6 Awesome Things to do in Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

Updated: Dec 26, 2020

This quaint, lake-front town is only an hour's drive from Queenstown and offers beautiful views and relaxing vibes. In all honesty, this is more of a place for sightseeing and soaking in the views, there isn't too much to actually go and do. But if you're feeling stir-crazy, make sure you check out these 6 awesome things:

1. Lake Wanaka

Duh. It's a beautiful lake where you can walk along the shores or just find a cozy spot to sit and admire the views. There are also lots of lakefront restaurants if you want to grab a bite to eat!

2. #ThatWanakaTree

Yes, that's actually the official name on Google. Hashtag and all. It's a short walk along the shore of Lake Wanaka, about 15 minutes from the city center. And it's just a tree. But it's very famous for some odd reason- so go grab a photo. Why not!

3. Roys Peak

The most famous hike in the area. It's a 16km hike round trip, that typically takes between 5-6 hours. Unfortunately the hike was closed when I was there, it's closed every year from October 1-November 10 for maintenance. So just be sure to check this website before you go to make sure there is no random closure.

Duration: 5-6 hours round trip

Grade: Easy-Moderate

Photo from theworldisacircus.com ©

4. Mount Iron

A quick and easy track that offers great views of the valley and surrounding green areas. It's 4.5km round trip and takes about 1.5 hours if you do the loop. You also have the option to go back down the same way you came up, which will save you about 20 minutes.

Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Grade: Easy

5. Puzzling World

This place is nicknamed as "Wanaka's Wonderful World of Weirdness!" It has a mix of bizarre buildings, rooms of illusion and the world-famous Great Maze- which is designed to baffle your brain and challenge your perceptions of reality. Click here for more info.

Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm (May-Sep), 8:30am-5:30pm (Oct-April)

Cost: $18 NZD

Photo from lakewanaka.co.nz ©

6. Lavender Farm

About a 10 minute drive from Wanaka where you can experience 15 acres of beautiful lavender fields, an animal farm & display gardens. Sample their lakes honey, herbal tea, and even indulge in some lavender ice cream! There are lots of "instagrammable" spots to have your photoshoot- & if you need more info, click here. (The lavender typically starts blooming in late Nov/early Dec, so be sure to check it out before you pay to get in, otherwise there may be no lavender in full bloom which isn't worth your time!)

Hours: 9am-5pm

Cost: $5 NZD (Mar-Nov), $10 NZD (Dec-Feb)

Photo from seethesouthisland.com ©

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