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Lake Wanaka

Enjoy gorgeous hiking trails and deserted beaches at this pristine lake with the magnificent backdrop of the Southern Alps.

Stroll past cascading waterfalls and view towering glaciers at Lake Wanaka. Cruise across the tranquil, dark water and unwind in the sun on empty lakeside beaches.

Lake Wanaka spans an area of 74 square miles (192 square kilometers) nestled at the foot of the Southern Alps. Although the nearby alpine resorts of Cardrona and Treble Cone are known for their winter sports, Lake Wanaka remains a hive of activity throughout the year.

Set off along miles of walking paths that weave through dense forestland on the edge of Lake Wanaka. You can also rent bikes from Wanaka town. A ride around the whole lake takes around 3 hours and you will find several other connecting trails in the area. 

Climb to the top of the Mount Iron Track for superb panoramic views or follow the Rob Roy Glacier Path, where you can marvel at glaciers and waterfalls that cascade down sheer cliff faces.

Sandy beaches line much of Lake Wanaka and fishing is a popular activity from the shore. Catch salmon and trout and barbecue the fish at the facilities dotted along the shoreline. Take a dip in the cool water before your dinner of fresh fish.

If you are keen to get out on the lake, you can rent kayaks and canoes in town. A more luxurious option is to spend a few hours exploring the lake by speedboat. Stop at the small tree-covered islands to spot rare indigenous birds and discover your very own secluded beach.

There is a range of accommodation options available in the town of Wanaka. There are also plenty of shops and some excellent restaurants in town. 

Lake Wanaka is an hour’s drive north of Queenstown along scenic mountain roads. Be aware that the roads around Lake Wanaka are icy during the winter and snow chains are essential if you are driving.

Popular Activities at Lake Wanaka

Make the most of your visit to Lake Wanaka. Below is a list of the most popular activities:

Check out our Wanaka things to do page to find even more activities while you're here.


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Lodging Near Lake Wanaka

See all 312 Properties near Lake Wanaka
Edgewater $87
Reviewed on Jun 21, 2019
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Edgewater

Edgewater

54 Sargood Drive, Wanaka
     
    4.6 of 5
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Beautiful location quiet and nice walking distance frim town

    Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka $81
    Reviewed on May 23, 2019
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    Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka

    Ramada Resort by Wyndham Wanaka

    109 Mount Aspiring Road, Lake Wanaka, Wanaka
       
      4.4 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Friendly staff. Everthing went smoothly. Nice to have a gym and hot pool even if we didnt use them.

      Manuka Crescent Motel $48
      Reviewed on Apr 24, 2019
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      Manuka Crescent Motel

      Manuka Crescent Motel

      51 Manuka Crescent, Wanaka
         
        4.4 of 5
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Good accommodation with adequate amenities. Nice and quiet.

        Lake Wanaka Lodge $78
        Reviewed on Apr 18, 2019
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        Lake Wanaka Lodge

        Lake Wanaka Lodge

        24 Tenby Street East, Wanaka
           
          4.2 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Perhaps to have a microwave at the common area

          Bella Vista Motel Wanaka $61
          Reviewed on May 18, 2019
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          Bella Vista Motel Wanaka

          Bella Vista Motel Wanaka

          2 Dunmore Street, Wanaka
             
            4.2 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Good motel, great location.good price./ Doesn't need a novel to describe it.

            Wanaka Luxury Apartments
            Reviewed on Jun 16, 2019
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            Wanaka Luxury Apartments

            Wanaka Luxury Apartments

            8 Stonebrook Drive, Wanaka
               
              4.7 of 5
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Very peaceful …. the rooms are nice and spacious. Would certainly revisit.

              Lakeview Motel $62
              Reviewed on Jun 18, 2019
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              Lakeview Motel

              Lakeview Motel

              68 Lismore Street, Wanaka
                 
                4.5 of 5
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Heater a little ineffective on the cold winter nights. Great view from the balcony. Clean and tidy room with a fair amount of space.

                Distinction Wanaka Serviced Apartments $93
                Reviewed on May 10, 2019
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                Distinction Wanaka Serviced Apartments

                Distinction Wanaka Serviced Apartments

                144-154 Anderson Road, Wanaka
                   
                  4.5 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  We only stayed over night here. The acomodatío s were excellent. We all wished we could have stayed another night!