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7 awesome activities in Wanaka for free!

There’s no shortage of things to do in Wanaka and — best of all — most of them are free! On of the many reasons we think Wanaka should be a destination in its own right rather than a thoroughfare for the West Coast.

There’s such an abundance of amazing free activities — we couldn't not share some of our favourites:

Explore Rob Roy Glacier in Aspiring Nationl Park

Hike the Rob Roy Glacier

The Rob Roy glacier is a hanging glacier located in the Mt Aspiring National Park, a One hour drive from Wanaka through the Matukituki valley. A moderate three hour round trip you’ll see snowfields, native bush, sheer rock faces, waterfalls and the rushing Matukituki river. Most of the walk is within the forest, with the last 100m opening out onto an alpine meadow just underneath the glacier.

Wishbone Falls

At 77 metres high these falls are truly spectacular. Located at the entrance to the Mt Aspiring National Park, an hours drive from Wanaka, they cascade down glacier-hewn rock to a calm pool beneath. A popular swimming spot, and the perfect place to take a picnic.

Walk the Millennium track

This gentle track traverses the lake edge from Waterfall creek to Glendhu Bay. Offering some of the best views in Wanaka this undulating hike is a relaxing way to take in  the best of Wanaka scenery. You also have the option of not walking the full way to Glendhu — still a beautiful and fulfilling walk.

Bike the outlet track

Known as the ‘Outlet Track’ due to the fact that it begins where the river joins with Lake Wanaka. Although popular with bit walkers and bike, we believe the best way to experience this one is from two wheels. You’ll see pine trees, native bush, sheer cliffs and beautiful poplars that turn bright orange in the Autumn.

Picnic by Lake Wanaka and relax

Have a picnic by the lake

When you see Wanaka, you’ll see why this one’s a no-brainer. The lake is framed by mountains and pine forest, and the air is crisp and clean. We think there's no better way to experience the beauty of this town than grabbing a gourmet food hamper and settling in on the lake edge.

Visit the Thursday night farmers market

This one's a must — particularly if you're from the city. From free range grass-fed meat to organic eggs, produce, honey and crafts - this market brings out the best of our small town. You’ll also be able to sample homemade beer, cakes and pastries.

Visit the lavender farm

A five minute drive out of town, the Lavender Farm will transport you to a world of fragrant colour. Wander the acres of Lavender and flower gardens and take in the rustic french decor. Feed the friendly alpacas, and be sure to sample some of the lavender chocolate, shortbread and tea.

We’re a little biased (because Wanaka is our home) but we heartily recommend including a little time in Wanaka to your New Zealand experience. An hour's drive from New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown, Wanaka is the quieter cousin. But what it lacks in bright lights and adventure experiences it makes up for in truly spectacular scenery.

Stop at Wanaka Lavender Farm for a peaceful stroll