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What's important: you can compare and book not only Wanaka hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in Wanaka. If you're going to Wanaka save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in Wanaka online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Wanaka, and rent a car in Wanaka right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Wanaka related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.
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How to Book a Hotel in Wanaka
In order to book an accommodation in Wanaka enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Wanaka hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Wanaka map to estimate the distance from the main Wanaka attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Wanaka hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Wanaka is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Wanaka is waiting for you!
Hotels of Wanaka
A hotel in Wanaka is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Wanaka hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Wanaka are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Wanaka hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Wanaka hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Wanaka have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Wanaka
An upscale full service hotel facility in Wanaka that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Wanaka hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Wanaka
Full service Wanaka hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Wanaka
Boutique hotels of Wanaka are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Wanaka boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Wanaka may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Wanaka
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Wanaka travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Wanaka focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Wanaka
Small to medium-sized Wanaka hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Wanaka traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Wanaka hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Wanaka
A bed and breakfast in Wanaka is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Wanaka bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Wanaka B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Wanaka
Wanaka hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Wanaka hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Wanaka
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Wanaka hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Wanaka lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Wanaka
Wanaka timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Wanaka often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Wanaka on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Wanaka
A Wanaka motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Wanaka for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Wanaka motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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The main purpose of HotelsCombined hotel price comparison service is to help the travelers in finding a perfect accommodation option in Wanaka at the best price, eliminating the need to manually analyze hundreds of hotel booking sites and thousands of price offers. Through the partnership with the most popular hotel booking websites, online travel agencies and hotel chains, HotelsCombined allows its users to search for and compare the current rates on Wanaka hotels in a single search. It also provides an aggregated summary of hotel reviews and ratings from external sites.
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Wanaka/ˈwɒnəkə/ (Māori: Wānaka) is a popular ski and summer resort town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. At the southern end of Lake Wanaka, it is at the start of the Clutha River and is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park.
Wanaka is primarily a resort town with both summer and winter seasons. Its economy is based on the many outdoor opportunities this offers.
Historically, Maori visited the Wanaka area to hunt and fish in summer, or on their way to seek pounamu on the West Coast. Ngai Tahu abandoned their seasonal camps after a raid by a North Island war party in 1836. The current town was founded during the gold rush of the 19th century. Along with the rest of the Queenstown-Lakes District, Wanaka is growing rapidly, with the population increasing by 50% between 2005 and 2015.
Wanaka was visited annually by Ngai Tahu who sought greenstone in the mountains above the Haast River and hunted eels and birds over summer, returning to the east coast by descending the Clutha River / Mata-Au in reed boats called mōkihi. Ngai Tahu use of the land was ended by attacks by North Island tribes. In 1836, the Ngati Tama chief Te Puoho led a 100-person war party, armed with muskets, down the West Coast and over the Haast Pass: they fell on the Ngai Tahu encampment between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, capturing 10 people and killing and eating two children. Some of the Ngai Tahu fled down the Waitaki river to the coast; Te Puoho took his captives over the Crown Range to Lake Wakatipu and thence to Southland where he was killed and his war party destroyed by the southern Ngai Tahu leader Tuhawaiki.
The first European to visit the area was Nathaniel Chalmers, who was guided inland by Chiefs Reko and Kaikoura in 1853. Reko and Kaikoura showed Chalmers the rock bridge "Whatatorere" at Roaring Meg, which was the only place that the Kawarau River could be crossed, and returned him down the Clutha in a flax reed boat.
Early adventure tourism?
In 1910, 57 years after the event, Nathanael Chalmers remembered his raft trip through the Cromwell Gorge: ‘I shall never forget the “race” through the gorge … my heart was literally in my mouth, but those two old men seemed to care nothing for the current.’
European settlement began in the Upper Clutha River Valley in the 1850s, with the establishment of sheep stations by runholders. The first station was at Albert Town, the only place where settlers could ford the Clutha River. The present site of Wanaka was first surveyed in 1863, and settlement increased in Pembroke (the old name for Wanaka) during the 1870s because of timber milling in the Matukituki Valley and the use of Lake Wanaka for transport.
Tourism began in 1867 with the opening of the first hotel, by Theodore Russell, and the world's first sheepdog trials.
The town of Pembroke was renamed Wanaka in 1940. Wanaka proved a very popular tourist destination because of its borderline continental climate and easy access to snow and water.
Wanaka cafe strip on a quiet clear spring day
The town of Wanaka is situated at the southern end of Lake Wanaka. It is surrounded by mountains. To the southwest is the Crown Range and town of Queenstown (120 kilometres (75 mi)); to the north the Haast Pass cuts through the Southern Alps near Makarora. To the northeast are the towns of Omarama and Twizel. Very close to Lake Wanaka is Lake Hāwea, in a parallel glacial valley, which has a recently developed settlement of about 1,500 people. To the south of the town lies more of the Southern Alps. The Glendhu Bay motorpark is close to the town, leading into the Matukituki River valley. This gives access to the Mount Aspiring National Park.
The centre of the town lies on flat land beside Roy's Bay. Parts of the town have expanded into the hills surrounding the centre and around Roy's Bay in both directions. The lakeside area of the town is prone to occasional flooding in spring, when heavy rain and snowmelt can cause the lake to rise quickly. Such a flood occurred in November 1999.
Despite its Oceanic climate, Wanaka is one of the few areas in New Zealand to enjoy a semi-continental climate, with four distinct seasons. The weather is fairly dry, with spring (September–December) being the wettest season. Annual rainfall is 682 mm which is half the national average. Wanaka experiences warm summers with temperatures reaching the high 20s, but with an average summer maximum of 24 °C. Winter can be extreme by New Zealand standards with temperature mostly in the single digits during the day time followed by cold and frosty nights and frequent snowfalls.
The area around Wanaka is a formal sub-region of the Central Otago wine region with several top wineries and vineyards. As with other parts of the wine region, the main grape variety in the area is pinot noir.
View of Wanaka from Mt Roy.
With its lake and mountain views, Wanaka has become a popular tourist resort, considered less commercialised than Queenstown.
Wanaka boasts a growing number of restaurants, cafes and a diverse nightlife. Other attractions in the town include Puzzling World and the Paradiso Cinema. Puzzling World contains a maze, optical illusions and a leaning clocktower. The Paradiso is a classic old cinema, with seating consisting of old couches and an in-theatre Morris Minor. There are a number of wineries in the area. Just out of town next to the Wanaka Airport is the National Transport and Toy Museum.
In winter, Wanaka is an excellent place to see the Southern Lights.
A number of mountains surrounding Wanaka can be climbed, including Roys Peak, Mount Iron, Mount Grand and the Pisa Range, all of which provide views of the surrounding area.
The biennial Warbirds over Wanaka airshow has become a major attraction for national and international guests.
NZ Freeski open
The biennial New Zealand music Rippon Festival
Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival
Festival of Colour and Aspiring Conversations. Two festivals organised by the Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust. The Festival of Colour is a biennial multi disciplinary arts festival featuring theatre, music, dance and visual arts. Aspiring Conversations is an ideas festival. Both are timed for April in alternate years.
Rhythm and Alps
"That Wanaka Tree" in summer
Wanaka is host to outdoor recreation and tourism activities with hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, fishing, paragliding, kayaking, rafting, jetboating, and environmental activities. Wanaka has a sunny climate and serves as an access point to the highest New Zealand mountain outside of the Mount Cook region: Mount Aspiring/Tititea.
Mount Aspiring National Park is popular for mountaineering and hiking. Tourists enjoy day trips into the park and many tourists go hiking in the park for up to a week at a time. Parts of the Matukituki Valley on the road to the park are popular for rock climbing, and for day walks.
Lake Wanaka itself is popular for waterskiing, wakeboarding and sailing. This along with the local rivers provide many opportunities for fishing. There is a dedicated mountain biking area made by volunteers in a local pine forest. Adjacent to the bike park is an 18-hole disc golf course. All the local ski resorts are open for mountain biking and hiking in the summer.
Tramping to the summit of Treble Cone
Wanaka has the broadest range of snow activity choices of any town in NZ. These include Treble Cone, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Snow Park and Snow Farm, some of New Zealand's premier commercial ski fields. Wanaka is the main accommodation provider for these resorts and so is very busy in high season (July–September).
Treble Cone has good lift-accessed terrain and for this reason has become popular amongst visitors, 'ConeHeads'. It also catches some of the better snow in the area, with its location and orientation getting more snow from NW storms.
Cardrona is more attractive to families and beginners, though an attempt has been made at the park riding population in competition with SnowPark. Snowpark is a dedicated 100% artificial terrain park for advanced riders. Snow Farm is New Zealand's only commercial cross-country ski field.
Cardrona also hosts one of the few Olympic sized halfpipes in the world and has been used for practice for Olympic competition.
Wanaka is home to 8,460 people as of June 2017. It is the country's 36th-largest urban area and the fourth-largest urban area in Otago behind Dunedin, Queenstown and Oamaru.
The 2013 census counted 6,471 permanent residents in the Wanaka urban area, 28.4 percent more than seven years earlier. The median age of residents was 41.1 years; around 16.7% of residents were aged 65 or over and 18.5% were aged 14 or younger. In terms of ethnicity, Wanaka has a largely homogeneous population; 93.5 percent of people identified as European and 5.0 percent as Māori.
52.4% of the town's population had some form of post school qualification, 12.5% above the national average. The unemployment rate was exceptionally low in Wanaka, at 1.9%, compared to 5.1% for New Zealand. Over half (54.1%) of families in Wanaka were couples with no dependent children; couples with dependent children made up 36.9 percent of families, and single parents with dependent children made up 8.8 percent.
Nationally, Wanaka is part of the Waitaki electorate, represented by the New Zealand National Party's Jacqui Dean since 2005.
Wanaka's local governments are the Queenstown-Lakes District Council and the Otago Regional Council.
Wanaka has three schools.
Holy Family School is a state-integrated Catholic full primary (Year 1–8) school, and has 181 students as of July 2017. The school was established in 2006.
Mount Aspiring College is a state Year 7–13 secondary school, and has 894 students as of July 2017. The school was established in 1986 following the split of Wanaka Area School.
Wanaka Primary School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school, and has 659 students as of July 2017. The school was established in 1986 following the split of Wanaka Area School, and relocated to its current site in October 2010.
Wanaka is served by the Wanaka Airport as well as by roads over the Crown Range, through the Haast Pass to the West Coast, to Mt Cook via the Lindis Pass to the north, and south through Cromwell by State Highway 6. There are daily bus services to Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Invercargill and Greymouth.
During the early 20th century an unsuccessful proposal was made for the Otago Central Railway, then terminated at Cromwell, to be extended to Wanaka and onward to Hāwea. The main reason for NZR's reluctance was having to cross the Clutha River twice. A more direct route to Hāwea was planned but dropped due to cost.
"Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2017 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017. For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-16 (2017 boundary)". Statistics New Zealand. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
Malcolm McKinnon. "Otago region - Māori history and whaling". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. "Waka – canoes - Other types of waka". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
S Percy Smith (1910). History and Traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast North Island of New Zealand Prior to 1840. New Plymouth: Polynesian Society.
Atholl Anderson (1990). "Te Puoho-o-te-rangi". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,. 1. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
Jock Phillips. "European exploration - Otago and Southland". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
Janet Stephenson, Heather Bauchop, and Peter Petchey (2004). Bannockburn Heritage Landscape Study (PDF). p. 29.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
Philip Temple (1985). New Zealand explorers: great journeys of discovery. Christchurch: Whitcoulls. p. 110.
"Wanaka Early History". Lake Wanaka Visitor Information Centre. Retrieved 2007-03-24.
"World First Recorded Trial". Malborough, New Zealand: DogFind.
"Wanaka Information Guide".
"Welcome to Wanaka's Wonderful World of Weirdness!". Puzzling World. Retrieved 2017-01-21.