The easy-going sibling of vivacious Queenstown, Wanaka marries small-town accessibility with high standards worthy of its international resort town status. Visitors can expect a warm welcome from the friendly locals who are always happy to share their little slice of heaven.
Wanaka is home to winter ski fields with fantastic natural snowfall and a range of terrain to suit all ages and abilities. From gentle beginner slopes to the largest heli-skiing area in the Southern Hemisphere, the ultimate snow escape is right here.
Off-mountain, there are a multitude of ways to enjoy the area. Pick up tasty locally-made goods at the farmer’s market, walk up Mt Iron for heart-stopping views, visit the family-owned artisan Cardrona Distillery, or catch a movie at classic Cinema Paradiso. For a truly special experience, join Eco Wanaka Adventures for a nature encounter, heli-hike, or guided walk on Rob Roy Glacier.
Whether you’re seeking a ski or snowboarding getaway with a focus on tranquility, a fun-filled family holiday, or an invigorating break with friends, herein lies the magic of Wanaka – it can be whatever you like.
Nearby Ski Fields
New Zealand's fun and friendly mountain known for reliable snow conditions, wide groomed runs, extensive beginner/intermediate terrain and perfect parks.
South Island's largest ski area with jaw dropping views over Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps, a must experience ski area for all Queenstown and Wanaka visitors. Particularly suited to experienced skiers.
With stunning views and roller coaster terrain, Coronet Peak is New Zealand's original home of skiing, with snow lovers flocking to enjoy winter at its slopes since it opened over 70 years ago.
Versatile terrain and north facing slopes make The Remarks ideal for families and beginners providing fun for all ages. Get that feeling of pure freedom as you take in the spectacular views across the Queenstown valley and beyond.
|Queenstown Airport||Wanaka||60 min|
|Wanaka||Treble Cone||25 min|
|Wanaka||Queenstown||1 hr 10 min|
|Wanaka||Coronet Peak||1 hr 15 min|
|Wanaka||The Remarkables||1 hr 25 min|
Where to Eat
Unlike the vast majority of holiday destinations, Wanaka can lay claim to being totally devoid of fast food chains. You would be hard-pressed to find an establishment that doesn’t serve fresh, tasty fare, but here are a few particular recommendations.
Get yourself something spicy and wash it down with a margarita for authenticity at Amigos Mexican Grill. Great kids’ menu, plus puzzles and drawing stuff to keep them occupied while you wait for your food to arrive.
Kai Whaka Pai literally translates to ‘food made good’, and you can count on it. Located on the waterfront, The Kai serves exceptional coffee and wholesome food by day; at night it becomes the town’s most laid-back bar, with local beer on tap.
Gin & Raspberry Boutique Bar is mostly about the classy beverages (do try their eponymous cocktail). However, the menu of tempting bar snacks is not to be passed over.
For a speedy feed that doesn’t compromise on quality, the Middle Eastern-inspired dishes on Big Fig will tickle your taste buds. Eat in or takeaway; it’s the perfect nosh for a gourmet picnic.
5 More Reasons to Choose Wanaka
- Mountain biking – with over 750km of tracks, you can choose an easy ride along the lakefront or something a bit more strenuous. Either way, you’ll be among some of the most magnificent scenery in the world.
- Lake Wanaka – jewel of the township, the lake covers 193 square kilometres and there are numerous ways to explore the crystal-clear waters and hidden bays
- Local attractions – fun for young and old at Puzzling World and the National Transport & Toy Museum.
- Family friendly – the atmosphere here has brought folks from all over the globe who can’t resist the upbeat vibes and endless array of recreational opportunities available to family groups.
- From Wanaka you can access the nearby ski fields of Cadrona and Treble Cone. For those with families, both ski fields operate excellent kids’ clubs, and Cadrona has child minding for littlies under five.