Things to do and see in and around Wanaka, Albert Town, Hawea, Glendhu Bay, Cardrona and Cromwell in New Zealand.
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Walks / Hikes
That Wanaka Tree Walk
Classic walk from lakefront Wanaka that takes you past #thatwanakatree. Be sure to be mindful of others while there and cleanup after yourself.
Hawea River Track
Riverside track that stretches north-to-south from Lake Hawea all the way to Albert Town.
Upper Clutha River Track (Including Outlet Track)
Diamond Lake Circuit and Rocky Mountain Summit
This can be a big hike, a medium hike or a small walk. It’s a 10 minute walk or so to the lake itself, which is wonderful to walk around. There is also a lookout you can hike up to if you’re interested in seeing it from above. If you continue on past the lookout and decide to do the Rocky Mountain Summit, as well, make sure you take the Western Route (go left when you have a choice… you’ll know when) so that you can see the good views as you come down. Gorgeous views over Lake Wanaka are at the top, but make sure you’re careful, as this can get muddy and can be steep at times.
Mt Iron Loop Track
Gorgeous views await those who walk up to the top. This is nota difficult walk if you keep to the Wanaka Lake-facing side. Note: This “loop” goes over the mountain instead of around it, and the Albert Town side is much tougher.
Blue Pools Track
Those gorgeous blue pools you always see pictures of. Be sure to continue walking past them into the valley. Watch out for the sand fleas down by the water, though! They pack a wicked punch that you won’t notice for a day or two that is just like North American fleas.
You get to pass over The Neck to get to the Blue Pools Track, and what a treat this is: lookouts over lakes as you drive.
Millenium Walkway: Wanaka-Glendhu
Rob Roy Glacier Track
Motatapu River Track
Minaret Burn Track
Known as “the heart of the desert,” Bannockburn is New Zealand’s own man-made desert (not on purpose) that was a result of a type of gold-mining back in the day known as sluicing. The are tracks all around this area that also highlight an old dam, holes bored into cliffsides that diggers used, an old house and nice scenery to boot.
Food / Drink
Rhyme and Reason Brewery
Brewery & taproom nestled back in the warehouse district of Wanaka.
Francesca’s Italian Kitchen
Where to go on a date; it has nice Italian food. Booking ahead is essential.
Amigos Mexican Grill
The best (maybe only) Mexican food in Wanaka.
Speights Ale House
Popular with tourists but for good reason: it’s got a perfect lakefront spot facing Lake Wanaka. Seemingly because of this, all their portions are American-sized (try the loaded chips [fries] or jalapeño poppers).
Great for some wine tasting after hiking Roys Peak. Hungry folks be warned – they don’t tend to have food.
Quick, amazingly healthy lunch served up in large bowl.
Double Black Cafe
Lovely cafe in a neighborhood in Albert town.
The Honey Shed
The best honey; sold via an honor system on the side of the road.
Makarora Country Cafe
Country cafe with outdoor seating and petrol filling station on the way to the Blue Pools.
Activities / Things To See
Cromwell Heritage Precinct, Fruit Shops
The Cardrona Horse Trek
Absolutely fantastic horse trek adventure through the Cardrona valley area. Highly recommend going!
Bradrona (Cardrona Bra Fence)
Great for short-term and long-term coworking-space-seekers alike. Be sure to ask for MJ, and tell her I (Robert Pearce) sent you! Really nice folks.