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Named as one of National Geographic‘s ‘World’s 25 Best Ski Towns’, Wanaka’s reputation as a classic ski town is quickly growing. Wanaka may seem like Queenstown’s younger sibling but what it lacks in size, it easily makes up for in style. Once you’re there, you’ll appreciate its quieter tone and relaxed pace but you won’t be disappointed by the ease of access to, and range of family activities, both on and off the snow.
1. Easy access from Queenstown International Airport
A spectacular one hour drive is all that separates Wanaka from the Queenstown International Airport - less time, and way more scenic than the average city-dweller’s commute to work. Australian visitors often remark that it takes less to time to fly to the Southern Lakes than it does to drive to their nearest domestic snow resort.
2. Ski or snowboard at both Cardrona and Treble Cone with the Flexi Pass
If you can’t choose between Cardrona with its family-friendly focus, gentle, wide open trails, many kid’s facilities, and extensive terrain parks – and Treble Cone’s steep, challenging chutes and stunning lake views – now you can have both! The Flexi 3 or 5 day lift pass offers the choice between Cardrona and Treble Cone on a daily basis, and the additional flexibility of being able to visit on non-consecutive days.
3. Wanaka hosts world class winter events
With its extensive terrain park facilities and one of the only 22ft Olympic half-pipes in the Southern Hemisphere, Cardrona is able to host a number of world class events which makes for great sports-star spotting and inspiration for the kids. Events include the FIS accredited Winter Games NZ and the North Face Freeski Open NZ.
4. Wanaka is a food and wine lover’s paradise
Despite its small population, Wanaka has a stunning array of dining options. Everything from family friendly cafes (such as Federal Diner and Francesca’s Italian Kitchen) to higher end smart dining options (such as The Landing and Bistro Gentil) that will satisfy the most metropolitan of visitors, Wanaka has it covered.
5. Family fun and quirky activities
For entertainment after the snow, choose between a range of unique things to do that the kids will love! Cinema Paradiso, with its comfy couches and homemade cookies and ice cream, is a classic Wanaka experience.
Puzzling World is in a league of its own! With a mix of bizarre buildings, rooms of illusion and the world-famous Great Maze, this wonderful world of weirdness is designed to baffle your brain and challenge your perceptions of reality.
6. Exhilarating airborne adventures
Wanaka is an aviation hotspot with a reputation for offering plenty of ways to enjoy an airborne adventure – from Tigermoth bi-plane flights, to Skydiving, to Milford Sound fly-overs. You can even enjoy aviation from the ground at Warbirds and Wheels or the National Transport and Toy Museum.
If you’re looking for the destination that will satisfy everyone in the family, Wanaka has it all on hand!
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