Wanaka travel guide

Wanaka Tourism | Wanaka Guide

You're Going to Love Wanaka

Just an hour's drive from Queenstown is the resort town of Wanaka. Its beautiful mountain ranges and snow-topped slopes have earned it a reputation as being the "Alps" of New Zealand. In fact, the town is often base camp for many trekkers and those who venture on to the Southern Alps' Mount Aspiring National Park, where natural wonders like glaciers and alpine lakes still remain unspoiled.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Wanaka

1. Go Boating

With Roys Bay right there, how could you not book a few charters and head out on an evening cruise around the coastline and beyond?

2. Tour the Local Wineries

Coming in the summer? It's the perfect time to take a tour of the local wineries - and sample the product too!

3. Skydive over Wanaka

If you've always secretly wanted to try it but have never quite worked up the nerve, there may be no better (or less obstructed) corner of the world to do it in than Wanaka. Skydives are tandem so you're always strapped to a professional.

4. Hit the Slopes!

Most everyone who comes in the winter is here for the freshly powdered runs! Don't miss making your mark at Treble Cone and Cardrona, which is the highest ski field in New Zealand.

5. Check out Cinema Paradiso

Hit Cinema Paradiso and relax in comfy sofas, tuck into great finger food, and enjoy an old-time movie.

Where to Eat in Wanaka

Check out the dishes at Francesca's Italian Kitchen, an authentic Italian trattoria. Here, you can feast on creative pizzas, comforting pastas, and homemade polenta chips for between NZ$20 - NZ$25.

When to visit Wanaka

Wanaka in May
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel
Wanaka in May
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel

Wanaka is different in each season so the best time to come really depends on what you plan to do. If winter slopes are what you're after, come anytime between May to October. Temperatures hover between 32 to 50.

Data provided by weatherbase
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Wanaka


The closest airport is Queenstown Airport (ZQN), which is a 60-minute drive from Wanaka. Once there, use a bus to get to Wanaka.


Use the Dunedin Railways to get to Wanaka for a fare of NZ$50. Or, if you're coming in from Queenstown, use the InterCity service to get to Wanaka for NZ$26.


Coming in from Queenstown to Wanaka, use Crown Range Road and Cardrona Valley Road. If you're driving from Dunedin to Wanaka, use State Highway 8.


Getting to Wanaka from Dunedin or Queenstown, you can use services like Alpine Connexions, Connectabus, and InterCity. Fares start at NZ$35.

Airports near Wanaka

Airlines serving Wanaka

United Airlines
Good (2,289 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,743 reviews)
British Airways
Good (732 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (915 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (435 reviews)
Excellent (560 reviews)
Good (331 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (1,589 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (173 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (549 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (114 reviews)
Excellent (97 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (128 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (75 reviews)
Excellent (35 reviews)
Hawaiian Airlines
Excellent (263 reviews)
Air New Zealand
Excellent (34 reviews)
Good (37 reviews)
Virgin Australia
Excellent (52 reviews)
China Eastern
Excellent (10 reviews)
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Where to stay in Wanaka

Enjoy a luxury stay at Riverrun. The modern but economical suites at the Wanaka View Motel will help you enhance your time in Wanaka. For budget travelers, Flying Kiwi Backpackers will feel just like home.

Popular neighborhoods in Wanaka

Cardrona Valley Road - this is where you can find the Basecamp Wanaka Climbing Centre.

Ardmore Street - right at the edge of Roys Bay is Ardmore Street, where you can check out boat charters, bike rentals, and tours.

Spitfire Lane - way out, past the waters, is Spitfire Lane, where the Classic Flights company is located. Glide over the landscape in a vintage 1930s and 1940s plane.

Where to stay in popular areas of Wanaka

Most booked hotels in Wanaka

Excellent (8.6, 2254 reviews)
Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka
Excellent (8.6, 1060 reviews)
Oakridge Resort Lake Wanaka
Excellent (8, 587 reviews)
Wanaka Hotel
Good (7.9, 2020 reviews)
Aspiring Lodge Motel
Good (7.9, 726 reviews)
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How to Get Around Wanaka

Public Transportation

Wanaka doesn't have a formal public transport system. You can get around on foot or bike, besides using the taxi service.


Taxis in Wanaka are metered. Fares start at NZ$3 and it's NZ$1.73 for each mile thereafter.


Hirequip, Rent A Car Wanaka, and Adventure Rental Cars Wanaka are some local companies servicing your Wanaka car rental needs. Book a standard 4-door, compact car for NZ$113.30 per day.

The Cost of Living in Wanaka

Shopping Streets

There are very few traditional shopping spots in Wanaka because it's a town mostly dedicated to outdoor and nature enthusiasts. There is, however, a New World supermarket for food supplies and plenty of outdoor clothing and gear shops.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk costs NZ$1.90 and a dozen eggs costs approximately NZ$4.