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.

A picture of Lake Wanaka.