Wanaka is romance wrapped around a scenic location with a variety of things to do from adrenaline laced adventures to cruises around Lake Wanaka. Romantic places galore with summits, quiet lake beaches, rivers and mountain beech forests.
Sunset locations – photo locations for couples selfie shot
- Mt Iron overlooking the town with the mountain ranges bathed in orange setting light
- Bremner Bay with its stunning reflections of the mountains, the scudding clouds in the blue Lake Wanaka
- Lake Hawea with its shallow waters reflecting pebbles and tree lined foreshore. Located a mere 15 minutes from Wanaka, pack a picnic and explore the lesser known area. Check out Lake Hawea short walks.
- In winter Treble Cone is the perfect birds eye destination with mountains up close and personal, Lake Wanaka and the glorious lower South Island light
- Winter light from the Rippon Winery on the Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Road overlooking Glendhu Bay
Check out Wanaka where to take a great selfie.
And you thought the cinema was dead with the advent of streaming and youtube. Wanaka offers a reimagined classic holiday cinema staple. A romantic interlude for couples or a place to lounge by yourself in sensuous comfort here’s an adorable place built for memory moments.
Romantic places for a walk
Couples strolling together is the stuff of romance with Wanaka a first class location to share a romantic moment outdoors.
- Forget sweating up Roys Peak, that is not romantic when it’s hot, Roys Peak is a slog and you are clambering up and down glacial scree. Instead stroll along the waterfront to Glendhu Bay and take snaps together of a line of poplars gracing Lake Wanaka.
- For the dedicated hikers climb Mt Iron Summit for a quick photo op of the two of you framed by Wanaka, the lake and mountains. It is an attractive walk and you definitely get to stretch your legs.
Check out the Wanaka adventures to be had, seriously awesome with several operators vying for your attention.
Romantic places to eat & drink
Wanaka’s hospitality credentials are outstanding with plenty of places to eat and drink.
- Eat and drink on a budget with fusion SE Asian / Mexican / kiwi classics all wrapped around Brownston Street food truck market. It is busy and expected to queue. It’s worth it.
Picnic, dining outdoors anyone
Summer warmth, long evening light (approximately 9.00 pm, 15 hours of daylight), magical scenery and catering supplied by My Secret Picnic your curated picnic is organised.
- Want to manage the catering yourself, how to FYI a picnic in Wanaka without the hard yards is to pop into Fedeli Wanaka and select from a wide range of freshly prepared counter food ready to go in recyclable containers
- And thinking of Lake Hawea as a picnic location then you can’t not go to Pembroke Patisserie for delicious flaky pastries, hot gourmet pies and adorable tiny bright macarons for those with a sweet taste in life
- Wanaka has a full service supermarket, Wanaka New World with its deli counter for those wanting to cater on a budget
- Winter ski season, check out Paradiso Cinema, dinner / snack menu and comforty sofa chairs to snuggle up in
For more indoor ideas check out WANAKA RAINY DAY ATTRACTIONS, WHAT TO DO INDOORS.
What are the best places to picnic in Wanaka?
Wanaka Station Park
The public reserve has no entrance fees, massive sequoia trees, shady corners, rose gardens and a pretty pergola have the makings for a romantic day. Find a special picnic spot among the massive sequoias and redwoods on the south side of Lake Wanaka. You will pass #thatwanakatree for a photo moment. This popular shared track connects eventually with Glendhu Bay. There is plenty of space to find private nooks.
Eely Point, Wanaka
While Eely Point is a local family favourite swimming spot is also a great place for a picnic. The bay is sheltered from the Northerly winds and there is a car park (check Best short walks & picnic locations, Lake Hawea). Additionally a great sunset location.
Picnic Packages for the Adventurous or the Romantic
My Secret Picnic caters for all special occasions. We set up and pack down stunning picnics for friends, couples, proposals, honeymoons and parties. Picnic delivery is free for Wanaka, Lake Hawea & Luggate. Outside these areas, there is a delivery fee.
Let’s get out of town, adventure together, stay together
Wanaka nature’s adventure playground, attractions and things to do. Find out what it’s like to step out of a plane at altitude or rock climb through a waterfall. Perhaps relax as a local guide explains the need for predator traps in the Otago high country or you assist a local plant a tree on Mou Waho Island. The choice is yours.
… read more about Wanaka, nature’s adventure capital
Sustainable tourism, responsible holidays are important to you?
In Wanaka a responsible holiday could involve checking predator traps for pests or planting a tree of Mou Waho Island (over 8,000 so far and counting).
What are the best places for a romantic road trip from Wanaka?
Wanaka’s location is a natural hub to explore Otago. Savour views of glorious mountain ranges and the semi-arid desert plateaus of Central Otago with its gold mining heritage. Close by are the heritage towns of Cromwell, Alexandra and Clyde creating opportunities for day trips or an overnight stay.
Tips for your romantic road trip
- Summer fruit stalls brimming with sweet naturally sun ripened fruit + fresh fruit ice cream
- Cromwell is very picturesque, head for the historic village for a snap against a Victorian building or Lake Dunstan dam for a panoramic view
- Consider a leisurely e-bike wine trail where impulse stops are part of the day
Can you visit Cromwell in a day from Wanaka, Otago?
You can easily visit historic Cromwell in a day from Wanaka. One way the trip is less than an hour. Key highlights
- Bannockburn Sluicings (historic gold mining site)
- Heritage Cromwell with its original schist buildings and Victorian streetscape
- Lake Dunstan for an al fresco meal
… READ MORE WANAKA ROAD TRIPS
Where to stay in Wanaka for couples?
Welcome to the relaxed luxury and homely charm that is Wanaka Homestead. Privately owned and welcoming just 21 guests, the hospitality is warm & attentive, yet discreet.
Situated next to the resplendent Wanaka Station Park on the shores of Lake Wanaka, Wanaka Homestead offers the choice of boutique bed & breakfast accommodation in the Homestead Lodge or self-catering in the family-friendly Ruby Cottage and Lismore Cottage. Wanaka Homestead also warmly welcomes groups that wish to have full use of Wanaka Homestead.
MID-RANGE – COMFORTABLE
A plethora of motels, hotels and homestay accommodation choices. Hang on – more information coming shortly.
Where to stay in Wanala on a budget for couples
You can’t go better than Department of Conservation land. It is publicly owned by kiwis and guardianship in the hands of all who visit.
- KIDDS POINT is ideal for couples (and families). Camp alongside Lake Hāwea in a large, grassy area with good shade from mountain beech trees. Walk around the lake, go fishing or swimming. Enjoy The Kidds Bush Nature Walk. A leisurely 1 km stroll on a loop track through a mountain beech forest. Kidds Bush Reserve Campsite, bookings required. Check DOC resource for up to date information.
And let’s not break the bank, check Indulge 10 tips for a romantic holiday location on a budget
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE