It is simply the best! SnowSkool’s favourite things to do in and around Wanaka

Let’s talk about the best things to do in Wanaka.

When SnowSkoolers arrive for our courses in New Zealand, not only will they be spending their days cruising the Southern Hemisphere’s best ski resorts, they’ll be living in the awesome town of Wanaka. Each year, we put together a list of our favourite things to do, eat, drink and see in Wanaka and beyond. Of course, there’s tonnes more going on, so chatting to locals and everyone you meet is always the best way to discover the latest. We also recommend that you hop on to and download the Wanaka app – it’s absolutely full of information about all the best places in town.

Where to eat in Wanaka…

Big Fig have a seasonal menu and fixed price per plate – aka fill your plate with as many items from the menu as you want for the same price!

We love Monkey Farm for a treat-yo-self breakfast; they do pizzas too (pizza for breakfast is also fine in our books).

If you are in the mood for pizza, then Fran’s Italian is the classic place to go.

If you can’t decide… head to Wanaka’s food trucks – wicked selection of street food options.

The iconic Firebird’s fried chicken must get a mention for a delicious re-fuel.

For dessert, pastries and cakes Pembroke Patisserie offer a heavenly selection (devastatingly difficult to choose which you want).

Potentially, our favourite dinner is at Fudog. It’s Asian-fusion and always tasty.

Our final fave to add to the list is Red Star – epic burgers!

The best places to drink…

Speight’s Ale House has a pup-vibe for the far-from-home Brits or anyone wanting a relaxed bev.

The Bullock Bar has a saloon-feel and is a no-frills spot with character.

Rhyme and Reason is an off-the-beaten-track brewery worth the visit.

Another brewery with a taproom is Ground Up, they also sell decent American sandwiches.

Of course, no season abroad would be complete without an Irish bar – Fitzpatrick’s delivers!

If you need a sports bar, to watch the All Blacks or otherwise, Woody’s has got you.

The Brownston road street food trucks. Photo:

Activities around Wanaka...

Slide around minus the snow… Rad offer skateboard lessons or coaching in town.

Alternatively, the ultimate snow experience is arguably heliskiing.

A little more down to earth, Puzzling World tops everyone’s to-do list in Wanaka. It’s silly, but a hilarious day out.

You can play frisbee golf (officially ‘disc golf’) in Wanaka.

After all that exercise, chill at the Paradiso cinema. You watch the films from sofas and they add in an interval ft. fresh-baked cookies and beer – genius! 

There are tonnes of great hiking routes in the area, but the most iconic is Roys Peak, Google images to see why.

Another Instagram sensation would be #thatwanakatree! Get down to the beach to enjoy the scenery.

You should definitely also enjoy Lake Wanaka via kayak or paddle board.

A slightly more curious installation, but equally internet-famous is the Cardrona bra fence… the Bradrona! Donate a few coins to the breast cancer charity while you’re there – and even add a bra if you fancy it.

Where to buy cool stuff…

There’s a lush farmers market in Wanaka – Wanaka Artisan Market – it runs all year round.

If you’re looking for a ski gear and bike shop, visit Racer’s Edge.

For snow sports and water sports under one roof, head to Base NZ.

For even more ski/board kit and all sorts of sports kit, hit up Outside Sports.

Wastebusters is an iconic second-hand store. You’ll find all sorts here and it’s a great, sustainable option for things like fancy dress!

Bungee jumping... would you do it?!

Weelkend activities beyond Wanaka...

Milford Sound is an iconic New Zealand destination; it’s unbelievably beautiful.

You’ll find lots to do in and around Queenstown, including SITE – an indoor trampoline park.

The Skyline Luge in Queenstown looks a little dorky but, honestly, it’s so much fun so just do it!

Shotover Canyon Swing is a bungee/zipline combo where you don’t feel like you’re going to die quite as much as a proper bungee jump.

That said, New Zealand is the home of bungee jumping, so you’ll find sites all over.

You’ll also find vineyards worth visiting all over the country. If you do want a great one near Wanaka, check out Rippon vineyard.


Feeling inspired? Jealous yet? If you’ve been out in Wanaka recently and have some spots we should add to the list – let us know!

Alternatively, if you’re deciding what to do on a gap year or career break, or if you’ve decided you want to train as a ski or snowboard instructor – give SnowSkool HQ shout! We can chat about this winter’s courses in The French Alps or Canada, and next year’s course in wonderful Wanaka, New Zealand.

More details on our ski instructor course in New Zealand here.

More details on our snowboard instructor course in New Zealand here.

Get involved!

Request Course Brochure

Get A Brochure