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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.
- 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
Whare Kea Lodge and Chalet 6 rooms from £347Wanaka
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 AlpsGreat walks - Around lakeRemote - Off the beaten track.Restrictions on children
Suite 51 2 rooms from £200Wanaka
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 AspiringRestrictions on children - This is an adults only propertyGreat walks - Good for walkers.Local markets - Good for local colour.
Theloft@Hiddenhills 1 rooms from £144Wanaka
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 awayFishing - Free fishing rod hireRestrictions on childrenHideaway - Tranquil and intimate.