Wanaka, South Island

things to do in Wanaka and Hawea with the kids!

HERO Wanaka2

Wanaka family holiday: boys by Lake Wanaka in summer

HERO Wanaka 2

Wanaka family holiday: hiking in the hills

HERO Wanaka 3

Wanaka family holiday: view of Lake Wanaka and Glendhu Bay


Find out what to do in Wanaka with the Whanau!

Lake Wanaka ~ a dream destination for your family holiday

Wanaka is a perfect family destination and this year-round resort is situated on Lake Wanaka (NZ's fourth largest lake) with Mount Aspiring National Park on its doorstep and just one hour's drive from Queenstown. Activities include family-friendly walking and bike tracks, climbing, Wanaka pool and recreation centre, Transport and Toy Museum and the famous Puzzling World.
Add the local ski areas – Cardrona Alpine Resort, Treble Cone and Snow Farm and you have a winter family paradise as well as a family summer resort!
The town offers a range of accommodation from holiday parks to luxury apartments and it’s hard to avoid getting a great view wherever you stay.

Skiing with kids Wanaka     Wanaka Bike Rides 2  Wanaka on a budget2

Family biking: Wanaka has some of the best family bike tracks in New Zealand, ranging from a 20 minute lakeside explore to a half or full day adventure!

Walks and Parks

Walks & Parks

Get Outdoors!

Discover the region's walks, parks, beaches, lakes or rivers.

  Download on app store copy  Kidz Go website app ad summer  Download on Google Play3

What will you do in Wanaka?



Base yourself in Wanaka  or Queenstown and you'll be as little as half an hour's drive from five fantastic ski areas, with tons of snow to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, toboggan, tube and play in.


Lake Hawea

Just 10 minutes drive from Wanaka, the stunning lakefront township of Lake Hawea is a fantastic destination in its own right. You can give the kids that real, laid-back kiwi holiday experience with the focus on outdoor play, swimming, fishing, water sports, family bike tracks and summer evening barbeques, all seconds away from your accommodation.  Meanwhile the excitement and activities of Wanaka are just 10 minutes drive away, and Queenstown is just over an hour – perfect for a day trip!


Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Auckland
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin
  • Coromandel
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Manawatu
  • Northland
  • North Canterbury
  • Queenstown
  • South Canterbury
  • Taranaki
  • Southland
  • Taupo
  • Wanaka
  • Waikato
  • Wellington
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…


New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!


Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.


With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.


With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.


Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!


Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.