There’s no two ways about it: Wanaka, New Zealand is achingly beautiful during the winter months, when snow-capped mountains reflect off the glistening lake. Many visitors feel like they could stay in Wanaka for a lifetime and still not discover everything this part of New Zealand has to offer. If you’ve got just a short holiday planned this winter, there are still plenty of fun Wanaka attractions to check out. Here are five reasons why Wanaka is the best place to be in winter.
You won’t want to miss the experience of taking off in a helicopter to take in the wintery wonderland from above! After you’ve ohhed and ahhed at the mountains, your helicopter will land on one of the nearby glaciers where you’ll have plenty of time to take in all its beauty accompanied by a champagne-fuelled picnic. Warning – future picnics will never be the same again.
The scenery can also be explored from the back of cross-country skis. Wrap up warm and click in your skis to start your adventure into the snowy wilderness. As you gentle glide around the mountain trails and glistening lakes, you can take breaks to take some seriously snaps. To complete the adventure, stay overnight in one of the wooden huts and wake to a breathtaking sunrise. Don’t worry if you’ve never cross-country skied before – it’s easy to pick up and there’s plenty of places where you can hire equipment.
You may not have realised it, but most will have seen a picture of the Wanaka tree, whether in a magazine or one of the millions of Instagram pics. This lone tree grows out of the lake in the backdrop of mountains and is particularly scenic during the winter months when then area is carpeted with snow. Don’t expect to be the only person snapping pictures of tree, but don’t let that stop you visiting – it’s a truly one of the most famous Wanaka attractions that’s not to be missed.
If cross-country skiing doesn’t sound like the outdoor activity for you, then explore the landscape with your very own dogsled team. Spend some time getting to know your new furry friends before harnessing up and heading off along the trails on an exciting mushing adventure. Like skiing, you can complete the experience by overnighting in one of the wilderness huts before returning the following day.
If you’re looking for something a little more adrenaline-inducing, you could always hire some snowboarding equipment and hit the slopes. Don’t know how? You won’t have a problem finding a school where you can pick up a few lessons to help you on your way. Alternatively, those who have some experience can opt for one of the heli-skiing adventures which take you to some of the most remote and wild runs in Wanaka.
With this list of Wanaka attractions, you’re bound to enjoy this picturesque town and all it has to offer. So grab your parka, wool socks, and warmest gloves for a winter adventure of a lifetime.
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