Search Homes Shortlist

Release WanakaBlog

Monthly Archives: September 2018

Biking Events in Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 27, 2018

Following on from last week’s blog about Mountain Biking, we would like to tempt you with some cycling events that are coming up on the Wanaka calendar. Whether you are after a big or small challenge, these annual events offer a safe and fun environment to push yourself in a location that is stunning.

The Deans Bank 10hr + Kids Race - 21st October 2018

The challenge here is to ride a purpose-built 12km mountain bike loop as many times, as you and your teammates can, in 10hrs. This can be done individually for the ultimate challenge! Set by the Clutha River in Albert Town the Deans Bank 10hr is a popular event for both locals and holidaymakers. It will test your endurance, skills and dedication.

The Red Bull Defiance - 19th & 20th January 2019

Not for the faint-hearted, this event is extreme, an ultimate challenge to complete in 2 days. The mountain biking is only a small part of it, with running, kayaking and abseiling. An event that spans over 140km through high country stations with the most amazing views of the mountains as your backdrop.

Biking events in WanakaPhoto from Red Bull Defiance 

The Big Easy - 26th January 2019

A 48km mountain bike starting at the snow farm and finishing in Luggate, will reward you with panoramic views, challenging terrain and over 2200m of fun-filled decent! There is also a shorter 36km, but just as challenging, course or an 18km course called ‘Lil Easy’, which you can do as a family.

Challenge Wanaka 2019 - 16th February 2019

For all you roadies out there, this is an amazing event to be part of. A triathlon described as “The most scenic triathlon in the world”. Form a team with a swimmer and runner and enter the full or half Challenge biking 180km or 90km, respectively. Challenge Wanaka has grown since it first started in 2007 and is now one of the most popular events that Wanaka hosts in its yearly calendar.

Cycling events in Wanaka Photo Tim Pierce

Motatapu Mountain Bike - 9th March 2019

A mountain bike event taking you into the high country through the amazing Motatapu, Soho and Glencoe Stations. A 47km track with hill climbs river crossings and a few steep descents. Starting on the shores of Lake Wanaka and finishing in Arrowtown, this event welcomes “pro’s, amateurs and newbies”.

Contact Epic - 13th April 2019

There is something for everyone at this mountain biking event that takes place on the shores of Lake Hawea, only 15mins from Wanaka. With 3 different courses, you have 3 different options depending on what your aim is. 

‘Epic’ - “The 125km “test piece” for endurance athletes or those with a sense of adventure. A full circumnavigation of Lake Hawea.”

‘Classic’ - “A 95km circumnavigation of Lake Hawea. Taking in the best of the scenery and course”

‘Traverse’ - On a different course than the Epic or Classic, this is a 35km introductory race for those wanting to be part of the Contact Epic experience. The course traverse’s parts of the Hawea and mighty Clutha rivers in a loop track before finishing back at the lake Hawea Hotel.

Biking trails in Wanaka Photo from Lake Wanaka 

There you have it, something for all you bikers out there of all abilities. Come and stay at one of Release Wanaka’s luxurious holiday homes and experience the amazing bike culture we have here in Wanaka. We can help you with equipment hire and entries as well as pre and post race massages, private chefs to cook up some nutritious, energy providing meals and hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas to relieve any aching muscles. 

So, what are you waiting for - GET ON YER BIKE!!

Mountain Biking in Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 20, 2018

Mountain Biking in Wanaka

The weather is certainly warming up here in Wanaka, New Zealand (except for that massive snow storm on Monday!) which gets you thinking about packing in the skis and dusting off the bike. What better way to explore the region than off the beaten track, peddling at a pace that suits you and the great thing about biking in Wanaka, is that it caters for all. 

If you are looking for an easy, cruisey ride, Wanaka’s got it!

If you are looking for some excitement but without the ‘extreme’, Wanaka’s got it!

If you are looking for some gnarly downhill tracks, Wanaka’s got it!

Yep, this region has some of the best mountain biking in the country and it is all on your doorstep. Here are some tips to help you decide where to go and what to expect -


Wanaka Township to Waterfall Creek Track 

From town, you can bike around the lake edge to Waterfall Creek. Head along the western side of the lake where an easy, flat track takes you past the infamous "Wanaka Tree" and Wanaka Station Park. You will also head past Edgewater Resort, a great coffee or lunch stop and then Rippon Vineyard, before finishing up at Waterfall Creek.  

Wanaka Township to Beacon Point

An easy, flat ride along the lakeside from the Dinosaur Park to Beacon Point beach, passing Wanaka Yacht Club, Eely Point and Bremner Bay. There are plenty of picnic, swimming and BBQ spots as well as endless photo opportunities.

Easy mountain biking trails in Wanaka


Waterfall Creek to Glendhu Bay

“From Waterfall Creek, the track follows re-vegetated terraces above Lake Wanaka with spectacular views, to a small north-facing beach - Damper Bay - ideal for swimming in the summer. This first section of the track is quite hilly with some short, steep sections. From Damper Bay the track becomes easier until you finally reach Glendhu Bay and the motor camp. Don't miss the spectacular views of Mount Aspiring from Glendhu Bay.”

Minaret Burn Track

“This well-formed track provides easy access to beautiful beaches along Wanaka's western shore. From Homestead Bay carpark the track gently undulates towards small, sheltered, Colquhouns Beach; a popular swimming and picnic spot.", This track passes through native forest and bush, crossing streams and offers direct access to Lake Wanaka.

Upper Clutha River Track

“This track, from Lake Wanaka Outlet to Luggate, follows along the river bank offering views of the Clutha’s emerald-green water with the odd trout lurking in its shadows. Cyclists will enjoy shade in summer and shelter from the elements in winter. A loop option is possible when combined with the Newcastle Track, located on the true left of the river.”

Hard mountain biking trails in WanakaPhoto Tim Pierce


Meg Hut Track

A high-country hike or mountain bike to an iconic back-country hut on the Pisa Range. A reasonable level of fitness is required for this track but you will be rewarded with the views and the feeling of isolation amongst the mountains.

Hikuwai Loop

“The Hikuwai Track is made up of two tracks which join onto each other to make about a 7 - 8 km circuit depending on where you finish the track. They are generally done in a clockwise direction and the easiest place to find it is either just above the car park at the up-river end of the Outlet Track or off Aubrey Road approx 1km east of Outlet Road. An intermediate single track that is not particularly technical but with some wooden structures over fences and uphill pinches. Follow the Hikuwai Loop markers at ground level”

Deans Bank

“A fantastic one-way cross-country mountain bike loop track. The flowing single-track weaves its way through typical Otago landscape featuring matagouri and tussock with great views of the Clutha River and the Southern Alps. A selection of banks, berms and tight corners appeal to intermediate mountain bikers, with easier riding options around rocks and other technical obstacles. All of the climbs are well-constructed switchbacks with nice flowing downhill sections.”

FUN (for all abilities)


When Cardrona shut their doors for the winter they open them up again for the summer. With numerous tracks all accessed by chairlifts, this has to be one of the most fun days out you will have on a bike. All levels are catered for in this biking playground with some of the longest vertical descents in the country.

Sticky Forest

Sticky Forest is a network of tracks from beginner to advanced. If you are looking for something fun and challenging, download the trail map here and follow the green (beginner), blue (intermediate) or black (advanced) runs. With heaps of tracks and plenty of Gap Jumps and Table Tops, you will never get bored.


This is just a handful of tracks Wanaka has to offer and Release Wanaka can help you to experience the very best. We can also help with bike hire, equipment hire and tours as well as private guides and heli biking.
Contact our team at Release Wanaka for more information. 


Wanaka Restaurants Hit Top 100

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 13, 2018

Wanaka Restaurants Hit Top 100

One of New Zealand’s top food magazines, “Cuisine Magazine”, announced their top 100 New Zealand restaurants on Monday. No less than three local Wanaka restaurants made it onto the list. Per capita, this has to allow Wanaka to claim the title of ‘Food Capital of New Zealand’. Even if this title has not been publicly claimed, we believe that it is true! Wanaka’s restaurant scene has taken off in the last 10 years with the introduction of many world-class, award-winning eateries and it was fantastic news to see three of them recognised this week.


“Owned and operated by award-winning chef James Stapley, kika is a restaurant in the lively town of Wanaka, New Zealand. Led by talented chef, Matt Brock, we take inspiration from global flavours to deliver innovative sharing style plates in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. A carefully curated wine list with a mix of local and international varietals complements our eclectic style. Our menu changes with the seasons and we’re always searching out new and interesting produce.”

Kika Wanaka Restaurant hit top 100 Image from

Bistro Gentil

“Led by Head Chef Mario Rodrigues, we revisit typical flavour combinations using fresh seasonal ingredients from our kitchen garden and the best of our region…..Our menus combine the best of New Zealand produce cooked French style – à la française, with a modern twist. Join us to sample house-made spreads and wines rarely offered by the glass. In addition to our carefully selected wine list, we offer sixteen wines by the glass, half glass and tasters through our Enomatic self-dispensing wine machines.”

Bistro Gentil Wanaka hits top 100 Image from


“Ode was created as a space for us to connect with and live our truths, to collaborate, to grow and generate change. We care about and respect our environment and our communities and are conscious of the impact our choices have on them and their long-term wellbeing…..Our food is innovative & progressive and like nature, ever evolving. Ode is a place for you to experience your environment through food. Food is our art form and each plate is an ode - to the earth, to family, to the present, the future & all that has lead us to this point. Ode is here to be enjoyed together in a place we are stoked to share with you.”

ODE restaurant Wanaka hits top 100 Image from

This proves that Wanaka is not only a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and ski fanatics but also a food connoisseurs paradise. Come and sample some of New Zealand’s best restaurants in the stunning location of Wanaka, New Zealand, amongst the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps.

Release Wanaka has luxury vacation rental homes within walking distance of these amazing restaurants. For more information, contact our team today. 



Wanaka Luxury Family Holiday Without The Price Tag

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 06, 2018

Taking a family holiday can be a financial concern, but also an essential part of life and creating happy memories. A luxury family holiday in Wanaka, New Zealand may seem unrealistic, but we believe renting a Release Wanaka holiday home can make it achievable.

Sharing the cost of luxury rental accommodation with friends and family is the first step to an affordable luxury holiday. With a Release Wanaka holiday rental home, everyone can be under the same roof but can still have separate bedrooms and living areas. The cost of your entire stay can be split, making your family getaway more economical than a hotel.

Wanaka Luxury Family Holiday Without The Price Tag

Having a full kitchen with all the mod cons and essentials for cooking up a storm, is definitely a way to save money. Restaurant dining and takeaways can be pricey especially when you are doing it every night. Dining at home costs a fraction of the price and eliminates any hassles you have with fussy kids. It is also a great way to explore the local shops and cook with some local ingredients. Who doesn’t love a healthy home cooked meal?

Luxury family Wanaka property with kitchen

The Release Wanaka team are all locals who live here full time and have done for years. We know some amazing places to visit, without having to get your wallet out. It’s easy to keep the kids and yourself entertained without buying tickets in and around Wanaka. There are heaps of free activities and events to go to and the Release Wanaka team offer free recommendations and advice, just ask!

Experience the luxury of lake WanakaPhoto Tim Pierce

Staying with Release Wanaka you will also know what you are getting before you arrive, therefore there will be no hidden costs. Cleaning, Wi-Fi, cable TV, and parking are all included in the rental price as well as luxurious linens, towels and toiletries. A yummy welcome pack is provided which contains some delicious, local goodies which you can sit back and enjoy in the knowledge that you won't be billed for it at the end of your stay. You will also become a Release Wanaka "VIP", which gives you discounts throughout town at various local cafes and shops.  

Stay with Release Wanaka

So if you are thinking a luxury family holiday in Wanaka is unachievable, then think again! Release Wanaka can make your dream holiday happen, you just need to grab a group of friends and family and make lifelong memories!

For more information contact us here.