Luxury holidays in Wanaka

Ski- and summer-resort-town Wanaka, in the Otago region of New Zealand's South Island, is on the edge of its namesake lake (dramatic Lake Hāwea is in a parallel glacial valley). This former gold-mining town now has a clutch of cafés, microbreweries and regional museums. Spend a day kayaking or jetting around Lake Wanaka, or venture beyond town to visit the local vineyards. Wanaka’s also the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park and a handy base for exploring the park’s alpine lakes, glaciers and beech forests. In winter, snow brings a flurry of activity to Wanaka and the resorts at Treble Cone and Cardrona.

When to go

It’s warmest in January and February, when average highs hover around 15°C; July is the coldest month, with highs of only 8°C and only seven hours of sunshine. In autumn (March through May), expect cooler mornings and nights, but warm days; it’s the best time to visit for active outdoor adventures and scenic flights.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Direct flights from across New Zealand and Australia land at Queenstown Airport, which is 90 minutes away by car.
  • Automobiles

    If you’re exploring New Zealand on your own set of wheels, there’s plenty of parking available in town.