Lake Wanaka, located right at the heart of the southern lakes, is the gateway to the Mt. Aspiring National Park, internationally renowned for its glaciers and magnificent hiking and climbing. The mountains surrounding the lake provide a winter snow lover's paradise, featuring top ski fields and heliski facilities. The town itself features a pretty shopping village with a wide variety of scenic areas to relax and eat. The Wanaka area has a multitude of choices such as hiking the spectacular scenic Matukituki Valley where Mount Aspiring rises sheer above the surrounding glacial mountains. For the more adventurous, then mountaineering is another option. Trout fishing in the lakes and rivers is world class. Exploring the region is just as easy by air with numerous flight-seeing operators keen to show off their playground. One of the best displays of World War II aircraft in the world are housed at the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum situated at Wanaka Airport. There is over 30 restaurants and plenty of great shopping. For more information on things to see and do in the Lake Wanaka area, visit the Lake Wanaka Tourism website.
The daily service departs Christchurch at 10.45am and arrives at Wanaka at 11.45am. The return journey departs Wanaka at 12.05pm and arrives at Christchurch at 1pm. Other options are to and from Christchurch-Queenstown flights, with prices starting at around $76 one way, including all taxes and levies. Flight time is 1 hour. Bookings are easy - go to www.airnz.co.nz.