The Insiders' Weekend Guide to Lake Hāwea

A view from above The Camp at Lake Hāwea in Wanaka.
No longer Wānaka's lesser-known neighbour, Lake Haweā is an outdoor lovers' paradise that's evolved into a well-rounded holiday destination, thanks to its hospitality offerings and activities to match its intense beauty and monstrous mountain range.  With a secret sauna, surrounding peaks, jaw-dropping walks and hikes, coffee caravans and outdoor bars, here's our guide to what the locals have kept under wraps for some time.

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 feet shod in boots or pushing pedals, and a 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.

Pinnacle Pints in Wānaka: Where Craft Beer Meets Mountain Peaks

People dining inside Rhyme x Reason.

Wānaka craft beer, mountain scenery and outdoor activities meet to create a community of followers who thirst for adventure.

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.

10 South Island Ski Fields and Bars for Your Après-Ski

People skiing at one New Zealand's best ski fields Roundhill.
Christchurch & Canterbury

The feeling of cracking open a cold beverage after a hard day on the ski fields is tough to beat. Whether it’s while soaking those sore muscles in a hot tub, or changing gears for a big night out, it always feels like a drink well earned. Even more so if it’s freezing outside.

A Beginner’s Guide to the Southern Alps (for the Non-Outdoorsy Types)

Looking towards the snow covered mountains of the New Zealand southern alps on a sunny day.

The Southern Alps are celebrated around the world for their beauty. With incredible walks, tramps, skiing and outdoor adventures abound, it can feel like an adventurer’s paradise. However, if you prefer to enjoy the views in comfort, the Southern Alps still have plenty to offer. 

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…

Tour Your Tastebuds Around Wānaka's Flourishing Food and Drink Scene

A staff member holding tray of freshly baked pastries.

Wānaka is full of local food and drink entrepreneurs ready to bring you the region’s bounty.

Load up Your Tote Bag at Wānaka's Best Independent Boutiques

Interior view of The Workroom, Wānaka.

Immerse yourself in Wānaka's creative shopping scene.

How To Spend a Snowy Weekend in Wānaka

Tree growing in Lake Wānaka with snowy mountains in the background. Photograph by Casey Horner.

Wānaka's winter appeal doesn’t stop on the hill. This Otago town offers more than meets the eye.

Beyond the Eggs Bene, Here's Where to Get Your Brunch Fix in Wānaka

Barista making coffee at Kamino.
With plenty of beautiful fit-outs, premium roasted coffee and health- and earth-conscious brunch places, you’re sure to find one that suits you.

Sip Your Way Through Our Guide To Kiwi-Made Spirits

Cardrona Distillery looking out to the mountains.
From specialty gin to artisan whiskey, amp up your next cocktail party with our curated selection of homegrown spirits.

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.

A Conversation with Jayden Klinac of For The Better Good

Jayden Kilnac looking to camera outside a glass house.
Meet Jayden Klinac, the face behind For The Better Good, a New Zealand company producing non-toxic, compostable beverage bottles made from plants, not oil.

Impress Your Tastebuds with Wānaka's Most Delicious Dishes

A staff member holding three plates of food at Kika in Wānaka.

It’s important to get a taste of whatever place you’re visiting, and the best way to do that is to simply get out and about and sit yourself down at some of the neatest restaurants in town.

The Workroom Caravan

Anna Begg of the Workroom Caravan with two other women.
If you have a wedding, hen-do, birthday party, or any other kind of outdoor celebration planned in Wānaka, contact Anna Begg to hire The Caravan, a mobile bar complete with vintage design and smiley staff.

Distilling Dreams Into Reality

Desiree and Ash outside Cardrona Distillery.
A chance meeting and a set of two dreams combined led Desiree and Ash to the creation of Cardrona Distillery. The first of its kind in the area, the copious amounts of work the duo have put in is starting to pay off in a very big way.

12 Hours Wānaka

People sitting outside Kai Whakapai.

The neatest things to see, eat, and do.

Back Blocks

The Back Blocks of Wānaka.
You’d be silly to think all the beauty in Wānaka resides on the lakefront, take a short jaunt out of town to discover Back Blocks. Some of the best in the business lie beyond the lake, featuring brew bars, preserved fruits, and French restaurants. Nicknamed the ‘Back Blocks’ of Wānaka, this neighbourhood is home to a faultlessly friendly bunch of brewers, growers, and foodies. The quiet and pristine area is favoured by locals when the township gets busy over the holiday period, and visitors will revel in the spaciousness of it all. When you're finished gaping at mountain views, pull up a chair and dine at some of the best eateries in town where the service is immaculate and the wine is grown in the backyard.

Good Bread Takes Time

A photo of Ruth Heath.
Taking the humble sandwich to a whole new level, Ruth and partner Jeremy have taken things (quite literally) into their own hands when it comes to supplying real loaves with real nutritional value.

The Beer Man - B.Effect

A photo of James Hay.
It’s not uncommon for James Hay to look around a restaurant and see who’s drinking beer. That’s because as the sole owner/operator of B’Effect brewing company, it’s important to know what’s filling the glasses of local drinkers.