Photo of Wanaka

About Wanaka

Wanaka is like a lower octane version of Queenstown. The views of a vast, tranquil lake and high peaks are similar, and the town offers similar opportunities to skiers, sailors and hikers. But this is a much smaller centre, more a town than a city and there’s a lot less busy buzz. Many of the best places to stay in Wanaka are small lodges or B&Bs with only one or two rooms, but there are also larger properties if that’s what you prefer. Wanaka has only recently started to become a popular destination as more people realise how close it is to the Mount Aspiring National Park and the stunning Lake Wanaka.

What Not To Miss

  • There’s world-renowned fly fishing on the lakes and rivers surrounding the town - providing visitors a great chance to enjoy the tranquil side of New Zealand.
  • One of the best ways to explore the dramatic scenery is by renting a bike. With a variety of road and mountain bike options available and no shortage of routes - there's something for everyone wanting to explore.
  • Wanaka is within striking distance of the snow fields of Treble Cone, Cardrona, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables providing an ample number of pistes for skiers of all abilities.
  • Experience some of the extreme and spectacular outdoor pursuits that New Zealand is famous for such as canoeing, jet-boating, rafting, climbing and horse riding. While Wanaka might not offer quite the same level of adrenalin fuelled delights as Queenstown, it’s still possible to sky dive or bungy jump here.
  • Enjoy the delights the beautiful lake has to offer. With options for swimming, sailing and windsurfing - there's no shortage of activities for all the family.
  • Or for something a little different, Wanaka also has a winery and a brewery and an impressive military aircraft museum.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Wanaka are ideally situated to make the most of this great town, whether you're here for the outdoor sports or simply to soak up the views.

Best places to stay in Wanaka

For the views

  • If you’re looking for a luxurious spot to unwind surrounded by spectacular views then the six room Whare Kea Lodge and Chalet is for you. Rooms have all the mod. cons. and more, plus there’s a hot tub, a day spa and space to store your skis.
  • Suite 51 is a peaceful apartment that has been converted from the owner’s own property. This time you get a whole floor with spectacular views over Mount Aspiring, Treble Cone and Lake Wanaka.

For an active break

  • Theloft@Hiddenhills is a boutique B&B with just one apartment - separated from the owner’s house. There’s a dining room, living area and outdoor deck and the owners have plenty of bikes and fishing rods available to use. There’s also parking space for a boat.

For an apartment or cottage

  • If you'd prefer your own space, don't hesitate to visit our online partner Booking.com for a superb variety of properties close to the lake.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Queenstown Airport located approximately 60km (37 miles) from Wanaka. The airport provides a range of Domestic Connections and several International flights to Australia.
  • If you want to rent a car to explore the dramatic mountains and lakes, for prices visit our online partner Rentalcars
  • Best time to visit - for the warmest weather, the summer months from December to February provide pleasant weather for outdoor pursuits. However, if you want to take advantage of the skiing opportunities, the winter months from July to September typically offer good snow conditions.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Wanaka

  • Theloft@Hiddenhills Wanaka 1 rooms from £144

    Friendly boutique B&B on Lake Wanaka. One suite separate from main house, with dining room, living area and outdoor deck. Delicious breakfasts, comfy beds. Bicycles and fishing rods available for use, as well as parking space for a boat. Stunning mountain views, you won't want to leave.

    Great walks  -  Wanaka Outlet walk and cycle tracks along Clutha River 1km away
    Fishing  -  Free fishing rod hire
    Restrictions on children
    Hideaway  -  Tranquil and intimate.
    Check Availability
  • Wanaka Homestead Wanaka 10 rooms from £137

    A luxury B&B lodge (adult only) and a family-friendly self catering cottage set in a stunning location with mountain views, close to Wanaka Lake. Rural chic interiors are charming. Spend the day in the great outdoors before returning to relax in the hot tub under the stars.

    Groups  -  Special rates for group bookings of up to 21 guests- ideal for weddings, residential courses, conference stays or group holidays
    Country Escape  -  Borrow mountain bikes to explore local scenery, use a BBQ built from local stone and relax under-the-stars in the hot tub
    Self catering  -  Offers a choice of either luxury lodge or self-catering cottage accommodation
    Restrictions on children  -  Family friendly self-contained accommodation in choice of 2 cottages; or luxury boutique adult-only B&B in the main lodge.
    Check Availability
  • Oakridge Resort Wanaka 173 rooms from £145

    A contemporary property boasting an enviable location very close to beautiful Lake Wanaka. Well appointed modern rooms are light and airy and offer fabulous views from the expansive windows. Boasting outdoor hot-pools and an indulgent spa. An ideal base to explore the region from.

    Active Holiday  -  Close to Lake Wanaka, this relaxing hotel is surrounded by nature, a great starting point for outdoor activities
    Sights nearby  -  Puzzle world- a mix of bizarre buildings, rooms of illusion and the Great Maze, designed to baffle your brain
    Great walks  -  There is a popular track and one of the best day hikes in the area nearby
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Check Availability
  • Edgewater Wanaka 103 rooms from £150

    A smart contemporary hotel boasting an enviable location on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Interiors are cleanly designed with crisp lines, plenty of glass and block colours. Featuring a spa and fabulous restaurant. Set in a region that is a haven for adventurous types.

    Wildlife Area  -  The gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, an alpine paradise of peaks, waterfalls, glaciers, rainforest, rivers and valleys
    Back to Nature  -  Lake Wanaka is an all seasons destination; visit any time to rejuvenate your spirit and soak up the tranquil atmosphere
    Skiing  -  The ski season kicks off in mid-late June and runs through until early October
    Views  -  Stunning views of the lake and mountain views
    Check Availability
  • Suite 51 Wanaka 2 rooms from £200

    Just two individually designed suites with kitchen equipment for those who want to self cater. Lovely mountain views and easy walking distance from town. Close to wineries, walking and cycling tracks. Perfect for a romantic hideaway.

    Views  -  Over Lake Wanaka, Treble Cone and Mount Aspiring
    Restrictions on children  -  This is an adults only property
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Check Availability
  • Riverview Terrace B&B Wanaka 3 rooms from £172

    A boutique B&B lodge boasting uninterrupted mountain and valley views. The three bedrooms are contemporary yet homely with soft grey hues, luxurious bathrooms and modern art. The hosts are a chef and a winemaker by trade so expect a high standard of cuisine. Fabulous!

    Back to Nature  -  A luxuriously appointed lodge, set on the terraces high above the mighty Clutha River with spectacular mountain views
    Skiing  -  The Wanaka region has world-renowned skifields to choose from
    Great walks  -  There are many popular walks and trails to take in the breathtaking surroundings
    Views  -  Each room has uninterrupted mountain and valley views
    Check Availability
  • Wanaka Haven Wanaka 5 rooms from £188

    A luxurious and well-appointed lodge with beautiful views. Interiors are chic and contemporary yet still with a cosy lodge feel. Expect expanses of glass, wood-burning stoves, pale wooden floors and plush leather sofas. A warm property perfect to return to after a day spent outdoors.

    Back to Nature  -  Appreciate the beauty of New Zealand’s South Island. Mountains merging into lakes, sunny crisp air and crystal clear waters
    Eco break  -  Geothermal underfloor heating throughout the lodge and the highest environmental practices adhered to
    Sights nearby  -  Puzzling world- regularly voted one of New Zealand’s best family attractions, experience the eccentric maze or Illusions room
    Fishing  -  Brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon can all be found in the local waters. Shoreline fishing or take a boat to the best spots
    Check Availability
  • Limetree Lodge Wanaka 6 rooms from £205

    Luxury accommodation in a relaxed country setting. Expansive ground floor rooms offer wonderful mountain views. An on-site helipad allows guests to be whisked straight to the ski-slopes and there's a pool and petanque lawn on site for something a little more sedately.

    Back to Nature  -  On an estate outside Lake Wanaka in a relaxed country setting with stunning 360 degree uninterrupted mountain views
    Great walks  -  Venture into the hills and mountains surrounding Wanaka for wonderful hikes
    Views  -  With stunning mountain views, garden views and pool view
    Fishing  -  Fish at one of the easily accessible lakeside spots
    Check Availability
  • Whare Kea Lodge and Chalet Wanaka 6 rooms from £347

    Luxury accommodation on Lake Wanaka. Ensuite rooms with under-floor heating, walk-in double-headed showers and contemporary local art on walls. With a hot tub, day spa and ski storage. Yoga and cooking classes available. Ideal for an active holiday or country escape.

    Views  -  To lake and Southern Alps
    Great walks  -  Around lake
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Restrictions on children
    Check Availability
  • Mahu Whenua Wanaka 4 rooms from £1006

    A boutique hotel with four suites in a private national park with a strong eco and conservation emphasis. Luxury suites offer spectacular views across the hills (best enjoyed from the bath). Feast on meals made using seasonal produce, much of it grown on the property. Superb.

    Back to Nature  -  Spans over 200sq miles of majestic beauty – towering mountains, lush green valleys, native bush, forests and meandering rivers
    Foodies  -  A creative and innovative Mahu Whenua chef will tailor the menu to your requirements and source the freshest local produce
    Eco break  -  On 200 sq miles of eco-sanctuary; effectively New Zealand’s first privately owned national park
    Birdwatching  -  Much birdlife to see, including birds of paradise and Weka birds, which are supported by Mahu Whenua’s conservation projects
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
    Check Availability