The Luxury Travel Guide to Wanaka© Unsplash
The Luxury Travel Guide to Wanaka

The Luxury Travel Guide to Wanaka [2024]

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How to Plan a Luxury Trip to Wanaka

A special destination like Lake Wanaka, with its majestic alpine surroundings and glistening lakes, deserves a special way to experience it. A luxury trip to Wanaka includes staying in lavish hotels or exclusive apartments, dining at restaurants run by passionate locals, and experiencing once-in-a-lifetime activities. Start planning your luxury getaway to one of the South Island‘s most dreamed-about destinations with this luxury travel guide to Wanaka.

While you’re here, you might also be interested in the 18 Best Things to Do in Wanaka.

The Best Luxury Tours and Experiences in Wanaka

For more information on each activity, take a look at the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Wanaka.

Pixabay© Pixabay

Luxury Outdoor Experiences in Wanaka

Looking for luxurious experiences that will stay with you for years to come? Wanaka can certainly provide. Check out some of these premium activities around Lake Wanaka.

Milford Sound Fly-Cruise-Fly

See one of New Zealand’s most breathtaking attractions in style with a flight from Wanaka. The Glacier Flight & Cruise experience with Southern Alps Air takes you on a 45-minute flight landing in Milford Sound. From there, board a cruise of the majestic fiord and look out for seals, dolphins and penguins before returning to Wanaka by plane. Flights are a small-group experience where you’ll get to observe epic glaciers, alpine lakes and untouched forest of a UNESCO World Heritage Area. Find out more about the tour, read reviews and book your flight on Southern Alps Air’s pages on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Cardrona Horse Trek

Another way to explore the stunning landscapes surrounding Wanaka in style, join a horse trek with The Cardrona. Head out on horseback to explore the New Zealand countryside, seeing historical points of interest, passing through a working cattle station, traversing rivers and soaking in the marvellous vistas of alpine scenery. The ride includes a stop by the historic Cardrona Hotel for a complimentary drink before returning back to base along the Cardrona River. Tours with The Cardrona are available on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Criffel Station’s Taste Journey

Hit one of Wanaka’s most impressive picnic spots on a 4WD tour with Criffel Station. Their 4WD tour that departs from Crossfire, takes you onto a family-run deer station boasting gorgeous vistas of the Wanaka Basin. Ascend to a staggering 1,300m above sea level where you’ll enjoy a gourmet morning or afternoon tea with unbeatable views. Along the way, spot majestic deer and learn about Wanaka’s gold mining history from your guide. Check out this tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Fly Fishing in Wanaka

For the keen fishermen or women among you, treat yourself to an excellent day flyfishing with Aspiring Flyfishing, A Fly Fisher’s Guide or Southern Rivers Fly Fishing. Day-long fishing excursions take you to Wanaka’s surrounding lakes, creeks and rivers to fish for brown and rainbow trout. You’ll have an expert flyfishing guide to show you the ropes and share local knowledge, as well as access to all fly fishing equipment, lunch and drinks, as well as time in the serene Wanaka wilderness.

But that’s not all. Shimmy over to ourĀ 10 Luxury Activities in Wanaka for more experiences to try, including flying a plane, 4WD nature tours and more.

Pixabay© Pixabay

Luxury Dining in Wanaka

If you’re looking for a place to dine in Wanaka for a special occasion or simply to treat yourself, then check out some of the fine dining experiences in Wanaka.

Experience French gastronomy at Bistro Gentil, just outside of Wanaka on Golf Course Road. The bistro soaks in gorgeous views of the surrounding gardens and mountains. Enjoy New Zealand produce, such as Cardrona merino lamb, Aoraki salmon and Canter Valley duck prepared in a French style. The restaurant also offers more than 24 wines by the glass, as well as cocktails which are best enjoyed on the terrace while watching the sun go down.

[Update: Ode has closed]. For something a little closer to town, choose Ode Conscious Dining on Ardmore Street. The restaurant creates works of art on your plate, with set menus and eight-course degustation experiences. It’s a little bit artsy, super flavourful, and an experience worth treating yourself to in Wanaka. What’s more, there’s a vegan menu also available – see Vegetarian Travel Guide to New Zealand for more advice like this.

The Luxury Travel Guide to Wanaka© Pxhere

All-Weather Luxury Activities in Wanaka

Like much of New Zealand, the weather in Wanaka can be a little unpredictable. For those days where the weather isn’t playing ball, here are some indoor luxury activities in Wanaka.

Wine Tours

Wanaka is one of the towns within the Central Otago wine region, which you can learn more about in one of the fantastic Wanaka wine tours. Join Wanaka Wine Tours and visit four boutique wineries to taste award-winning wines and indulge in a gourmet food and wine-matching experience. Find out more about Wanaka Wine Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor. Alternatively, WanaHaka offers winery tours with a cultural twist! More details are on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, learn more about the Wanaka wines in the 5 Best Wineries in Wanaka.

Again, check out more experiences in theĀ 10 Luxury Activities in Wanaka.

[Update: Word of Deer Museum has closed]. See a collection of impressive deer antlers grown by stud animals in the local area at the World of Deer Museum. The collection celebrates all thing “deer” with world record antlers and education on the deer farming industry. Get a more in-depth look at the World of Deer with a personal tour with the museum’s host and stud deer farmer.

More About Wanaka

That’s it for the luxury travel guide to Wanaka. For more guidance on your Wanaka journey, check out the following guides:

Finally, find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand, as well as more South Island road trip inspiration from the South Island Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks or South Island Luxury Itinerary: One Week.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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