Wanaka Travel Guide

Browse 16 travel reviews, 28 travel blogs and 1,650 travel photos from real travelers to Wanaka.

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Wanaka Overview

Most commonly known as the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, Wanaka is a resort town in the Central Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand, nestled on the southern banks of Lake Wanaka, just alongside the river’s outflow into the Clutha River. The city has experienced a massive growth spurt in the last decade, surging over 50% in terms of size, and it is rapidly transforming into one of the major tourist destinations of the country, especially for the variety of outdoor activities in both the summer and winter months. The town itself is relatively compact, and sits right along the lake, packed with plenty of shops and restaurants, and it is becoming known in recent years as a popular retirement location for many locals.

There are a wide variety of popular activities relating to the outdoors here. The fly fishing is considered to be some of the best in the country, with plenty of surrounding lakes and rivers offering rainbow and brown trout. Hiking is a given, considering the size and scope of the surrounding countryside, and during the winter months skiing takes over as the most popular activity. There are also plenty of wineries nestled in the surrounding hills, which makes this the perfect place for wine enthusiasts. Completely surrounded by mountains, Wanaka is considered to be a less commercialized version of Queenstown, filled to the brim with excellent restaurants, cafés, and access to some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of New Zealand. Whether you choose to spend your summer months hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, or just enjoying the warm weather and the beauty of the surrounding mountains, or your winter months snowboarding, skiing, or cross-country skiing, Wanaka is definitely the place to do so. Given the fact that this is such a popular destination and appears to be one of New Zealand's rising stars, Wanaka should definitely be on your itinerary for your next trip.

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