Here’s our pick of the best walks & hiking tracks in Wanaka
Our best walks would be around Lake Wanaka on the Waterfall Creek track or up Mt Iron for easy fitness. I haven’t managed to hike up Roys Peak yet, but Garry has and the hard slog to get to the summit was well worth it especially on a sunny day. I really enjoyed the 10 km very scenic walk to Glendhu Bay which runs right beside Lake Wanaka for fabulous views.
Walking in Wanaka
We’re really lucky to have friends in Wanaka we can stay with, they own a fabulous brand new Airbnb style accommodation house called Wanaka Suites, of course we can totally recommend them, Clare and Mark are both great people. Clare and I often walk her dogs on the Waterfall Creek Walk and stop off at Edgewater hotel for fresh scones and coffee. Or we’ll go on the Slaughthouse Creek walk as far as the 3rd lookout point, do some bench presses, give the dogs a rest then double back. Excellent start to the day! Scroll down the page a bit to see all the walks in Wanaka.
Biking in Wanaka
If we’ve got the bikes with us we’ll often bike around Lake Wanaka to Waterfall Creek on the easy wide track. From there the trail turns into the Slaughterhouse Creek walk, this is much harder on the bikes as the track is quite rocky in parts and can be steep. Or we’ll bike around the lake front the other way right round to the Clutha River and cut back through town. You can hire a small e-bike, medium e-bike or large electric mountain bike and collect from Wanaka town at 10am.
What’s the weather like in Wanaka this week?
Our list of the best walks in Wanaka
We’ve personally walked and photographed all the walks in Wanaka listed below. You’ll see detailed information on each walk including track times, distance, track quality, hazards, difficultly, map, river crossings, photos, track points plus dogs and bike access.
Frequently Asked Questions about walking in Wanaka
No, is the quick answer on any DOC land, although you can get a permit to fly your drone (from DOC), including private and non-commercial use. Applying for the permit for the first time can be a little tricky, there is a free pre-application meeting then you need to contact the local iwi to assess whether your proposed activity will have any cultural effects. Oh, and it’ll cost you $74.75 for each DOC region you apply to use your drone. Use DOC Maps to help you find each region.
Come in Autumn when all the leaves on the birch trees are changing colour, it’s just beautiful. We walk in Wanaka all year round, especially around the lakefront. It can get really cold in Winter so you’ll need to really wrap up warm.
Wanaka to Queenstown drive is 67 kms and takes approximately 1 hour over the Crown Range. However, the Crown Range can be closed at times during winter, it’s a high winding road with very sharp corners. You can always take the alternate route through Cromwell, this is much easier with a stop in town. This drive is 116 km and will take around 1 hour 30 mins.
Our Tips & Tricks on booking your trip to Wanaka:
Here’s our tips for finding the best prices for your trip to Wanaka.
Lowest Price Guarantee on Campervan Hire from Queenstown Airport – Compare Prices of 15 Motorhome Companies
Jucy Rentals are defiantly the cheapest with a really big range of camper-vans. If you’re looking for a van you can stand up in or with a bit more room then try Mighty. Britz and Maui are very popular and cater for small and really big campers.
Book your rental car from Queenstown Airport here
I’ve found the prices quite competitive for rental cars from DriveNow, they also have a really good selection to choose from. When booking there is a very handy “Live Chat” option if you get stuck.
Where’s the best place to stay in Wanaka:
You can book a backpacker or hostel with Hostelworld, they have a huge range. If you want to stay at a hotel/motel or private home/holiday home, then use Booking.com. They consistently have the cheapest prices, plus you’ll find the same private houses that Airbnb have but you don’t pay the extra “Service Fee”. I use them all the time in New Zealand and overseas. Here’s my pick of the best accommodation choices in Wanaka to save you looking through a whole pile!
Don’t forget your travel insurance:
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past especially for medical. I’ve been using World Nomads for years and it’s very good.