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Travel Guide
Lake Hawea featuring mountains and a lake or waterhole

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.

Lake Wanaka Lodge
Lake Wanaka Lodge
4 out of 5
24 Tenby Street East, Wanaka
The price is NZ$165 per night from 3 Aug. to 3 Aug.
Situated in Wanaka, this golf inn is within a 10-minute walk of Gallery Thirty Three and Lake Wanaka. Picture Lounge and Pembroke Park are also within 10 ...
4.2/5Very Good! (360 reviews)
"Basic but all you need and handy to town. Very nice owners."

Reviewed on 10 Apr. 2021

Lake Wanaka Lodge
4.5 out of 5
54 Sargood Drive, Wanaka
The price is NZ$198 per night from 2 Aug. to 2 Aug.
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 ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (985 reviews)
"The room was simple but the lakeside view was amazing. Also the heater and the wooden floors in the toilet made a lot of difference."

Reviewed on 15 Jul. 2021

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$205 per night from 26 Jul. to 26 Jul.
Situated in the mountains, this eco-friendly aparthotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Rippon Vineyard and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Lake Wanaka. Crown Range and Pembroke Park ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (471 reviews)
"Very nice staff, easy parking. The room was clean and had great amenities. The ceiling of the room did make a lot of creaking sounds at night due to the wind and the rain, which was concerning."

Reviewed on 20 Jul. 2021

Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka
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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