We have scoured the stunning mountain and lakeside town of Wānaka to discover the best in eating, drinking, shopping, and more. Explore our favourite places in our guide.

Formerly known as Pembroke, this lakeside town was originally formed during the Gold Rush of the 19th century. Fast forward 100 plus years and although locals may no longer be digging for gold, they’ve certainly found it in the lifestyle that is living in Wānaka.

History has it that Māori came here to hunt and fish during their stop-offs on the way to the West Coast to find pounamu, and current dwellers will tell you that the love of the great outdoors hasn’t diminished since.

The mountains surrounding Wānaka are world-renowned spots for climbing, biking, and skiing, so it’s no wonder Wānaka is home to many super sportspeople.

When the locals aren’t out and about in the forests, hills, or lakes, you’ll find them in town at one of the many fantastic eateries or bars, thanks to a steadily increasing number of entrepreneurs who are providing food and wine done with class.


12 Hours Wānaka

People sitting outside Kai Whakapai.

The neatest things to see, eat, and do.

Your Guide to a Wellness Weekend in Wānaka

A healthy salad bowl and smoothie on a table outside at Dripping Bowl Wanaka.

Ah, Wānaka. Best known as a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, home to a multitude of tracks for shoed feet and feet pushing pedals alike and gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park. Set at the southern end of its namesake lake with famously panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, it’s a place where not only your eyes can feast but so too your mind, body and soul.

Wānaka Businesses Making Waves in a Sustainable Way

Two people in a hot tub at Cross Hill in Lake Hawea.

Wānaka is the home base for a bunch of game-changing businesses, with offerings as diverse as the terrain that surrounds them. Beneath the surface, however, there are commonalities that go beyond their root environment. They are committed to sustainability, prioritising the land, locals and longevity of the planet.

A Foodie's Guide to Queenstown and Wānaka

Close up of Cheese Burger and Fries

It’s easy to mention the great outdoors when talking about Queenstown and Wānaka, but what about the incredible food scene? All that adventuring requires some serious fuel and these two Lakes District towns do not disappoint.

Written in the Green Grocer stars.

Close up of Jesse Herbert standing inside Freshlink Grocer.
Jesse Herbert knew from age 18 that he would become a Green Grocer – no question. Fast forward to now, he is the proud owner of Freshlink Grocer and co-owner of Dripping Bowl food trailer – two Wānaka institutions bursting full of heart and bringing the good food to the people. We caught up with Jesse to hear about his journey…

Explore our Directory

View All

Curbside Coffee & Bagels

The courtyard of the Curbside cafe with festoon lights strung in the sky.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon.

If the timber letters spelling out ‘Coffee & Bagels’ overhead aren’t an obvious enough announcement of your arrival at Curbside then the aroma of freshly ground coffee and the sounds of a busy barista working the machine will certainly grab your attention.

General Service

A group of three people sitting around a table working.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon. Services key icon.

Tucked down an alleyway in the heart of Wānaka is a place where the inhabitants look forward to coming to work each day.

Hāwea Hotel

Inside the restaurant where people are dining and looking out the windows over the lake.
Place Wānaka
Accommodation key icon. Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

How does the idea of enjoying your morning coffee from a private balcony, with uninterrupted views of mountains encircling one of the country’s largest lakes, sound in...

hello RANGER

The interior of hello RANGER where people are sitting at tables dining.
Place Wānaka
Restaurants key icon.

Just like any good park ranger, hello RANGER is the heart of its community, there to take care of adventurous people before and after their journeys.

Get your Pocket Guide for Wānaka

A photo of the latest Neat Places Wanaka pocket guide sitting on a white table next to juice and pastries.

We have scoured the stunning mountain and lakeside town of Wānaka to discover the best in eating, drinking, shopping, and more. Explore our favourite places in our guide.

Wānaka Lavender Farm

In the middle of the Lavender Farm in Wanaka surrounded by lavender plants.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon.

Wānaka Lavender Farm is not your typical working farm.


Four plates of Mexican food from Paloma Wanaka on a wooden table.
Place Wānaka
Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

Creators of authentic Mexican fare, Paloma has a simple (but by no means easy) mission: to make the best tacos in Wānaka possible using New Zealand ingredients.

DEVàl Boutique

Shoes and boots on display at DEVàl Boutique, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka
Fashion key icon.

DEVàL’s story is one of family, tragedy and triumph.


Ceviche on a table with other dishes at Muttonbird, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka
Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

It’s a seabird you can eat that smells like fish and tastes like mutton.

Freshlink Grocer

The interior of Freshlink Grocer where there is a costumer walking around shopping.
Place Wānaka
Goods key icon.

Freshlink Grocer in Wānaka is all about turning to our roots and taking things back to basics.


Dining room with wooden table and chairs at arc, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon. Restaurants key icon.

Owners of Wānaka restaurant arc, James Stapley and Sam Cooper, know a thing or two about what makes a good eatery.

The Next Chapter

The outside of The Next Chapter, Wānaka on a sunny day.
Place Wānaka

Located out front of Paradiso Cinema, in a purpose-built architecturally designed scaled up kiosk, The Next Chapter provides readers with an intimate escape from the...


Sports bottles and other accessories on display at Fearless, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka
Fashion key icon.

Fearless is a store with a purpose.

The Precinct

View of the hills from The Precinct.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon. Fashion key icon. Services key icon.

The Precinct came on the Wānaka scene in late 2020 as a stylish, shared complex with a range of alluring retail and hospitality stores.


Barista making coffee.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon.

While Kamino is known first and foremost as a coffee shop and milkbar, this place is no one trick pony.

Inside Tattoo

Man getting his head tattooed.
Place Wānaka
Services key icon.

Far from your average tattoo parlour. Inside Tattoo is a place to marvel at the artwork, ask questions and spark your curiosity.

Bike Glendhu

Cycling over grass at sunset.
Place Wānaka
Stay and explore key icon.

Biking in a naturally beautiful setting.