Top 9 Things To See & Do In Wanaka On A Budget
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29th Jan | 3 min read

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    Wanaka is the perfect place in New Zealand for all you adventure seekers. There are a lot of activities to get your blood pumping. Go hiking, jet-boating, biking in the summer, and enjoy skiing and snowboarding when you visit in the winter.

    If you are looking for things to do in Wanaka, we’ve made planning for your trip a lot easier with this guide. Below you will find nine of the best places to visit and things to do in Wanaka, sorted out by how much they cost.

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    Roys Peak


    One of the most famous hikes in Wanaka is the Roys Peak Track. This renowned trail takes you on a 16km round trip which takes roughly 5-6 hours, but it is so worth it. The hike up is gorgeous and once you summit you'll get to experience breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring.

    Mount Iron


    The Mount Iron Track is great if you are looking for a shorter hike than Roy’s Peak. While the hike may be shorter, you won’t get shortchanged on the great views. At the peak, you’ll be inundated with all of the picturesque beauty that Lake Wanaka and The Southern Alps have to offer.

    Diamond Lake Track


    This short walk is only about 30 minutes total and on it, you’ll get great views of Wanaka lake as well as the town. While you’re at it, if you want to take in the beautiful Southern Alps in all their glory, you can do the Rocky Mountain Track which is about three hours total.

    Rob Roy Glacier Track


    This track is located in Mount Aspiring National Park which is about an hour drive from Wanaka. This roughly 10km trek will take you through crashing streams, dense forests, and snow-covered mountain tops. Once you summit you’ll get to see pristine views of the stunning glacier.

    Lake Wanaka


    Lake Wanaka is another great stop for people looking to spend more time by the water. This gorgeous lake is best experienced either during sunrise or sunset. While here, be sure to get some snapshots of the popular Wanaka Tree, a lonesome willow tree right in the middle of the lake. 

    Matukituki River

    Jetboat ride starts at NZ $199

    The Matukituki River is the perfect place to go on a water adventure. This river is known for its jet boating and if you’re willing to spend a bit of money you can enjoy a 4-hour tour with Wanaka River Journeys that’ll take you on the jet boat ride, a short walk through the wilderness, and a walk to the Avalanche Glacier (conditions permitting). 

    Mou Waho Island

    Cruise ticket to the island NZ $119

    If you’re spending a day on Lake Wanaka you can also visit Mou Waho Island. If you’re an animal lover, you will undoubtedly enjoy your time on this Department of Conservation protected Island with its rare species of birds. There’s a beautiful secluded lake on the top of the island which is definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

    Cardrona Valley

    2-hour horse trek starting at NZ $169

    Skiing starts at NZ $95 for a half-day and NZ $130 for a full day

    In the summer Cardrona Valley is an awesome place to go hiking, bike riding, and even horseback riding. In the winter, Cardrona is known for its skiing and snowboarding at Cardrona Alpine Resorts. For avid skiers, Treble Cone is another great spot and is the largest ski field in New Zealand. 

    Wanaka Lavender Farm

    Entry is $5 from December - February & $2 From March - November

    The Wanaka Lavender farm covers 20 acres of land with picturesque lavender fields. You can indulge yourself in some quality time with some friendly farm animals, walk through the flowers, and treat yourself to a beautiful sight of display gardens, herbal tea, and lavender ice creams! 

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