On the southern end of Lake Wanaka, en-route to / from the West Coast and situated in a dramatic glacier carved basin, Wanaka is a smaller resort town with an active, friendly atmosphere.
Dubbed as a Lifestyle Reserve and with a population of just 7,000 or so, Wanaka is a more relaxed alternative to its buzzing big brother over the hill; Queenstown. The town still thrives in mid-winter and over the Christmas / New Year periods, but has a slower pace for the rest of the year.
Wanaka is one of NZ’s premier gateways to the outdoors. With three ski resorts all within 40mins drive (Treble Cone, Cardrona and Snow Farm), a wide selection of mountain bike trails and walks / hikes, an abundance of water sports on both the lake and on the Clutha River, and the Mt Aspiring National Park just up the road; outdoor enthusiasts are spoiled for choice.
For a few decades now, Wanaka has been frequented by Kiwi families for their summer holidays, be it camping by the lake or enjoying the comforts or a luxury holiday home. More recently, Wanaka has begun appearing on international travel itineraries and was recently named in the World’s Top 25 Ski Towns by National Geographic.
One of Wanaka’s most appealing qualities is its small town vibe and genuine hospitality, combined with the level of service you would expect to find in larger, international resorts.