake Tekapo to Wanaka via Mount Cook Day 12 - Wanaka to Queenstown Day 13 - Queenstown free day Day 14 - Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip

From Wellington: 7-Day South Island Tour with Wine Tasting

7. From Wellington: 7-Day South Island Tour with Wine Tasting

Unlock the beauty of the South Island with the convenience of a multi-day guided tour. All activities are included unless states otherwise. Day 1 - Wellington to Kaikoura Kick off the adventure with one of the most beautiful inter-island crossings in the world, the Cook Straight. Arrive at the top of the South Island and journey through the Marlborough region, home to endless rolling vineyards. Stop for a tasting along the way to sample some local Kiwi cuisine. Day 2 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Choose between a lie-in, or, for the more adventurous, an ocean excursion (extra cost) to try your luck spotting dolphins, whales, albatrosses, and more. Around mid-morning, head up the Kaikoura Peninsula to walk among a large seal colony. Next up is the diverse city of Christchurch. Here, take a walking tour of the city to learn about its street art, see the blooming botanical gardens, and learn about the city's recent history. Day 3 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Hit the road and cruise into Mackenzie Country, home to Lake Tekapo. Visit the stone Church of the Good Shepherd and admire Lake Tekapo's blue waters framed with colorful lupins. As night falls, visit the Dark Sky Project to learn about the importance of preserving dark skies and take a peek at all that lies above. Day 4 - Lake Tekapo to Wanaka via Mount Cook Cruise past Lake Pukaki (you'll know how it got its nickname The Powerade Factory when you see it) and head for Mount Cook village. Take some scenic hikes in the National Park with stops to soak up the mountain views. Here choose to view the Tasman Glacier by helicopter or take a scenic flight through the Mt. Cook National Park. From mid-morning, continue to traverse through the National Park through Lindis Pass and on to Wanaka. Day 5 - Wanaka to Queenstown Have the morning to hike Wanaka's famous Roys Peak, snap "That Wanaka Tree," or climb Mount Iron. For the more daring in the group, there’s the option to experience a via Ferrata Wild Wire or hit up the lakeside trails on a mountain bike. Later, sit back and relax on the bus while viewing the scenery of the Crown ranges on the way to the adrenaline-fuelled Queenstown. End the day with a trip up the Gondola for a dinner overlooking Queenstown. Day 6 - Queenstown free dayTake a day to explore the city with lunch and activities on your own. Day 7 - Queenstown to Glenorchy Day Trip Head out into the heartlands of Otago to the picturesque town of Glenorchy to experience a scenic landscape.

Frequently asked questions about Lake Wanaka Outdoor Sports

What are other things to do than Lake Wanaka Outdoor Sports that are worth visiting in Otago?

The other unmissable things to do in Otago are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Wanaka

Want to discover all there is to do in Lake Wanaka? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lake Wanaka

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip out to the island. Was very impressed with the extra work put in trying to find a solution to weather .

Beautiful scenery and easy riding beside the rivers from Lake Hawea to Lake Wanaka.

It was really good, the tour guides are really friendly and knowledgeable.

Beautiful lake ride and island Perfect way to spend a afternoon

Great jet boat ride adapted for weather conditions.