Here’s in which to locate epic adventures in New Zealand

Located inside the bottom half of New Zealand’s South Island, approximately an hour from Queenstown, Wanaka is tucked beside its namesake lake and ringed by snowcapped peaks. The small city (populace of roughly eight 400) crackles with fresh air and hums with adrenaline, making it an outdoor adventurer’s dream. Every season brings beauty, from spring’s vivid green carpet at the mountain slopes to fall’s moody morning mists and golden foliage. (Read more approximately considered one of New Zealand’s most epic drives.) No, depending on the time of yr, citizens, and vacationers discover many heart-pumping methods to take inside the surroundings, whether strolling, using the boat, atop skis, or in an antique biplane. Fair caution, though: You might also discover yourself making plans to make an everlasting pass.

From the ground


The gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, Wanaka, has more than 460 miles of trails. Locals often walk alongside the Mount Iron Track, a 547-foot climb that rewards efforts with 360-diploma views of the town and Lake Wanaka. Most travelers make a beeline to the Instagram-well-known Roy’s Peak Track, but the Rob Roy Glacier Track and the Diamond Lake trails function the same eye-popping perspectives with fewer crowds. Pro tip: The area’s splendor and the proximity of wilderness to the metropolis can lull first-timers into a false feeling of security, so stop using the Mount Aspiring National Park Visitor Centre in Wanaka to get the lay of the land. Local agencies can arrange guided hikes.

On the water

Lake Wanaka is a 28-mile-length ribbon of indigo plunging 1,020 toes deep. Its temperatures run cool. However, that doesn’t deter locals from cruising, waterskiing, fishing, and boating. For a relaxing creation to the lake, hop aboard an Eco Wanaka cruise to the island of Mou Waho, which has its lake. Wanaka River Journeys provides jet-boat rides up ice-blue waterways which might be too shallow for the conventional craft. Another pleasant diversion? Renting a kayak from Paddle Wanaka on a late afternoon in the summertime, when the warmth is most powerful. Take a fresh waft to the lake’s Ruby Island, a famous spot for picnicking and walking much less than a mile from the shore.

In the air

Hands down, the exceptional manner to peer Wanaka is from excessive up. The sheer scale of untamed beauty that stretches out beneath is jaw-losing: glaciers grasp to craggy peaks, tarns (glacier-formed mountain lakes) gleam like gemstones, and a curtain of mist hangs over the Tasman Sea coastline. With an airport some miles from the metropolis (currently for small aircraft best; no commercial flights), it’s smooth to e-book a day trip on a helicopter, Cessna, or Forties open cockpit Tiger Moth for a scenic flight, heli-hike, heli-bike, or heli-ski. During winter (June through September), skiers take to the powder at nearby sites with Cardrona and Treble Cone for downhill and Snow Farm for the go-united states. (Discover the first-class locations to snowboard and surf in New Zealand.)

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