Wanaka Things to Do Tips by TheWanderingCamel Top 5 Page for this destination
Wanaka Things to Do: 61 reviews and 165 photos
You can see for miles
A quad bike safari is a great way to see some spectacular scenery and have a lot of fun. If you haven't ridden a quad before , they will give you time and enough turns around the paddock to feel you have more than got the hang of it, and then you're off. Up and up you go, over sheep trails and along ridges until you may even be above the cloud line. The views are wonderful, the air is clear and clean, there's plenty of time to stop and stare, taking it all in, before you head back.
Address: Criffel Peak Safaris, Cardrona Road, Highway 89
Directions: In the Cardrona Valley, half way between Wanaka and Queenstown
Polykarpovs at Wanaka
This hugely popular airshow is a biennial event - the next one is Easter 2012 - taking place over three days. Friday is practice day - with public admission at a reduced cost.. Saturday and Sunday see a full day 's programme of flying.
It's a great weekend with classic aircraft such the Hurricane, Messerschmit, Kittyhawk, Catalina and Mustang showing their stuff, but here are lots of other interesting aircraft - historic and modern - on display both on the ground and in the air. Yaks flying in formation, the New Zealand Air Force aerobatic team, tiny Polikarpovs (my favourites) from Russia's WWII airforce, Harvards, WWI Sopwith Camels, Tiger Moths, one year a vintage Bleriot - built in 1918 and still flying - this year an F1-11 as well as world champion aerobatic aces Jurgis Kairys , were all part of the show.
The planes are all parked on the field in very close proximity to the vistors when they're not flying, so it's really easy to get a good look at them - particularly on the Friday practice day when the number of attendees is relatively small.
The setting is glorious - snow-capped mountains in the background and - this being New Zealand - there's a terrific, relaxed and easy-going atmosphere. The whole town is caught up in the show and really buzzes all weekend.
Address: Wanaka Airfield
Directions: 10km out of town on SH6 - transport is available from the town centre
Mt Aspiring National Park that is - a wild and wonderful world of wide meadows and rushing streams in the Matukituki Valley all leading deep into the mountains that surround Mt Aspiring itself, the highest peak outside the Mt Cook National Park.
To begin your walk in the park, head out of Wanaka to the east along Mt Aspiring Road. You'll come to the end of the tarmac but the road continues and is usually in a reasonable enough condition for ordinary vehicles though there are several fords to be crossed. If you don't have your own transport there are buses that make the 55km run out to the start of the main trail - ask at the Visitor's Centre in town for information on these.
The trail begins at the Raspberry Creek carpark, taking you out into the park along a gently rising grassy track beside the Matukituki River. From here, an hour-long walk will give you good views of the Avalanche and Rob Roy Glaciers. If you're looking for something more challenging, you can go on to tackle the Rob Roy Track, 10km long and quite demanding in places - it leads off from the swing bridge over the river.
There are any number of tramps in the park, from a few hours to several days. Some, like the one described here, are an easy stroll, others are very demanding. The Mt Aspiring Visitor's Centre can provide you with all the information you need to plan your hike successfully and safely.
Directions: There's a loo at the car park and an information board but no other facilities.
There's nothing else quite like it
Forget about modern multiplexes - Wanaka's Cinema Paradiso is unique. With a constantly changing programme of recent films, there's bound to be something you want to see, and even if there isn't - go along just for the experience. You buy your ticket at the counter in the little cafe and take your place in the queue. If you've eaten in the cafe (good home-made food), go to the front of the line. Once inside, take your choice of seat from a motley collection of comfy armchairs and sofas or, if you hanker for a bit of drive-in nostalgia - the old Morris Minor parked in the corner. Now sit back and enjoy the show.
Posted by leyle
Address: 3 Ardmore Street, Wanaka
Phone: 03 443 1531
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