Food & Drink Holiday Itinerary

Fresh local produce, brilliant wines sourced from the surrounding vineyards, along with well-crafted local beers and artisan spririts will provide you with a taste of what the Wanaka region has to offer.

With a great range of cafes and restaurants, finding the perfect coffee, healthy takeout or gourmet dining experience is not too difficult. 'Foodies' will also enjoy exploring the Wanaka Farmers Market, The Mediterranean Market, Rippon Vineyard, Wanaka Beerworks and The Cardrona Distillery.  

If you're a beer lover then you'll be in heaven with six craft breweries producing artisan brews, available at bars and restaurants around town. Locally produced  ice cream, sourdough bread and ginger biscuits have also been voted some of the best in New Zealand and are well worth a taste as well. 

Take a look at our range of accommodationcafes and restaurants and other activities that you can do to add to make your own personalised itinerary.

3 days | 182km

Route: Wanaka local - Central Otago

Highlights: Wineries, Brewery, Distillery, great restaurants and cafes

Best time of year: All year

Day 1 Wanaka to Luggate

Car 21 mins | 24km

Start your foodie tour of Wanaka with a drive down to Archangel Vineyard, which sits on two ancient glacial terraces high above the Clutha River. This 23-hectare estate nurtures Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling vines. Along with a bottle or two you will also take home the story behind this vineyard - that is sure to stay with you long after you leave. 

On your return to Wanaka stop in at the iconic Luggate Hotel and then pay a visit to Wanaka Beerworks. Wanaka’s oldest boutique brewery has been brewing beers since 1998, but has been joined by 5 other craft breweries, making Wanaka home to one of the highest breweries to population ratios in New Zealand. Let's just say there must be something in the water here. 

Watch the sun go down over the lake and mountains from Bistro Gentil, Wanaka’s only hatted restaurant, serving modern French inspired cuisine with an extensive wine list that features many of our locally produced wines.  

Things to do:

Day 2 Wanaka to Central Otago

Car 1 Hr 40 mins | 120km 

No visit to Wanaka would be complete without a wine tour to sample some of the world’s best Pinot Noir or a range of other cold-climate varietals. Guides will take you to the best vineyards where you’ll meet some of the wine industry’s characters and also sample some locally sourced gourmet food as well. Travel in a quirky Citroen 2CV or in spacious vans – whatever suits your style and budget. The wine and food tours can be either half or full day experiences. 

In the evening visit the popular Francesca’s Italian Kitchen for dinner, but make sure you book well ahead to get a table, their wood fired pizza’s and polenta chips are famous in Wanaka and further afield. 

More some more great places try: Kika, Federal Diner, The Big Fig, The Landing, Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen and The White House

Things to do:

Day 3  Wanaka to Cardrona

Car 10 mins | 10km

Today is about visiting a few of the local producers and vineyards and if it’s Thursday then a visit to the Artisan Market is a must! Sourdough bread and ginger bread biscuits judged some of the best, taste locally brewed beer, amazing cakes, and mulled wine. But you’ll have to wait until 3.00pm to sample these. 

In the meantime, a lovely walk or bike ride around the lake will take you to Rippon Vineyard where you can sample wines at one of the oldest vineyards in Central Otago. 

For lunch, call in to Florences Foodstore and Café. It’s an experiential food destination where you can eat, drink and also wander through the store, tasting and enjoying the display of foods both local and imported. Other great places to try are Fedeli, The Big Fig, Soulfood and Urban Grind

After lunch head-up the Cardrona Valley to The Cardrona Distillery. This is a family-owned artisan distillery producing hand-made artisan spirits including: single malt whiskey, vodka, orange liqueur and gin. Book in to do a tour and tasting and see how they make their spirits using time-honoured traditional methods. 

Finish the day with a great pub meal at the historic Cardrona Hotel

Things to do:

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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.

How to get to Wanaka