Lake Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand

Formed by glaciers thousands of years ago and located on South Island, New Zealand, Lake Wanaka is New Zealand’s fourth largest lake and contains crystal clear water. The name is from the Maori, the first settlers of the area, which means “place of Anaka” who was an early Maori Chief. The lake is fed by the Makarora River and is the source of New Zealand’s largest river, the Clutha. Lake – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Wanaka! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Wanaka cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Wanaka! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Wanaka cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Wanaka

Lake Locations: New Zealand - South Island - Wanaka -

Formed by glaciers thousands of years ago and located on South Island, New Zealand, Lake Wanaka is New Zealand’s fourth largest lake and contains crystal clear water. The name is from the Maori, the first settlers of the area, which means “place of Anaka” who was an early Maori Chief. The lake is fed by the Makarora River and is the source of New Zealand’s largest river, the Clutha.

Lake Hawea, also carved by glaciers, lies beside Lake Wanaka and is separated by a narrow strip of land a little over a half mile wide known as The Neck. It is believed that the two lakes were once connected. Both lakes are dammed at their outlets to control the water levels and to ensure a water flow for Roxburgh power stations.

With pebbly beaches on the shoreline, and magnificent views of surrounding mountains, the lake is the beginning of Mount Aspiring National Park. Mount Aspiring, with its peak at 9,930 feet above sea level, is known and loved internationally by climbers and photographers. If you prefer easy hikes, there are many trails meandering through the park that offers excellent views of the mountains and valleys with campsites for extended stays.

At the southern tip of the lake, is the town of Wanaka whose fortune has changed over the years. In the 1870s, the discovery of gold inspired a rush of interest in the area. As the prospectors left the area, sheep farms and farming became a way of life. But today, Wanaka is a resort region and tourism is the new gold rush. In an effort to keep tourism booming, town leaders know that requires the environment to stay picture perfect. Therefore, the lake is protected by the Lake Wanaka Preservation Act of 1973, which established a group of guardians whose members are appointed by the Minister of Conservation to advise and protect the lake and surrounding area.

During the winter, the Lake Wanaka area is snow lovers paradise with internationally known ski resorts with downhill skiing, snowboarding, heliskiing, tubing, cross country skiing, freestyle skiing and ice climbing. In the warmer months of summer, these same areas become a mecca for mountain bikers, hiking, horseback riding, golf and rock climbing. Lake Wanaka is a top summer choice for swimming, sunning, boating, skiing, kayaking, sailing, and of course fishing for rainbow trout and brown trout. Fly-fishing is extremely popular for skilled anglers along the Clutha River for salmon. Tubing and rafting can be enjoyed along the river also. During the cooler days of autumn, the area seems to turn golden as the leaves of the poplars and willows turn vibrant hues that reflect off the clear water.

Looking for romance? Lake Wanaka has been voted in the top ten most romantic places to visit and is fast becoming a popular destination for honeymoons or those just seeking a romantic get away. You will be able to find many vacation rentals in the lake area from cabins, lodges, to full service resorts that will fit most budgets. Add in some local wines with dinner while gazing at the reflections in lake and life time memories are made.

Whether you are searching for outdoor adventure, majestic mountain scenery, or a romantic get away, Lake Wanaka in South Island, New Zealand will meet all of these requirements. It is all there waiting for you to enjoy!

Things to Do at Lake Wanaka

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Kayaking
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Ice Climbing
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • National Park

Fish Species Found at Lake Wanaka

  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout

All About Lake Wanaka

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Wanaka

The Lake Wanaka map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Wanaka Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Wanaka Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Wanaka Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Wanaka Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Wanaka lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Roxburgh Power

Surface Area: 47,445 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 915 feet

Maximum Depth: 1,000 feet

Drainage Area: 982 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Lake Wanaka news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Lake Wanaka forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Lake Wanaka photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Lake Wanaka article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Wanaka? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Lake Wanaka forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Lake Wanaka vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Wanaka forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Wanaka photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Lake Wanaka article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Lake Wanaka vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Lake Wanaka forum group? Click Here

New Lake Wanaka photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi