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Stories from our backyard: Wildwire Wanaka

Dec 14, 2020 | New Zealand, South Island

Wildwire Wanaka
Wild Thing climb

Laurel Morrison is both an adventurous and a generous soul. Together with her husband Mark they established the world’s highest waterfall cable climb in stunning Wanaka, on the South Island New Zealand. Designed by adventurous souls for adventure seekers, Wildwire Wanaka offers three amazing climbs and enables those with no climbing experience to reach remote locations and enjoy places and sights that they might not otherwise be able to encounter. It’s all about turbo-boosting your holiday up a notch and getting hooked on those scenic views and adventure. But Laurel did not foresee that 2020 would bring such left-of-field detours such as payment for climbs with honey. Yep, that’s right. Honey. How lucky is she?

Lake-Wanaka Photo: Miles Holden

Wanaka is a picture-perfect town set around Lake Wanaka with Mount Aspiring National Park as a backdrop. It’s gorgeous. Wanaka is famous also as the site of the determined, solitary Willow Tree #ThatWanakaTree, which is very Insta-worthy, as well as being the anchor point of the Haast Pass, one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand. The town is easily accessible with a 60-minute drive from Queenstown Airport and a quieter option with only 11,000 residents. The town is a year-round destination with your choice of four ski fields and of course, the incredibly scenic tramping or trek options exploring the remote wilderness of Mount Aspiring National Park. The trekking highlights are the half-day Rob Roy Glacier Track and the must-do short walk to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Blue Pools. In short, Wanaka is naturally beautiful and the perfect place for Wildwire to establish their base back in 2015.

Wildwire Wanaka
Wild Thing climb

Set amongst the natural beauty of the Twin Falls waterfalls, Wildwire offers participants a truly unique experience with breathtaking views. The falls are located on private land and is part of a large farm called Cattle Flat Station. The ability to admire the beautiful blue pools, grassy plateaus and dramatic canyoning sections are exclusive to Wildwire climbers. Hundreds of steel rungs, safety cable and epic wire-bridges have been secured to the canyon walls, enabling easy access and an unforgettable climb experience. With 20+ years’ experience, the Wildwire guides have scaled the world’s greatest heights, led climbers at the base of Everest to the top of Mt Aspiring and almost everywhere in between. Wildwire take safety seriously! The team offer three experiences that range from easy to the more challenging. The Wild Walks Hike is the entry level experience which involves a heli flight and exploring nature in the mountains. 5 hour duration. The next adventure is the Twin Falls Canyon, which offers a bit more adventure with a combination heli flight and abseiling. Finally, the Lord of the Rungs climb leads up to the highest waterfall cable climb in the world, and descent is via helicopter. It’s truly spectacular!

Life is about experiences, not stuff…

Now, back to the honey. The onset of COVID has meant crazy and tough times for us all, and for Wildwire it delivered the additional stress of demand for full refunds, no international travellers and no income/bookings throughout lockdown. But the good news was that New Zealand were successful with their COVID restrictions and domestic travel resumed mid-year. That’s when Koha for Kiwis kicked in. In recognition of tough times, Wildwire introduced a pay-what-you-can scheme for locals and received an overwhelming response with over 1,000 Kiwis taking up the Wildwire challenge on one of their climbs. It was all about recognition of tough times and delivering a feel-good option for the local community…

Wildwire Wanaka
Go Wild climb finish

Wildwire Wanaka is more than a community-minded adventure company with a window view of the spectacular scenery of the South Island of New Zealand. The company is also dedicated to maintaining the natural integrity of the local environment and are actively involved in predator free activities. That involves both laying traplines to stop predators entering Mount Aspiring National Park as well as planting indigenous trees to encourage the native species to thrive in their natural habitat once more.

And so, as they say…. take a walk on the wild side, push your limits, and claim victory. Celebrate daring deeds and moments truly lived! There are plenty of very good reasons to support the good guys. Make sure to include Wildwire Wanaka on your wish list for your next New Zealand holiday…. I know I will be doing just that 🙂


The summer season (December-February) is traditionally the most popular time to visit. The daytime temperatures average 22 degrees Celsius and the nights are cool. The shoulder seasons just prior and after summer are also good times with less crowds but expect the daytime maximum to drop to 18 degrees. Perfect weather for all activities.

Good to know:

The lakeside town of Wanaka has the buzz of a genuine alpine town and is the ultimate hub for outdoor adventures. It’s the perfect destination for exploring the Southern Alps with Mount Aspiring National Park located on the doorstep. Wanaka also has plenty of cafes, restaurants and interesting shops for those more inclined to the quieter pursuits. You could stay for a day or 4 days, there is plenty to do! Apart from the great outdoors and Wildwire Wanaka climbs, other top highlights include some unique attractions like the 3D maze at Puzzling World, checkout one of the world’s largest private collections at the National Transport & Toy Museum and enjoy a working lavender farm with farm animals at Wanaka Lavender Farm.

Wildwire Wanaka
Wild Thing climb finish

And finally:

AET Travel (formerly Australia Expat Travel) specialises in exceptional holidays to Australia and New Zealand. We make it simple with our local knowledge, seamless logistics and trusted advice since 2004. Expect a bespoke itinerary curated with the big picture and the small details. Contact Us

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