Lake Wakatipu

Holiday Travel Guide
Lake Wakatipu featuring a lake or waterhole and mountains

A great location for water sports, New Zealand’s third-largest lake is an impressive natural landmark framed by soaring mountains and encircled by walking trails.

Lake Wakatipu is a lightning bolt-shaped lake set in the shadow of dramatic mountain peaks and alpine forests. The lake is the ideal setting for outdoor pursuits such as biking, fishing, kayaking and walking. Lake Wakatipu is 84 kilometres (52 miles) long and extends for 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) at its widest point. Māori legend states that the lake formed after a giant was burnt to death and thus scorched a huge hole by melting the ice of the nearby mountains.

Explore the lake via the scenic tracks that lead from the towns and villages spread around its shores. Several trails begin from Queenstown’s waterfront. Walk west along Lake Esplanade before continuing on the Sunshine Bay Walking Track. Follow the Queenstown Gardens Walk through the botanical flower displays of Queenstown Gardens. The Frankton Arm Walk skirts the banks of Frankton Arm and connects with the Kelvin Peninsula Walkway.

Take a break from walking to sit on the lakeshore and admire the striking mountains above you. Spot Cecil Peak, Mount Nicholas and The Remarkables range, which rise up above the southern side of the lake. Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill are among the peaks that loom over the northern side. Marvel as the mountains reflect in the crystal-clear water on sunny days.

Find sand and shingle beaches scattered around the lake. In summer, the beaches are popular places to relax in the long hours of sunshine and to swim in the cool, calm water. Play a round of golf with uninterrupted views at the Queenstown Golf Course, which is open year-round.

Discover the lake at your own pace with the use of a rented aqua bike, kayak, paddleboat or stand-up paddleboard. Join an exhilarating jet boat ride or fish for salmon on organised fishing excursions. Tours and rentals are available at Queenstown’s Main Pier and the in town of Glenorchy. Step aboard the TSS Earnslaw Steamboat for a leisurely cruise on a century-old steamship.

Lake Wakatipu is accessible by foot directly from Queenstown’s town centre. Rent a bike or car and visit the lake’s other towns, including Glenorchy and Kingston.

1461 Cheap Hotels Near Lake Wakatipu

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
4 out of 5
Corner of Earl and Marine Parade, Queenstown
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$179 per night from 7 Nov. to 7 Nov.
This family-friendly Queenstown hotel is located on a lake, steps away from Williams Cottage, Lake Wakatipu and Church of St Peters. Queenstown Mall and Creative ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (984 reviews)
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Reviewed on 25 Oct. 2021

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
93 Beach Street, Queenstown, Otago
The price is NZ$194 per night from 1 Nov. to 1 Nov.
Located in Queenstown City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Steamer Wharf, SKYCITY Wharf Casino and Creative Queenstown Arts & Crafts Market. Steamer ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (994 reviews)
"Next to lake front, one Street over and in centre of Queenstown, no need to drive to get to restaurants and CBD activities."

Reviewed on 22 Sep. 2021

Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
QT Queenstown
QT Queenstown
5 out of 5
30 Brunswick St, Queenstown
The price is NZ$227 per night from 31 Oct. to 31 Oct.
Located in Queenstown City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Steamer Wharf, SKYCITY Wharf Casino, and Creative Queenstown Arts & Crafts ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (653 reviews)
"Was nice place to stay with beautiful weather, great service and great location."

Reviewed on 25 Oct. 2021

QT Queenstown
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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The Spire Hotel Queenstown
Holiday Inn Express And Suites Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
Ramada Queenstown Central
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Top Lake Wakatipu Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront
4 out of 5
27 Frankton Road, Queenstown
The price is NZ$148 per night from 2 Nov. to 2 Nov.
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
93 Beach Street, Queenstown, Otago
The price is NZ$194 per night from 1 Nov. to 1 Nov.
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
4 out of 5
Corner of Earl and Marine Parade, Queenstown
The price is NZ$179 per night from 7 Nov. to 7 Nov.
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
QT Queenstown
QT Queenstown
5 out of 5
30 Brunswick St, Queenstown
The price is NZ$227 per night from 31 Oct. to 31 Oct.
QT Queenstown
Ramada Queenstown Central
Ramada Queenstown Central
4 out of 5
24 Frankton Road, Queenstown
The price is NZ$153 per night from 3 Nov. to 3 Nov.
Ramada Queenstown Central
Wake up to the chorus of tuis and bellbirds
Wake up to the chorus of tuis and bellbirds
792B Glenorchy Road, Wilson Bay, Closeburn, Otago
Wake up to the chorus of tuis and bellbirds
Oaks Queenstown Club Suites
Oaks Queenstown Club Suites
4 out of 5
171-179 Frankton Road, Queenstown
The price is NZ$169 per night from 4 Nov. to 4 Nov.
Oaks Queenstown Club Suites
Lakeside Bliss
Lakeside Bliss
3.5 out of 5
798 Glenorchy Road, Wilsons Bay, Closeburn, Otago
Lakeside Bliss
Holiday Inn Express And Suites Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express And Suites Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
CNR STANLEY AND SYDNEY STREET, Queenstown
The price is NZ$164 per night from 1 Nov. to 1 Nov.
Holiday Inn Express And Suites Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.