Nestled at the heart of New Zealand’s South Island are two lakes almost completely side by side: Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. These fantastic twins are renowned throughout the country, and indeed the world, as fantastic aquatic holiday destinations thanks to their calm waters and gorgeous surroundings.
Luckily for keen Wanaka/Hawea enthusiasts, there is an equally glorious Wyndham Vacation Resort located in the township of Wanaka, mere moments from the glistening shoreline.
So book your Wyndham Wanaka holiday now, come on down to the South Island and dive in – literally – to these two great lakes.
One of the main tourist districts of the Wanaka township, Ardmore Street, runs along the length of the town’s namesake lake, with plenty of parking spaces on either side.
Access to the water couldn’t be simpler, with a gentle stony shore flanking the largest car parks on the lakeside of Ardmore, accompanied by plenty of trees spread evenly along it for some shade. There is a fantastic pontoon located just offshore, which can be easily swum out to. Pop across, clamber on up, wave to your family and then see how long you can last before a devious relative tries to shove you off!
If you want to see a little more, you can book a kayak from a provider such as Wanaka Kayaks. The company, run by a local couple, offers freedom kayaks for one or two hours, and encourages you to go off and explore some of the nearby shores, including the fascinatingly secluded Ruby Island.
Alternatively, you could also try some of the adventure and nature tours offered here, both by Wanaka Kayaks themselves and another company, Eco Wanaka. This could include multi-day kayaking trips, or a spectacular boat tour to the Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve (where you can see the near-extinct Buff Weka!).
Wanaka can get pretty busy during the height of summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an excellent South Island lake adventure nearby. Enter Lake Hawea – the equally beautiful, though far less visited, twin lake to Wanaka.
It takes around 15-20 minutes to get to the Hawea township, comfortably situated on the lake’s southern shore. Hawea is perfect for those looking for a less touristy destination. The beaches along the town’s waterfront, as well as along either edge of the water itself, offer the ultimate in picnic opportunities, with all the calm of a nature wonderland, but without any hustle and bustle.