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The lovely resort town of Wanaka sits only an hour northeast of Queenstown, and compared to its glitzy neighbour, may seem a tad quieter and calmer. For one, it’s a bit tougher to get here. Both domestic and international flights wing into Queenstown’s airport, so you’ll need to get to Wanaka using some form of wheels, be that rental car or shuttle bus.

The township sits at the southern end of Lake Wanaka. The relaxed atmosphere suits many visitors down to the ground and those convinced of the qualities of Wanaka rave about it.

Winter brings snow sports enthusiasts, who base themselves in town and play at Treble Cone and Cardrona Alpine Resort. All sorts turn up the rest of the year, enjoying activities involving mountains, lakes and rivers. Check your outdoor adventuring options in town. There’s a lot to choose from.

Practical Info Practical Info icon

Wanaka i-SITE Visitor Information Centre (this entry’s map location) 103 Ardmore Street, Wanaka

Mt Aspiring National Park Visitor Centre - 1 Ballantyne Road, Wanaka


Wanaka Shopping & Markets

Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain Walk

Hill climb for glorious views near Wanaka (3hrs)

Kai Whakapai

Wanaka's legendary cafe & bar (b,l,d; $$)

Rippon Winery

Excellent wine & views

Roys Peak Hike

Big climb near Wanaka for 'that selfie' (6hrs)

Treble Cone Ski Area

Uncrowded slopes & top terrain

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by othree