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WanakaNew Zealand

Nestled beneath a mountainous national park on the shores of beautiful Lake Wanaka, this resort town offers skiing in winter, water sports in summer and stunning scenery all year.

Wanaka, in the Otago region on New Zealand’s South Island, is a year-round hub of outdoor activities and breathtaking natural beauty. The lake town is set beneath Mount Aspiring National Park, which is part of the majestic Southern Alps. Come to this picturesque part of the country to hike, ski, fish and skydive, among other activities. Visit one of the acclaimed wineries nearby for those days when you just want to relax in the glorious outdoors.

Choose from ski slopes for every level of skier at Wanaka. Ski season runs from June to October, when you can enjoy 50 kilometres (25 miles) of cross-country ski area in the Mount Pisa ranges. Wanaka is an easy half-hour drive from Treble Cone, where you can test your skills on a vertical rise with stunning views over the lake. Shuttle buses run to the popular Cardrona slopes a little farther away.

During the warmer months the inviting waters of Lake Wanaka are a perfect spot for wakeboarding, sailing, waterskiing and trout fishing. Take a sailboat to Mou Waho Island, where you’ll be approached by New Zealand’s friendliest bird, the flightless weka. Hire a kayak or sailing boat to help you find a secluded beach along the lake’s shore.

Adrenaline junkies can take a jet boat tour, or go canyoning through forested waterfalls. Skydive over the lake and snow-capped peaks or take a scenic helicopter ride. Look for familiar scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as this area was used as a location during filming of the popular movie series.

Take a wine tour to taste the fare of several nearby vineyards. Enjoy incredible views as you sip your pinot noir. Sample some Lake Wanaka trout at the wide choice of restaurants or head to one of the bars for cocktails by the fire.

Great attractions for families include the Wanaka National Transport and Toy Museum and Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World.

Wanaka is a 60-minute drive from Queenstown. Catch a shuttle bus or hire a car. Tour operators organise ski and adventure packages that make getting around easy.

Top hotels in Wanaka

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Bella Vista Motel Wanaka
Bella Vista Motel Wanaka
4 out of 5
2 Dunmore Street, Wanaka
The price is NZ$145 per night

Located in the heart of Wanaka, this eco-friendly motel is within a 5-minute walk of Pembroke Park and Lake Wanaka. Wanaka Golf Club and Treble Cone are also ...

4.2/5Excellent! (613 reviews)
Overnight stay

"Chose this hotel for its central location. Room is on the small side. There is only one bedside light and table. Did not find any tissues."…"

Reviewed on 14 Mar. 2020

Bella Vista Motel Wanaka
Edgewater
Edgewater
4.5 out of 5
54 Sargood Drive, Wanaka
The price is NZ$211 per night

Located in Wanaka, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk, 1 mi (1.6 km) from Rippon Vineyard and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Lake Wanaka. Crown Range and Pembroke ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (949 reviews)

"Got an upgrade from a very pleasant receptionist to a fantastic suite overlooking the lake.-excellent all round."…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar. 2020

Edgewater
Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka
Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka
4 out of 5
109 Mount Aspiring Road, Lake Wanaka, Wanaka
The price is NZ$225 per night

Situated in the mountains, this apartment building is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Rippon Vineyard and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Lake Wanaka. Crown Range and Pembroke Park are ...

4.4/5Excellent! (477 reviews)

"Very pleasant accommodation. Friendly staff & clean."…"

Reviewed on 2 Apr. 2020

Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka

Popular places to visit in Wanaka

Puzzling World
Image for Puzzling World

Puzzling World

4.5/5(96 reviews)

Baffling optical illusions, quirky displays and a twisting maze make this fun attraction near Wanaka an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Lake Wanaka
Image for Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka

4.5/5(445 reviews)

Enjoy gorgeous hiking trails and deserted beaches at this pristine lake with the magnificent backdrop of the Southern Alps.

Cardrona Alpine Resort
Image for Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona Alpine Resort

4.5/5(193 reviews)

Take lessons on the baby slopes, tear up fresh power at a higher elevation or attempt daring stunts in the terrain parks at this popular mountain resort.

Top activities in Wanaka

Cardrona Alpine Resort/Treble Cone Ski Pass & Rental Package
Image for Cardrona Alpine Resort/Treble Cone Ski Pass & Rental Package

Cardrona Alpine Resort/Treble Cone Ski Pass & Rental Package

NZ$165
Per adult
Cardrona First Timer Ski/Snowboard Package
Image for Cardrona First Timer Ski/Snowboard Package

Cardrona First Timer Ski/Snowboard Package

NZ$160
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Cardrona Alpine Resort & Treble Cone Lift Pass
Image for Cardrona Alpine Resort & Treble Cone Lift Pass

Cardrona Alpine Resort & Treble Cone Lift Pass

NZ$130
Per adult
Mou Waho Island Cruise & Nature Walk
Image for Mou Waho Island Cruise & Nature Walk

Mou Waho Island Cruise & Nature Walk

NZ$199
Per adult
Lake Wanaka Scenic Helicopter Flight
Image for Lake Wanaka Scenic Helicopter Flight

Lake Wanaka Scenic Helicopter Flight

NZ$225
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Combo Admission to Puzzling World
Image for Combo Admission to Puzzling World

Combo Admission to Puzzling World

NZ$26
Per adult

Reviews of Wanaka

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
251
5 - Excellent 69.14600550964187%
4 - Good
103
4 - Good 28.37465564738292%
3 - Okay
9
3 - Okay 2.479338842975207%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Jun. 2020

Loved Wanaka didn’t realise it was so big

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Apr. 2020

Beautiful town.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Mar. 2020

Loved wanaka

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Mar. 2020

What a wonderful country we live in! Wanaka is stunning and has so much to offer.

5/5 - Excellent

Norman

29 Feb. 2020

Nice, quaint little village.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

27 Feb. 2020

More character and less hustle than Queenstown. Love the place

Cities near Wanaka

Skyline Gondola which includes a bay or harbour and a coastal town

Queenstown

Cardrona Alpine Resort featuring mountains and snow

Cardrona

Lake Hawea featuring a lake or waterhole and mountains

Lake Hawea

Treble Cone showing snow and a sunset

Macetown