Top 7 Wānaka kids activities not to miss in 2022
Your guide to maximising the fun and finding the best things to do in Wānaka with kids
While Wānaka may be known for its many adventure and adrenaline activities, not everything here is high-octane. Wānaka offers an incredible line-up of family-friendly activities to impress travellers of all ages. If you’re heading to Wānaka with kids this year, you’re in for plenty of fun.
There’s something to be said about travelling with little people. While they may be messy, constantly hungry and prone to putting you in a mild panic to find the closest public toilet, they also offer plenty of joy. Kids take things at a slower pace, notice the little details and most importantly, are always up for some fun.
They sound like ideal travelling companions, really.
If you’re looking for maximum fun with your little people, here’s our guide to the Top 7 kids’ activities in Wānaka.
1. Mount Iron Track
One of Wānaka’s most impressive walks is the Mount Iron Track. Even the littlest of legs can be coerced into tackling the summit of Mt Iron. The entire loop walk is 4.5 kilometres, but if that’s too much for your little people, you can start the walk from Allenby Place and come back down the same track rather than do the full loop. Give yourself at least an hour.
It will be worth whatever bribes or words of encouragement it takes to get your kids to the top, as the views are quite simply breathtaking. Mt Iron offers a 360-panorama of Wānaka and its surrounds. A handy info panel at the summit will help you identify the surrounding mountains and peaks. Well worth the effort.
2. Ice Creams at Black Peak
Holiday time is ice cream time. Give in to the demands and head to Black Peak Gelato on Ardmore Street for some of the best ice cream around.
Black Peak is a firm favourite of the locals, thanks to their sumptuous selection of hand-crafted gelato and sorbets. The reason Black Peak ice creams taste so good? They source all their delicious stone fruits and berries from local growers.
3. Dinosaur Playground
Another wonderfully unique Wānaka activity is the Dinosaur Playground. Located directly in front of Lakeside Apartments, the playground occupies one of the best locations in town. And even better, it’s free. While the kids play on the multitude of swings, slides, monkey bars and climbing equipment, parents can soak up the incredible lake views. The star of the show is the ginormous, brightly-covered dinosaur slide. Grab a takeaway coffee and enjoy some time outdoors while the kids burn off some energy.
4. National Transport & Toy Museum
You’ll only have to mention the name of this place, and you’re sure to have the kids’ full attention. Wānaka’s National Transport & Toy Museum is a 10-minute drive from central Wānaka and could be described as a treasure trove of wonders for visitors of all ages.
For little ones, the museum is a world of wonder. However, adults are likely to be just as amazed. This private collection, one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, contains more than 60,000 items covering everything from planes, vintage cars and military vehicles to a mind-boggling display of vintage toys. Prepare for a trip down memory lane as you browse the collection of old and rare toys, including dolls, Lego, die-cast toy cars, Meccano and wind-up toys. If the kids start to grow tired of your nostalgia, they’re sure to perk up once they hit the toy shop, which contains an impressive offering of new toys, with a focus on Lego.
5. Snow Zone at Snow Farm
When winter rolls around, Wānaka is all about snow sports. If the full ski experience sounds too difficult to do with small kids (we get it), then the Snow Zone at Snow Farm is a perfect kid-friendly winter activity.
The Snow Zone offers a great way to have a play in the snow without the hassle of ski equipment. Snow Farm is located in the stunning Cardrona Valley and is renowned for its cross-country skiing. However, the Snow Zone is a fun play area where kids can build snowmen or have a go at snow tubing.
6. Fish & Chips on the lakefront
Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best. And it’s hard to beat the beauty of watching the sky turn orange as the sun sets behind the peaks of Mt Aspiring National Park. This is one of Wānaka’s free activities and may just be one of its best.
Improve this magic moment by grabbing some fish and chips and enjoying an alfresco lakeside dinner. The kids can enjoy the freedom of dinner outside, and you won’t have to worry about the dishes. Check out The Catch on Ardmore Street for takeaway fish and chips.
7. The pool at Lakeside Apartments
Guests at Lakeside Apartments have access to one of the best family activities in Wanaka, and it requires zero travel. The outdoor pool area at Lakeside not only offers an easy way to keep the most energetic of kids entertained but also offers some of the most impressive views in town.
Parents can soak in the sunshine and the incredible views over Lake Wānaka while the kids enjoy the outdoor pools, including a special kids’ pool.
Wanaka’s incredible line of family-friendly adventures is sure to keep both the big and little kids happy.