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

From the east coast of Australia there are direct flights to Queenstown. Or other routes to fly to Queenstown international airport may be via Auckland or Christchurch. You can use one of our recommended flight search facilities to look at options for flights 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.

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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. 

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Flights to Wanaka

If you have the dollars to charter a plane, the third option is to fly to the Wanaka airport which is located 10km out of town. Unfortunately Air New Zealand has ceased scheduled flights into Wanaka.

Getting Around Wanaka

The central part town of Wanaka is compact and easy to walk around, but much of the Wanaka accommodation is located on the outskirts of town or further afield so you may need to drive into downtown Wanaka. 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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