Wanaka New Zealand, once called Pembroke, is a popular ski and summer resort town in the Otago region of the South Island. At the southern end of Lake Wānaka, it is at the start of the Clutha River and is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park.

Wanaka is primarily a resort town with both summer and winter seasons. Its economy is based on the many outdoor opportunities this offers. Historically, Māori visited the Wanaka area to hunt and fish in summer, or on their way to seek pounamu (greenstone) on the West Coast. Ngāi Tahu abandoned their seasonal camps after a raid by a North Island war party in 1836. The current town was founded during the gold rush of the 19th century. Along with the rest of the Queenstown-Lakes District, Wanaka is growing rapidly, with the population increasing by 50% between 2005 and 2015. Wikipedia.com  

Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand

Things to Do and See

A lot to do in Wanaka. Starting with the main activities as Ski and Heliski, followed by a long list as Climbing alongside Twin Falls, the highest waterfall via Ferrata in the world! Paragliding, skydiving, boat cruise, jet boat, fishing, walk lavender fields, mountain biking tours, and heli biking trips. Track mountains, glaciers, river valleys, and alpine lakes. Romantic wineries, alpine horse trekking, clay pigeon shooting.

OwnWorld, Wanaka, Otago, town in New Zealand.


There are a few options in the Wanaka area for quality accommodation. Wanaka Hotel is the only town center hotel, Oakridge hotel, The Lake Hawea Hotel located on the shores of stunning and pristine Lake Hawea. Wanaka Luxury Apartments which offer stylish self-contained full-service holiday accommodation, Oakridge with an extensive range of accommodation with more than 170 rooms, from hotel rooms to self-catering apartments, Edgewater located on the edge of Lake Wanaka and others

Wanaka Lavender Farm Morris Road, Wanaka, New Zealand


In the town you will find excellent restaurants as Kika which is considered for one the Best Restaurant in NZ, Francesca’s considered as the best Italian in the South Island, The Big Fig, Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen, Bistro Gentil, Patagonia Chocolates offers top chocolates, Black Peak Gelato has ice creams and gelatos!   


Awaken your senses

Museums, Art Galleries, and Cinemas

Visit the National Transport and Toy Museum which is the largest collection of toys in the Southern Hemisphere. As well as Warbirds & Wheels for classic cars, warbirds and wearable creations. AP Design & Framing gallery offers creative picture framing, the other one is Gallery Thirty Three. Do not miss Wanaka’s famous cinemas – Cinema Paradiso and Ruby’s Cinema & Bar.

Spa, Wellness and Golf

 Wanaka has great places to recharge with energy, places like Wanaka heated indoor swimming pool, The Sanctuary Day Spa at Oakridge Resort, spa treatments, massages, facials, manicures, and hair-styling in Edgewater, If you love golf, Wanaka Golf Club is world-class.

Bars and Nightlife

Lakefront bars with incredible views, night dancing clubs, breweries, cozy venues with open fires, classic pubs, lounges, cocktails, Wanaka provides plenty of fun. The Cardrona Distillery is a family-owned artisan distillery, cocktails and sunsets over Lake Wanaka at Bar Number 8, Lalaland, Wanaka Districts Club and more

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Wanaka Snow Mountains

Ski and Heliski

Wanaka is an excellent base for skiers with two great ski resorts within a short drive. Treble Cone is one of the Wanaka ski resorts, located 26 km northwest of town (a 30-35 minute drive) suited to advanced riders. The other main ski field is Cardrona, which is 34 km southwest of town, good terrain for beginner to advanced riders. Cardrona Ski Resort is a snow farm, a cross country skiing area. Wanaka New Zealand is also home of great heli-skiing options, with vast terrain in the mountain ranges near Treble Cone and north of Lake Wanaka. A great option is OnePassNZ which can be used for day tickets at Treble Cone or Cardrona plus several other South Island resorts as well as lessons, rentals, food, and other off-mountain activities. 

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From international marathons to music and arts festivals, Wanaka is home to many world-class events. Deans’s Bank 10 hours is a famous biking event. Kahu Youth’s Matariki celebrations finish off with an awesome firework display every June. The Big Bike Film Night is on a mission- sharing the best cycling short films from around the world The Winter Games NZ the Merino Muster draws national and international competitors to Wanaka


Wanaka has a wide range of Boutique stores offering ski equipment, clothing, shoes, jewellery, accessories, gifts, souvenirs, food, and liquor. Mediterranean Market has wonderful fresh produce and imported goods.

Self Guided Bike Tour from Lake Hawea to Lake Wanaka


If you are looking for luxury accommodation in the dramatic alpine environment, Wanaka offers many options such as Te Whare Racau Architectural 3-bedroom luxury holiday home on Lake Wanaka. The spectacular Cardrona Terraces, a property pairs Spanish Mission architecture with classic mountain-lodge decor and others

Tips and Lifestyle

  • Wanaka New Zealand is about a 60-minute drive from Queenstown Airport.
  •  Staying in Wanaka town you won’t need a car 
  • Good shuttle services are available
  • The Wanaka ski fields are top
  • Heli-skiing is fabulous 
  • The town is a cosmopolitan place.
  •  There’s no ski-in ski-out accommodation 
  • Wanaka is about 65km NE (about 1 hour) of Queenstown 
  •  All drone use must be authorized by DOC  
  • choose your hotel carefully, make sure it is not out of town.
  •  The ski resorts are open from late June until early October. 
  • The most reliable snow is in late July and August.
  •  The first few weeks of July are busy with school holidays.  
Book Wanaka

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Wanaka New Zealand, once called Pembroke, is a popular ski and summer resort town in the Otago region of the South Island. At the southern end of Lake Wānaka, it is at the start of the Clutha River and is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park.

Images courtesy of Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash, Photo by Ken Cheung on Unsplash, Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash, Photo by Michael on Unsplash, Photo by Alex Lange on Unsplash, bookshop.org, Photo by Christoph Schulz on Unsplash, Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash, Photo by Siyuan on Unsplash, Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash, Photo by Colton Kresser on Unsplash, Photo by Matt Lamers on Unsplash, Photo by Chris Leipelt on Unsplash, Photo by Marcin Ciszewski on Unsplash, Photo by Vita Vilcina on Unsplash, Photo by Peter Hansen on Unsplash, Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash, Photo by Ulises Baga on Unsplash, Photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash, Photo by Jannis Lucas on Unsplash and Photo by Ariel Pilotto on Unsplash
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