Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu featuring a lake or waterhole and mountains

Lake Wakatipu

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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.

1275 Cheap Hotels Near Lake Wakatipu

Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
4 out of 5
88 Frankton Road, Queenstown, 9300
The price is NZ$134 per night from 23 May to 24 May
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Queenstown. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
4/5 Very Good! (994 reviews)
"Good value for money."

Reviewed on 28 Apr. 2022

Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Kamana Lakehouse
Kamana Lakehouse
4.5 out of 5
139 Fernhill Road, Queenstown, 9300
The price is NZ$189 per night from 1 Jun. to 2 Jun.
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Queenstown. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and 2 hot tubs. Our guests praise the restaurant and the helpful staff in their ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (212 reviews)
"Customer service was excellent, we felt welcomed, and answered any questions we had. Room presented nicely With a homey vibe despite not getting a lakeside view. Would recommend"

Reviewed on 14 May 2022

Kamana Lakehouse
Ramada Queenstown Central
Ramada Queenstown Central
4 out of 5
24 Frankton Road, Queenstown, 9300
The price is NZ$136 per night from 29 May to 30 May
Stay at this 4-star ski hotel in Queenstown. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast and a 24-hour fitness centre. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (464 reviews)
"Not bad for the price"

Reviewed on 10 Apr. 2022

Ramada Queenstown Central
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.

Plan a trip to see Lake Wakatipu

Amity Serviced Apartments
DoubleTree by Hilton Queenstown
Matakauri Lodge

Popular places to visit in Lake Wakatipu


Top Lake Wakatipu Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
4 out of 5
88 Frankton Road, Queenstown, 9300
The price is NZ$134 per night from 23 May to 24 May
Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Kamana Lakehouse
Kamana Lakehouse
4.5 out of 5
139 Fernhill Road, Queenstown, 9300
The price is NZ$189 per night from 1 Jun. to 2 Jun.
Kamana Lakehouse
Ramada Queenstown Central
Ramada Queenstown Central
4 out of 5
24 Frankton Road, Queenstown, 9300
The price is NZ$136 per night from 29 May to 30 May
Ramada Queenstown Central
Wake up to the chorus of tuis and bellbirds
Wake up to the chorus of tuis and bellbirds
Closeburn, Otago
Wake up to the chorus of tuis and bellbirds
Lakeside Bliss
Lakeside Bliss
3.5 out of 5
798 Glenorchy Road, Wilsons Bay, Closeburn, Otago, 9371
Lakeside Bliss
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
93 Beach Street, Queenstown, Otago, 9300
The price is NZ$162 per night from 6 Jun. to 7 Jun.
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown, an IHG Hotel
Cute Cottage with Hot Tub & Uninterrupted Lake Views
Cute Cottage with Hot Tub & Uninterrupted Lake Views
Closeburn, Otago
The price is NZ$416 per night from 27 May to 28 May
Cute Cottage with Hot Tub & Uninterrupted Lake Views
Matakauri Lodge
Matakauri Lodge
5 out of 5
569 Glenorchy Road, Lake Wakatipu, Closeburn, 9197
The price is NZ$1,874 per night from 21 May to 22 May
Matakauri Lodge
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
4 out of 5
Corner of Earl and Marine Parade, Queenstown, 9348
The price is NZ$169 per night from 22 May to 23 May
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
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.