Wanaka map, activities & attractions

General information about Wanaka, including how to get there, driving distances and times, activities and attractions, and a map of Wanaka.

Go to the Wanaka map

About Wanaka

Wanaka is a town located on the South Island of New Zealand, approximately 428 km (266 mi) from Christchurch, 67 km (42 mi) from Queenstown, and 256 km (159 mi) from Lake Tekapo.

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You can find more driving distances (and times) to and from Wanaka on the South Island driving distances page.

In 2013, there were about 6,471 people living in Wanaka, so compared to Christchurch, which has a population of 341,469, Wanaka is a very small town.

It also has a very different look and feel compared to Queenstown or Tekapo, which are also lakeside towns.

How to get to Wanaka

You can get to Wanaka by road. So you must either hire a car or catch a bus to be able to get to Wanaka.

While Wanaka has an airport for scenic and charter flights, there are no commercial flights to it. However, you can fly to Queenstown airport, which is the closest international airport and then drive or catch a bus to Wanaka.

You can drive to Wanaka from Queenstown via the Cardrona Valley, from Cromwell, for example, after driving from Queenstown to Cromwell, from Lake Hawea and the West Coast, or from Lindis Pass.

The following table displays driving times and distances to a few selected places around Wanaka. Note that all driving times and distances have been calculated by Google.

Lake Hawea 17 minutes (17.15 km / 10.65 mi)
Cromwell 39 minutes (54.08 km / 33.6 mi)
Arrowtown 52 minutes (54.26 km / 33.72 mi) via Cardrona
Makarora 53 minutes (64.23 km / 39.91 mi)
Queenstown 1 hour and 5 minutes (67.21 km / 41.76 mi) via Cardrona
Haast 1 hour and 44 minutes (141.87 km / 88.16 mi)
Mount Cook Village 2 hours and 18 minutes (199.46 km / 123.94 mi)
Lake Tekapo 2 hours and 18 minutes (200.57 km / 124.63 mi)
Dunedin 3 hours and 6 minutes (253.84 km / 157.73 mi)
Fox Glacier 3 hours and 7 minutes (262.35 km / 163.01 mi)
Franz Josef Glacier 3 hours and 31 minutes (285.4 km / 177.34 mi)
Christchurch 5 hours and 10 minutes (427.91 km / 265.89 mi)

See the South Island distance calculator to get more driving distances and times to Lake Wanaka and to see driving routes on a map.

Wanaka attractions and activities

The big attractions in Wanaka are Lake Wanaka and the mountains around Lake Wanaka.

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In spring, summer, and autumn, Lake Wanaka serves for activities on the water (cruising, jet boating, fishing, watersports, etc.), while the mountains serve for hiking and activities in the air (scenic flights, skydiving, paragliding, etc.)

In winter, the mountains (especially Treble Cone ski area), serve for activities on the snow (skiing, snowboarding, etc.).

In addition, if you want to see fall foliage in New Zealand, Wanaka is a good place to see autumn color.

Wanaka is only about one hour away from the Makarora Valley where you can drive on the Haast Highway to visit attractions such as Blue Pools, Fantail Falls, and Thunder Creek Falls.

Activities and attractions on the Wanaka map

Ski fields on the Wanaka map

Wanaka map instructions

Use the plus and minus buttons to zoom in and out of the map to see more or less detail on the map. Click and hold down the left mouse button, then drag the map to move the map around.

Figure 1. Map of Wanaka town center, South Island, New Zealand.

Meaning of icons on the Wanaka map

hiking Walking Trail
panoramic view Place to Visit
 

Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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