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Lake Wanaka Region, New Zealand Map
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Fast Facts

Distance & Driving times
Christchurch to Wanaka
5:15 hrs - 425 kms
Alexandra to Wanaka
1 hr - 86 kms
Queenstown to Wanaka
1:30 hrs - 117 kms
Dunedin to Wanaka
3:30 hrs - 276 kms
Area:4,776 km²
Closest Airport:
Wanaka Regional Airport
Queenstown International Airport
Activities:Arts and Crafts, Bird Watching, Canyoning, Cycling, Fishing, Golf, Heli-skiing, Heli-boarding, Hiking, Horse Trekking, Hunting, Jet Boating, Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Rock Climbing, Sailing, Sky Diving, Sight Seeing Flights, Snow Skiing, Snowboarding, Walking, White Water Rafting, Wildlife Encounters, Wine Tasting
Lake Wanaka Region Featured Holiday Accommodation Properties
Lake Wanaka Region Tourism Information

About Lake Wanaka Region

Lake Wanaka region is a hidden paradise surrounded by grand mountains and inside their embrace are crystal clear lake, fabulous winter ski fields and the spectacular Mount Aspiring National Park.

Lake Wanaka is New Zealand's fourth largest lake. Created by massive glaciers more than 10,000 years ago, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea lie side by side. Lake Wanaka is the source of New Zealand's largest river, the Clutha, whilst Lake Hawea feeds into the Hawea River, which joins the Clutha at Albert Town. Their clear, blue waters are ideal for water sports enthusiasts to enjoy sailing, fishing, jet boating and rafting.

National Parks

Mount Aspiring National Park
Located just a short drive from Wanaka, Mount Aspiring National Park offers visitors some of the most spectacular walks in New Zealand.

The pinnacle of the park is Mount Aspiring / Tititea, which rises 3027 metres and is flanked by glaciers. Mount Aspiring is adored by rock climbers. The Rob Roy Glacier, is located in the park and it starts its journey high on Rob Roy Peak (2,606 metres)

Mount Aspiring National Park offers breathtaking views, it offers visitors the opportunity to experience the mountains of the Southern Alps, a massive area of wilderness, glaciers, snowfields, valleys, wildlife habitats, beech forests , sub alpine tussock fields , lichens and dainty flowering herbs that survive in incredibly harsh environs.

The rock forms vary from the unusual coloured slopes of the Red Hills to brittle grey schist of the alps and they are an unforgettable feature of the Mount Aspiring National Park.

Places to visit

Cardrona Alpine Resort
Cardrona offers a relaxed, friendly ski and snowboard resort. Located between Wanaka and Queenstown, Cardrona has something for everyone including specialist easy, slopes for beginners, wide open groomed cruising, slopes for intermediates, steep chutes for advanced and huge terrain park for freestylers.

Treble Cone
Located just a35 minutes drive from Wanaka, Treble Cone is the largest ski and snowboard area on the South Island. There are 4 lifts, including a high-speed, detachable six seater chairlift which spreads skiers and snowboarders over three large basins. Treble Cone has runs to suit all levels including some expansive beginner and intermediate groomed trails. Facilities at Treble Cone include café, bar, childcare, equipment rental, accessory shop, ski and snowboard school and medical centre.

The spectacular lakeside town of Wanaka offers visitors lots of cafes, restaurants and shops. Winter is a busy time in Wanaka, skiers and snowboarders flock to the town to enjoy the local resorts of Treble Cone, Cardrona and Waiorau. Wanaka is also an ideal base for rock climbers and hikers heading for Mount Aspiring National Park.

Things to do

There are numerous great fishing spots in the Lake Wanaka region. With stunning scenery to watch as you whilst you dangle a line from a boat or cast a rod from the shore of one of the three major lakes or fly fish one of the many snow fed streams or rivers. Rainbow and Brown Trout are abundant in the region.

The spectacular Wanaka Golf Club offers an 18 hole golf course and is situated on the hill above the township of Wanaka. The course is suit to golfers of all abilities. There is a practice area available as well as a driving area. There is an excellent Pro Shop which has a wide range of equipment for hire including motorised golf cars and there is a very comfortable Clubhouse from where you can relax and enjoy the "19th hole".

Rock Climbing
The rock climbing in Lake Wanaka region attracts climbers from around the world, and the climbing routes in Matukituki Valley at the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park are outstanding. Lake Wanaka offers beginners some fabulous opportunities to learn this exciting sport with many local companies offering lessons for all levels.


Lake Wanaka has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. Generally the weather is dry with the wettest time of the year Spring. During Spring you can expect cooler days to start with getting hotter as summer approaches. The mountains still see the occasional snow fall and the average daytime temperatures range from 12 to 25 degrees celsius.

Summer, brings hot days but the evenings can still be quite cool with average daytime temperatures ranging from 21 to 34 degrees celsius. As the autumn approaches the days start to cool a little and as autumn heads towards winter the temperatures drop further. The average daytime temperatures in autumn range from 12 to 20 degrees celsius.

The winter arrives and with it the local ski season. Lake Wanaka experiences cold days, with frosts and snow falls on the mountain tops, and occasionally these extend in to the township. The average daytime temperatures range from 5 to 12 degrees celsius, so rug up.

At all times of the year always be aware that the mountain climate can change unexpectantly so always carry extra clothing.

Getting there

By Air
Direct flights operate daily to Wanaka from Christchurch and Queenstown. The closest International airport is located at Queenstown about one and a half hours away. Shuttle bus services are available from Queenstown airport to Wanaka.

By Car
Lake Wanaka region is easily accessed by road with major highways passing through Wanaka from the east, south and west, and there is lots of scenery to look at along the way to Lake Wanaka

By Coach
Daily coach services are available from Queenstown, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill, as well as from the West Coast.


The Lake Wanaka region has a range of holiday accommodation options to suit all preferences and budgets, including self contained luxury lodges, bed and breakfast guesthouses, backpackers, motels, pubs and RV caravan parks.

More information

For more information on Lake Wanaka region see the Tourism Lake Wanaka Website:

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