12 Things To Do in Wanaka

Date: 17th February 2020

Have you ever been a local around an area, yet still been bored every time your plans fall through or the weather is bad outside? Even worse, is when you’re visiting from out of town and you have to re-plan what on earth, you’re going to do with the day in such a beautiful location like Wanaka. There’s always something to do around Wanaka (especially outside), but sometimes you need a little bit of inspiration, which is why we’ve made the best list of things to do around Wanaka. We’ve even categorised it into inside and outside activities and included lake-based activities around so you can make the most of New Zealand’s 4th largest lake.

That Wanaka Tree in autumn with snow on the mountains
That Wanaka Tree in autumn with snow on the mountains


1. Canyoning

Canyoning is when a group of people travel across canyons by using techniques like climbing, abseiling and swimming – it’s a great family activity to do in Wanaka for a family who loves adventure, especially if you’re looking for a team-based activity.

2. Mountain Carting (Summer)

Mountain carting can be found up the local ski area, Cardrona Alpine Resort – it’s a great option for adrenaline junkies who don’t mind a bit of dirt. These carts have 3 wheels, are low to the ground and have individual side breaks, which makes it perfect for drifting around the purpose-built track.

3. Horse Treks or E-bikes

If you’re looking for something more peaceful and less extreme as an option to surround yourself in incredible vistas, a journey around the Wanaka region by a local horse trek or tour on an e-bike might be perfect for you. Choose from a range of tours in a variety of locations around Wanaka.

4. Golf (mini golf, driving range & full game options, disc golf too)

Wanaka makes a great place to place a game of golf because of the scenic 360-degree views around this beautiful township. Rent a golf buggy and make a day of it or go for a game of mini-golf or to the driving range instead if you’re after something shorter.

5. Paddle Boarding on The Lake

Lake Wanaka is an awesome spot to spend your day in the summer – it’s often sunny and warm, making it a great place for a dip in the water around the area. Rent a paddleboard on the lakefront for as long as you want, cool off after with a swim too. Finish your afternoon by soaking up some sun on the lakefront while you try some of Erik’s famous fish and chips – we’re a quick stroll to the lakefront.

6. Kayaking on The Lake

If standing up on a paddleboard doesn’t seem like something you want to do all day, rent a kayak for the day (or as long as you like) instead and explore Lake Wanaka from the water. Bring some lunch and choose whether you want a single kayak or share a tandem kayak with a friend and explore what Lake Wanaka has to offer, like Ruby Island and your choice of secluded beaches surrounding.


7. Puzzling World

Puzzling World is a great option for a rainy day – it’s full of optical illusions, puzzles and mazes to keep everyone entertained for the whole day.

8. Cinemas

Wanaka has a choice of two movie theatres to experience (yes, experience) – they’re both quirky compared to your regular cinemas found in most towns nowadays. Choose between Cinema Paradiso which has comfy sofas and an old Morris Minor, or Ruby’s, which has a 1920’s theme throughout.

9. Transport Museum

The transport museum can be found on the outskirts of Wanaka towards Cromwell. This museum is one of the largest private collections found within the Southern Hemisphere. With over 650 vehicles, 15 aircrafts and 60,000 toys, you’ll be able to keep everyone entertained for the whole day here.

10. Indoor Climbing / Bouldering

Climbing is a great way to spend your day inside, but still, spend your time being active and challenging yourself. Choose from Clip ‘n Climb, the Sport Wall, or the bouldering room which has a variety of angles and walls for all levels of climbers.

11. Virtual Reality Centre

Have you ever thought what it would be like to experience how it is within an actual video game? Wanaka is home to the only full-motion virtual reality experience in the southern hemisphere, so choose your favourite game for their list and spend your day inside one of your favourite games.

12. Shooting (Rifle & Clay Bird)

Clay bird shooting is outside, but purpose-built covers mean the shooters are sheltered, which makes it great for a day that isn’t ideal for swimming in the lake.

Which activity do you plan on trying first? Don’t forget to pop into Erik’s Fish and Chips for a classic kiwi meal – the humble fish and chip. Try our Wanaka $10 meal deal for lunch or dinner and choose to enjoy by our trailer or down by the lake, looking towards the beautiful Ruby Island. If you’re looking to try something a little bit different, try Erik’s deep-fried kiwifruit afterwards for dessert! We cater for halal & gluten-free, so there’s something for everyone.

Posted in: Quick Bites

Erik's Queenstown
13 Earl Street
T: 03 441 3474
12.00pm – 9 pm everyday
*Opening hours vary depending on the time of year
Erik's Wanaka
54 Ardmore St
T: 027 570 5514
Mon: 4pm - 8pm / Tue: Closed / Wed, Thurs: 4pm - 8pm / Fri,Sat,Sun: 12.00 noon - 8.30pm
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