Wanaka New Zealand Guide

Wanaka, New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

When you arrive in this stunning town, you’re immediately struck by its postcard-perfect scenery: blue lakes and rivers, pristine snow-covered mountains, sweeping green hillsides—it’s a breathtaking combination that feels almost otherworldly.

But there’s so much more to Wanaka than what first catches your eye. This is a place where you can discover hidden lakes and mountains, dine at incredible restaurants, explore small shops or boutique galleries, or take in an amazing local performance. It’s a place where you can eat fresh produce from local farmers markets or visit wineries with some of the best views on earth. And it’s a place where you can experience adventure: hiking the mountains, skydiving over the valleys, skiing the slopes, kayaking on the lakes…

The list goes on and on.

Wanaka is all about finding your own path to adventure. Whether you want to spend your time relaxing—with a glass of wine in hand—or riding waves or jumping out of planes for an adrenaline rush, you can do it here. No matter how you choose to spend your time in Wanaka, we know

View of downtown Wanaka

So Why Visit Wanaka?

Wanaka is a beautiful town surrounded by mountains and lakes.
It's a great place to visit in the summer, but it's also a popular winter destination for skiers and snowboarders.
If you're coming to Wanaka, here are some things you should know:
Wanaka is in the South Island of New Zealand, near Queenstown. It's about an 4 hour's drive from Queenstown and 45 minutes from Mount Aspiring National Park.

The town has an active nightlife with plenty of bars and restaurants, but it can get pretty quiet during the week. On weekends it's busy with tourists from around New Zealand and overseas.

Wanaka is home to some amazing hikes that take you through stunning scenery, including Mount Roy (the highest peak in Wanaka) and Lake Hawea (one of New Zealand's largest lakes).

These hikes are great for all levels — there are short walks if you're just visiting for a few days or longer treks if you want more of an adventure!

Arriving in Wanaka

How to get to Wanaka?
There are several ways of travelling between Wanaka and other destinations around New Zealand:
But this is the most popular option for most travelers.

Fly into Queenstown Airport (QNX) and then drive or take a bus or shuttle service over the Crown Range Road. You'll need at least two hours from Queenstown Airport to reach Wanaka by road.

If you're driving yourself, be aware that there are strict rules around carrying passengers in rental cars - check with your rental company before booking if you want anyone else beside yourself or one other person in your car!

Crown range road on the way to wanaka
Hotel Room

Wanaka Accommodation

If you're planning a trip to Wanaka then these are some of our top recommendations for where to stay:

Oakridge Resort Lake Wanaka
This resort boasts of its excellent location with views of Mount Aspiring National Park from every room in the resort. It also has a restaurant called Waterfront Restaurant that serves delicious food with spectacular views of Lake Wanaka and mountains around it. You should definitely visit this place if you are looking for some great dining experience in Wanaka!

Wanaka Homestead Lodge - This lovely lodge is situated right on Lake Wanaka and offers stunning views over the water. You'll also find a private jetty where you can moor your boat and go fishing or kayaking during your stay here. There's also an outdoor hot tub where you can relax while looking out over the lake - what could be better?

The Wanaka Lakeview Motel has rooms with balconies overlooking Lake Wanaka. It has free parking on site, WiFi and free local calls. The motel also has a BBQ area where guests can cook their own meals.

Edgewater Hotel Wanaka
This hotel is situated on the shoreline of Lake Wanaka. It has a beautiful view of the lake and mountains. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool, spa, gym and sauna.

Skiing and Snowboarding near Wanaka

If you're looking for the best skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand, look no further than the Cardrona Ski Area.

Cardrona is a world-class ski area, with over 400 hectares of skiable terrain and an extensive network of lifts and runs. It's got a great snow park, and training area which will have beginners learning how to carve turns in no time!

Treble Cone is another fantastic option if you're looking for a good time on the slopes. Treble Cone has some great beginner runs as well as intermediate and advanced trails that will challenge even the most seasoned skier or snowboarder.

Treble Cone Snow looking over lake