Top destinations of the moment in Oceania
  • Tour Ideas
Trip Types
  • Travel Style
  • Interests and Activities
  • Tour Ideas by Month
  • Continents and Regions
An update from Evaneos
New Zealand

Wanaka: nature's splendor

If you stopover at Wanaka, you'll find yourself in a peaceful environment, nestled in the heart of some extraordinary landscapes. A relaxing town that's great for hiking as well as shorter walks.

On the lakefront

During your trip to New Zealand, you'll quickly understand the importance of the country's aquatic environment, which plays a major role in everyday life. Wanaka is no exception. Sitting by a lake after which it takes its name, it's 'open all season' but remains, nonetheless, calm. It's certainly less frequented by tourists than neighbouring Queenstown, which is just as pretty but much busier!

An enjoyable outing is to walk around the lake and breathe in the surrounding pastures and mountain ranges. Followed by an ice cream you can then see what's on at the town's Cinema Paradisio, a small, classic movie theatre.

At night, it's peaceful and quiet. Once the sun goes down, you're more likely to meet people back in your hotel/guest house/hostel, than out on the streets.

There aren't many bars but Wanaka still has all the shopping essentials - useful if you need to stock up before going on a hike!

View across the mountains

Nature and its mountains

If your main reason for touring New Zealand is to explore its natural expanses, then you don't need to go further than here. Wanaka is THE place where you'll want to stay a while! The choice of hiking trails is extensive and the local visitor center will give you all the information you need - difficulty and distance for example.

One option is the trek to Roy Peak. It takes about 4hrs to ascend, so may not suit younger family members; the little climb up Mount Iron is easier if you have kids.

It's a good idea to hire a car, as some great places to visit are far away from the town - by foot it can take a long time, even if hitchhiking helps!

Even so, whether you fancy a long trek or a short afternoon's walk, Wanaka has everything for nature lovers who find themselves here!

Cedric Tinteroff
62 contributions