15 Best Places To Stay In Wanaka For All Budgets

While Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, Wanaka is the town that stole our hearts and beckoned us back anytime we had the chance. The laid-back lakeside town is full of exploration opportunities and exudes a vibrant vibe that hooks you in the moment you step onto the charming streets.

As you would expect from such a sought-after destination, there are countless places to stay in Wanaka that accommodate all budgets and travelling styles. While this is mostly positive, it can make decisions a difficult task – especially for first-time visitors unsure of what area to choose for their base.

We have spent many weeks exploring every street of Wanaka and enjoying the endless activities in town and the nearby mountains. From our experience, we have put together this helpful guide on choosing the best places to stay in Wanaka, including information about the various areas to choose between.

So whether you’re searching for a cozy retreat in the hills or a stylish apartment within walking distance of the bustling lakeside streets, you’ll find our top Wanaka accommodation recommendations below.

Looking over Wanaka from Mt Iron

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Where To Stay In Wanaka For Your Travel Style

Wanaka is a relatively small town set on the banks of Lake Wanaka, one hour north of Queenstown. No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll never be far from the action, but there are certain areas that we recommend for certain travel styles.

Below, we’ll break down the various areas of Wanaka and the nearby towns so you can easily pick the best location for your holiday.

Wanaka Town Centre

Walking on the footpath in Wanaka's Town Centre

The obvious choice for many is to base yourself as close to the action as possible. Wanaka’s town centre sprawls out from the banks of Lake Wanaka, with the majority of shops and restaurants within easy walking distance of each other.

The only downside to choosing a place to stay in Wanaka’s town centre is the slightly higher price per night and the busier streets. However, you’re not likely to be kept up till the wee hours of the morning from partiers like you might in Queenstown’s centre.

West Wanaka

The Wanaka Tree on a moody evening while staying in Wanaka

West Wanaka offers a more relaxed and nature-filled vibe, with many streets bordered by towering leafy trees. The more eastern parts are still within walking distance of Lake Wanaka and the western end of the town centre, but you’ll find more peace and quiet.

Furthermore, Wanaka’s west provides close proximity to the walking trails and various other adventurous activities found along Wanaka Mt Aspiring Rd, without having to drive through town.

North Wanaka

North Wanaka is a little further out of the way, with few places within walking distance of town. Staying in the northern parts of Wanaka generally results in a lower cost, but it also means you’ll often have to contend with traffic to get into town.

Furthermore, due to most of the north’s slightly higher elevation, you can find some beautiful places to stay that offer incredible views over Wanaka and the distant mountains.

Albert Town

Albert Town is a small suburb to the east of Wanaka, within a 5-minute drive to the town centre. Albert Town isn’t located on the banks of Lake Wanaka, but some of the accommodation options are set beside the vibrant blue Clutha River.

We were surprised to see that the prices for accommodation in Albert Town were the same as what you can get in Wanaka, so we don’t recommend booking out here unless you find something you really love.

Other Places To Stay Near Wanaka

Lake Wanaka from Rocky Mountain in Wanaka

If you’re searching for a tranquil retreat in the hills surrounding Wanaka, then you’re in luck. There are several options that we’ll include below that provide a relaxing escape without venturing too far from town.

Along with these rural options, you’ll find three small towns near Wanaka that boast various benefits. They’re all within a half-hour’s drive from Wanaka and can be a great option if you’re planning a more adventurous holiday.

  • Glendhu Bay – for close access to the Matukituki Valley, Bike Glendhu and Treble Cone Ski Resort, Glendhu Bay is the perfect choice.
  • Lake Hawea – Lake Hawea is located 20 minutes north of Wanaka, towards Makarora and hikes such as the Gillespie Pass Circuit, Brewster Glacier, Corner Peak and Isthmus Peak, and provides another lakeside location with even more peace and tranquillity.
  • Cardrona – located halfway between Wanaka and Queenstown, the tiny rural town of Cardrona sits at the base of the popular ski resort. This is a great option if you plan to spend most of your time on the mountain skiing, snowboarding or taking part in the various summer activities offered.

How To Find Eco-Friendly Places To Stay In Wanaka

Aside from noticing whether a hotel or holiday home uses re-fillable bottles for toiletries instead of individually packaged ones, it is very difficult to determine whether they are truly eco-friendly.

Booking.com offers some assistance by listing a property’s sustainable practices and providing clear labels for third-party sustainability certifications. This information includes whether they use renewable energy, invest in community or sustainability projects, use local produce or avoid single-use plastic – among other measures.

They originally had their own Travel Sustainable program, but they are ditching this in favour of more recognised certificates with higher standards. However, we have yet to find examples of what these certificates will be – we will update this once it becomes clearer.

From my research, Airbnb doesn’t offer this information. The only other way to learn of the sustainability practices of a property is to check their website and social media – if they have them.

Quick Tips For Staying In Wanaka, New Zealand

  • Allow at least 2 – 3 days to spend in Wanaka, we recommend even more if you have the time and love to hike
  • For the best hikes, visit the Matukituki Valley and check out Cascade Saddle, Liverpool Hut and French Ridge Hut.
  • Wanaka’s town centre and the western side of town are the best locations to choose if you want the ability to walk to town and the lake
  • Winter can be just as busy as summer due to the ski resorts nearby, book in advance for these times for the best deals
  • We use Booking.com for all our accommodation, they provide an easy-to-use app and offer awesome discounts with their Genius Loyalty Program
  • Grab groceries from the New World on the outskirts of town for better variety
  • Fill up with fuel at the Allied 24/7 fuel station near the New World in the industrial area to save big
  • Try the Burgers at Kai Whaka Pai. Trust me, you won’t regret it

15 Best Places To Stay In Wanaka For All Budgets

*All prices below are in NZD and based on 2 guests for one night – unless otherwise specified

Accommodation In Wanaka Town Centre

Te Wanaka Lodge

Location: 23 Brownstone Street, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 – 3 guests in private rooms
Price: $$ (from $296)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 1

Main Bedroom in the Te Wanaka Lodge, a great palce to stay in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

Te Wanaka Lodge is a cosy European-style ski lodge well-loved for its delicious breakfast, warm communal lounges and relaxing cedar hot tub in the courtyard. Plus, it’s affordable and centrally located within walking distance of town!

Each room has its own ensuite and private terrace, with varying sizes to suit up to 3 guests. You can also choose a private cottage tucked into the courtyard for more privacy and a kitchenette.

The best thing about this lodge is the cosy lounges with roaring fires (that you don’t have to light yourself) and the complimentary afternoon tea, consisting of home-baked cake and coffee or tea!

Best Bits

  • Can opt for breakfast included for a good discount
  • Complimentary afternoon tea
  • Cedar hot-tub
  • 5-minute walk to town and Lake Wanaka

Lakeside Apartments

Location: 9 Lakeside Rd, Wanaka
Capacity: rooms catering from 2 – 6 guests
Price: $$$ (from $360)
Sustainability: Qualmark Silver
Min No. Nights: 1

Master Bedroom at Lakeside Apartments accommodation in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

If location and views are two of your top priorities, then you’ll love the Lakeside Apartments. The fully-equipped serviced apartments are either 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms, each with a balcony or patio and views over Lake Wanaka.

Lakeside Apartments is especially ideal for families or groups travelling together, as you get your own space as well as a communal pool and BBQ area to meet up.

While the rooms are a little dated, that is the only negative we can find for these apartments, which have nothing but positive reviews.

Best Bits

  • Pool, spa and BBQ area with views of Lake Wanaka
  • Full kitchen, laundry and spacious living areas in each apartment
  • Less than a 5-minute walk to the main downtown area of Wanaka and the lake

Ahurei Apartments

Location: 208 Brownstone Street, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 – 4 guests for one to two-bedroom apartments
Price: $$$ (from $395)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 2 (5 nights through winter)

Ahurei Apartment Kitchen, Luxury accommodation in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

Ahurei Apartments offers a little extra luxury with their beautiful modern and light-filled apartments. Each apartment boasts views of the mountains surrounding Lake Wanaka, a fully-equipped kitchen and laundry facilities.

These apartments are slightly more expensive compared to the Lakeside Apartments, but you’ll enjoy more space, a quieter setting and private BBQ facilities. However, the only downside is that there is nowhere to store your mountain bikes or skis/snowboards.

Best Bits

  • Full kitchen and laundry facilities in each apartment
  • Large, airy and light-filled living areas
  • 10-minute walk to town and Lake Wanaka

The Krook

Location: 119 Upton Street, Wanaka
Capacity: 10 guests – 5 bedrooms
Price: $-$$ (from $765 for up to 10 guests)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 2 (5 during winter)

Large living room at the Krook accommodation in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

If you’re travelling with a group of friends or a few families, then this is the ultimate holiday home for you! The Krook is an incredibly affordable 5-bedroom house that boasts a large kitchen, two lounge rooms, four bathrooms and two outdoor areas!

While the house is slightly outdated and could do with a little love in some areas, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better value within walking distance of Wanaka’s town centre. Not to mention, the views from the upper balcony are simply magical.

Best Bits

  • Great value for a large group of 6 – 10 guests
  • Two spacious lounge rooms and laundry facilities
  • Beautiful views from the upstairs deck
  • Under a 10-minute walk to the main downtown area of Wanaka and the lake

Marine Terrace

Location: 64 Lakeside Road, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 – 6 guests – studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments
Price: $$$ (from $413)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 2 (4 nights in winter)

Large living room at Marine Terrace, one of the best places to stay in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

Marine Terrace Apartments, located just north of the town centre and directly across from Lake Wanaka, offer a luxurious stay with breathtaking vistas from the floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the complex.

These apartments are a little more expensive compared to the ones above, but in return, you’ll get a beautifully styled apartment full of all the amenities you could want. Plus, the complex boasts a heated indoor pool, a gym and a spa – all overlooking the lake and distant mountains.

Large heated pool in the Marina Terrace accommodation in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

To save money, you can book the studio apartment, which doesn’t have a full kitchen but still offers the same lovely vistas and access to the complex facilities.

Best Bits

  • Directly across the road from Lake Wanaka
  • Indoor heated pool and spa and a gym on-site
  • Beautiful and luxurious apartments with fully-equipped kitchens, laundry and balconies  – some with a private outdoor fireplace
  • More affordable studio option (without full kitchen or laundry facilities)
  • 5-minute walk to the main downtown area of Wanaka

Accommodation In West Wanaka

Edgewater Hotel

Location: Sargood Drive, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 – 4 guests – 1 – 2 bedroom apartments
Price: $$ (from $249)
Sustainability: Toitu Carbon Reduced Certified + more
Min No. Nights: 1

Edgewater Hotel main bedroom
Image sourced from Booking.com

Situated on the edge of Lake Wanaka, Edgewater offers scenic views and a range of activities right on its doorstep. While the rooms are a little dated, the relatively budget-friendly hotel suites and rooms provide great value for those wishing for a more relaxing getaway.

On top of stunning views and a peaceful setting, you’ll also find tennis courts, a spa and sauna and a 9-hole putting green at the Edgewater Hotel. You’ll hardly need to leave, especially with a restaurant on-site

Furthermore, the sprawling lawns surrounding the hotel make this the perfect location for families with small kids.

Edgewater Hotel Lodge like accommodation in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

Best Bits

  • Plenty of activities available on-site
  • Direct access to Lake Wanaka
  • Quiet and relaxing atmosphere
  • Half-hour scenic walk along the lake to the town centre

Wanaka Luxury Apartments

Location: 8 Stonebrook Drive, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 – 6 – 1 – 3 bedroom apartments
Price: $$ (from $250)
Sustainability: Qualmark Silver 
Min No. Nights: 2

Wanaka Luxury Apartments accommodation
Image sourced from Booking.com

Located on a quiet street only a 20-minute walk from the town centre, Wanaka Luxury Apartments offers the perfect compromise between staying near to town and enjoying a peaceful getaway.

Wanaka Luxury Apartments consist of one, two and three-bedroom apartments with a cosy ski lodge vibe. These self-contained apartments offer all the comforts of a home with the added bonus of a communal swimming pool, spa and outdoor fireplace.

This is the ideal place to stay in Wanaka for a group ski trip or families travelling together.

Best Bits

  • Each apartment has a kitchen and laundry facilities
  • The outdoor communal area includes a spa, swimming pool, BBQ, pizza oven and fireplace
  • A 20-minute walk to the town centre and Lake Wanaka

Wanaka Deluxe Studio

Location: 21 Heuchan Lane, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 guests – 1 bedroom
Price: $$ (from $284)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 2

Wanaka Deluxe Studio main living room
Image sourced from Booking.com

Wanaka Deluxe Studio is a thoughtfully designed one-bedroom studio located at the back of the host’s main house, with its own entrance. It’s a cosy little oasis, with a peaceful patio where you can sit and soak up the afternoon sun.

You’ll find a well-equipped kitchenette and washing machine at the Wanaka Deluxe Studio, which is an easy 30-minute walk from the town centre and 20 minutes from Lake Wanaka.

Best Bits

  • Secluded and quiet, without being too far from town
  • All you need in a compact and cosy one-bedroom studio, including a washing machine
  • 30-minute walk to the town centre

Accommodation In North Wanaka

The Hidden Spring

Location: 18 Hidden Hills Drive, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 guests
Price: $ (from $170)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 2

Sofa chairs at the hidden spring with sunshine beaming through the glass doors

The Hidden Spring is a gorgeous studio, surrounded by beautiful gardens and boasting stunning views of the northern mountain ranges flanking Wanaka.

This is our favourite place to stay in Wanaka, not only for the incredibly affordable price but for the tranquillity of the location and, of course, the bathtub that looks out over the mountain peaks

We spent 3 nights at The Hidden Spring and highly recommend this studio accommodation if you’re keen on saving some money and enjoying some peace and quiet. The only downside to The Hidden Spring is the lack of a kitchenette, so expect to have all your meals out.

Best Bits

  • Very affordable (especially if you’re a Genius member with Booking.com)
  • Beautiful views of the northern mountain range from a private patio
  • 5-minute drive to the town centre

Kauri House Apartment

Location: 12 Astral Rise, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 guests
Price: $$ ($320 – no inflation over busy periods)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 2

Living room in the Kauri House, one of the best places to stay in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

If you’re searching for true Kiwi hospitality, alongside incredible views of the beautiful Wanaka and Southern Alps, then you will instantly fall in love with the Kauri House Apartment.

Located at the foothills of Mt Iron, surrounded by lush gardens, you’ll find a quirky apartment attached to the main Kauri House. This bed & breakfast style accommodation provides a delicious breakfast included and invaluable local knowledge from the hosts, Bill and Noelene.

The one-bedroom Kauri House Apartment is self-contained, with a kitchenette and a BBQ on the spacious deck that boasts breathtaking views. If we had known about the Kauri House before booking our place to stay in Wanaka, we would have definitely chosen this one!

Best Bits

  • Complimentary breakfast included
  • Stunning views over Wanaka and the Southern Alps
  • The apartment includes a kitchenette, BBQ and laundry facilities
  • Friendly hosts who have endless knowledge about Wanaka and the surrounds
  • 5-minute drive to the town centre and Lake Wanaka

Other Places To Stay Near Wanaka

Mitchella Farm Eco Stay

Location: 760 Kane Road, Hawea Flat
Capacity: 2 – 6 guests – studio or two-bedroom apartment
Price: $$ (from $220 – discount for staying more than 1 night)
Sustainability: Solar-powered, built with mostly recycled materials
Min No. Nights: 1

Mitchella Farm Eco Stay Cabin near Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

Mitchella Farm Eco Stay is a peaceful budget-friendly retreat located on a 20-acre lifestyle farm overlooking the Upper Clutha and distant peaks of the Southern Alps. Their farm consists of a stand-alone studio cabin and a two-bedroom upstairs apartment that’s connected to the owner’s home.

For the best value for money, we recommend the studio cabin, which offers more privacy and a little outdoor seating area to take in the blissful country vibe. You can even wander the farm at your leisure and feed their friendly goat!

But the best part about Mitchella Farm is the dedication to sustainability. From the beginning of its construction, every aspect of sustainability has been considered. The welcoming hosts and property owners, Steve and Liz, will be more than happy to tell you more about their story and the beginning of Mitchella Farm.

Best Bits

  • Peaceful rural vibe with plenty of space to roam around
  • You’ll receive a discount on Booking.com if you book for more than one night
  • Beautiful vistas of the Southern Alps and the rural Upper Clutha
  • 15-minute drive to Wanaka, 10-minute drive to Lake Hawea

Cardrona Hotel

Location: 2312 Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona
Capacity: 2 – 4 guests – hotel rooms
Price: $ (from $150)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 1

Cardrona Hotel

Located roughly halfway between Wanaka and Queenstown, Cardrona Hotel is a historic, rustic hotel with cosy motel-style rooms behind the world-famous pub. Even if you don’t choose to stay at the Cardrona Hotel, a visit is a must to have a beer or eat at one of the oldest and most iconic hotels in New Zealand.

But for those who find convenience in staying between two of the most popular towns in New Zealand’s South Island, this is a very affordable option with plenty of good vibes. Not to mention, it’s the ultimate location to base yourself if you plan to spend your days skiing, snowboarding or mountain biking at Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Best Bits

  • Perfect location for travellers spending most of their time at Cardrona Alpine Resort
  • Very affordable motel rooms that have been tastefully decorated
  • Conveniently located 25 minutes from Wanaka and 40 minutes from Queenstown
  • Delicious food and great vibes at the Cardona Hotel Restaurant and Bar

Matukituki Lodge

Location: 2967 Wanaka Mt Aspiring Road, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 – 8 guests – 2 – 4 bedrooms (option to rent half or whole house)
Price: $$$ (from $425 – cheaper for more guests)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 1

Hot Tub at the Matukituki Lodge near Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

Tucked into the foothills of our favourite valley, the Matukituki Lodge is located on the Matukituki Station with nothing but majestic mountains and verdant paddocks surrounding it.

If you’re searching for a nature-filled oasis, then the Matukituki Lodge is the best place to stay in Wanaka. The lodge consists of four bedrooms and you have the choice of booking half or the whole lodge. If you book half, you may share the communal kitchen and lounge areas with fellow adventurous travellers.

Living room inside the Matukituki Lodge near Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

This is the ideal option for those wishing to spend much of their time hiking the many magnificent trails in the Matukituki Valley – which includes some of our favourites like Aspiring Hut and the Shotover Saddle.

However, it’s important to note that there is no phone service in the valley and the road can be quite bumpy. But that’s a small price to pay to wake up to the unforgettable vistas of the valley.

Best Bits

  • A quiet oasis surrounded by majestic mountains
  • The lodge includes a hot tub and plenty of space to roam nearby
  • Affordable for two families if you book the whole lodge
  • Conveniently located near Treble Cone Alpine Resort and the many hikes in the Matukituki Valley
  • A 30-minute drive from Wanaka

The Kanuka Cabin

Location: 285 Maungawera Road, Wanaka
Capacity: 2 guests
Price: $$ (from $235)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 2

Kanuka Cabin view over mountains
Image sourced from Booking.com

The Kanuka Cabin is the ultimate romantic getaway destination. The rustic cabin offers a blissful escape from the bustling streets of Wanaka, even though it’s only a 15-minute drive away!

The boutique cabin consists of a private hot tub, an outdoor shower and a deck overlooking the breathtaking mountain peaks that divide Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. A small kitchenette consisting of a microwave, kettle, mini-fridge and toaster allows you to make basic meals to enjoy on the deck under a blanket of stars.

Best Bits

  • Pets are allowed on request (the first we’ve come across that allows this!)
  • Beautiful views and remote location allow for a private nature getaway
  • 15-minute drive to Wanaka’s town centre
  • Hot tub with stunning views of the mountains

Buchanan Lodge

Location: 370 Buchanan Rise, Roys Peninsula (Wanaka)
Capacity: 9 guests – 5 bedrooms
Price: $$-$$$ (from $1,420 for 9)
Sustainability: N/A
Min No. Nights: 3

Massive open plan living space at the Buchanan Lodge in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

Buchanan Lodge is the perfect destination for an extended family holiday or a group of friends searching for a peaceful sanctuary for a long weekend. The 5-bedroom holiday home was designed to replicate a settler’s hut so that it fits perfectly into its breathtaking surroundings.

The remote location provides private beach access to Lake Wanaka and plenty of space for kids to run and friends to enjoy space and nature. The spacious lodge looks out upon the lake and over to the towering Roys Peak, with Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain rising behind.

You’ll hardly want to leave once you arrive, but if you do, Wanaka is only 30 minutes away and there are plenty of hikes, mountain biking trails and other activities nearby.

Buchanan Lodge overlooking Roys Peak in Wanaka
Image sourced from Booking.com

Best Bits

  • Magnificent views from the private and luxurious holiday home
  • Plenty of space and a giant kitchen to cook up a storm
  • Private beach access to Lake Wanaka
  • 30-minute drive to Wanaka
  • Outdoor hot tub (on request)

Final Thoughts

One thing you can take away from this article is that there is no shortage of places to stay in Wanaka. But determining which ones offer value and are right for your holiday is the challenge.

We hope that our top picks for accommodation in Wanaka have helped narrow down your search. We highly recommend booking as far in advance as possible to score the best deals and to check Booking.com for discounts on a longer stay.

Happy Travelling 🙂