Things To Do In Wanaka

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One of New Zealand’s best kept secrets, Wanaka is often found by accident by those making their way to Queenstown…. only to find that the relaxed beauty of Wanaka draws people back, or has them wishing that they had scheduled a longer stay in this gorgeous area.  You’ve chosen the best place in New Zealand to skydive – and not just because of the award winning experience we offer, but because of this beautiful region we are so lucky to call home.

Wanaka is popular for so many reasons – be it the long hot summer days relaxing by the lake, four winter ski resorts, the incredible mountain biking and walking tracks, events, great locally produced food and wine… the list goes on.  And all of this is set against  the pristine alpine backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park.

We love Wanaka for so many reasons, and we know you will too.  Find out more about the awesome things to do in Wanaka below.


Unsurprisingly we’ve ranked a skydive at Skydive Wanaka as the Ultimate ‘Must Do’ Wanaka experience.

It’s not every day you get to strap yourself to a beautiful stranger and leap from a perfectly good aircraft! At Skydive Wanaka you get to do just that, we are proud to be the home of a spectacular, multi-award-winning, high altitude tandem skydive! Your incredible scenic flight to altitude captures 360-degree views of NZ’s highest mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers. Freefall from up to 15 000 feet, at 200kph to then, soar under parachute above snow-capped peaks all before landing safely back at the drop zone. Capture your impressive freefall smile on camera and break the news to your mother in style! You won’t regret choosing Skydive Wanaka for your New Zealand tandem skydive… with us, it’s all about YOUR skydiving experience. Innovative and progressive, we are dedicated to delivering a unique tandem skydive experience, with high standards of safety, comfort and personal service. Our highly qualified and friendly tandem skydive team love to skydive in one of the most spectacular locations in New Zealand. They live to share the freefall experience with people like you. And have fun doing it. The Ultimate Wanaka Must DO is just a click away, Book Now! 


Some other ‘must do’s’ whilst you are in town…

Getting lost in the Great Maze at Wanaka’s world famous Puzzling World. Watching movies from a comfy couch whilst eating warm cookies and homemade icecream at Cinema Paradiso.  Soak up the sun at a lake front cafe and sample a local brewski and/or enjoy the short walk and tasting room at the picturesque Rippon Winery.

Bike or walk your way around the fabulous lake and riverside tracks close to town and enjoy the world class views and tramping in the Mt Aspiring National Park.  Kayak, fish, cruise or jetboat your way around our lakes and rivers.

And if your skydive gave you a taste for more airbourne adventures, the Milford fly-cruise-fly is amazing from Wanaka.  We also have helicopter flights, Tiger Moths, Ufly options and paragliding all listed here.

Eating and Sleeping

Where to stay?  Whatever you want – Wanaka has an amazing  accommodation selection!  From Camping Grounds – including Department of Conservation sites, backpackers, such as Base Wanaka, motels, apartments, holiday houses, hotels and luxury lodges!

There are so many fantastic places to eat and drink here in Wanaka – some favorites would include the awesome coffee and lunch menu at Ritual Cafe, the natural goodness at Yohei Cafe, Sasanoki Japanese, the casual lakefront dining at The Trout Bar, great Indian at The Spice Room,  fine dining at The Landing, and Italian Pizza at Francesca’s !

Discover the things to do in Wanaka awaiting YOU… 

Alpinism & Ski –

Diamond lake WanakaAlpinism experiences from soft recreational fauna & flora discovery on a guided walk in the beautiful Wanaka area and/or Mt Aspiring, Mt Cook and Westland National Parks to full on week long mountaineering and alpine climbing adventures.

Back Country Saddle expeditions –

Horse riding expeditions amidst New Zealand’s most picturesque scenery. Enjoy a true New Zealand adventure with day and overnight backcountry horse riding. Back Country Saddle Expeditions situated in the Cardona valley cater for novice to experienced riders, with experienced staff who will ensure a true New Zealand backcountry experience.

Canyoning Lake Wanaka –

A unique New Zealand adventure, climbing, abseiling and swimming in the spectacular wilderness canyons of the Matukituki valley. Plunge down water polished chutes, abseil down waterfalls and explore crystal pools and native forest with our experienced guides. Lunch and all equipment provided.

Cardrona Alpine Resort –

Cardrona is a relaxed and friendly ski and snowboard resort located between Wanaka and Queenstown. With a base elevation of 1670m Cardrona is higher, colder and renowned for getting the best snow.

Classic Flights –

Vintage Tiger Moth Scenic Flights with Classic Flights.
Have you ever dreamed of experiencing a piece of aviation history? To step back in time where Pilots were larger than life, and heroes to all those who lifted their eyes skyward to the sound of an old tiger moth flying overhead?

Funny French Cars –

Funny french cars Tours offers fun wine tasting and sightseeing throughout the Central Otago region, travelling in quirky citroen 2cv,s, flexible and tailored for every client. Range of exclusive lunch options or simply bring a picnic and enjoy the region. We provide informative and fun day tasting the regions wine.

Go Jets Wanaka –

Go Jets Wanaka take you on an exhilarating jetboating ride down the mighty Clutha River. Spectacular scenery, fast flowing waters, passing old gold mining sites until you reach the “Devils Nook”. You will pass under the historic “Red Bridge”, camera stops and numerous 360 degree spins will be carried out during your Go Jets Wanaka jetboating trip.

Jet boat Wilkin River –

Let Wilkin River jets take you on a personal New Zealand adventure, deep into the ‘timeless land’ of Makarora. From fast-paced shallow water jet boating, thrilling scenic helicopter rides and scenic flights to classic backcountry walks, we promise an unforgettable wilderness adventure experience. Experience New Zealand adventure by jet boat and helicopter!

Paradiso Cinema –

Movie cinema WanakaThis small classic movie theatre located in Wanaka is a real find. Comfy old sofas, an old Morris Minor, a cafe & bar serving delicious meals before, during or after the movie. Homemade icecream, world-famous hot cookies fresh every intermission & a warm welcome from the friendly staff & Patron. Loads of guides list the cinema as a “must do” & it is truly a memorable movie experience!  Bookings recommended.

Puzzling World –

Maze and Puzzling world wanakaStuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World is a world unique attraction specialising in puzzling eccentricity. For over 35 years this remarkable business has entertained and amazed visitors of all ages, attracted to this beautiful part of the world. Offering the world’s first “modern-styled” Great Maze, incredible Illusion Rooms, a Puzzle Centre/Café, large Gift Shop and eccentric architecture and oddities. Possibly one of the most photographed attraction in New Zealand!

Siberia Experience – (plane option)

Four hours of unique New Zealand adventure in the World Heritage listed Mount Aspiring National Park. Enjoy a 25min scenic flight with stunning views, followed by a three hour bush and valley walk through native beech forest and ancient river valleys. Finish up with a high adventure scenic 30min jet boat ride on the Makorora and Wilkin wilderness rivers. Experience stunning New Zealand scenery by air, foot and water!

Siberia Wilderness Experience – (Heli option)

siberia wilderness adventure WanakaA 4 hour half day unique wilderness experience with Wilkin RIver Jets and Backcountry helicopters in the World Heritage listed Mt Aspiring National Park.  Take a 20 minute heli flight enjoying the spectacular views over the glaciers and native beech forest, land in the remote Siberia Valley for a 3 hr wilderness walk, then rendezvous with Wilkin River Jets for a thrilling jet boat ride back to base!!

Snow Farm –

For the ultimate cross country ski experience. Boasting over 50kms of expertly groomed trails to a professional standard which enables both classic and skate skiing.


Treble Cone Skiing –

Treble Cone covers 550 hectares, it has more skiable terrain than any other ski area in the South Island. With the longest vertical rise in the Southern Lakes and spectacular views over Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring, Treble Cone can claim some of the most exhilarating runs in the country.

U-Fly Wanaka –

We are highly experienced commercially trained pilots who are passionate about flight and will make your U-Fly experience the best thing you have done in NZ. You will be flying the latest technology and the most environmentally friendly aircraft in the world.
You fly or we fly? Your Wanaka flying adventure starts here!

Wanaka Flightseeing –

The lake and mountain resort of Wanaka provides an ideal base to launch scenic flight excursions into New Zealand’s southern alps. Enjoy an aerial New Zealand adventure over a remote alpine wilderness region, accessible only by air. Our scenic flights include Milford Sound flight & cruise, Doubtful Sound, Mt Cook & glaciers, Mount Aspiring and Dart river safaris.

Wanaka River Journeys –

New Zealand adventure jet boating on the fast flowing braided Matukituki River. Fed by glaciers, the Matukituki is one of New Zealand’s most powerful and pristine jet boating rivers. Enjoy an informative commentary from our experience jet boat drivers as you travel towards Mount Aspiring National Park. Wanaka River Journeys also offer wilderness walks and Milford Sound & Mount Aspiring scenic flights.

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