Wanaka
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Wanaka Outdoor Activities

Stevensons Island 2-Hour Cruise and Nature Walk

1. Stevensons Island 2-Hour Cruise and Nature Walk

Embark on a leisurely 40-minute cruise among spectacular mountain scenery to Stevensons Peninsula and then into Stevensons Arm, home to the Mount Burke high country sheep station. Rolling green pastures precede Mount Gold and Mount Burke which rise majestically into the Eastern skyline. Relax in comfort as you cruise to Stevensons Island for a beach landing. Your guide will take you ashore via the front loading ramp for a short hike to the summit of the Island. Stevensons Island is an inspiration for photographers. On return, complete your experience with afternoon tea and another 40-minute scenic cruise back to the Wanaka waterfront.

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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.

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Lake Wanaka Happy Hour Cruise

3. Lake Wanaka Happy Hour Cruise

Set off on a 1-hour cruise on Lake Wanaka to enjoy crystal-clear waters and beautiful scenery. The perfect end to a great day or the perfect beginning to a great night. Cruise down the Wanaka waterfront and over toward the famous Lone Tree before tracking up to Waterfall Creek and Ruby Island. Head across to Stevensons Peninsula before returning via Beacon Point and Eley Point. Don't forget to bring your camera and take pictures while cruising to remember this relaxing experience.  As you cruise along, enjoy a local wine or beer on your cruise, included in the ticket. The cruise is fully licensed and further drinks can be purchased on board.

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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.

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Treble Cone: Lift Pass and Equipment Rental Package

5. Treble Cone: Lift Pass and Equipment Rental Package

Enjoy a fun-filled day in South Island's largest ski area with a lift pass and equipment rental package that grants you access to all mountain lifts at both Treble Cone and Cardrona. Choose from a single or multi-day pass option. Whether you're a skier or a snowboarder, this package provides boots, skis or a board, and poles or wrist guards which can be fitted and collected along with your lift pass from 1 of 3 locations. Ski on the challenging steeps or snowboard the halfpipes of the legendary off-piste terrain found in Treble Cone. Experience an area that sits firmly on the bucket lists of most intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Take in breathtaking views of Lake Wanaka and the Matukituki Basin. You can marvel at the stunning backdrop whilst cutting tracks until the end of the day.

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Treble Cone: Single and Multi-Day Ski Lift Pass

6. Treble Cone: Single and Multi-Day Ski Lift Pass

Enjoy a fun-filled day in South Island's largest ski area with a ski lift pass that grants you access to all mountain lifts at both Treble Cone and Cardrona. Choose from a single or multi-day pass option then hit the thrilling slopes. Ski on the challenging steeps, natural halfpipes, and legendary off-piste terrain found in Treble Cone. Experience a ski area that sits firmly on the bucket lists of most intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Take in breathtaking views of Lake Wanaka and the Matukituki Basin. You can marvel at the stunning backdrop whilst cutting tracks until the end of the day.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Wanaka

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What people are saying about Wanaka

This was a great way to spend half a day. I did it solo and it was wonderful to have time at the lake and at the lookout all to myself. You really do feel like nobody else is around (even though you see the odd person travelling up or down the trail path). The views are breathtaking and you get an excellent workout hiking up to the lookout. You also learn about the geology and history of the island and Wanaka generally on the way out to the island. A little tip - bring insect repellent with you and wear closed shoes and socks as there are sandflies on the island. You do need a moderate level of fitness to hike to the top as it is intense in places and some parts of the path are very rocky but it all adds to the experience!

Great trip. Bat Captain very knowledgeable and friendly. ...views were dramatic and awesome. Hike up to Mou Wahoo was nice. Next time I will bring my swim trunks and a couple cold beers to enjoy a welcome “cool don” after the hike :-)

Great trip to the island by water taxi. Shiloh was a great skipper who was very knowledgeable about the history of the area. And the island and lake on top are truly amazing, scenery is breathtaking!

Fabulous cruise, the guide gave us a lot of information on the local area and the wine and cheeseboard was delicious

Friendly captain and host on the cruise. Beautiful scenery!!