Wanaka, New Zealand

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Wanaka Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Welcome to Wanaka

Lake Wanaka ViewSkiing in New Zealand – what comes to mind? If you're like most tourists you'd answer Cardrona, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and even Treble Cone for those adventurous types out there who have a penchant for double black diamond runs. And where will you stay to take advantage of the best powder New Zealand has to offer? Queenstown sounded too crowded and touristy to you – but then you looked further afield and found Wanaka.

Skiing enthusiasts will love Wanaka as it is surprisingly closer to Cardrona and Treble Cone and more affordable than Queenstown. So what are you waiting for? Come see how the locals enjoy the ski season – and once you've done that, you'll realise how much more there is to see and do in Wanaka.

As attractions go, it doesn't come cheaper than looking out your hotel window…

Lake Wanaka Landscape viewAnd what a view it is! Lake Wanaka's sparkling blue waters decked out in front of you. With a view this good, you'd want to make the most of it. So why not take a day and hike the 5 to 6 hours it takes to reach Roys Peak. Although this trek is not for the faint of heart, it is worth it at the end to witness one of the best panoramas you will ever see in your life atop the 1,578 metre-high mountain. See Lake Wanaka like you've never seen it before and catch a glimpse of the impressive Mount Aspiring (Tititea) at a height of 3,033 metres.

One man's trash is another man's treasure…

And nowhere is that more true than in Wanaka. Wanaka Wastebusters is a community-owned business that makes recycling a 'way of life'. Locals can't get enough of the incredible re-use shop which sells quality clothes, books, games, sporting equipment and even the odd retro item. Be sure to check out their website for handy recycling tips that you can share with your loved ones back home. You're bound to impress them with your new-found resourcefulness!

Did someone say food?

And no, we don't mean the local fast food joint. I mean, let's be real – you didn't fly all the way to New Zealand just to buy a Big Mac. But don't worry; you came to the right place since Wanaka is a foodie's paradise. You'll be spoilt for choice in Wanaka that features French, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Lebanese, Asian fusion, rustic pub meals and, of course, fresh and seasonal New Zealand cuisine. Don't forget to try the local favourites of venison, rabbit or the famous Cardrona Merino Lamb. At this rate, you'll want to spend your whole holiday eating – nothing wrong with that!

You've saved so much on your hotel…

Clutha RiverAnd it's true; you could spend your savings on some more ski lift passes. But you've had enough of the snow by now, so why not hire a car and take a drive one hour south of Wanaka to visit Arrowtown. This quaint settlement was founded in 1862 during the Otago gold rush and is perfect for those who want to visit Queenstown – only a 20 minute drive away – without dealing with the noise from the crowds when you're trying to get to sleep.

But before you race off to Queenstown, there's plenty to see in Arrowtown including a restored Chinese mining settlement from the 1860s and the Lakes District Museum featuring exhibits on the local Maori and gold rush history. And if you need one final reason to stay in Arrowtown for a while, indulge your sweet tooth at The Remarkable Sweet Shop or Patagonia Chocolates. You couldn't possibly say no, right?

Spend Less, Do More

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