Lake Wanaka

New Zealand

Nestled below towering mountains, Wanaka is the most tranquilly set of the South Island lakes.

45 kilometres long and covering 193 square kilometres, the crystal clear waters of Lake Wanaka are perfect for jetboaters, sailors and kayakers to explore.

In winter, skiers flock here from all over the world for superb skiing and snowboarding at Cardrona and Treble Cone, cross-country skiing at Snow Farm and heli-skiing high in the Harris Mountains. But Wanaka is much more than a winter destination. Year round activities include fishing, hiking, canyoning, climbing and skydiving. Visit the nearby towns of Queenstown, Cromwell and Alexandra, go shopping, or simply sit in a café and watch the world pass by.

One of the attractions of a stay in Lake Wanaka is that it combines the warmth of small town living with the quality and attention to detail you’d expect of an international holiday destination. Accommodation ranges from luxury lodges and boutique B&Bs to backpacker lodges and family holiday parks. It’s an easy walk to shops and restaurants from most accommodation and taxis cars and bikes are readily available. And if you want to head out of town, transport providers offer daily services to most popular destinations.

Key Tips

  • Wanaka has a domestic airport with daily flights from Christchurch and link flights from neighbouring Queenstown airport.
  • Several touring routes pass through Lake Wanaka, including State Highway 6 which runs down the West Coast and through to Queenstown and Fiordland.
  • Lake Wanaka is a great base for South Island explorations. Drive to Christchurch via Mt Cook or down to Dunedin and Southland.
  • From Lake Wanaka you can follow the Southern Scenic Route, around the Catlins Coast, to either Invercargill or Te Anau. 

Developed by André Feijó