Unforgettable Romantic Experiences in Wanaka
You have the romantic setting of the majestic mountains and the commanding Lake Wanaka, all you need are the experiences to match. From indulgent wine tasting to mountain biking adventures, there’s a huge range of activities to suit different types of couples and moods. Whether you’re looking for a special experience to celebrate a honeymoon or anniversary or an easy-going tour to experience Wanaka together, you’re sure to find something to suit in this list of romantic things to do in Wanaka for couples.
While you’re here, you might also be interested in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Wanaka, as well as the 7 Best Romantic Accommodations in Wanaka.
1. Cruise Around Lake Wanaka with a Glass of Wine or Beer in Hand
Enjoy a romantic cruise on Lake Wanaka on the affordable Happy Hour Cruise with Lake Wanaka Cruises. The one-hour cruise sails around the lake lapping up the late-afternoon sun, passing by scenic spots like Waterfall Creek, Stevensons Peninsula, Ruby Island and “That Wanaka Tree”. Relax with your loved one with a complimentary glass of wine or beer and a cheese board on a cruise with just a small group to set the mood right. Find out more about the cruise, as well as read reviews and book the cruise on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 100 Ardmore Street, Wanaka town centre.
2. Canter Through Majestic Alpine Scenery on Horseback
There’s something quite romantic about riding through rolling valleys with your loved one. Get the experience on a horse trek with The Cardrona. Their High Country Pub Trail tour takes you to explore the New Zealand countryside, seeing historical points of interest, passing through a working cattle station, traversing rivers and soaking in the gorgeous vistas along the way. The ride also includes a stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel to share a drink or two together. Learn more about the horse trek on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, see more experiences like this in 11 Awesome Horse Treks in New Zealand.
Location: Cardrona Valley Road, approximately 22km (13.6 miles) from Wanaka town centre.
3. Learn a New Skill Together with Ski Lessons
Nothing strengthens the bond quite like learning something new together. In winter, learn to ski or snowboard at one of Wanaka’s surrounding ski fields! The Cardrona First Timer Package (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) is a great way to get into skiing, offering two beginner lessons, a lift pass and gear rentals. Alternatively, get the opportunity to learn and hone your new skills over three days with the Treble Cone Learn to Ski 3-Day Package (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Enjoy small-group lessons, which includes a lift pass for the entire three days and gear rentals.
Location: Cardrona – Cardrona Valley Road, approximately 23km (14 miles) from Wanaka town centre. Treble Cone – Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Road, approximately 30km (19 miles) from Wanaka town centre.
4. Treat Your Loved One to Dinner
To celebrate an anniversary, honeymoon or just as a treat, experience one of the fine dining restaurants in Wanaka. Head to Bistro Gentil just outside of Wanaka, which soaks in romantic views of the surrounding gardens and mountains. The bistro serves up New Zealand produce prepared in a French style. Alternatively, for something more casual but offers million-dollar views along with flavoursome Asian cuisine, check out Kota Restaurant & Bar. See more restaurant recommendations in The Food Guide to Wanaka.
Location: Bistro Gentil – Golf Course Road. Kota Restaurant & Bar – Level 1, 80 Ardmore Street, Wanaka town centre.
5. Indulge in a Foodie Experience on a Wine Tasting Tour
More foodie experiences await with the wine tours in Wanaka. The Wine Tour with Wanaka Wine Tours combines drinking and dining with a gourmet food and wine matching experience. Find out more about Wanaka Wine Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor. Another fantastic option is the Maori culture tour and winery-hopping experience with WanaHaka. Visit local wineries and indulge in wine tasting and a complimentary platter of local artisan cheeses, meats and much more. More details on the tour are available on Viator and Tripadvisor. Additionally, learn more about wineries to visit independently in the 5 Best Wineries in Wanaka, as well as more experiences like this in the9 Things to Do in Wanaka for Foodies.
Location: Tour operators offer local pick-ups.
6. Work as a Team in a Double Kayak on Lake Wanaka
Working together in a double kayak can be a real test of your relationship, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an amazing yet relaxing way to explore the nooks and crannies of Lake Wanaka and the Clutha River. The half-day kayak tour with Paddle Wanaka is a relaxing option, with an experienced guide, light refreshments and all the kayaking gear included. The trip takes you around 9km (5.6 miles) around the lake, checking out Lake Wanaka’s beautiful shoreline and surrounding mountain scenery. Check out Paddle Wanaka’s page on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 103 Ardmore Street, Wanaka town centre.
7. Hit Wanaka Bike Trails Together
Adventure together on the bike trails of Wanaka. Bike hire is available in the town where you can simply pick up the trail circumventing the lake. Alternatively, amp up the experience with Discover Wanaka, which offer a boat and bike combo. Enjoy a scenic lake cruise to one of the more stunning areas of the lake to ride back to Wanaka with a guide. You’ll have the knowledge of a local, modern mountain bikes, snacks and refreshments, and endless photo opportunities. Find out more about Discover Wanaka on Viator and Tripadvisor. Learn more about mountain biking in the region in our 12 Super Scenic Cycle Trails in Otago.
Location: Tour operators provide local pick-up.
8. Snuggle Up with a Movie and a Hot Cookie at Cinema Paradiso
Snuggle up to a movie and some glorious home baking at Cinema Paradiso. More than just a movie theatre, Cinema Paradiso is a boutique cinema experience with comfortable sofas to relax in and a cafe/bar to take advantage of. There’s an interval mid-way through each movie to stock up on freshly-baked cookies, indulge in homemade ice cream and grab a glass of wine.
Location: 72 Brownston Street, Wanaka town centre.
9. Challenge Each Other to Archery or Shooting at Crossfire
An epic thing to do in all weathers, Crossfire is a countryside sports complex that allows couples to get the adrenaline pumping and enable a competitive edge on their relationship. Challenge each other at the rifle range, see if you can wield a bow and arrow in archery, shoot disks out of the sky in clay bird shooting, relax with a game of mini-golf and much more! Check out the activities on offer on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Mount Barker Road, approximately 9km (5.5 miles) from Wanaka town centre.
10. Land on a Glacier After a Scenic Helicopter Flight
Enjoy an intimate experience flying over the breathtaking scenery of the Mt Aspiring National Park on a helicopter flight with Aspiring Helicopters. The 35-minute flight takes you and your loved one from the Matukituki Valley just outside of Wanaka to a 2,134m (7,000ft) glacier. Along the way, you’ll get a birds-eye-view of majestic mountains, learn about this unique area from your pilot, and land in a location with no one else in sight. You never know, it could be the perfect place to pop the question! Find out more about flights with Aspiring Helicopters on Viator and Tripadvisor. Additionally, browse similar tours in the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Wanaka.
Location: 2211 Wanaka Mount Aspiring Road, approximately 24km (15 miles) from Wanaka town centre.
More About Wanaka
That’s it for the best romantic things to do in Wanaka for couples but by no means the end of things to do. While not necessarily falling into the “romantic” category, here are some more experiences that are just as breathtaking:
- 20 Best Things to Do in Wanaka
- 9 Things to Do in Wanaka for Foodies
- 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Wanaka
- 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Wanaka
You can find even more honeymoon tips in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to New Zealand. Finally, check out more spots to stop on your South Island road trip in the South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks or South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: One Week.