On the southern shore of Lake Wanaka, with some of New Zealand's most striking mountains behind it, Wanaka is the welcome mat for Mt. Aspiring National Park. It's a favorite of Kiwis on vacation, an alternative of sorts to Queenstown. The region has numerous trekking and river-sports opportunities, and if you arrive on a rainy day, you can hit a couple of unusual cultural attractions. These good points have not gone unnoticed, and Wanaka is one of the fastest-growing towns in New Zealand, with new housing popping up in record time.
Up in the Crown Range, the Snow Park in the Cardrona Valley is the country's only dedicated snowboard park. The 60-acre property has more than 30 rails and kickers, a super-pipe, a half-pipe, and a quarter-pipe as well as a bar and restaurant. In summer it becomes the Dirt Park and is a hot spot for mountain bike enthusiasts.
Wanaka at a Glance
Sports and Outdoors
Elsewhere in The Southern Alps and Fiordland
- Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park
- Lake Manapouri and Doubtful Sound
- Mackenzie Country and Lake Tekapo
- Milford Sound
- Mt. Aspiring National Park