As an outdoor enthusiast who seeks spectacular natural settings, I would definitely recommend you to visit Lake Wanaka! It’s a quite nice town with an international flare located on New Zealand’s south island, about an hour north of Queenstown. Nonetheless, Lake Wanaka is New Zealand’s fourth largest lake estimated to be more than 300 meters (980 feett) deep.

Let’s say Lake Wanaka is the dark horse of New Zealand’s best natural attractions as it is not often mentioned in media, but I assure you that it’s not something to miss out on. Here are five reasons why you should visit Lake Wanaka:

It’s beyond gorgeous!

Before I get too detailed here, I want to mention that Lake Wanaka is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, which is one of national parks in Te Wähipounamu, UNESCO World Heritage Area in Southwestern New Zealand. It’s filled with an alpine paradise of towering peaks, spectacular glaciers, rivers and valleys.

Not only that, you’ll find New Zealand’s most instagrammed photograph of the iconic Lone Tree of Lake Wanaka. It’s a willow tree in the lake. Be sure to stop by the lake at sunset, so you wouldn’t be able to believe the amazing colors that you will witness in the sky. If you’re here during the winter time, you may have a good chance of seeing the Southern Lights, also known as Aurora Australis.

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lake Wanaka

They got epic hiking trails!

Lake Wanaka has many trails on surrounding mountains that you can hike to find stunning view of the lake. Be sure to head for Roy’s Peak as they’re also one of most photographed natural attraction.

I’d suggest you to take the Rocky Mountain Track as it’s only 20 minutes away from the town. It’s a 7-kilometer track that would take you to the Rocky Mountain Summit and back. The track is maintained by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, and they estimate that the whole hike should take about three hours.  Ironic that it’s listed as an easy hike, but it’s filled with climbing up a waterfall and leaping over a river full of sharks. I think it should be an intermediate hike. Nonetheless, it’s still an epic hike to do.

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lake Wanaka

They have many extreme outdoor sports!

With so many ways to discover the beauty of Lake Wanaka, they offer a huge range of outdoor adventure activities. Their landscape was naturally designed to challenge. Hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, skydiving, paragliding, kite surfing, boating, kayaking, – anything that requires an adrenaline kick. Not to mention, the famous Puzzling World!

I was lucky to get to enjoy unrivaled and uninterrupted views of Lake Wanaka’s world-renowned lakes and mountains, view up to six lakes and Mount Cook through my skydive experience!

Skydive Wanaka

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lake Wanaka

They have countless cafes for you to enjoy your coffee!

You can finish this small town by foot. The town is packed with bars and cafes where you can purchase a drink to enjoy alongside the view of the gorgeous lake. They also have a brewery that is often packed with young travelers during happy hours, usually at sunset. You should go!

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lake Wanaka

It’s a great destination for budget travelers

I can promise you that you won’t break your bank if you took a drive from Queenstown. The majority of adventure sports in Lake Wanaka that I mentioned are way cheaper than Queenstown because Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world meaning it’s a popular attraction with a high demand of tourists. Thus, their prices are much higher. Hence the reason why I said it’s a dark horse natural attraction.

Their accommodations are pretty cheap and I was lucky to get a complimentary night stay at Base Backpacker hostel.

Overall, Lake Wanaka is a real paradise, is less hectic than Queenstown with some wonderful restaurants and other cool attractions. Lastly, Lake  Wanaka is loved by many locals due to the atmosphere. Enough said.

Base Backpackers Wanaka

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lake Wanaka


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