Food Guide to Wanaka
The lake, the mountains and the adventure activities might take the limelight, but there’s an incredible foodie scene in Wanaka just waiting to be discovered. With surrounding vineyards and a wealth of creative local artisans, Wanaka certainly has something to offer the traveller who is more interested in food-related experiences. From winery to beer tours, street eats to fine dining, fishing to scenic picnics, there’s a ton to experience for the adventurous foodie here in Wanaka. Find out what activities are available, as well as where to stay with great food or the opportunity to make your own meals using local produce in this complete foodie guide to Wanaka.
9 Things to Do in Wanaka for Foodies
- Do a winery-hopping tour
- Visit the Wanaka Artisan Market
- Take a trike or horse trek to historic pubs
- Pick up some sweet treats at one of the speciality stores
- Tour a microbrewery
- Dine at Wanaka’s top restaurants
- Combine a movie with great food at Cinema Paradiso
- Tour to Wanaka’s best picnic spot via 4WD
- Catch your own trout on a flyfishing tour
Find out more about each experience in our 9 Things to Do in Wanaka for Foodies.
Foodie Activities in Wanaka
What are the food-related experiences in Wanaka? Here are more details of some of our top picks!
Did you know that Wanaka is part of a winemaking region? There are five wonderful wineries in the Wanaka area, which are easy to visit independently using our 5 Best Wineries in Wanaka article or opt for a designated driver and local knowledge on one of the wine tours. Wanaka Wine Tours takes you to four boutique wineries to taste award-winning varietals and try a gourmet food and wine-matching experience. Find out more about Wanaka Wine Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor. Another fantastic option is the unique Maori culture and wine tour with WanaHaka. Part of the day is dedicated to visiting the local wineries, while the other part is learning about the indigenous Maori who have lived on the lands for generations. More details on the tour are available on Viator and Tripadvisor.
The Cardrona Hotel is a must for any foodie travelling between Wanaka and Queenstown. If you can’t get to it yourself, there’s a couple of unique ways to enjoy the historic pub. Join Wanaka Trike Tours for their Historic Pub Tour takes you through some exquisite scenery, including in over the Crown Range, the Kawarau Valley and the Cromwell Basin. You’ll also stop by the Gibbston Tavern for a drink by the Kawarau River. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor. Alternatively, do a horse trek to the Cardrona Hotel with The Cardrona where a complimentary drink is included – more information is available on Viator and Tripadvisor. See more activities like this in 11 Awesome Horse Treks in New Zealand.
From wine to beer, Wanaka also has a craft brewery scene, best experienced at Wanaka Beerworks. Learn how the good stuff is made on the Wanaka Beerworks microbrewery tour. The Tasting Room located next door and next to The National Transport & Toy Museum is also open after your tour with tasting trays to sample the hoppy goodness. Tours depart Monday-Saturday at 2pm. Learn more about this tour and others in 5 Damn Good Brewery Tours in New Zealand.
Make a visit to the Wanaka Artisan Market to sample handmade chocolates, cakes, bread, craft beer, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine in winter, and so much more. The local market takes place every Thursday afternoon into the early evening by Bullock Creek near the Speight’s Ale House. The market also runs alongside the Arts & Crafts market on some Sundays during summer.
Best Restaurants in Wanaka
While Wanaka might be a small town, it certainly has a big restaurant scene. There’s a range of dining experiences, from cheap eats to fine dining.
A top recommendation would be the tapas bar, Kika on Dunmore Street, specialising in sharing plates and Instgrammable desserts! Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen on Ardmore Street is also worth checking out for its signature slow-cooked lamb shoulder – a real Kiwi dish! There’s also plenty of opportunities to grab something naughty, such as at Patagonia Chocolates and Black Peak Gelato – both or Ardmore Street. Finally, stop by the Charlie Brown Crepes food truck on Brownstone Street for sweet and savoury crepes on the go.
Fine Dining in Wanaka
Celebrate a special occasion or simply treat yourself at one of the fine dining restaurants in Wanaka. Bistro Gentil, just outside of Wanaka on Golf Course Road, offers gorgeous views of the surrounding gardens and mountains accompanied by French-style cuisine. Ode Conscious Dining on Ardmore Street is another option, which creates works of art on your plate with their eight-course degustation experiences. We also like their vegan menu – see Vegetarian Travel Guide to New Zealand for more advice on the subject.
Alternative Things to Do in Wanaka
While food is pretty awesome, that doesn’t have to be the sole focus of your trip to Wanaka. Check out these other things to do in Wanaka to complement your trip.
Other Things to Do in Wanaka
- Do a stand-up paddleboard or kayak tour on Lake Wanaka with Paddle Wanaka (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Visit Puzzling World and get lost in their giant maze (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Do a skydive with Skydive Wanaka (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Learn to ski at Cardrona (on Viator and Tripadvisor) or Treble Cone (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Do a mountain bike tour and cruise on the lake with Discover Wanaka (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Challenge yourself with archery or clay bird shooting at Crossfire (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Land on a glacier in a helicopter tour with Siberia Experience (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
And much more! Get more inspiration for things to do in our 10 Wanaka Must-Dos.