Featured Activities

We’ve taken time to reflect and understand that the Wа̄naka brand should be more representative of our values, our place and our people.

This has been one of the most rewarding projects to date, working with our community to unpack the true essence of Wа̄naka. In this blog, we explain the process, the cultural references of the brand and introduce the new website (which you’re currently on!)

How did we get here?

We believe that the Wа̄naka brand plays a critical role in the following areas :

  1. An  invitation we extend to our visitors
  2. The experience we want to create as a host community
  3. How we can preserve and nurture this place and its taokas (treasures).

The Wа̄naka brand needed to be true to this place and the people who live here. It needed to be distinctive, with a look and feel all its own. To feel the way that Wа̄naka makes us feel, it needed to be magnetic, and tap into the energy of this incredible place.

The co-creation of the brand was informed by our local people – past and present – with the desire to guide, nurture and inspire for generations to come. We hosted consultations and workshops with internal and external stakeholders, community groups and local businesses, to determine what Wа̄naka means to them and what they wanted to see in the new brand. We then got to work with Studio Acht, a creative studio led by local designer Britt Davies, who has Ngati Rangiwewehi, Ngati Pikiao, Te Ati Awa, and Ngа̄puhi ancestry. Britt was able to harness these sentiments and configure them into a beautiful visual identity – the one that you see throughout  this website.


He aha te mea nui te ao

He takata, he takata, he takata

What is the most important thing in the world?

It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

The brand

Our new brand identity harnesses the essence of Wānaka—space to breathe, freedom and possibility, natural elemental energy and vitality, a quiet confidence and a casual sophistication. By bringing these elements together, we are able to create a visual language that welcomes our guests and lifts our local communities.

All of our brand elements are in some way inspired by the taonga that surrounds us and are meant to honour a narrative that speaks to our past.

The new graphic devices – those flowing designs you see all over our website – are representative of our Mauka (mountain) and Roto (lake). 

In Wānaka, stand on the lakefront and trace your finger along the ridgelines of the Skyline Track over Mt. Roy and out to Coromandel Peak. Mauka is a stylisation of this – an ode to the ridge lines around us that connect the sky to the land.


Fed by two rivers, flowing out through one – this is the result of a glacier carving its way through the land. Roto is a depiction of this movement, flow and grace. It’s a stylisation of the topographic view of Lake Wānaka – an ode to the ability to adapt and change with ease.


Colour is a vital element of Wānaka and each brand colour is very meaningful. 

Our primary colours are tūwhakarōria, a strong dark blue, pulled from the depths of the lake and mou tapu, a caramel brown of the island Mou Tapu. 

Other colours include Mou Waho from the greens of Mou Waho Island; take kа̄rara is pulled from the land of original Māori settlement at the Southern end of the lake; parakа̄rehu from the peninsula of Steven’s Arm; and pōkainamu/te pekakа̄rara from the traditional names for Stevensons Island, representing the turquoise of the lake.

Lastly, tititea is the alpenglow of Mt. Aspiring.


The new brand mark in our logo speaks to the ideas of coming together, moving forward and allowing for open-ended exploration and growth.


He tina ki runga, he tāmore ki raro.

In order to flourish above, one must be firmly rooted below.

New website

With the creation of a new brand, we turned next to an evolution of the Wānaka website. 

The aim was to create an environment that welcomed visitors, as well as showcased the community and their stories.

In addition to allowing the new brand to shine, the website highlights several core themes. The first is fostering genuine connections, and instilling a feeling of being welcome and invited to share Wānaka with us. We want you to feel the magnetic pull of this place before you even arrive. And we want to grow this connection after you leave, so that you’ll continue to return for years to come.

The website also represents authentic adventures that are true to this place. Wānaka adventures are shaped by locals who wish to share their passions with others and want our visitors to experience and love this place as they do. We’ve prioritized a community lens on nearly all of our activity and experience pages.


Wānaka is a place rich in history and whakapapa and behind this history sits a host of characters and an abundance of stories, many of which we endeavor to tell throughout the site. And of course, the absolutely awe-inspiring nature of Wānaka is present in our words and in our images. 

And finally, weaved throughout is a sentiment of care for the future through kaitiaki (guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land). We invite you to discover, participate and contribute through the different methods available on the website, which continue to evolve as our community projects and regional initiatives continue to gain momentum.


Welcome to Wānaka

We hope to welcome you soon. In the meantime, we hope you find inspiration on this beautiful new platform and in all the stories, features and useful information. We invite you to use the My Suitcase tool to keep track of your wishlist of Wānaka experiences as you browse.

To learn more about coming to Wānaka, click here

Please also consider how to be a responsible traveller as you discover Wānaka by clicking here