Lake Hawea Wanaka Loop

The Upper Clutha basin is a natural mountainous amphitheatre and the road from Wanaka to the airport, Luggate and onto Lake Hawea follows the base of these mountains

The road leaves Wanaka on the path of the old Cardrona river bed past the Mt Iron carpark (a fine example of roche moutonnée rising 250m), Puzzling World (NZ’s first maze) and through rural farmland to the Wanaka airport – a collection of businesses offering different types of scenic flights and attractions celebrating aviation history.

Take time to explore then head along the river terrace to the small village of Luggate to enjoy the hospitality of the Luggate Pub, and Archangel Vineyard just a few kilometres down the road. Leave Luggate by crossing the Clutha River (the Red Bridge) and along the foot of the Grandview Range to reach the alpine glacial vistas of Lake Hawea.

Highlights along the way:

Wanaka to Wanaka airport - 10 minutes, 10 km

  • Grab a coffee at one of the many cafes in Wanaka before setting off for the day
  • Getting lost in the maze at Puzzling World
  • The 360 degree views from the top of Mt Iron walk

Wanaka Airport to Luggate - 3 minutes, 4 km

Luggate to Lake Hawea - 22 minutes, 22 km

  • Try locally produced food & beverage - Beerworks, Archangel Vineyard and the Luggate Hotel
  • The Luggate Hotel has an old world charm and great food
  • Archangel Winery well worth stopping at.
  • Take the short walk to “the Nook” on Clutha River – an interesting geological feature.
  • Cross the historic Red Bridge and view the Clutha River - the largest river in NZ by volume

Lake Hawea to Wanaka - 15 minutes, 16km

  • Checkout local arts and crafts at Lake Hawea.
  • Sailz Cafe in Lake Hawea is a good place to stop and grab some refreshments before exploring along the lakefront.
  • If you'd like a wee tipple and a meal then check out the Lake Hawea Hotel

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Driving to Wanaka Explore the Region

Driving to Wanaka

Driving on the South Island roads of New Zealand is a great way to experience the region, with relatively quiet roads and some of the most amazing scenery right outside the window.

Major car and campervan hire companies are all located at Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown airports. There are also a number of rental car companies based in Wanaka.

How to get to Wanaka

Explore the Region

Wanaka is unique and captivating; it inspires you to discover, and gives you the freedom to explore.

Located in the stunning alps of the South Island, New Zealand, visitors from around the world are drawn to the Wanaka region by its outstanding beauty.

Explore Wanaka

  1. Mount Aspiring
    National Park
    54 min
  2. Christchurch 5 h 14 min
  3. Ashburton 3 h 56 min
  4. Geraldine 3 h 19 min
  5. Tekapo 2 h 17 min
  6. Mt Cook 2 h 6 min
  7. Twizel 1 h 39 min
  8. Omarama 1 h 21 min
  9. Franz Josef 3 h 32 min
  10. Fox Glacier 3 h 6 min
  11. Haast 1 h 43 min
  12. Cromwell 39 min
  13. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  14. Milford Sound 4 h 34 min
  15. Te Anau 2 h 52 min
  16. Dunedin 2 h 52 min
  1. Mount Aspiring
    National Park
    54 min
  2. Coronet Peak
  3. The Remarkables
  4. Cardrona
  5. Treble Cone
  6. Snow Farm
  7. Heli Skiing
  8. Heli Skiing
  9. Makarora 50 min
  10. Lake Hawea 1 h 7 min
  11. Wanaka Airport 11 min
  12. Luggate 13 min
  13. Tarras 27 min
  14. Cromwell 39 min
  15. Arrowtown 53 min
  16. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  17. Queenstown Airport 59 min
  18. Matukituki Valley 51 min
  19. Raspberry Creek 1 h 6 min

Flights to Wanaka

Getting to Wanaka is easy - click on your city to see how close you are to Wanaka. It’s a short, scenic 60-minute drive to Wanaka from the closest international airport, where you will find all major rental car companies and scheduled bus services that provide transport to Wanaka throughout the day.

Queenstown Airport is serviced daily from all major New Zealand airports as well as over 40 flights a week direct from Australia.

How to get to Wanaka