Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea and the region's many rivers are set within the incredible Southern Alps mountains and are the perfect playground for watersports lovers. Swimming, sailing, jet boating, fishing, jet skiing, water skiing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, wind surfing, kite surfing and river surfing are all on offer. The extended shores and many private bays of the lakes offer an abundance of sun-soaking spots, as well as hiking and mountain biking trails.
The spectacular Southern Alps mountains offer more than just a stunning backdrop to the Wanaka region, they provide wonderful recreational opportunities all year long. In the winter months, enjoy the ski and snowboard slopes of Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone Ski Area, heli-skiing in the backcountry, or Nordic skiing at the Snow Farm. Hiking is available all year round, whether you would like to spend 1 hour, all-day or multiple days trekking. The more adventurous explorers can venture into the Mt Aspiring National Park for mountaineering and ice climbing.
Voted one of the Top 10 most romantic places in the world, Wanaka is famous for its weddings and there are many superb wedding and event venues to choose from. The spectacular mountain and lake back drop makes for a breath-taking, memorable occasion. And if you are visiting Wanaka for a wedding, why not take more than just a weekend, make it a holiday?
Cuisine in Wanaka is more than just sipping a latte in a café overlooking the lake. It's also about fine dining, casual dining and drinking at the extensive range of restaurants, cafes and bars. It's also about picnicking with takeaways on the lake shore, indulging in a wine tasting at the local vineyards, perusing the local Farmers' Market, or simply savouring a hand-crafted gelato at the park.
Wanaka boasts a scale and range of events that far outweigh its small size, celebrating heritage, arts, culture, sport and music. The most well-known events are Warbirds over Wanaka air show, Challenge Wanaka multisport race, Winter Games NZ snow sports competition, Festival of Colour autumn arts festival, Wanaka A&P Show, Rippon music festival, and the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival. And with many other festivities throughout the year, there is always plenty to celebrate.
There is an abundance of adventurous activities at your disposal in the Wanaka region. Whether you want an adrenaline fuelled experience such as sky diving, downhill mountain biking, heli-skiing, snowboarding, jetboating, mountaineering, rock or ice climbing, or whether you desire the more relaxed pace of golfing, fishing or walking, Wanaka has it all! Be taken on a trip of a lifetime, either by helicopter, fixed wing aircraft, or in a vintage Spitfire, over the mountain tops for a bird's eye view of the stunning landscape.