Given its proximity to some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking lakes and epic snow fields, it’s practically a given that Wanaka will have an array of eco-friendly accommodation to offer its visitors. Whether you want to unwind in a sustainable bed and breakfast or indulge in an environmentally-conscious retreat, here are 10 great options worth checking out.
With spectacular views of Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps, Oakridge Resort is the perfect getaway spot for environmentally-conscious travellers wanting to unwind while they revel in the South Island’s sublime scenery. The lodge is quite strategic when it comes to keeping its carbon emissions as low as they can be: there are policies and monitoring mechanisms in place to ensure that all facilities are energy-efficient, recycling programmes are implemented and followed, and priority is given to sourcing supplies from local producers. Accommodation ranges from entry level King Rooms with soft leather duvets and coffee-making facilities to fully-furnished, self-contained Family Apartments that can sleep up to six people.
Wanaka Alpine Lodge enjoys a scenic, semi-rural setting that offers plenty of tranquility without foregoing any of the local action. In fact, this boutique bed and breakfast manages to be quite convenient not just to Wanaka — which is a mere 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) away — but also to the iconic Cardrona, Treble Farm and Snow Cone ski fields. To keep things as eco-friendly as possible, all toiletries and cleaning products used in these premises are biodegradable; rubbish is also recycled and the lodge makes its own garden compost, too. Guests are invited to stay in one of four deluxe rooms that open up to a patio with fantastic mountain views, as well as enjoying complimentary services including free bike hire, gourmet breakfasts and hot tub use.
Wanaka Homestead’s eco-friendliness stems from its historic setting. The accommodation is nestled among Wanaka’s Station Park, which was established to preserve the maturing trees that were planted after its previous homestead was destroyed by two major fires. Wanaka Homestead was built at the site of its predecessor’s shed, which was deemed unsuitable for any kind of renovation; the accommodation re-purposed the shed’s remaining wooden material to craft its furniture, staircases, fences and fixings. Nowadays, there are two styles of accommodation available at the Wanaka Homestead: the self-contained Lismore and Ruby Cottages, which are ideal for families, or the bed and breakfast-style Lodge which features five spacious bedrooms and a luxurious guest lounge that gives the area a ‘ski lodge’ feel.
Oasis offers a different kind of sleeping arrangement for Wanaka visitors: a selection of yurts, all New Zealand-made and crafted to fully suit the local climatic conditions, equipped with fireplaces, wool insulation and all the living essentials required for guests to be comfortable in all seasons. Yurts come in two different sizes – the two smallest being ideal for holiday couples, while the three largest can easily accommodate a small groups or families – and some have even been designed with wheelchair friendliness in mind. Aside from its signature yurts, you could opt to stay at a holiday cottage (The Shed) with a shared kitchenette and lounge space.
You can’t get more eco-friendly than a lakeside campground. Lake Outlet Holiday Park is located just 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) from Wanaka’s town centre, yet its sheltered surroundings give it an unmatched sense of remoteness and tranquility. Besides featuring spacious tent and powered campervan sites, the holiday park also consists of bush cabins that can sleep up to four people and self-contained cottages for up to six travellers. The site is pet-friendly and you can hire bikes from the accommodation at an additional cost.
As its name suggests, the Berry Farm Bed and Breakfast is a private berry-producing farm that also functions as a countryside retreat. If you visit during the summer months, you’ll be able to relish the freshly picked strawberries, boysenberries and raspberries grown on-site. The bed and breakfast also enjoys stunning mountain views; is convenient to Wanaka’s golf course as well as cafes, restaurants and the township; and features an intimate offering of two Super King and Twin Rooms with their own private lounges and balconies.
Whare Kea Lodge & Chalet is where luxury, remoteness and sustainability meet. The accommodation is perched at an altitude of 1,750 metres (5,700 feet) atop the Albert Burn Saddle, right at the edge of Mount Aspiring National Park and within a 20-minute helicopter flight from Wanaka. Both its lodge and chalet accommodation have been designed to be energy efficient and eco-conscious: solar power is a strong feature, propane gas is used for heating and cooking and the roofing provides additional insulation and heating in the snowy winter months. Intimacy is another strong suit – the lodge consists of two master suites and four deluxe rooms which accommodate up to 20 guests.
Maple Lodge is an elegant getaway with convenient access to some of Wanaka’s best walking and cycling trails. With a lovely garden setting and exquisite mountain vistas all around, the lodge is also well-equipped to cater for special functions and weddings. Those looking for a peaceful place to unwind will get to settle into one of seven guest suites, all fitted with king size beds, private patios, a working space, free internet access and tea and coffee making facilities. There’s also an outdoor spa pool for guests and a log fire to keep things nice and toasty in the chilly winter months.
Set right on the shores of Lake Wanaka, Edgewater Hotel is the ultimate option for those seeking an accommodation with uninterrupted lake and mountain views. Besides featuring a range of hotel/studio rooms that can accommodate up to three guests, there are self-contained one-bedroom suites and private two-bedroom apartments for larger travelling groups, as well as a restaurant and cafe right on the premises. A day spa, sauna, tennis court, nine-hole putting green and bike hiring facilities also ensure Edgewater’s guests fully relish their surroundings.
Located just a 15-minute drive from Wanaka, Lake Hawea Holiday Park offers everything you need to get the most of the great outdoors: easy access to its namesake Lake Hawea, which is quite popular for fishing, boating and paragliding, as well as having a close proximity to the forested hiking and mountain biking trails in the vicinity. This scenic campground comes with a selection of tent and powered campervan sites, self-contained units, holiday park cabins with communal cooking facilities and family-friendly holiday homes.