Answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Wanaka

Where is Wanaka?
Wanaka is located in the lower South Island of New Zealand, an hours' drive from Queenstown.

It is on the main driving route down the West Coast across the Haast Pass - the southern most road crossing of the Southern Alps.

How to get to Wanaka?

If flying the closest airport to Wanaka is Queenstown Airport. There are rental cars and regular shuttle services from the airport to Wanaka. Christchurch and Dunedin Airports are further away but again bus services are available to Wanaka from both destinations.

If driving, then Wanaka can be reached via the West Coast  route on SH6, via the Inland Route past Aoraki / Mt Cook, via Central Otago from Dunedin and up from Fiordland through Queenstown.

When is the best time to visit Wanaka?

Winter for skiing, summer for swimming and boating, autumn for the colours and spring is everything, ski, bike and walk all in one day.

Do you have a listing of special events?
Yes – check out our Annual events page.

What weather can I expect?
Everything – check our seasons page to see what to expect and the weather page to see what's happening now. For a detailed weather report check out the Met Service forecasts

What should I wear in Wanaka?
Wanaka is a very casual town so unless it’s a special occasion you won’t need formal clothes. Active wear is a good idea as you’ll be walking, biking and generally doing outdoor based things.

When can I ski in Wanaka? 
Wanaka has four ski areas all within 45 minutes from  the town centre. Treble Cone and Cardrona are downhill mountains and Snow Farm is the only cross country ski area in NZ. Soho Basin is a private ski area offering cat skiing.

Where can I camp in Wanaka?
There is a great variety of camp grounds and areas where you are permitted to camp. Only fully self-contained vehicles may freedom camp where indicated. For more information, check out this “Where can I camp?” page.

Where is the closest airport to Wanaka?
Wanaka airport is 10 minutes from town and has scenic and charter flights, the nearest domestic and international airport is Queenstown Airport which is 60 minutes away. See our flights to Wanaka and buses to Wanaka page.

Where can I get information about walking in Wanaka?
There are good maps and brochures available online or once you arrive in Wanaka. These are available from the Wanaka i-SITE Visitor Centre and the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre. Always check weather and road conditions before heading out on a long walk.

Which is the best track for me?

With over 750km of tracks around the Wanaka region, deciding which track is the best for you is not easy. Read this article which helps you to decide and download the "Wanaka Track App" from the App store and coming to Android early 2018

Do I need a fishing license to fish in Wanaka?
Yes – if you are fishing for trout or salmon in the lakes and rivers around Wanaka, then a license is necessary. Some rivers are closed at certain times of the year for spawning and others are permanently closed. Check the sports shops for licenses and information.

When and where is the Farmers Market?
Wanaka Artisan Market is on every Thursday 3 – 6pm opposite the lakefront at the east end of town, next to Bullock Creek and the Speights Ale House.  

When is the best time to see autumn colours?
If you had to pick two weeks to be sure to experience the colours' of autumn – we recommend the first two weeks of April.

Is there public transport around Wanaka?
There are shuttle services to Puzzling World and Raspberry Creek Carpark.

Are there supermarkets in Wanaka?
Yes there is a New World and Four Square plus a number of speciality food stores.

Are there free things to do in Wanaka?
Yes there are lots of walks and bike rides that cost nothing plus a number of other free activities.

What are the facts and figures on Wanaka?
Check out this page for information on the population of the area, the lakes and rivers and tourism statistics.