Photo of Wanaka

About Wanaka

Nestled on the banks of beautiful Lake Wānaka, the town of Wānaka promises spectacular views and a vast array of outdoor activities to delight visitors of all ages. Smaller and quieter than Queenstown, yet with a similarly friendly vibe and plethora of lake and mountain attractions, Wānaka offers everything from hiking to mountain biking, skiing and fishing amidst the enormous wildernesses of the South Island. Accommodation options include simple B&Bs as well as luxurious lodges, with our pick of the best places to stay in Wānaka chosen for their exceptional locations, amenities and design.

Keen skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes at Treble Cone, Cardrona and Coronet Peak, or tackle heli-sking adventures on even more remote pistes. The Remarkables also boast terrific hiking, horse riding and mountain bike trails. Explore Mount Aspiring National Park, climb Roys Peak, or circle the lake on scenic ambles. Fly fish for trout and salmon, or go swimming, kayaking, windsurfing, jet boating, sailing and rafting on Lake Wānaka and the nearby rivers. Thrill-seekers can sky dive, bungy jump or try rock climbing; Wanaka is also the canyoning capital of NZ.

Back in town, expect an array of cafés, bars and eateries, a great brewery and the impressive National Transport & Toy Museum. The annual Warbirds over Wānaka International Airshow draws a real crowd. Book your room at one of the best places to stay in Wānaka well in advance!

The Best Places to Stay in Wanaka

For a Lakeside Hotel

  • Hāwea Hotel is a welcoming lakeside hotel with a particularly good restaurant. Book contemporary rooms, two-bedroom suites or simple hostel dorms as a couple, group, family or solo traveller. Enjoy water sports, a friendly bar and great events spaces — as well as a chic restaurant with superb mountain views. Great fun for everyone.
  • Edgewater  — as the name suggests — sits right on the shores of Lake Wānaka. Modern interiors feature big windows, clean lines and block colours. The highlights are the fabulous restaurant, the spa and the proximity to the lake for boat trips, kayaking, sailing and fishing. Ideal for an active break.

For Families or Groups

  • The Willows is a collection of modern rooms, studios and multi-bedroom apartments. Close to the centre of Wanaka and just 300 metres from the lake, these are a great family, group or longer-stay choice. The Willows House sleeps up to eight guests, and has a particularly lovely terrace with outdoor seating for the whole group.
  • Wānaka Homestead offers appealing self-catering cottages for families or groups, as well as some adults-only B&B rooms. Shared facilities include a stone BBQ, picnic tables in the leafy gardens, a hot tub and mountain bikes. An affordable choice for keen explorers.
  • Whare Kea Lodge promises a luxurious group trip, in a private lodge with six guestrooms. Kick back in the hot tub, enjoy delectable dishes crafted by your private chef, yoga classes or fishing and heli-skiing trips. The views are absolutely spectacular. Also an intimate wedding venue.
  • Oakridge Resort has a range of studios and one- or two-bedroom apartments with well-equipped kitchens, dining spaces and sitting rooms. Outdoor swimming pools, a gym and the Sanctuary Day Spa offer the chance to relax after skiing, hiking, biking, climbing or horse riding in the area. The laid-back Poolhouse Bar and Jacob's Grill are great for friends or families.

For Couples

  • Tin Tub Luxury Lodge promises a romantic escape on a hillside overlooking Lake Wānaka and the Southern Alps. Savour Trish's generous breakfasts before enjoying the pool, tennis court and gym, or going skiing, hiking and mountain biking. Alternatively, sink into big outdoor tubs to gaze up at the stars, or sip glasses of Central Otago wine on your private terrace. For couples.
  • Lime Tree Lodge is a wonderfully relaxing B&B set within 10 acres of leafy grounds, studded with mature trees, a rose garden and an avenue of lime trees. Unwind in one of two suites and four guestrooms, many of which have private patios. Although primarily a B&B, the lodge also offers delicious three-course dinners on request. A tranquil couples' hideaway.
  • Wanaka Haven has six chic, cream-and-white rooms, with big beds, private patios and expansive views. Wood-burning stoves are a nice touch. A cosy spot to return to after a day exploring the great outdoors. Very romantic.

For Luxurious Escapism

  • Mahu Whenua Lodge has just four fabulous suites, tucked within a 200 square mile estate. Admire the Motatapu Valley, Lake Wanaka and the mountains from your suite or the outdoor pool, before exploring the area with private four-wheel-drive eco safaris, horse riding treks and visits to Manuka honey farms. The gourmet fare is exceptional and the property's eco-focus is very strong. A honeymoon favourite.


  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.


  • Fly to Queenstown Airport, just under an hour by bus or car from Wānaka.
  • New Zealand is famously wonderful for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Travel during the winter months (May to August) for skiing and snowboarding, or come in the summer for golf, cycling, horse riding, rafting and more. You'll find that wine tastings across the region are best in the autumn — also a beautiful season, with golden leaves and crisp evenings for cosying up by the fire.



Monthly Weather in Wanaka

Best Hotels in Wanaka

  • Hāwea Hotel Wanaka from £55

    Active Holiday  -  Brilliant for active types eager to sail, kayak, windsurf or fish on the lake before hiking, skiing & cycling in the mountains
    Families  -  Families will love the two-bedroom suites, complete with private balconies, and the fun games room
    Great walks  -  Hike part of the nearby Te Araroa Trail, New Zealand’s longest walking track
    Restaurant  -  The superb lake view restaurant champions fresh Central Otago produce
    RestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A lakeside hotel with contemporary rooms & suites offering spectacular lake and mountain views. Two-bedroom suites and simpler hostel rooms are well-suited to families, groups or solo travellers. Enjoy water sports, a friendly bar a terrific restaurant and great events spaces. Fantastic. See More

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  • The Willows Wanaka 14 rooms from £130

    Active Holiday  -  With its setting close to both lake and mountains, Wanaka is ideal for an active getaway
    Groups  -  Apartments and the Willows House sleep up to 6 or 8 guests, perfect for fun group trips
    Great walks  -  Hike to the top of Mount Iron for stunning 360° views of the area, or follow trekking trails through Mt Aspiring National Park
    Kayaking  -  Go kayaking, jet-skiing, paddle boarding or para-gliding on Lake Wanaka
    Air conditioningGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A collection of airy, modern studios & multi-room apartments with kitchens, dining spaces & sitting rooms clad in muted creams, greys & light blues. Each has a private terrace, well-equipped kitchen and garden access. Great for active families or groups eager to stay just 300m from Lake Wanaka. See More

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  • Wanaka Homestead Wanaka 10 rooms from £137

    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.
    GardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    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. See More

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  • Tin Tub Luxury Lodge Wanaka 5 rooms from £180

    Romantic Break  -  Book a luxurious lodge room with a private sitting area, whirlpool tub & terrace — ideal for couples
    Active Holiday  -  Play tennis, swim or hit the gym onsite, before days of skiing, rafting, kayaking or mountain biking
    Tennis  -  Play a game of tennis with friends or family — the Lodge offers complimentary access
    Whirlpool Bathtub  -  The Lodge rooms have big whirlpool bathtubs
    Air conditioningTennisSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A luxury hillside lodge for couples or friends, Tin Tub boasts a pool, gym, tennis court, sauna, ski storage & superb views. High-ceilinged interiors are spacious and smart. Feast on Trish's legendary breakfasts or unwind on the terrace with a glass of local wine. Outdoor tubs are a fun touch! See More

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  • Oakridge Resort Wanaka 173 rooms from £145

    Active Holiday  -  Close to Lake Wanaka, this hotel is surrounded by nature, a great starting point for outdoor activities on the lake or mountains
    Skiing  -  Wanaka region's world-renown ski fields include Cardrona & Treble Cone - and the resort boasts its own ski storage facilities
    Mountain biking  -  Experience beautiful scenery by bike, with relaxed pedals around the lake or an exhilarating downhill forest adventure
    Groups  -  Families or groups can book the multi-bedroom apartments, with space for 6 people, for additional privacy
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    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. See More

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  • Edgewater Wanaka 103 rooms from £150

    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
    Families  -  Multi-bedroom apartments are great for families or groups, who will be perfectly place for lake activities
    Skiing  -  The ski season kicks off in mid-late June and runs through until early October
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    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. Brilliant for lakeside weddings. See More

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  • Lime Tree Lodge Wanaka 6 rooms from £200

    Country Escape  -  Surrounded by mountains and situated near Lake Wanaka this is a scenic spot for a rural break
    Watersports  -  Keen explorers will adore jet boating on the Matukituki, Clutha or Wilkin Rivers
    Wine tasting  -  Take a tour of the nearby world-famous wineries of Rippon, Maude, Archangel
    Groups  -  Book the 4 guestrooms and 2 suites for a lively group trip
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParking

    A charming lodge set within ten acres of picturesque gardens and grounds, surrounded by the Southern Alps. Six spacious rooms & suites benefit from the spectacular views seen through floor-to-ceiling windows. An intimate B&B that can be booked in its entirety for families or groups. See More

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  • Wanaka Haven Wanaka 5 rooms from £188

    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
    Swimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    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. See More

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  • Whare Kea Lodge Wanaka 6 rooms from £347

    Weddings  -  A gorgeous venue for intimate weddings with up to 25 guests, complete with gourmet dining & spectacular views
    Groups  -  Families or groups can book the whole house for a luxury escape, with easy access to myriad outdoor sports
    Trekking  -  Explore Mt. Aspiring National Park or tackle an overnight hike from the Whare Kea Chalet
    Riding  -  Enjoy horse trekking through gold mining valleys or amidst the vines of Rippon Vineyard
    GardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Luxury accommodation for up to 12 guests on Lake Wanaka. Ensuite rooms have under-floor heating, walk-in double-headed showers and contemporary art on walls. With a private chef, hot tub and ski storage, as well as yoga classes available. Ideal for intimate weddings or fun-filled group trips. See More

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  • Mahu Whenua Wanaka 4 rooms from £1006

    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
    SpaSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    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. See More

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