Those heading to New Zealand's South Island with an eye to hitting the slopes will find few places as conducive to life on the snow as Wanaka. Surrounded by several world class ski fields, Wanaka provides the perfect base for skiers and snowboarders to spend all day on the powder. And when night falls, this town continues to live up to its reputation as a star attraction with a stellar nightlife. We have a few suggestions on how you might like to spend your evenings after a long day on the slopes.
After a long, hard day at Treble Cone, what could be better than unwinding with a few of life’s little luxuries - namely specialty cocktails and/or craft beers. In the four short years that LLL has been open for business, it’s forged a name for itself as one of the top draw cards in Wanaka. Come for the unique and tasty cocktails, stay for the comfy and unpretentious setting.
If you find that your day on the snow has left you more hungry than thirsty, Bistro Gentil can tend to your grumbling stomach. Bringing the delights of French gastronomy to the beautiful shores of Lake Wanaka, the chef uses seasonal ingredients from around the region (and from Bistro Gentil’s own kitchen garden) to conjure up mouthwatering dishes that will have you wishing you could dine there every night.
You haven’t been to the movies until you’ve been to Cinema Paradiso. Even if there’s not one film that you’re particularly excited to see, make sure you go along just for the experience. Instead of rows of identical seating, Paradiso features sofas, comfy armchairs and even a car! Plus there’s a half-time intermission with ice cream and freshly baked cookies. Honestly, just go.
Undoubtedly the coolest bar in town, Barluga’s leather armchairs and retro wallpaper sets the scene for an old school gentleman’s club type atmosphere. It’s a fantastic winter venue too, with roaring fires both inside and out in the courtyard. Catch up with friends early in the evening and stay late for the party vibe that takes over as the night continues.
Yes, you read correctly. For those who still need an extra kick of adrenaline after shooting down the ski slopes, we have the perfect solution. Take an hour’s drive south to Queenstown for New Zealand’s only night bungy experience! Plunge into the black abyss with a rubber cord as your only lifeline. If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, I don’t know what will.
One of the most loved venues in Wanaka, GRBB enjoys stunning views over the lake and is famed for its eclectic yet refined decor and divine cocktails. The atmosphere is light and casual, perfect for unwinding with newfound friends and acquaintances at the end of a long day.
These few highlights barely scratch the surface of what Wanaka has in store for the intrepid and indulgent alike, and the town certainly isn't the only prime destination in the area. Nearby Queenstown is a great place to start a motorhome roadtrip. Christchurch also has a range of campervan hire options available. If neither of these are of interest, check out our New Zealand landing page for a range of different options. Dunedin, Greymouth and Nelson are other popular pick up locations on New Zealand's South Island.