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
- Taste Central Otago wine on a winery-hopping tour with Wanaka Wine Tours
- See Milford Sound in style on a scenic flight with Southern Alps Air
- Experience the stunning vistas of the Cardrona Valley on horseback with The Cardrona
- Treat yourself to one of the fine dining experiences in Wanaka
- Enjoy Wanaka’s most exclusive picnic spot on a 4WD tour with Criffel Station
- Spend some time in the serene wilderness on a full-day flyfishing tour
- Cruise Lake Wanaka, travel by 4WD and enjoy an island walk with Ridgeline Adventures
- Land on a glacier with a helicopter tour with Aspiring Helicopters
- Try out paragliding to see the Wanaka scenery in a unique way.
For more information on each activity, take a look at the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Wanaka.
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 our 10 Luxury Activities in Wanaka for more experiences to try, including flying a plane, 4WD nature tours and more.
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.
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.
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 the 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:
- The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Wanaka
- The Travel Guide to Wanaka for Families
- The Complete Travel Guide to Wanaka
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.