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Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka to Glendhu Bay Hike
Soak up the endless horizon on this 15k tramp alongside Lake Wanaka.

Why is this worth your Kiwi time? The rolling and winding track that follows the lake’s edge provides an unobstructed and ridiculous view of the snowcapped mountain tops (head over in spring for sunny skies and cool winds).

Park your car in one of the lakefront car parks in town and head clockwise along the lake. You'll pass Waterfall Creek and the small Damper Bay before you reach Glendhu Bay.

The only thing that is missing here are sculptures of hobbits, dwarves, and trolls (just saying).

Kayaking in Lake Wanaka
For some reason I find it thoroughly difficult to just putter around on a kayak. I need a destination, a purpose, a mission for a fishin’. So as we launch from the rocky shores of Lake Wanaka, we set off for Ruby Island, a small dot in the distance, 2.4k away.

We glide through the glassy, clear, and crisp water to this small uninhabited spot of land. Besides the heaps of trees and rock, there are a few picnic benches, a bbq, and a smooth deck to dock a boat or two.

We hop off our kayaks, stretch ourselves through a quick yoga session on the dock, and venture back into the kayaks. Happy hour back along the waterfront was a well-deserved reward for our “mission for a fishin’”.

Rent your kayaks at the information center along Lake Wanaka, $15 per hour per person. Wanaka is about an hour and 15 minutes from Queenstown.

Kayak Wanaka
Lake Wanaka's crystal clear blue waters are perfect for jetboaters and kayakers to explore. The landscape is enhanced by the snow-capped Mt. Aspiring in the background, which can be admired even on a warm summer's day.

Wanaka is a 40 minute drive from Queenstown, but has a much more intimate and genuine feel without the thousands of tourists swarming the streets. If you're looking for a small town with loads to do (in particular, sky-diving), then Wanaka should be your next destination in New Zealand.

Lake Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand