New Zealand

Photo provided by www.lakewanaka.co.nz
Photo provided by www.lakewanaka.co.nz

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.

Known for

Family-friendly, Skiing and Romantic

Top hotels in Wanaka

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Edgewater
4.5 out of 5
54 Sargood Drive, Wanaka
26 Jul. - 27 Jul.
4.6/5Exceptional! (850 reviews)

"Beautiful location quiet and nice walking distance frim town"…"

Reviewed on 21 Jun. 2019

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Manuka Crescent Motel
3.5 out of 5
51 Manuka Crescent, Wanaka
10 Aug. - 11 Aug.
4.4/5Excellent! (390 reviews)

"clean and cosy warm room for a winter night stay. Staff are friendly and helpful."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jul. 2019

Manuka Crescent Motel
Image for Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka
Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka
4 out of 5
109 Mount Aspiring Road, Wanaka
24 Jul. - 25 Jul.
4.4/5Wonderful! (415 reviews)

"Very modern, spacious and comfortable room. Great amenities. Great room service."…"

Reviewed on 17 Jul. 2019

Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka

Popular activities in Wanaka

Lake Wanaka
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Lake Wanaka

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

Puzzling World
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Puzzling World

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

Top activities in Wanaka

Cardrona Lift Pass
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Cardrona Lift Pass


We have a bunch of different day pass options at Cardrona – from single day ski passes to the Multi-Day Pass, we’ve got you covered! Explore some of New Zealand’s best skiing & snowboarding terrain.

Cardrona Gondola Sightseeing Pass
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Cardrona Gondola Sightseeing Pass


McDougall’s Express Chondola is the perfect way to see the mountain by foot. We have 10 gondola cabins on the new 'combined' lift of gondola cabins & chairs, to get you headed to the top of the mountain in comfort & style! McDougall’s Express Chondola starts right beside our Base area, so you don’t have to trek for miles through the snow to get to the lift, & in under 4mins you’ll be at the top of the mountain.

Wild Thing Waterfall Climb
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Wild Thing Waterfall Climb


Join us on the worlds highest waterfall climb, and travel over 350 meters vertically through the upper walls of Twin Falls waterfall. Enjoy stunning scenery and be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime on the worlds highest waterfall climb.

First Timer Ski/Snowboard Package
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First Timer Ski/Snowboard Package


Make your first day as easy as possible at Cardrona with our First Timer packages for kids & adults! With facilities like our Learner Conveyor tunnel, a Beginners’ Area close to our Base, gentle learner runs, a dedicated Kids’ Conveyor, & of course our amazing Snow Sports School, there’s no better place to learn to ski or snowboard! Cardrona’s First Timer packages are a great introduction to the sport & are the most cost-effective way to learn how to ski or snowboard.

Mount Aspiring & Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight
Image for Mount Aspiring & Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight

Mount Aspiring & Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight


Get up close to Mount Aspiring's majestic peak for an unforgettable aerial sightseeing experience. See glacier fields and snow-covered mountains. Enjoy scenic views across the national park and experience an alpine snow landing.

Ski Pass & Rental Package
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Ski Pass & Rental Package


Bundle & save! Make life simpler & grab your lift pass & rental gear in one easy package with Cardrona. We have a huge range of the latest ski & snowboard gear for a great day out in our three rental locations – in Queenstown, Wanaka & on the mountain.