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Here in Wānaka we cherish and make the most of our access to the outdoors and recognise the privilege and responsibility of living in such a beautiful place.

All of us who live here and many of those who visit feel a strong sense of connection to the environment – it’s what makes this place so special. So for your next trip we’ve pulled together a few tips for how to stay sustainably on any budget this winter.

Luxury Accommodation with lakeviews

1. Stay Longer

Longer stays = lighter footprint… helping to reduce the impact of your travel emissions. Not only is this a great way to help out Mother Earth but staying longer really gives you a chance to get to know a place and the people.

2. Recycle and Compost

Most accommodation providers in Wānaka provide recycling bins and composting receptacles in their guestrooms. The Grow Wānaka community garden also offers free composting, so you can easily drop off your food scraps on your way out of town. If you’re not sure about what you can and can’t recycle, the Queenstown Lakes Districts Council have put together a handy guide.

Woman drinking wine on verandah overlooking views

3. Opt out of the daily room service

Staying at a hotel? Fewer loads of laundry means less water consumption. If your sheets and towels are clean or unused, let the hotel know and avoid overwashing.

Girl lounging in accommodation

4. Turn off the air con and electronics before you leave

While it can be tempting to come home to a warm room after being out in the snow all day, having the AC unit putting in the hard yards while you’re gone is a huge waste of electricity. Set a timer, or simply turn it on once you’re home. 


Cosy lounge in winter by fireplace

5. Give your clothing a second life

Purchased some really excellent locally designed clothing while you’re here? If you find yourself with some excess gear that no longer fits your suitcase, give it a second life at Wastebusters, our local reuse shop, or the LOFT Preloved Boutique for your designer pieces.

A woman uses her cellphone in Wanaka, New Zealand

6. Get to and from your winter adventures sustainably

Here for a winter getaway, complete with long bluebird days on the mountain? Whether you’re skiing Cardrona or Treble Cone, chat with your accommodation provider about local rideshares up the hill. Take a free shuttle bus, car pool, or get your thumbs out and hitchhike to the top. It’s a great way to meet the locals

7. Look for accommodation providers with environmental initiatives

One of the best ways to support a greener stay is to choose accommodation in Wānaka already making steps towards a more sustainable experience. Hotels that use bulk dispensers instead of individual toiletries, give you the option to refuse daily cleaning or use chemical-free cleaning products are all wins in our eyes. Check that your accommodation in Wānaka has made a commitment to people and place

Top Tip

When choosing your accommodation, be sure to keep an eye out for the Qualmark logo. Qualmark is a certification highlighting tourism providers who deliver a quality sustainable experience, who have safe principles and practices, and who showcase true New Zealand hospitality.

Qualmark accommodation providers in Wānaka include:

Wherever you end up, be it a Wānaka hostel or luxury hotel, when you’re soaking up the beauty, remember that it’s up to every one of us to practise sustainable habits that will help protect this place for future generations. 

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