Where is Wanaka?

Wanaka is located on the South Island of New Zealand. The town is located on the shores of Lake Wanaka, 428km SW of Christchurch and 68km NE of Queenstown (a one hour drive).

Getting to Wanaka

Gateway airports for Wanaka include Queenstown International Airport, Christchurch International Airport, or Wanaka, a small regional airport.

Flights to Queenstown

Fly to Queenstown international airport either by getting a domestic flight from Auckland or Christchurch. From the east coast of Australia there are direct flights to Queenstown, but these are generally more expensive than flights that go via Auckland or Christchurch. You can use one of our recommended flight search facilities to get a great deal on a flight to Queenstown.

Travel from Queenstown Airport to Wanaka

By Car

From Queenstown airport you could rent a car and self-drive to Wanaka. It’s advisable to rent a 4-wheel-drive car if you plan to drive up to the ski resorts. The drive time is approximately 1 hour if you take the more challenging route via Crown Range Road past Cardrona (65km from the airport). If you follow the main state highway it is 103 km from Queenstown.

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By Bus

Bus transport to Wanaka is another alternative, with buses travelling to and from the airport 6 times daily, starting at 9:45am from Queenstown Airport, and 6:45am from Wanaka.

Taxis and private charter transport services are also available to travel between Queenstown Airport and Wanaka.

Yello Transport Wanaka Yello Cabs Airport Shuttle
Yello! offer PRIVATE charter airport pick-ups & returns from your Wanaka accommodation from just one person to large groups, including all of your luggage & ski gear. Pick up shopping en-route to Wanaka at the local supermarket at no extra cost.

Flights to Christchurch

Another option is to get a flight to Christchurch and then drive or bus to Wanaka. From the east coast of Australia it’s easy to find a direct flight to Christchurch, or there are plenty of flights that go via Auckland. Flights to Christchurch are generally much cheaper than those to Queenstown. You can use a flight search facility to compare flights to Christchurch.

Travel from Christchurch to Wanaka

One option to get from Christchurch airport to Wanaka is to hire a car and drive. The travel time is approximately 5 hours. Compare rates and deals for car hire with our recommended car rental search engine.

An alternative is to get a bus from Christchurch airport to Wanaka. The travel time is approximately 6-7 hours by bus. There are many bus companies and timetables to choose from. Try Alpine Coaches Wanaka.  

Wanaka Bus Transport InterCity Buses
Operate daily services from Christchurch to Queenstown where you can then connect to another service from Queenstown to Wanaka. They have a nice simple online booking system showing schedules & prices for various dates.
Bus Transport Kiwi Experience - Hop-On-Hop-Off
There is so much to see and do in NZ. With a Kiwi Experience bus pass, you have up to a year to finish your route. The hop-on-hop-off bus adventures take you to all the best parts and help you to book your accommodation and activities along the way.

Flights to Wanaka

The third option is to fly to the Wanaka airport which is located 10km out of town. Eagle Air (a subsidiary of Air New Zealand) operates one flight daily from Christchurch to Wanaka airport.
Alpine Connexions offers a door-to-door shuttle service or it’s reasonably inexpensive to get a private transfer with Yello! taxis.

Getting Around Wanaka

The town of Wanaka is compact and easy to walk around. It’s also easy to drive around, although parking can be a little difficult during peak hour. Taxis are readily available or another option is to hire a mountain bike.

Getting to the Wanaka Ski Resorts

If you don’t have a car or you are not confident driving on the NZ mountain roads, there are various shuttle bus services available to Treble Cone & Cardrona.

Also see our getting to Cardrona and travel to Treble Cone pages for more information.

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[AdListings Filter="Wanaka Treble Cone Mountain Transport"]
Cardrona Private Shuttle Ridgeline NZ
Exclusive private transfers & chaperone service from your Wanaka accommodation to Cardrona, Treble Cone or Snowfarm. Exclusive use of a 4WD vehicle & driver/escort for the day or duration of your holiday. Pick-up & return times to suit your family.
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