planning your stay
One night is simply not enough to enjoy all the Lodge and the area have to offer. So here are some suggestions for a stay of 2 to 7 nights. We are happy to personalise a suggested itinerary for you.
2 night stay
Day 1 - arrival and walk by lake
Arrive in time for afternoon tea at the Lodge then either take the bikes or walk along the lakeside path into town. Or if it’s hot take the beach chairs and wander down to the lake for a swim before dinner.
Or drive into the lake front in town and take a 1 hour jet boat cruise across Lake Wanaka and down the mighty Clutha River.
Dinner in town and perhaps a visit to the unique Cinema Paradiso for a movie and hot cookie.
Day 2 - a wilderness experience
To really experience the stunning beauty of the area take the Siberia Experience fly to a remote valley in the Southern Alps, hike through beautiful beech forest and then jet boat out.
For the more energetic – drive out to the Matukituki Valley and take the Rob Roy Glacier walk. From the Raspberry Creek car park the track ascends through beautiful beech forest to a spectacular view of the glacier. Take your lunch and sit and watch chunks fall off the glacier.
Stop at Rippon vineyard on your way back for a tasting of the stunning local wines in a unique setting.
In the afternoon wander around town – don’t miss the babbling Bullock Stream that runs through the town and is full of trout.
Soak in the hot tub and enjoy a massage in your room before a sumptuous dinner at the Lodge.
Day 3- depart via Puzzling World or Diamond Lake
Depart late morning after a delicious breakfast cooked by our chef.
Perhaps you can fit in a visit to Puzzling World (very intelligently done and not just for kids) or the eccentric Toy and Transport Museum or the Diamond Lake walk before you leave.
But you need to stay longer so you don’t miss:
Day 3- Bannockburn winery visit
Visit the wine areas of Wanaka and Bannockburn where wonderful Central Otago Pinot Noir is produced. Stop at the Big Picture Wine Adventure just past Cromwell to get a great overview of the vineyards of the area. Ask us for our suggested wine itinerary for the day. There are a number of small boutique wineries where you can talk to the winemakers. Lunch at one of the great restaurants in the area. This is one of our favourite days out.
Day 4-Milford Sound Scenic flight/ cruise or Lake Wanaka cruise
Take the spectacular scenic flight to Milford Sound over the magnificent Southern Alps – see Mt Aspiring and the glaciers before landing at Milford for a cruise on Milford Sound.
Take the Mou Waho Lake cruise and visit the Island where the native Buff Weka is now breeding. Walk up to the beautiful Arethusa Pool at the top of the Island - a fascinating half day trip on Lake Wanaka with an extremely knowledgeable guide.
For the more energetic – hire kayaks at the lake front and paddle to Ruby Island, go rafting down the Clutha River or do a tandem paraglide from Treble Cone and marvel at the alpine scenery.
In the late afternoon, a lovely walk along the lake is Waterfall Creek walk- which starts just on the other side of the lake from us.
Day 5 – the wild West Coast or Arrowtown and Queenstown
If not part of your itinerary, drive to Lake Hawea and over the spectacular Haast Pass to experience the wild West Coast. There are some wonderful short walks to do on the way. Don’t miss the Blue Pools and Waterfall Creek walks. Drive down the Jacksons Bay at the end of the road for some whitebait fritters from the mobile kitchen and do the short bush walk there. We saw a magnificent wood pigeon in the forest. And stop for a walk on the wild beaches.
Drive through the Cardrona Valley and over the Crown Range to the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. After morning tea in one of the cafes and some shopping, drive on to nearby Lake Hayes and take the walk around the lake. Lunch at Amisfield winery and visit Queenstown if not in your itinerary and then return via the Kawarau Gorge and Cromwell. Perhaps a visit to the historic gold mining centre in the Gorge and then stop at Jones Family Orchard for some wonderful stone fruit, before returning to Wanaka via Cromwell with a stop at Aurum Winery for a tasting.
Day 5- River journey up the Matukituki
Take a jet boat ride up the Matukituki River to explore the stunning Matukituki Valley surrounded on all sides by high peaks. Learn of the early pioneers and hear stories of the natural forces that created this amazing landscape. Take a 40 minute wilderness walk through native forest alongside a mountain stream and waterfall. An optional extra (highly recommended) is a helicopter flight to the top of the glacier.
For the more adventurous go canyoning down the cliffs of the Matukituki Valley. Or rock climbing or sky diving.
And in the afternoon take a 30 minute flight over Lake Wanaka in a vintage Tiger moth.
Day 6 – fly fishing or Diamond Lake walk and beauty treatment
Go with a guide for a day’s fly fishing – you can drift fish, fly or spin in the lake or the rivers. Brown and Rainbow Trout and Quinnat Salmon. Never tried it? Learn with an expert- there are some wonderful guides here. Tiffany caught a trout on her first lesson whilst I got my line in terrible tangle but still had a wonderful day out on the river.
Do the Diamond Lake walk- it has been dubbed the best little half day walk in New Zealand and its just 10 minutes out of town. Lovely views over Lake Wanaka and the mountains. In winter the lake freezes over and the locals skate on it. See review from 52 Weekends Away.
Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the Lodge –enjoy a massage or spa treatment in the luxury of your room, and then curl up on the window seat with a book, a bottle of wine and cheese plate and enjoy the alpine scenery. One of our guests got on the window seat after breakfast and did not move all day!
And there is still more....
All the other activities listed under Things to do -summer and winter including:
• Horse riding in the Cardrona Valley
• Cardrona Adventure Park
• Mountain biking
• So many beautiful hikes....
• Scenic helicopter flights
• Heli hikes
• Scenic flight to Mt Cook