Explore Lake Wanaka by Stand-up Paddleboard

New Zealand

Route recommended by:

Bronte Hackford

girl smiles on beach

Lake Wanaka is situated in the South Island of New Zealand. It’s is just a 45 minute drive from Queenstown Airport, which takes you on a spectacular drive through the Cardona Valley. It covers 192km2 making it the fourth largest lake in New Zealand.

There really is so much to do around the lake and it doesn’t just involve the water. Mountbikers, horse riders and hikers take long expeditions up to incredible views points of the surrounding mountains. But, with campsites and small towns dotted around the lake, it is the ideal place to explore Wanaka by stand-up paddle board!


During the summer season the water is warm enough to enjoy a mid-paddle dip and it easy to go longer distances and explore the outskirts of the lake. Come winter time the surrounding mountains are snow covered, making the scenery utterly beautiful!

The lake has multiple points of entry and exit so it just depends on how long and far you would like to go. In the town, there is a company who do rentals and tours so if you don’t have your own board, Paddle Wanaka have got you covered.



This SUP route is ideal for all abilities and it is a perfect match for our Ride 10’6 board:

Route Directions

  1. .Start at Wanaka, Roys Bay. There are many places to park along the lakeside and this is also where Paddle Wanaka are located if you do need to rent a board.
  2. .Paddle North West towards Glendhu Bay passing Ruby Island and coming out at the Roys Bay.
  3. .Follow the mountains on your left-hand side as they curve round into Glendhu Bay.
  4. .There is a little beach at Glendhu Bay, which is a good site for a pit stop or a little picnic. You can also paddle into the surrounding bay; Parkins and Paddock.
  5. .Head back to Wanaka for your post SUP refreshments.

Local Knowledge

Sat Nav
Nearest Parking

There are plenty of places to park in Wanaka town.


There is a huge range of restaurants in Wanaka. From cafes like Big Fig Wanaka, take away fish and chips from Erik’s or evening meals like Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen and Lake bar which sits right on the Lakeside.

On the way into Wanaka there is a very cute little café called Florences that is also a food store with local and seasonal supplies.

They specialize in bagels that come in both savory and sweet. They’re eggs are particularly good as they are so fresh, especially the eggs benedict.

Oakridge Resort Lake Wanaka is just on the outskirts of the town but has both hotel rooms and apartments so you can have more flexibility in your stay. There are few more up market hotels in Wanaka too, such as Edgewater Hotel and The Moorings. If you are on a budget you’re in luck as the town is flooded with hostels and guesthouses. Also campervanning and camping grounds are everywhere!

Launch Point

Roys Bay

Places to stay
Oakridge Resort Lake Wanaka
Places to Eat/Drink
Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen

Things to know

  • It is essential you wear a life jacket or PFD on New Zealand waterways – without one you may be issued an on the spot fine of $300!
  • When paddling on lake’s always take into account the wind directions. Lake Wanaka isn’t too bad as there are plenty of spots to shelter but always check the forecast before setting off.