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Wanaka, New Zealand’s lake district & the glorious alpine scenery

From an exclusive fly fishing excursion complete with heli picnics in the remote wilderness to rock climbing or easy short walks around the lake the key element is the raw elemental nature perched at the doorstep of Lake Hawea. Scenery is the drawcard and the landscape is the place to call home.


Cycling trails from mountain track adrenaline challenges to easy strolls around a lake provides plenty of choice to explore the outdoors. You can even walk or bike from Lake Hawea to Wanaka for a coffee. A mere 30 minutes to Wanaka making Lake Hawea a great holiday hub.


The walking track to Isthmus Peak rivals the very popular Roys Peak track. The reward for the day’s ascent is spectacular, panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea as well as the mountains of the Southern Alps. Please note the track closure times for fawning below. The area is located in Matatiaho Conservation Area

  • Length: 15km
  • Duration: 5 – 7 hours
  • Grade: Steep in places

The Clutha River, at Albert Town outflow, has a track with great fishing spots surrounded by striking scenery. There is a formed track beside the Clutha River from the lake outlet to Albert Town. Lake Hawea fish stocks include quinnat salmon, brown and rainbow trout.


The lake is a premier water sports location with competitive events as well as numerous recreational activities for visitors to choose from. Remember to check the water temperature and daily weather conditions

Lakes and Rivers Information:

  • Lake Wānaka – 311 m deep, 45.5 km long, 192 sq km, 4th largest lake in New Zealand.
  • Lake Hāwea – 393 m deep, 35 km long,
  • Average water temperature 8.9°C – 20.0°C

From Wanaka visitor online information resource


Spend a day on a working high country station with third generation custodians of the land. You will meet the hardy merino sheep, the mainstay of farming life in the region. There are beehives with the popular mountain honey, a sweet treat. There are options from 4WD safaris where visitors can observe the wildlife. The wildlife ranges from tahr, chamois, wild deer, rabbits, red stags, geckos and skinks including the endangered Grand Skink. Birdlife flourishes too, with kahu (Australasian harrier), tauhou (silvereye) and piwakawaka (fantail).


Half day or full day trips into the outdoors with locals is a guaranteed way to find that special spot for the photographer. Photographers get excited about the mountain vistas.


Mountain bikes are an excellent way to explore the outdoors. Lake Hawea holiday park has a range of bike options for hire. The Avanti mountain bikes give you wheels for the awesome tracks right on Lake’s front beach. You will be provided with a map and advice about where to go.

  • Hawea River Track
  • Hawea School Track
  • Deans Bank
  • Gladstone Lake Track


Location says it all with significant visitor centres nearby from Arrowtown with its heritage main street stacked with eateries. There is the Arrowtown gold panning activity before shopping to find your inner gold miner. Wanaka is a short walk / cycle ride with its glitz of visitor opportunities and tour operators


The mountains are an international destination for rock climbing. Climbing was established here in the 1970s at Hospital Flat, 12km from Wanaka town on Mount Aspiring Road. The sport’s growing popularity witnessed challenging climbs and routes being explored at Hospital Flat and on the neighbouring Diamond Lake Conservation Area. Further along Mount Aspiring Road, both the Riverside and Roadside recreation reserves offer a range of crags for rock-climbing enthusiasts. Wanaka Rock, the publicity for the Wanaka Rock Climbing Club should be consulted before any independent climbing is planned.

Wildwire Wanaka inspires climbers to conquer the highest waterfall cable climb as well as offers guided climbs introducing kids to the sport.


Fly fishing with the reward of a gourmet meal, honest to goodness river to plate deliciousness, a glass of award winning wine in the middle of nowhere. Fairy tale holiday moments are created with off the grid personalised experience. Riverbed magic complete with your own wild caught brown trout (perhaps with the help of the fly fishing guru / guide). Lake Hawea and Wanaka specialise in pampering. For details ask our team for recommendations where to go and the best time to visit. Exclusive adventures where wild meets indulgence.


Chat to the team at Alpine Helicopters about you, friends and family disembarking to take incredible photographs of the view, your party and the helicopter. Timeless rugged might, Mt Aspiring National Park and a helicopter ride is a match made in holiday heaven. Get up close to glaciers, crystal bright translucent blue ice walls, view sheer rock formations and tumbling waterfalls. There are number of options to choose from for your heli flight and one of the trip’s highlights.

Unique journeys, personal adventures.

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Lake Hawea nine reasons for a lakeside holiday, best things to do
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Lake Hawea nine reasons for a lakeside holiday, best things to do

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