With Milford Sound, Mt Cook, Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers as neighbours, Wanaka is the perfect base for a South Island holiday
Wanaka is a natural base for scenic day trips through some of the most spectacular scenery NZ has to offer. From the dramatic landscapes of Fiordland in the South, to the international resort town of Queenstown, to the rugged splendour of the West Coast, and North through the Mt Cook region to Christchurch and Canterbury; the lower South Island is one of the most diverse and beautiful regions in New Zealand.
A 60-minute drive from Wanaka, Queenstown is the gateway to the Southern Lakes region. It's renowned for spectacular scenery, its four distinct seasons and world class activities and attractions.
The townships of Te Anau and Manapouri are a good base to explore Fiordland - New Zealand's largest National Park and World Heritage Area. They also provide the gateway to Doubtful and Milford Sounds and three of NZ's Great Walks.
With towering mountains, pristine rivers and lakes, vast podocarp forests, glaciers and wild beaches, the West Coast is a wonderland of natural features.
Snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and a network of blue canals form the tapestry of this remarkable region. At the heart of it all towers New Zealand's highest mountain peak, the majestic Aoraki / Mt Cook.
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.
Christchurch is a key gateway to the South Island of New Zealand and a great destination to visit on your South Island itinerary. See how the city is being rebuilt after the 2011 earthquake and then explore the region from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs, Mt Cook to Arthurs Pass and beyond.
Drag the map to show more of the surrounding areas.
Getting to Wanaka is easy. It’s a short, scenic 60-minute drive over the Crown Range to Wanaka. All major rental car companies are based at the airport and scheduled bus services 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.
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.
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.