Wanaka in spring: the best-kept secret

With the days getting longer and temperatures warmer, we think that one of the best times to visit Wanaka is spring. The chair lifts are open longer, meaning you can hit the slopes later and spend the whole afternoon skiing or snowboarding. Stopping by at one of the many outdoors ski bars becomes even more pleasurable as you soak in the warm sun before heading down the mountain in just a t-shirt. Not only that – the slopes are generally much less crowded and the ski shop sales offer a touch of retail therapy!

That said, skiing in Wanaka in spring is one of the best kept secrets of NZ’s Southern Lakes. But there is so much more to it. To give you a better idea, these are some of our favourite things to do in Wanaka in spring:

Walking, Hiking & Mountain Biking

No matter if short routes or full day treks, easy walks or challenging hikes, Wanaka has 750km of trails that are just waiting to be explored. Head to Mount Aspiring National Park and step into the magical world of Lord of the Rings – a world of beautiful mountains, stunning glaciers, scenic river valleys and quaint alpine lakes. Besides, Roys Peak Trek is often listed as Must Do in NZ, a half day walk rewarding you with breathtaking views over Wanaka, the lake and the Southern Alps. Another highlight: climbing alongside the iconic Twin Falls on the via ferrata.

If you don’t want to go by foot, you can also jump into the saddle and go on a guided mountain biking trip, or hit the single-track mountain bike circuit at Dean’s Bank to take in amazing views over the mighty Clutha River and Wanaka Basin.

Water, Air & Offroad Adventures

Spring time is an incredible time for jet-boating, canyoning, kayaking and paddle boarding, exploring the pristine rivers and waterfalls that wind their way through the native forests. Imagine a thrilling jet-boat ride into Mt Aspiring National Park, followed by a guided walk amidst towering glaciers and soaring mountains.

Sky is no limit in Wanaka, as there’s plenty of airborne adventures to keep your adrenaline rising. Why not go “flightseeing” and soak in the breathtaking scenery. Believe us, it’s hard to beat the views from above with Mt Aspiring, Milford Sound and the Southern Alps on our doorstep.

If you love driving, venture off the beaten path on a private 4WD trip and follow the trails into the iconic highlands. Or take it a bit slower on a horse back and explore some of the most striking riding fields in New Zealand in Cardrona Valley.

Local Attractions In – & Outdoors

Feeling like taking things a bit easier? From museums and art galleries to unique sights, Wanaka is full of fun, quirky attractions to keep everyone entertained. Get lost in illusions in the maze of Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World, visit one of the world’s largest private toy collections at the Transport and Toy Museum, or marvel at 500 classic cars in one place at Warbirds & Wheels.

Being such a natural paradise, Wanaka also boasts some unique wildlife attractions, such as a relaxing cruise to the Mou Wahu island to spot the native Buff Weka & other native animals. And don’t miss to check out NZ’s most photographed tree, known as the “lone tree of Wanaka”.

Food & Drink

Taste your way through the freshest spring produce of the region. At this time of the year, the chefs of the top restaurants in Wanaka are eager to spoil you with the local produce growing right in front of our doorstep. From excellent restaurants and cafés, to artisan producers and world-renowned vineyards, to craft beer breweries and famous distilleries – there is something to cater for every taste and win over the hearts of even the most discerning food lover.

Hungry for more? Reach out to us and let us start planning your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Wanaka in spring.