The best outdoor activities in Wanaka for the adventurous


Mountains in distance, South Island near Wanaka
Mountains in distance, South Island near Wanaka
Embrace the good weather and the unforgettable adventures of Wanaka.

6 action-packed outdoor activities in Wanaka

Rock climbing

Wanaka is home to some of the best rock climbing in the world, offering plenty of activities for beginners to the more adventurous.

Head off on a guided climb with Wildwire Wanaka or Wanaka Rock Climbing, with a range of outdoor climbs in breathtaking locations, from scaling a waterfall to a helicopter ride to spectacular rock faces.

Flying over the Southern Alps


Experience Wanaka from the skies with scenic flights and helicopter tours. Aspiring Helicopters offer a range of unforgettable tours, including a glacier experience, snow landing and lake Wanaka scenic tour.

Or pair your helicopter trip with a mountain biking experience with Southern Lakes Helibike, taking you to some of the most remote biking trails in the region.


If you’re not afraid to get a little wet, canyoning is one of the best outdoor activities in Wanaka you can do.

Guided tours are operated by Deep Canyon and South Canyons, getting you up close with roaring waterfalls, forest pools and ancient rocky landscapes – letting you climb, swim, float and abseil your way around with professional safety and guidance.


For something on the more tranquil side, go kayaking on Wanaka’s beautiful lake waters.

Companies like Paddle Wanaka offer a range of kayaking options, including a guided tiki tour around the lake, adventure on the mighty Clutha rapids or self-guided hire to explore where you like.

Horse trekking

Saddle up and explore Wanaka’s breathtaking scenery on horse. Waterfall Creek Equestrian Centre offers scenic treks through the Rippon Vineyard overlooking the lake, while The Cadrona Horse Trekking Tours will take you on an unforgettable journey in the mountains.


Head off the beaten bath on an off-road tour in Central Otago’s beautiful high country. With 4WD, quad bike and off-road tours available, there’s plenty available for a range of abilities and interests.

For the more adventurous, try The Cadrona’s quad tours that take you high up to the snowy mountain peaks, or for the more luxury experience, head to Criffel Station for a high country adventure that includes a gourmet dining experience.

Looking for more Wanaka travel ideas? See our local’s guide to Wanaka.


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