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Plan your Wanaka winter getaway

Posted by Release Wanaka on May 05, 2020

May is here, and that means winter is almost upon us. It certainly feels like it today! Here in Wanaka, New Zealand, we love both summer and winter. Summer is great for the long, hot days spent enjoying some of the amazing activities Wanaka and the lake has to offer – whether it be biking, hiking, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, or just relaxing in the sun with friends and family. The beauty is you can also do all those things in summer AND winter (just ask our boss Nick – he swears by a cold plunge in the lake all year round…!)

But the biggest perk of winter in Wanaka is getting up the mountain for a ski or snowboard. There are three amazing mountains to choose from in the Wanaka area, each offering something slightly different – Treble Cone has steeper terrain and is best suited to more experienced skiers or boarders, Cardrona is more family friendly with a great park area, and Snow Farm is for those who love cross country skiing.

This year, we’re confident the ski resorts will open, with general manager for Cardrona and Treble Cone indicating they are planning to get the hills back in business. "We are 100 per cent dedicated and committed to getting both resorts ready to open and we will start those final preparations on Tuesday,” Bridget said last week. “We're prepping both resorts - whether we open one, two, part of each, is not entirely planned yet.”

This will be great for the Wanaka recovery after COVID-19. As a town that relies very heavily on tourism, it will definitely go a long way to attract kiwis (and hopefully Australians, when the ‘trans-trasman bubble’ happens) back to this amazing area.

The COVID-19 alert level in New Zealand went down from level 4 to level 3 on Tuesday 28th April, giving kiwis a little bit more freedom, but also recommending keeping a small ‘bubble’ and staying home as much as possible. For the ski resorts to open, it will need to be level 2 for locals, or level 1 for our North Island friends to come visit. With the mountains set to open next month, we have everything crossed that we’ll be down to level 1 and ready to rock & roll in no time! 

This ski season was ramping up to be bigger and better than ever before, with the announcement that Treble Cone had been bought by Real Journeys, who also owns Cardrona. Having both mountains owned by the same company paved the way for multi-mountain passes, which was definitely an exciting prospect for both Wanaka locals and visitors alike. With the possibility of buying a dual season pass, or multi-day passes that could be used at both mountains, it means greater flexibility all round.


Release Wanaka

Here at Release Wanaka, with our accommodation specials running until the end of November, we have some fantastic offers to make your ski trip both luxury and reasonable. Pay for 5 nights at selected properties, and stay for 7 – that’s 2 free nights, and your week skiing sorted!

We can also help with your ski rental and have this dropped to your luxury holiday home, taking any stress out of getting boots fitted and picking up gear.

Why wait? Get planning your ski trip to Wanaka now. We can’t wait to see you!

Kia kaha.

Light at the end of the tunnel - time to plan your Wanaka 'stay-cation'

Posted by Release Wanaka on April 26, 2020

There is finally light at the end of the tunnel! It was announced this week that New Zealand is preparing to move out of lockdown on Tuesday 28th April, which is great news. Here at Release Wanaka, we know the journey back to ‘normality’ may be a long one - it certainly will be for us too - but a holiday might be just what we all need to take our minds of this crazy situation, and have something to look forward to.

Release Wanaka

Wanaka is an amazing destination for a much-needed family vacation when travel restrictions are relaxed. With the lake on your doorstep, and many beautiful tracks & trails to explore, getting out in the fresh air here is as easy as stepping out your front door and setting off on foot.

From now until the end of November, we will be running a variety of specials and reduced rates on selected properties, to give New Zealanders a trip to plan for & aim for (for their sanity!) and also to help promote more visitors to this wonderful area and give the Wanaka economy a welcome boost. The many local businesses here who rely on tourists coming in would absolutely love to see you.

For selected properties, we are offering FREE NIGHTS until the end of November 2020:

Pay for 3 nights, stay for 4
Pay for 5 nights, stay for 7
Pay for 7 nights, stay for 10

Release Wanaka

We’re also looking to work with local suppliers and activity providers to hopefully come up with some great package deals – watch this space. To check out which properties we are running specials on, click here.

With talk of a 'Trans-Tasman bubble' on the cards when New Zealand and Australia have COVID-19 under control, we hope to see our friends from over the ditch able to visit soon too. 

Release Wanaka - Mt Gold Haven

Contact us here and we'd love to help plan your Wanaka stay-cation. 

Kia kaha.

Release Wanaka
[email protected]
+64 21 762 694

Autumn lockdown in Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on April 17, 2020

Autumn is a particularly beautiful time to visit Wanaka, New Zealand. The trees are turning beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red, and on a calm day, the reflections on the lake and river are amazing. This year, only the residents of Wanaka are able to enjoy these views, as the country remains in lockdown due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world.

Release Wanaka

When New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Adern announced the country would be entering a 4-week lockdown to try and stop the spread of COVID-19, it sparked a shockwave throughout the country. Here in Wanaka, as was the case in many communities throughout New Zealand, people headed straight to the supermarket on a mission to stock up their pantries and cupboards with enough food and supplies to last four weeks.

In reality (and I think many people realised this within the first week of lockdown) panic buying was unnecessary. Supermarkets and pharmacies have remained open, shelves stocked up with everything you might need. A designated shopper per household has been able to go and buy food for everyone, and meal times have continued as normal (or as normal as possible in this crazy situation!)

Release Wanaka

Lockdown hasn’t meant not being able to leave the house. We’ve been allowed to go out for exercise in our local neighbourhoods – and believe me, here in Wanaka we have a stunning backyard to explore! With so many tracks and trails to choose from, we're very lucky to have such a beautiful lockdown location, with ample opportunity to get out in the fresh air.
 

Release Wanaka

The Release Wanaka team live all over the place – some of us in Wanaka, some in Albert Town and some in Luggate. We have been sharing photos from our daily walks with each other, and here are some of them, to show why Wanaka is the best place to be for lockdown. And guess what – it’s not going anywhere, and will be an awesome destination for a domestic holiday when this crazy situation is over.

Release Wanaka

Easter this year was a busy one for us at Release Wanaka, with Warbirds over Wanaka bringing in lots of additional tourists keen to enjoy an Easter weekend in Wanaka. We are sad the many guests we had booked were unable to come and experience these beautiful autumnal scenes for themselves, but there is always next year!

In the next few weeks, we’ll be announcing some fantastic winter deals for domestic travellers looking for their ‘stay-cation’ destination, so keep an eye out!

Release Wanaka

We look forward to seeing you all in Wanaka soon. Contact us here to discuss your next trip to Wanaka.

Kia kaha.

 

Make Wanaka your 'stay-cation' destination

Posted by Release Wanaka on April 10, 2020

When the COVID-19 lockdowns are lifted and we are free to leave our homes, it is going to take a while for life to get back to normal - or at least a new version of normal. Here in Wanaka, New Zealand, our small town relies heavily on tourism, which has obviously taken a massive hit thus far, with the borders closed to all international visitors.

At this stage, it is looking like the borders may remain closed for some time, meaning not only a no-go for tourists coming in, but also a no-go for any international trips planned by New Zealanders. The latter isn’t the end of the world though – not when you have a beautiful backyard such as ours to holiday in!

Release Wanaka

With plenty of amazing holiday locations to visit in New Zealand, here’s why we think Wanaka should be top of everyone’s ‘stay-cation’ list when the lockdown is over:

The scenery

We might be biased, but we think Wanaka is one of the most beautiful towns in New Zealand. With the picture-perfect lake surrounded by magnificent mountains, any budding photographer can take some stunning shots of wonderful Wanaka.

Release Wanaka

Activities

There are so many awesome activities to get your teeth into while in Wanaka. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just want to get out on the lake for a paddle, there is something for everyone to enjoy. And one thing is for certain – the activity operators will be so happy to see you! Skydiving, Via Ferrata rock climbing, boat trips, helicopter rides and paddleboarding are just a few ideas for the holiday to-do list. As well as accommodation, Release Wanaka also has a concierge service called Wanaka Travel Fixer. We can help book any activity you may want to try your hand at.

Release Wanaka

Fresh air

Once the lockdown is over, and you’ve successfully survived 4 weeks staying at home, getting out in the fresh air is going to be on the top of lots of lists throughout the country. Wanaka is home to a huge selection of tracks and trails, perfect for hiking or biking, giving visitors plenty to sink their teeth into while they’re here. Hike up Mt Iron and see Wanaka from above, or bike along the river to beautiful Lake Hawea and have a well-deserved coffee or beer before biking back.

Release Wanaka

Great cafes and restaurants

If you’re looking to eat out while on your Wanaka holiday, there are so many great local eateries we can recommend. Reasonably priced food is available wherever you turn, and there is a great selection. Try Fedeli for a takeaway lunch options – yummy salads, freshly made sandwiches and smoothies are all on offer. If you want a coffee in the sun, then Kai Whakapai is another firm favourite, with great coffee and a delicious selection of cakes. Or why not head to Lipsky & Sons, a new Wanaka restaurant serving cold beers and amazing food – perfect for sharing.  

Release Wanaka

Great accommodation options

Here at Release Wanaka, we can help you find the perfect accommodation for your trip to Wanaka. We have more than 50 properties in our portfolio, so there’s bound to be something suitable for everyone. Many have stunning lake and mountain views, with great indoor and outdoor areas to relax as a family after a full day out exploring Wanaka. Check back soon for some special offers we're currently working on!

Release Wanaka

We are so looking forward to seeing you all in Wanaka in the future. Fingers crossed COVID-19 is eliminated and we can get our freedom back soon. You get can get in touch with us here.

Take care out there. Kia kaha.

COVID-19 - Time To Holiday At Home

Posted by Release Wanaka on April 03, 2020

The world is certainly a strange place right now, and the main topic of conversation is COVID-19.  Here in Wanaka, New Zealand, we’re pretty lucky to have such an amazing location to hunker down, self isolate & ride this pandemic out.

In New Zealand, our prime minister Jacinda Adern has moved quickly to try & stop the spread of the virus, by closing the borders & putting the entire country in lockdown. Businesses have closed, schools have closed, and families must remain at home, in their ‘bubble’, for a period of at least 4 weeks. The message is clear: stay home, break the chain of transmission, and save lives.  Life as we know it is on hold.

The beauty of Wanaka is that it is a small town. We don’t live in a city. Our daily walks (you can still get out and enjoy) are along many tracks by the lake and river, with stunning views and wide open space to enjoy. Fresh air, peace & quiet is in abundance, which is something we’re all going to want to make the most of when this is all over. And one day, it will be over, we just don’t know when.

The future for tourism is looking challenging. The borders are unlikely to re-open to international tourists for quite a while. Until the virus is under control globally, New Zealand may very well stay in the bubble it is in, which will also mean no overseas trips to look forward to. But look at the country we are “stuck in”..! I might be biased, but it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There is so much to see and do in New Zealand, so why not take this opportunity to get out and explore our own backyard this year. Make 2020 and 2021 the years we all holiday in New Zealand, and play tourist in our own country.

Wanaka has so much to offer as a holiday destination. Get out on the lake and go paddleboarding or kayaking, go for a walk or bike ride on the many tracks and trails there are around the lake, or hop in a chopper and take to the skies to see wonderful Wanaka from above. The activity options are endless. The local companies providing these amazing experiences would love to see you. It will also help them through a challenging, uncertain  economic time.

Release Wanaka has more than 50 properties in our portfolio, offering a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget. Whether you want a couple’s retreat, or a holiday home to share between two families, we have something that will fit your bill and budget.

When we get our freedom back, and can leave our homes and re-start our lives, New Zealand will still be here. And what a wonderful place it is! I don’t know about you, but I think a ‘stay-cation’ is what we are all going to need once this is over, and Wanaka is certainly a destination that should be top of the list.  So don’t stress about the future. There is nothing presently we can do except wait and ride this out, and plan our next holiday – in New Zealand.

Get in touch to book now. We can't wait to see you all in Wanaka in the future.

A New Zealand Vacation

Posted by Release Wanaka on May 16, 2017

Would you love to visit New Zealand?

This small country in the Pacific Ocean with spectacular views, amazing food and wine and endless activities to suit everyone.

Maybe you think it is just too far away?.......it's not.  

Just a 12 hour flight from LA (no visa required if you are visiting from the U.S. for less than 3 months) and you are in Auckland with easy access to the North and South Islands. There are numerous ways of exploring, self drive car/van hire, campervan, domestic flights, bike (if you feel like a challenge), railway, bus/coach or ferries and water taxi's. New Zealand is set up for you the traveler, the holiday maker, the adventure seeker!

Although New Zealand is small and easy to get around, the hardest decision to make will be where to visit. Unless you have unlimited time here you will need to plan your trip to get the most out of your stay. There is literally, so many places, not enough time! There are various ways of doing this either before you arrive or when you are here, but, we genuinely believe that Wanaka is a must see destination and it is only a 1 hour drive from Queenstown International Airport. 

- Photo of Lake Wanaka courtesy of Lake Wanaka Tourism

This lakeside town set in the Southern Alps is a slice of paradise. No matter what time of year you visit you will not be disappointed. The scenery is stunning and the town is buzzing with superb cafes, restaurants and bars. A vacation here can be whatever you want it to be, from an adrenaline filled adventure to a relaxing, spiritual break. Here at Release we can help you to achieve your ideal vacation. Our stunning Vacation Rentals not only cater for your accommodation needs but also provide you with luxurious linens, NZ made toiletries and a fantastic welcome pack containing local wines and treats. Once you are settled into your private abode we can create a bespoke itinerary just for you and your travel companions, check out our Wanaka Fixer service on our website. Release Wanaka can make the most of your time here (at least 3 or 4 days minimum is recommended) and ensure you have lasting memories which, we all know, is what vacations are all about!

Planning a trip to Wanaka?

Posted by Release Wanaka on April 10, 2017

Visiting a new place can be intimidating, especially in Wanaka. You want to make the most of your time here but you don't know where to start.

What activities can we do? Where can we hire bikes? Where are the best places to eat? How can we entertain the kids? What unique things can we do?

Questions which cannot (Shock!! Horror!!), always be answered by a Google search!

This is why Release Wanaka have introduced their "Wanaka Fixer" service. A dedicated team of LOCALS, who have years of experience within the area.  Their extensive local knowledge and endless contacts provide you with all the answers and more. They are like a secret society working underground to find the best places and activities for you to enjoy and the best part is, you don't have to lift a finger.  They will understand your needs, discover the best itinerary for you and your group and process it all, you just need to go out and live it!

From helicopters to go carts and private chefs to mountain top buffets.....if you can think it up our "Wanaka Fixer" can sort it. Contact Release to find out more. Trust me, 'Bespoke Travel' is the way forward!

Wanaka Fixer -"Your Wanaka Fixer uses their unparalleled local knowledge, experience and connections to facilitate and enrich your travel experiences.

Our specialist Wanaka Fixers have an unparalleled local knowledge and offer a unique and diverse range of services. We specialise in creating bespoke, customised itineraries and tailor-made programs that allows you to explore Wanaka just the way you want to.

We are your eyes and ears on the ground before you arrive, your trusted local agent, your airport pick-up or hire car, your concierge, your fishing guide, your ski instructor, your private chef, and your local knowledge. We know where everything is and how to get it.

Whether you're travelling as a family on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, a couple on a romantic getaway, or a group of friends or corporate colleagues looking for a back stage pass into one of the world's great adventure playgrounds, tell us what you're after and we will make it happen.

Want to know more? Get in touch and we can start planning your ultimate getaway."- www.releasenz.com 

 

A day in the life of a Release Wanaka Guest

Posted by Release Wanaka on March 24, 2017

So as we say goodbye to summer and the temperatures slowly drop our thoughts turn to winter. Snow, skiing, hot tubs, mulled wine, open fires......so much to look forward to!

Wanaka is the ultimate playground in winter for all you winter sports addicts. It can also be a relaxing retreat to unwind and enjoy the crisp, blue sky days surrounded by snowy peaks. Whatever your winter desires are, Release Wanaka can plan a trip to accommodate your needs.

Feeling active? Here's a typical winters day in the life of a Release Wanaka guest:

Wake up to an amazing sunrise over the lake and snow capped mountains. Have a hearty breakfast as you have a busy day ahead. If needed we can organise a private chef to cook you something up. Get on those winter woolies because you will be heading high up into the Southern Alps to experience powder like never before. A helicopter will drop you and your friends on untouched terrain, a day you will never forget. A photographer can head up with you to capture all those amazing memories and views. Lunch will be served amongst the mountains. Once you are all skied out and those legs need a rest you will be transported back to your luxurious accommodation to relax in the hot tub or warm up in the sauna (check out these properties: The Dacha, Apartment1.1, Kelliher Drive). Then, once warmed up, head into town for a slap up meal in one of many fantastic restaurants in Wanaka, but don't stay out too late as you may want to do it all again tomorrow!!

If you are feeling not so active.....maybe this is more for you:

Wake up to an amazing sunrise over the lake and snow capped mountains (sounds familiar!). Think about what you would like for breakfast while you do a few leisurely laps of the pool or maybe a hot tub to watch that amazing sunrise. Head into Wanaka to have breakfast, we can advise of the best places, just ask! Now it's time to decide how you would like to spend your day. A helicopter trip? A vineyard tour to sample many of the stunning wines from the central otago region? A cruise on Lake Wanaka? or, if you just want to chill, grab a good book, curl up and relax in front of the fire (check out these properties for ultimate relaxation: Stone Street, Sunrise Bay, Infinity Drive.) Can't be bothered getting dressed up to go out for dinner, don't worry, a private chef will come to you and serve you gourmet food in the comfort of your own luxury holiday home. Maybe now it is time to get back in that hot tub!!

Release Wanaka - Sunrise Bay

If you like the sound of being a Release Wanaka Guest, we would love to welcome you to Wanaka. There are so many ways to spend your days in this slice of paradise. Contact us to find out more  [email protected].

Release Wanaka's Top 5 Wanaka Restaurants

Posted by Release Wanaka on March 17, 2017

For all you foodie's out there, there is an abundance of good eateries in and around Wanaka. The team at Release Wanaka have put together a list of their top 5. 

1/ Bistro Gentil - With an amazing location looking over Wanaka Golf Course to the lake, Bistro Gentil has a deserved reputation for outstanding food and impressive service.

"Our menus combine the best of New Zealand produce cooked French style - à la française, with a modern twist. Join us to sample house made spreads and wines rarely offered by the glass. In addition to our carefully selected wine list, we offer twenty four wines by the glass, half glass and tasters through our Enomatic self-dispensing wine machines."

2/ Francesca's Italian Kitchen - As you enter Francesca's, a casual, laid back vibe resonates. A great place to catch up with friends with some very tasty food. Don't forget to order the polenta fries!

"At Francesca’s Italian Kitchen we are passionate about authentic Italian cuisine and hospitality. We only use the freshest produce and the finest quality local and imported ingredients."

3/ Kika - Kika is all about sharing and all about getting to taste everything. Can't decide? Try the "Just Feed Me" menu and let the chef decide for you!

"Tapas-style piccolo dishes, that are fun and seasonal; grande-sized sharing main courses, complimented by an array of contorni side dishes, topped off by home-made gelatos and sorbets. Go for the ‘Just Feed Me’ option and enjoy three courses hand-picked by the chef, which can be matched with local beers or wines."

4/ Relishes - You can't go wrong at relishes, every dish is equally as good as the next. Modern kiwi cuisine, across the road from Lake Wanaka. A local favourite!

"With an abundance of local produce, meats, eggs, and wine grown in the Otago region on our doorstep, there is no need to go further afield for ingredients that will create flavours to delight the palate. Dishes highlight seasonal produce, locally found herbs like horopito, free range eggs, and meats that come from the region, some coming from just down the road."

5/ Federal Diner - Tucked down an alley way on the main street you will find fantastic coffee and a superb all day menu. With their wonderful deli next door offering an array of take away options, you can choose to hide away in the restaurant or take your delicious choice down to the lake front.

"We’re open 7.00a.m. everyday and from Wednesday to Sunday we’ll hang around for some shared plates, hearty meals and a cheeky drink or two. Be sure to make a reservation for dinner; you don't want to miss out! We’re the place for good coffee, good food and a welcome hidey-hole in Wanaka; come and see where the locals are fueling up."

Living the High Life on Hogan

Posted by Release Wanaka on March 01, 2017

Release Wanaka - Hogan Lane sits high on the side of a bank looking towards the lake and mountains. With upside down living this property makes the most of its spectacular views. Hogan Lane has recently been completed, so it is brand spanking new. The bedrooms are generous and the bathrooms are slick, including a huge tiled shower in the en-suite with funky black tapware. Sleeping 8 adults, this would be a great pad for a friends get together!

The open plan living area opens up to a large decked balcony, a perfect location for drinks and nibbles at any time of day as it looks out to the view. At the rear, the doors open to a terraced garden with outdoor seating and BBQ. The guys could cook up a storm out the back while the girls sit on the balcony sipping a nice savvy in the sun or maybe a cocktail as the sun sets (just a suggestion)!!

Location is also key with Hogan Lane. It is walking distance to town and the lake (our 'Wanaka Fixer' can advise you of all the sneaky shortcuts) and if you are a Mountain Biker (or would like to be), 'Sticky Forest' is just around the corner, a fun network of forest trails for all abilities.

Release Wanaka - Hogan Lane would be a fantastic base to explore the Wanaka area with your mates. We still have dates available for April including Easter, so get in quick, contact us now!!