Master Thoughtful Gifting with Our Wānaka Holiday Shopping Guide

Interior of 47 Frocks.

Wānaka is so much more than a tree in a lake, and whether you’re a local or stopping by on your summer roadie you’ll be spoiled by the options for activities and gift-giving this holiday season.

Words by: Zack Holmes

Wānaka is home to myriad local boutiques, chocolatiers, artists and of course the famous Puzzling World, the choices are seemingly limitless when it comes to buying something special for that special someone. Whether it’s the contemporary art at Gallery Thirty Three that catches your eye, super-sustainable fashion outlets, or a trip to the local cinema in all of its retro-inspired glory, family and friends will have no trouble singling you out as the best gifter of the clan with this local guide. And while you’re at it, you might as well stop for a drink at one of the country’s best bespoke distilleries, right here in the heart of Otago.

 

The Green Room

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2/99 Sir Tim Wallis Drive, Three Parks, Wānaka

Say it with flowers—or plants, or pots, or other leafy green goodness. If you thought you’d seen all there is to see when it comes to florists then a visit to The Green Room will quickly change your mind. A smart, fresh and colourful botanical store, the team here offer custom-made bouquets, potted plants, flower advice and seasonal floral arranging workshops. If you’re out of town you can even buy a floral box online and have it delivered to your loved one’s door.

The Workroom

50 Brownston Street, Wānaka

Aesthetic is what The Workroom does best, so it’s not surprising that just entering this place is a pleasure in itself. The timber floors, soft neutral colours, throws and bright bursts of expertly arranged flowers mean it’s easy to trust these professionals when it comes to spicing up your home's interiors. This 100-year-old cottage is now home to some of the most beautiful homewares, linen, prints and bouquets in town.

Wilson & Dorset

59 Helwick Street, Wānaka

A local institution, this interior design brand has been supplying local and global customers with luxurious, made-to-last pieces for over ten years. Everything coming out of the woolwork is high quality (and Woolmark Certified), and walking into the Wilson & Dorset shop is quite literally like walking into a fluffy cuddle. If you want to make a real impression, the natural colour palette across the whole range promises to look beautiful in any setting, is made to handle the rough and tumble of everyday life and is guaranteed to elicit a strong “WOW” from the recipient as the wrapping is removed.

Rubys Cinema and Bar

50 Cardrona Valley Road, Wānaka

Not everyone wants ‘stuff’, and for those who would rather spend time with those they love, Rubys has just the thing. Appreciative of the time when going to the pictures was a real experience, Rubys is a beautiful time warp where heavy curtains, plush velvet seating and dim lighting pay homage to the days of early movie stars. Showing films that will appeal to a wide audience (from arthouse to recent blockbusters), take your fam to the pictures and enjoy a comfortable, cosy evening away from the bustle of post-Christmas mayhem.

Untouched World

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35 Helwick Street, Wānaka

In true Untouched World style, the Wānaka branch of this fashion brand that has a non-negotiable stance on sustainability and ethics is nothing short of spectacular. The first and only fashion company in the world to be recognised by the United Nations for sustainability, Untouched World gets things right from the get-go. From sustainably grown fibres to GOTS certified organic dyes and water-based prints, each and every bit of clothing here is designed to have as little impact on the planet’s resources as possible.

Gallery Thirty Three

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33 Helwick Street, Wānaka

Contemporary artwork may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if the budget allows then a one-off piece of art might be just the thing for you this summer. Saturated with natural light from the large windows looking out to the main street, Gallery Thirty Three has an ideal space to show off the work of many talented New Zealand artists. From paintings, sculpture, glass and ceramics to contemporary jewellery, the gallery always has a variety of mediums to discover and if you've travelled from afar, the team is well accustomed to sending pieces around the world.

Cardrona Distillery

Bars key icon. Goods key icon.

2125 Cardrona Valley Road, Wānaka

While it may be a small batch operation, Cardrona Distillery runs like clockwork thanks to the efforts of its clever and enthusiastic team who mill, mash, ferment and distil the artisan spirits, label the bottles, run tours or tend to the beautiful grounds. This is the place to come and treat the craft spirit aficionado in your life, whether it be for a tour and tasting, lunch with cocktail pairing, or a take-home bottle of their award-winning Rosehip Gin.

Wastebusters

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Ballantyne Road, Wānaka

When you’re feeling mindful of consumption or on a reuse, recycle and reduce mission, Wastebusters’ huge warehouse on Ballantyne Road has a bargain for you. You can find everything imaginable in this funky, retro haven that's filled with clothing, books, furniture, mountain equipment, and so much more, and when paired with amazing service from a passionate team, you’ll never want to step foot in a Briscoes again.

47 Frocks

Fashion key icon.

47 Helwick Street, Wānaka

Wānaka is no sleepy town when it comes to being on trend with the latest fashion. Thanks to the friendly team at 47 Frocks you can wander the lakeside dressed to impress in the latest threads and accessories from NZ designers. The focus here is on ensuring visitors have a fun time choosing fabulous items to take home. With skin care products, lingerie and footwear to browse too, this store really does have something for every fashion lover.

Neat Wānaka Places

Bike Glendhu

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

Biking in a naturally beautiful setting.

Cardrona Hotel

Historic cream and maroon weatherboard frontage of Cardrona Hotel with a vintage cream 1968 Chrysler Model 62 parked in front.
Place Wānaka Editor's Pick
Accommodation key icon. Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

Rumoured to be the most photographed building in the country, Cardrona Hotel was built in 1863 first and foremost as a place to stay for hardworking gold miners.

Big Fig

A flatlay plate of food on a table at Big Fig in Wānaka.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon.

Operating by the motto ‘slow food served fast’, Big Fig dishes up meals with a Middle Eastern twist.

The Precinct

People walking down the alleyway.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon. Fashion key icon. Services key icon.

A stylish, shared complex in Wānaka with a range of alluring retail and hospitality stores.