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Lake Wakatipu

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.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 648 properties near Lake Wakatipu
Heritage Queenstown NZ$204
Heritage Queenstown

Heritage Queenstown

91 Fernhill Road, Queenstown
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Queenstown hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Steamer Wharf, Creative Queenstown Arts & Crafts Market, and Queenstown Mall. Queenstown Gardens and Skyline Gondola are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront NZ$140
    Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

    Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

    27 Frankton Road, Queenstown
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Queenstown hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of St Josephs Parish and Queenstown Gardens. Skyline Gondola is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away.

      Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown NZ$116
      Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown

      Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown

      38-54 Lake Esplanade, Queenstown
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated on a lake, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Steamer Wharf and Queenstown Gardens. Skyline Gondola is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away.

        Millennium Hotel Queenstown NZ$150
        Millennium Hotel Queenstown

        Millennium Hotel Queenstown

        32 Frankton Road, Queenstown
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Queenstown hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of St Josephs Parish and Queenstown Gardens. Skyline Gondola is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) away.

          Novotel Queenstown Lakeside NZ$219
          Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

          Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

          Corner of Earl and Marine Parade, Queenstown
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Queenstown hotel is located on a lake, within a 10-minute walk of Williams Cottage, Queenstown Gardens, and Skyline Gondola. Queenstown Mall and Creative Queenstown Arts & Crafts Market are also within 5 minutes.

            Lakeside Bliss
            Lakeside Bliss

            Lakeside Bliss

            798 Glenorchy Road, Wilsons Bay, Closeburn, Otago
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Closeburn, this vacation home is within 6 mi (10 km) of Crown Range, Skyline Gondola, and Steamer Wharf. SKYCITY Wharf Casino and Fear Factory Queenstown are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview NZ$120
              Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview

              Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview

              88 Frankton Road, Queenstown
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Queenstown, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of St Josephs Parish and Queenstown Gardens. Skyline Gondola is 2 mi (3.3 km) away.

                Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa NZ$174
                Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa

                Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa

                Kawarau Village, 79 Peninsula Road, Queenstown
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Conveniently near skiing facilities, this Queenstown hotel is located in the mountains, within 3 mi (5 km) of Remarkables Park Town Centre and Alpine Aqualand, and close to winter sports such as cross-country skiing and skiing lessons. Queenstown Event Centre is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) away.