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The Surrounding Regions

Lake Wanaka is a natural base from which to explore the surrounding regions and access the best of New Zealand all from one truly magical place.

From soaring mountains to a wild and dramatic coastline, golden hill country to crystal alpine lakes, the Southern South Island is one of the most diverse and beautiful regions in New Zealand.

Visitors are captivated by the breathtaking scenery, changing seasons and culture of the area. From the dramatic landscapes of Fiordland in the south, to internationally recognised Queenstown and on to the rugged splendour of the West Coast, then further north past Mt Cook country to Christchurch, Canterbury, the lower South Island is a wonder of natural beauty.

An inspiring place of tranquillity and adventure at the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, Lake Wanaka brings the best of several worlds within easy, stunning reach.

A natural base for several easy scenic day trips – from Queenstown to the West Coast to Milford Sound or Central Otago – Lake Wanaka is at the heart of some New Zealand’s most spectacular destinations. 


Separated from Lake Wanaka by an hour's drive across the Crown Range, Queenstown is larger and arguably more cosmopolitan than its more laid back neighbour. Renowned for its all year round activities and spectacular scenery Queenstown is an exciting holiday resort.

Lonely Planet - Queenstown


The townships of Te Anau and Manapouri provide lakeside bases to explore New Zealand's largest National Park and World Heritage Area. They are also the nearest centres to Milford and Doubtful Sounds and many of the Great Walks.  

Mitre Peak Fiordland

West Coast

With towering mountains, clear, clean rivers and lakes, vast podocarp forests, temperate coastal forests, diverse wetlands, accessible glaciers, wild beaches and long captivating caves, the West Coast is a wonderland of natural features just waiting to be explored. 

Fox Glacier on the West Coast

MacKenzie and Mt Cook

Pristine snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and a network of powder blue canals form the tapestry of this remarkable region. At the heart of it all towers our country’s highest mountain peak, the majestic Aoraki Mt Cook.

Mt Cook

Central Otago

Discover vivid seasons and rocky, mountainous landscapes; friendly townships; a well-preserved gold heritage; award-winning wineries, recreational opportunities from fishing, mountain biking and the Rail Trail to winter sports like curling and ice skating.

Poolburn Viaduct, Central Otago Rail Trail

Christchurch & Canterbury

Christchurch is the gateway to the South Island of New Zealand and a great destination to visit on your South Island itinerary. Check out the how the city is being rebuilt after the 2011 earthquake and then explore the region as well from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs, Mt Cook to Arthurs Pass and beyond.

Christchurch RESTART