Excited about exploring Lake Wanaka on your own terms?

Try the Mission, our 4 hour self-guided kayaking trip!

Head off on your own or with friends, armed with a kayak, safety equipment & a map. You’ll get lots of good advice from the folks at Paddle Wanaka. We’ll help you plan your route based on the weather and your experience level, plus we’ll provide transport to your starting location, so you only need to paddle one way!


  • 4 hours of kayaking on stunning Lake Wanaka
  • Transport provided
  • We will help you plan the safest and most interesting route for you.
  • A little kayaking experience (once or twice is fine!) is helpful, or some reasonable fitness and a sense of adventure!


Departs: 9:00 AM 
Allow: 4 hours
Bring: Sunscreen, weather appropriate clothing and footwear, snacks and water. You need to have a cell-phone that works in New Zealand with you in case of emergencies.
Includes: Kayaks, lifejackets (Your Personal Flotation Device PFD – must be worn at all times), paddles, map, small dry bag for cell phone. Safety support by a professional guide.


The Mission begins when you arrive at our waterfront rental base in Wanaka. Our friendly rental staff will have all of your gear ready for you, and they’ll have a chat with you to brief you on the day’s weather and lake conditions, find out what your experience level is, and work with you to determine appropriate route options for your trip. Then they’ll get some information from you, most importantly a contact phone number they can use to reach you while you are on the water. They will ask for you to call to do a safety check in with our base twice while you are out. They will also help determine your drop-off point and time, where the transport will drop you at the beginning of your journey.

Once you are happy with the details of the trip, you will gear up, have a quick kayak skills lesson or refresher, and get ready to get on the water! You will feel like you have the entire lake to yourself. Paddling along the coastlines gives you access to some amazing private beaches and swimming areas, and a unique appreciation of the beauty of Lake Wanaka. You can do a quick exploration of Roy’s Bay, as you navigate your way back towards town.

This is the end of the trip, where you will be greeted at the water front by the Paddle Wanaka Crew to share your tales of your journey and return your gear. Relax and enjoy the memories of your time here in Wanaka.

Please note: Depending on weather and lake conditions, the transport may happen at the beginning or end the trip.


Adult: $85

Cancellation: Customers may cancel or rebook without penalty up to 24 hours prior to trip departure. Cancellations or no-shows after this time will be charged full price.


Where do we start/finish? Where can we go?

There are lots of routes available for this trip, which is why the Mission is so exciting! Routes differ depending on the weather and your preferences. Options include exploring the tranquil bays of west coast up to Glendhu Bay, or checking out Stevenson’s Arm peninsula and quiet Dublin Bay on the east coast, but we’ll brief you before you head out with weather updates. You will either start or finish at the lakefront and you’ll have a 4 hours on the water.

What happens if weather changes?

We’ll always give you a thorough briefing of what to do if the weather changes and what your options will be. You’ll have our phone number and can contact us at any time during your trip if you have any questions or concerns.

What should I bring?

All you’ll need is active clothing, a mobile phone sunscreen and other sun protection, a water bottle, and maybe your camera. You might also want to bring a snack as there are some awesome places for picnics. We provide all safety equipment and a dry bag for your phone.

Why is this different from a rental?

This trip is an awesome way to explore deeper into the lake and includes one way transport. We will transport you out to a location where you’ll paddle back to the lakefront or you’ll start at the lakefront and head out into the lake where we’ll pick you up from several locations.

How much experience do I need for this?

You’ll be paddling on your own (or in your group) so it’s a good idea to be fairly confident on the water, but you don’t need to have had much previous kayaking experience. You can paddle a wee way and picnic for 3 hours, or you can live out your Captain Cook fantasies and explore the vast coastline of Lake Wanaka. How far you go is up to you! All you’ll need to keep us updated while you are on the water.

How many people to book?

A minimum of 2 people are needed for this trip.


Great fun:

My boyfriend & I stumbled across this trip on a deals site and it turned out to be one of the highlights of our stay in Wanaka. As well as being un-guided so you can explore the magnificent lake at your own leisure, one of the best things about the trip is that you get dropped to your starting point and then kayak down the lake to the finishing spot (rather than kayaking out to a point and then turning back). Over a few hours we had enough time to stop at Ruby Island for a walk and (quick) swim too. Highly recommend.

Beautiful Day, wonderful experience:

Awesome. Absolutely loved this experience. Not only did we get to blat around the lake at our own pace, we were picked up by water taxi and returned to shore at the end! Simply the best way to see Wanaka and it’s surrounds.