New Zealand’s South Island is globally renowned for gorgeous scenery and breathtaking landscapes – even if you’ve never visited, you’re probably familiar with pictures of rugged mountains and mirror-like lakes, often so aesthetically perfect they look like they’ve been Photoshopped. Luckily, it’s completely real, and one of the best places to experience it is Wanaka. Sitting on the shores of its namesake, the township provides access to the snow-shrouded Southern Alps and Mount Aspiring National Park, a sprawl of pristine wilderness.
The time of year that you visit Wanaka will have an impact on the type of fun you’ll have – winter is all about awesome snow activities, while summer means you can hit some of the incredible walking trails that wind through the mountains. If you’re into skiing, snowboarding or learning how to do both, visit places like Treble Cone Ski Area, Cadrona Alpine Resort and Snow Farm NZ.
If there’s no snow about and the temperature’s not too cold, hiking tracks like Roys Peak, Mount Iron and Mount Aspiring are highly recommended. Tie your hiking boots, pack some water, and start breaking a sweat, because the views the apex of these trails are well worth the effort. The alpine scenes from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings were filmed here, so if you’ve ever envisaged yourself in Middle Earth, visiting Wanaka means you’ve made it. Bring the camera/iPhone along and get some incredible photos.
There’s also a whole range of attractions that are available all year round. Wanaka Lake is within easy reach, and hosts activities like swimming, boating and fishing, while adventure companies like Deep Canyon Tours make it easy for you and the family to rappel into nearby caves and canyons. There’s also a number of wineries within the township in homage to the excellent vineyards of the South Island; alternatively, if you’d prefer to stimulate your brain, Puzzling World features multi-level mazes, optical illusion rooms and a café with tabletop puzzles, making it easy for you to relax while the kids entertain themselves.
You’re already excited for Wanaka. If you’re not, go and re-watch Lord of the Rings, and you soon will be. Book your Wanaka adventure with Wyndham.