Search Homes Shortlist
Close

Release WanakaNews

Road Trips from Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on October 11, 2018

Looking for some self-drive day trips? 


Wanaka is the perfect place to base yourself.  It has plenty of amenities for your everyday needs and it is a great place to come back to after a day touring the countryside. Here we have listed a few road trips which are easily achievable from Wanaka in a day and take you places that you may not have considered going to or stopping at before.

Wanaka - Omarama - Wanaka (return - 230km / approx. 3h total drive time)

Take a drive through the beautiful Lindis Pass to Omarama. Stop at the summit to take pictures and breath in the fresh air. Once in Omarama head to the Clay Cliffs for a walk through these stunning rock formations. After a wander around the cliffs head back to the main highway and stop off at the Omarama Hot Tubs. There are numerous places to eat and drink in Omarama as well as a few shops to pick up a souvenir. This is a fantastic day out with ever-changing scenery.

Photo from www.newzealand.com

Wanaka - Makarora - Wanaka (return - 125km / approx. 2h 40m total drive time)

A stunning drive along the shores of Lake Hawea with plenty of photo opportunities. Once in Makarora, you can refuel at the Makarora Tourist Centre which also has a shop and licensed bar. From Makarora there are a number of activities you can do including the ‘Blue Pools Nature Experience’ the ‘Jetboat Makarora’ or if you are feeling really adventurous, join the ‘Siberia Experience’, a 4-hour unique wilderness adventure!

Wanaka - Alexandra - Wanaka (return -180km / approx. 2hr total drive time)

A beautiful drive along the side of the mighty 'Clutha River'. Stop off at Clyde on the way, where you can view the huge 100m high dam then head down into Clyde village where there are plenty of places to lunch and if you time it right (Easter Sunday, 1st April 2018) the famous Clyde Food and Wine Festival will be happening. Alexandra is a fun place for the kids with a great bike track, ice rink (winter only) and swimming pool all located beside Molyneux Park. If you do have bikes with you, jump on the Otago Central Rail Trail and enjoy some of the surrounds. You can also walk up to the clock on the hill which stands 11m high.

Photo from www.doc.govt.nz

Wanaka - Cromwell - Cardrona - Wanaka (loop - 150km  / approx. 2h 30m total drivetime)

There are so many places to stop on this fantastic day trip loop. Cromwell has numerous fruit stalls along the side of the road, selling freshly picked Central Otago peaches, cherries, apricots, nectarines and apples. As you leave Cromwell you will head on to the Kawarau Gorge Road. Along this road, there are various places to stop including Goldfields Mining Centre and Wild Earth Wines, Gibbston Valley Winery and AJ Hackett's Kawarau Bridge Bungy. Head on up and over the hill back to Wanaka via the Crown Range Road, (again plenty of photo opportunities here) before descending down into Cardrona village where you can visit the Cardrona Hotel for great food and coffee, the Cardrona Distillery for tours and tastings and a photo stop at the infamous “Bra Fence”!

Photo from Lake Wanaka Tourism

Wanaka - Cromwell via Tarras - Wanaka (loop - 120km  / approx. 1hr 40m total drivetime)

Most people head to Cromwell via Highway 6 but why not try Highway 8 instead. This gives you the opportunity to stop at Tarras and sample the delicious delights Tarras Country Cafe has to offer. You can also peruse the shops - Mrs Robinsons, Tarras Country Store, Perriam, and The Merino Shop, which offer some beautiful New Zealand clothing and gifts. Head on to Cromwell where you can do a tour of some amazing vineyards such as Wooing Tree, Mt. Difficulty, Bannock Brae and Misha’s Vineyard. As you head back to Wanaka on Highway 6 you can stop at The Lazy Dog Vineyard & Edible Garden and Hoglund Art Glass, a beautiful gallery showcasing some amazing glass artwork.

For more information about any of the trips contact our 'Wanaka Fixer' and if you happen to be a guest at one of our luxurious holiday home rentals then we can help you achieve these trips with endless information, car hire or a private driver. Contact us now!