Is Glendhu Bay Wānaka’s most scenic bay? We may be biased, but we definitely think so. Lake, mountains, bikes, climbing and its very own epic campground. What’s not to love!? Tucked away on the west side of Lake Wānaka and only a 10-minute drive from the Wānaka CBD, Glendhu Bay boasts some of the best views in the area and for an active family, it’s a dream location. Here’s why we love it!
Glendhu Bay Motorcamp
Let’s start with accommodation, shall we? Glendhu Bay Motorcamp is Wānaka’s only lakeside campground so for those who like to be right on the water, this is your spot. They offer everything from cabins, to tent sites, to powered caravan sites and even have a lodge that sleeps up to 20 people.
For those of you who have visited Wānaka over the summer holidays, you know how hectic the town can get. Glendhu offers a small reprieve from the crowded cafes and busy streets of Wānaka CBD. Glendhu Bay Motorcamp is perfect for those looking to get out of hustle and bustle and relax in some of the best scenery around. As a bonus, they are even building their own Pontoon this summer!
Glendhu Bay Homestead:
If you’re looking for the quintessential Glendhu Bay experience, stay at the Glendhu Bay Homestead, a historical landmark that has been thoughtfully adapted into a rustic yet refined space. The front lounge of the homestead was originally the post office and general store, built-in 1894. This served those working on the original Wānaka Station Run which at that time included, Alpha Burn Station, West Wānaka Station and what is now Glendhu Station.
The homestead itself includes four bedrooms, a large bunk room and play area, two bathrooms, a formal dining and lounge, TV room and a large kitchen and informal dining.
Plus, it’s just a quick pedal up to Bike Glendhu – bonus!
Biking at Glendhu Bay is Next Level.
Okay, okay, you probably saw this one coming but you didn’t think we were going to write a whole article about Glendhu Bay and not mention the mountain biking, did you? Let’s start with the obvious. Glendhu Bay is home to Bike Glendhu, Wānaka’s newest bike park that offers over 30km of trails.
Didn’t bring a bike? No problem. You can hire bikes and e-bikes. Not fit enough to make it up the hill? Don’t stress, we’ve got shuttles! Not really a keen mountain biker? We’ve got you covered. We have options for beginner mountain bikers and for those who just want to sit in the sun and soak up the good vibes, we’ve got that covered too. Velo is always serving up some icy cold beverages and tasty treats and Base 334 is an epic place to hang out and relax while the kids entertain themselves in the sandpit or on the pump track.
We’re not the only place for great biking at Glendhu though. The Millennium Track is a great option for those looking for a quick pedal with nice lakeside views. The track spans over 10km to Wānaka CBD and the difficulty varies depending on where you are at on the track.
Climbing at Hospital Flat
The road to Glendhu Bay is the gateway to some of the best rock climbing Wānaka. Just 10 minutes up the road you’ll find Hospital Flat. With over 800 routes from grade 8-30, this area boasts the highest number of sport climbs in the country!
Trekking at Roy’s Peak, Diamond Lake and Matukituki Valley
If you’re looking for an activity for the whole family, the Matukituki valley has some of the best tramps in the entire area. Start with incredibly popular Roy’s Peak, a long steep hike to the top of Wānaka’s iconic peak. The entire track to the top will take 3+ hours so this is a great option for those looking for a full day of walking.
If you’re looking for something a bit more mellow, check out Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain. A short 10-minute walk will take you to the peaceful Diamond Lake and for those who want to get their legs working a bit more, head to the top of Rocky Mountain. The track is steep and washed out in places so this is a good tramp for visitors with good fitness and sense of adventure.
If your legs are tired from all the time you’ve spent biking at Bike Glendhu, take a leisure ride up the Matukituki Valley which leads to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The drive itself is beautiful enough to make the trip worth it but there are plenty of stopping points along the way to take a photo and stretch the legs. Check out Wishbone Falls, Cameron Flat or head straight to the Raspberry Creek carpark and wander for as long as you want.
Finish with a refreshing dip in Lake Wānaka
Whether you’ve been hiking, biking or climbing, you’ll be keen to reward yourself with a nice dip into Lake Wānaka to finish the day. Glendhu Bay is a normally nice and sheltered and a great place to hide away from the wind. It’s also boat friendly so you can break out the skis, wakeboards and biscuits for an afternoon. There are also dozens of quiet bays to explore that are only a quick boat ride away and for those who are boat free, you can swim right in the bay or go for a short walk around Emerald Bluffs to explore some smaller bays by feet.
If you’ve ever wondered what Wānaka felt like 20 years ago, Glendhu Bay is about as close as it gets. Serene beauty at every corner, fewer crowds and all of the adrenaline sports you could ask for right outside your doorstep. Come pay us a visit this holiday season and experience it for yourself.