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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 26 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Mark Chipperfield

There are not many places in the world you can climb a waterfall – at least this site hasn’t found one yet – and this also happens to be the highest.

Set on the shores of stunning Lake Wanaka, the ‘Lord of the Rungs’ (their name, not ours) via Ferrata-esque course has 3 levels to suit varying abilities.

All three courses combine a mix of climbs on steel rungs, and crossing of suspension bridges. The full 5-7 hour climb to the top (450m) also goes behind the waterfall, sees you climb through an airy overhang, and helicopters you back down from the top. Brilliant!

Logistics

Price from: £110
Minimum age: 10
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around
Duration: 3-7 hours

Getting there & doing it

The basic level 1 climbs 150m and takes 2-3 hours; the intermediate level 2 climbs 320m and takes 4-5 hours; the full climb, level 3, of 450m takes 6-7 hours.

No previous experience is needed and all equipment is provided. Standards of safety are rigorously high, and you are secured at all times to a runner in the rockface via a steel cable. (So don’t worry!). Mine age for levels 1 & 2 is 10 years, for the full ‘Lord of the Rungs’ tour to the top, its 15 years.

Lunch is provided for levels 2 and 3, and the price includes return transfers to Wanaka.

When to do it

It’s available all year round, seven days a week, weather permitting.

Who to go with: tour operators

1

Our writer’s recommended tour operators to book with

Wildwire

Wildwire

Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand

Highly-regarded and friendly local operator of the Lake Wanaka via Ferrata course. Full safety accredited.

Destination guides

1

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

New Zealand’s South Island

South Islands, New Zealand

New Zealand’s South Island

A primordial playground with truly spectacular scenery on the grandest scale, outdoor adventure activities galore, colourful and compelling Maori culture and terribly nice Kiwis.