Search Homes Shortlist

Release WanakaBlog

Wanaka Travel Blog & News

What's On In Wanaka - Winter 2021

Posted by Release Wanaka on June 11, 2021


Heading to Wanaka this Winter? Check out what's on?

19th June - Mataraki 2021

Join the locals on the lake front for a community hangi, workshops and performances finished with an epic fireworks display at approx. 6pm. Dinosaur Park.

25th June - 3rd July - NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival

Presenting a wide range of films, guest speakers, workshops and presentations from inspirational adventurers. Our films and books tell stories of adventure sports, foreign cultures, remote travel and environmental issues. The 9-day event is a celebration of adventurous sports and lifestyles presented for adventurers, film and book enthusiasts and armchair adventurers. Lake Wanaka Centre.

3rd July - Ladi6

Returning to Wanaka, Ladi6 presents the Alpha Sessions - Live improvisation nights with her band, made up of long-term collaborators Brent Park-Tamati (Parks), Julien Dyne & Brandon Haru. Come ready to dance & hear new, unreleased music. Water Bar, Ardmore Street.

24th August - WInter Games 2021

Winter Games NZ is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest snow sports event. Traditionally it welcomes the world’s best skiers & snowboarders to compete but this year that can’t happen, so rather than let the event lapse Winter Games NZ will run Obsidian. Obsidian is an epic new mixed Team Challenge event for the Winter Games NZ 2020, set across New Zealand’s Southern Alps. 21 of New Zealand’s best freeski and snowboard athletes pitted against each other in four progressive events over a ten-day weather window. Each 9-person team will comprise a mix of 7 elite snow sport athletes and 2 world class videographers. Male and female, ski and snowboard, freeride and park athletes and will be led by a Team Captain. Cardrona Alpine Resort.

7th September - Snowboxx

Taking place in collaboration with Rhythm & Alps this September 7 - 14, the week-long slopeside party at Cardrona and Treble Cone will be soundtracked by an eclectic mix of electronic music.  From house to hip hop, drum & bass to disco, Snowboxx NZ will be recreating the successful Snowboxx European extravaganza which takes place annually in Avoriaz, featuring an action-packed program of performances across a series of mountain-top stages.   

11th September - Jossi Wells Invitational Big Air 2021

Expect to see the most progressive skiing & boarding, with all the latest tricks thrown down on what last year’s athletes dubbed the best jump in the world. This year Jossi is adding a skate comp at the Wanaka Skate Park. An awards presentation & party are scheduled for after the event. Cardrona Alpine Resort.

11th September - Merino Muster

From absolute beginners to the elite national team, competitors revel in the naturally sculpted back country of Snow Farm for both its stunning beauty and its challenging and exhilarating trails. For the more relaxed athlete there is the 7 km course around Merino Glen which most people manage on their first day of nordic skiing. The 21 km course travels around Merino Glen and then out around River Run and back on The Loop. For the experienced cross country skier there is the 42 km Marathon which covers the 21km course and then heads out through Hanging Valley and then back around the Loop for a second time.


Top 5 Properties For A Luxury Winter Getaway

Posted by Release Wanaka on April 13, 2021

Wanaka is an all year round destination but Winter is definitely a strong contender for being the most popular and why wouldn’t it be with 3 x local ski-fields, some of the best heli skiing in the Southern Hemisphere and amazing apres-ski! 

If you are planning a ski holiday in Wanaka we would probably reccommend August as the best month. The weather is more settled the slopes are quieter and the nights are drawing out, perfect for sunset photography!

Here are our Top 5 properties for a luxury Winter getaway in Wanaka which are still available this August. So, if you like the look of any of these properties get in quick before someone else has the holiday of a lifetime in the property of your choice.

1/ Aurum

If you are looking for jaw dropping views of Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps, then this property is for you. Sleeping 6 guests in 3 bedrooms, 2 with ensuite, this home is like a movie theatre as you watch the sunset over the snow capped peaks. It is definitely a place to curl up on the sofa with a glass of local Pinot Noir and watch the ever changing scenery especially in the Winter when the snow is falling.

Features at Aurum include: Privacy & Seclusion, Large Entertaining Deck, Outdoor Fire, Luxurious Furnishings, Walk To The Lake, Close To Lake Track



2/ River Ridge

If you picture yourself in a grand living room, in front of a fire, sipping on a wee dram, then River Ridge is the ideal backdrop. This unique home is made from Canadian Western Red Cedar and oozes luxury with its stunning interiors. The log home features 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, several sitting areas and an amazing Billiards Room. This is the perfect place to relax, sipping on a cocktail while a private chef cooks you and your family and friends a gourmet meal.

Features at River Ridge include: Set On Several Acres, Mountain & River Views, Walk To The Clutha River, Amazing Fly Fishing Nearby



3/ Bremner Bay Residence

Relax at Bremner Bay Residence in front of the roaring outdoor fire while admiring the lake and mountain views. This newly completed home is stunning both inside and outside. It is warm and inviting and offers accommodation for up to 10 guests. A great place for the whole family to come back to after a days skiing and prepare a feast in the huge kitchen. 

Features at Bremner Bay Residence include: Luxurious Interiors & Stunning Architecture, Great Location Close To Lake Wanaka, Stunning Views



4/ Te Pakeke

This couples retreat is an architectural delight and offers the perfect getaway to spend time with your one and only. Light the fire and relax on the huge sofa while you look out to the lake and mountains and chat the night away with some excellent wine and delicious nibbles. An ideal winter getaway with the soft lighting and the large log burner.

Features at Te Pakeke include: Easy walk To Lake Wanaka, Unique Design, Private & Secluded, 



5/ Thirty Seven

Sitting high above Lake Wanaka this property has stupendous panoramic views. This brand new home has 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, perfect for either families of 8-10 or 3 couples. The property has several areas to relax during those Winter months, a large open plan living area for everyone, a cosy snug for the late night drinkers, an outdoor sitting area with fire and a spa pool with fabulous views. 

Features at Thirty Seven include: Spa Pool, Amazing Views, Outdoor Fire, Views Of The Southern Alps, Only 5 Minutes To Wanaka Township


If any of these properties take your fancy then get in touch with our team at Release Wanaka. Andrea and Kirsty are here to answer any questions you may have about the properties, skiing or other Winter activities and basically anything to do with Wanaka!


Contact Andrea and Kirsty at [email protected]

What's New In Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on February 26, 2021

If you haven’t been to Wanaka for a while (which is probably very likely considering the worldwide situation due to the ‘C’ word), then you are probably unaware of what has opened up here in the past year. Apart from the large developments out at Three Parks, including a big flash New World supermarket and an enormous brand, spanking new Mitre 10 MEGA, there have been a few extra additions to this beautiful little town in the South Island of New Zealand.

The Precinct

This exciting new retail development in the middle of town has been introducing new businesses constantly for the past 12 months. Deval and Revology take front row in this modern, stylish building, Deval a top fashion boutique featuring high end clothing labels and Revology Concept Store, who dedicate their store to sustainable living and feature products which promote this. 

As well as these chic shops, The Precinct also offers:

Wee Tart - Coffee Shop & Milk Bar

Cakes of Wanaka

Alice Herald Jewellery

Ukiyo Salon & Co.

The Green Room Plant Collective


This new clothing store in Wanaka features women's luxury athletic wear, accessories and all gear to support health and well-being. They stock brands such as lilybod, KORAL and NOLI. Fearless is located on the main street and is full of funky, stylish clothing with something for everyone from bold patterns to simple designs. Definitely worth a visit if you are looking for comfortable active wear which is sustainable, luxurious, ethical and fashionable.

Fresh Link

Fresh Link has been around for a few years now, but recently they have moved in to new, larger premises, which means they can offer a whole lot more. Bulk buying is the way forward to reduce waste into landfill and this is exactly what Fresh Link is doing. Not only that, everything is a wholefood, no processed rubbish here! So for all you health concious people out there, make sure you have a look at Fresh Link’s new shop which is located on Anderson Road, where you can stock up on lots of yummy food. While you are at it, you can grab a coffee/smoothie bowl/sweet treat from their locally famous food truck - The Dripping Bowl.


A new cafe in town to get your coffee and breakfast fix, Scroggin is located next door to Tussocks and part of The Wanaka Hotel on Ardmore Street. Newly renovated, this location has been a number of hospitality businesses with the latest being Scroggin and this looks like a keeper. The interiors are light and inviting and the food is delicious and healthy. The coffee is a winner too! It is always nice to have another cafe choice in Wanaka, especially when the food is so good.


Yes, Alchemy have been around for a long time but have you seen their new bar? Positioned front and centre of this local favourite, their new bar area serves you luscious cocktails and local craft beers. Located on Ardmore Street looking out to Lake Wanaka, this is an awesome place to meet friends and laugh the night away.

Boh & Ivy

Boh & Ivy is an interior design studio on the main street in Wanaka. The space is set up with gorgeous furniture and soft furnishings, featuring french linen and velvet. If you are looking for ideas for your home this is a great place to wander around on your next trip to Wanaka.

Ground Up

Adding to the other local breweries who have opened their doors to the public, Ground Up have joined the pack by creating a bar with indoor and outdoor seating for all their craft beer followers. Located on Gordon Road along from Rhyme and Reason, Ground Up offer an array of delicious locally crafted beer as well as soft drinks for the kids and sober drivers. The Burrito Craft has set up a food truck there if you are feeling peckish and don’t forget to pick up some merch if you are here visiting.

The Next Chapter

You have probably seen and heard of Cinema Paradiso but have you seen and heard of The Next Chapter? This little architectural box building in front of Paradiso appeared late last year with whispers around town of what it may become. The little, funky building turned out to be a book shop called The Next Chapter. This intimate, independent bookshop is a perfect place for bookworms to wile away the day. 

Wanaka Skatepark Extension

If you love to skate or scoot, then you will be pleased to hear that Wanaka Skatepark has extended. Located central to Wanaka with great lake and mountain views, the skatepark is a real hit with the locals and visitors. Now bigger and better than it was, it is a great place to drop the skaters of the family off, while you pop across the road for a coffee.


So, while the world is struggling to keep afloat, Wanaka is keeping its head above water and the proof is in these businesses who are pushing forward. I don't think it will be too long until the next "What's New In Wanaka" blog. There are innovative new businesses popping up everywhere.

I guess this leads back to the whole ‘Shop Local’ concept. Wanaka has a tight-knit community who look out for each other and welcomes everyone with open arms.

Here at Release Wanaka, we encourage our guests to "live like a local" and we can help with this by sharing our local insiders knowledge. Wanaka is an awesome place to visit with plenty to do and see, but with a laid back vibe. It provides an easy, relaxing holiday that we all need sometimes.

Need luxury Wanaka holiday accommodation? Get In Touch - 021 762 694   [email protected] 

November Promo - come to Wanaka and get free goodies!

Posted by Release Wanaka on October 30, 2020

What a year 2020 has been! With only a few months to go until the Christmas rush, why not book a long weekend to Wanaka in November, and take advantage of the exciting new promotion we’re offering our amazing Release Wanaka guests? 

After the whirlwind of a year we’ve just navigated our way through, we would love to treat our guests to some R&R. What better way to de-stress than with some quality time with your other half?

If you book a trip to Wanaka in November, and stay at either Lakeshore or Lake Edge, you will receive the following goodies FREE:

·      A $50 voucher per couple for wonderful Wanaka restaurant Lipsky & Sons

·      A grazing platter box from delicious local company The Platter Share

·      A free wine tasting experience by award winning local winemakers Maude Wines

Lakeshore & Lake Edge are in an amazing location right on the lakefront, with stunning views. They’re also an easy walk into Wanaka town centre, which makes them the perfect choice for a long weekend trip to Wanaka – the bars, cafes and restaurants are right at your fingertips!

They are both three bedroom, three bathroom properties, so why not get some friends involved and make it a triple date trip? They are beautifully finished throughout with luxurious linens and comfortable, stylish furniture.

Here at Release Wanaka, last summer was our busiest on record, and we were excited to carry on the trend and make 2020 a year to remember. It definitely started well, as we were awarded a gold Qualmark rating under the Sustainable Business criteria.  This is something we have been working towards for a long time, and is something we were very excited and proud about.

This award is evidence that we are committed to protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing connections with our local communities, whilst also delivering a quality, safe experience for all visitors.

Shortly after we received the award, COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball and New Zealand went into a nationwide lockdown. But after level 2 was announced, and kiwis flocked to Wanaka to hit the slopes in the school holidays, we enjoyed a record winter season, and we’re definitely excited about the future.

Kiwis travelling to Wanaka and choosing to stay with us has been a gift to us as a business, helping us survive such an uncertain time. So it’s our turn to give a little back as a big THANK YOU for sticking by us.

If you’re keen to come and visit us in November, contact our friendly sales team – Andrea & Kirsty – by clicking here.

See you soon!

Top 5 Outdoor Activities Wanaka, NZ

Posted by Release Wanaka on October 09, 2020

Spring is officially here, the clocks have changed and the days are getting longer. The Release Wanaka team LOVE this time of year, as the extra hours in the day mean so much more time for fun activities!

This is a great time of year to visit Wanaka, as there are outdoor activities galore to sink your teeth into. And with COVID-19 putting a temporary stop on overseas travel, there has never been a better time to take a holiday in your own backyard and explore some of the amazing places New Zealand has to offer.

Release Wanaka - Lake Wanaka

We have been so happy to see so many New Zealanders taking advantage of our COVID-19 promotions and the free nights on offer at a selection of our stunning properties. These deals finish at the end of November, so if you haven’t already (or even if you have, and you can’t wait to get back here!) then book your Wanaka getaway now.

To help persuade you, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 outdoor activities that you absolutely need to experience for yourselves during your next trip to Wanaka.

1/ Bike Glendhu

When Bike Glendhu opened earlier this year, there were lots of happy mountain bikers keen to go tear it up on the tracks and trails the park has to offer. 

Release Wanaka - Bike Glendhu (photo by Jay French)

There is something for everyone here, with some low-key tracks ideal for families, as well as some lung-burners for those with a need for speed & adrenaline. The park is a trail rider’s dream, and the views are amazing, especially from the very top.

2/ Wild Wire

If climbing is your thing, then check out the via-ferrata climbing out by Treble Cone. Wild Wire run a tight ship, and have been offering some great promotions over the last 6 months to get keen climbers up for some fun on the world’s highest waterfall cable climb. 

Release Wanaka - Wild Wire

There are three different height options to choose from, varying from 150m to 450m, the highest earning you the title of Lord of the Rungs! You're bound to have heaps of fun, and enjoy some spectacular views while you're up there.

3/ Adventure Wanaka

Adventure Wanaka offer a variety of different activities out on the lake for those of you wanting to get out on the water and explore wonderful Lake Wanaka. 

Whether you want to try your hand at fishing and catch your dinner, or get out to Mou Waho & see the famous island on a lake on an island on a lake…. You need to see it to believe it!

4/ Paddle Wanaka

A trip to Wanaka isn’t complete without getting out and about on the lake, and what better way than combining with some exercise and giving kayaking a try? 

Release Wanaka - Paddle Wanaka, The Mission

Paddle Wanaka offer some great guided and non-guided tour options. We recommend ‘The Mission’ – a 4 hour half day adventure. The friendly team at Paddle Wanaka will help you plan your route, provide all the equipment you need & drop you off to the start point. You can then paddle back at your own pace. Perfect for families, couples or groups of friends to get out and explore together.

5/ Mt Iron

Another must-do while in Wanaka, take a hike up Mt Iron and see Lake Wanaka from above. 

Release Wanaka - Mt Iron

Stunning panoramic views greet you from the top of the loop track, which has various start points along the bottom of the track. If it’s warm, take your water bottle and a sun hat as there isn’t much shade going up.

Get in touch with our sales team here to discuss planning your next trip to Wanaka. Don’t forget, we are still offering FREE nights at selected properties until the end of November.

See you soon!

Top 5 Indoor Family Activities Wanaka, NZ

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 16, 2020

Sometimes you just want to escape from the weather and entertain the kids indoors. Maybe the rain has settled in for the day or you want a break from the hot Central Otago sunshine.

Wanaka is a family friendly location with plenty of options. Here are our Top 5 indoor activities for families.


1/ Puzzling World

"Since 1973 Puzzling World has been messing with people’s heads no matter what age, nationality or experience. With a mix of bizarre buildings, rooms of illusion and the world-famous Great Maze this attraction is designed to baffle your brain and challenge your perceptions of reality."

Great fun for the whole family, Puzzling World provides entertainment for a entire day. Head through the numerous buildings, get lost in the maze or relax in the cafe and challenge yourself with the various free to use puzzles. A great day out for all!

2/  Cinema Paradiso

A movie theatre with a difference. Paradiso has been going for more than a couple of decades now. In their new premises in Wanaka, they offer 3 screens showing recent releases. The cinemas are kitted out with sofas and large comfortable chairs, as well as an old Morris Minor in one of them.

The famous freshly baked cookies are AMAZING and served during the old school intermission. They are warm and delicious with a selection of flavours (they can also do GF cookies, just let them know before the movie starts) and are perfect after a pizza & beer while you sit and relax and watch the movie.

3/ Base Camp

If those rocks out on the hillsides around Wanaka are looking a bit slippy, head over to 'Basecamp'. Here you can get your climbing fix no matter what the weather.

The 'Clip n Climb' is great fun for over 5's, with a selection of crazy climbs to choose from, including a in the dark climb, all while you are safely strapped into a harness.

If you prefer something a bit more serious, harness up and hit 'The Wall'. A selection of 30 climbs spread over 12 ropes with something for everyone, this is perfect for developing your skills or trying something new. 

4/ National Transport & Toy Museum

"One of the world's largest private collections of aircraft, vehicles and toys. With over half a century of collecting and preserving pieces from the past, the museum houses over 600 vehicles. Including classic cars, motorcycles, fire appliances, military vehicles, buses, trucks, tractors, construction gear and boats. 20 Civilian and Military aircraft from the 1930’s to 1990’s. 

The nostalgic collection of 60,000 toys has something to fascinate the child in everyone, such as clockwork and battery powered toys, dolls, teddy bears, pedal cars, remote control models, money boxes and 1,000’s of scale models. The museum offers indoor and outdoor playing areas, adult sized pedal cars to ride as well a picnic area. The museum shop has thousands of models and gifts.  Light refreshments are also available." 

This place is huge and has something interesting around every corner. All ages are catered for and you can definitely spend a full day here. 

5/ Realm

Escape Reality.....

"Discover a whole new universe, become part of your game, explore the world - at REALM VR, it's all literally at your fingertips. The perfect rainy day activity or family fun in Wanaka, New Zealand, REALM VR provides hours of indoor adventure for just about any age.

A completely unique experience, REALM VR is definitely a must-do activity while visiting Wanaka, New Zealand."

For your accommodation needs in Wanaka, contact Release Wanaka. We have some fantastic holiday rental homes perfect for small and large families.

[email protected]

021 762 694



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.

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 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


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.

Make Isolation A Luxury Not A Burden!

Posted by Release Wanaka on March 18, 2020

As I sit writing this looking out to the mountains, lake and sunshine with not another person in sight, I think, this is not a bad place to be during the current situation around the world due to COVID-19. 

We live in Wanaka, New Zealand and we are very lucky to be stuck here. This small town, basically in the middle of nowhere, is the ideal location for isolation. There are endless places to escape and be on your own out in the fresh mountain air. The calm autumn weather is perfect for lake adventures and the cooler temperatures are perfect for getting on your hiking boots or jumping in the saddle. I read recently that in the 1900’s, fresh air and sunshine were key to recovering from a virus. Wanaka offers both of those things pretty much everyday.

You definitely won’t be bored here. The ever changing scenery will be enough to entertain you everyday and you wouldn’t have to move a muscle. If you want to get out and about, the adventures haven’t  stopped. Private heli charters can take you into the wilderness to walk, bike, paddle board, kayak or sit on a mountain top and have a gourmet lunch, while still isolating yourself from other people. 

If you are visiting New Zealand and cannot get out of the country or you live here and want a break, we would definitely recommend Wanaka as a place to take time out. Come and reset and reflect and ride out this crazy global storm. Getting here is still possible, drive in a private vehicle, helicopter or private jet.

We have some ideal properties for you and your family to sit tight in during this uncertain time, all of which offer outdoor areas giving you access to plenty of fresh mountain air. We can help organise private transport, grocery deliveries, private spa treatments within your home and adventures into the mountains. We have large homes that can fit the whole family and we can negotiate a weekly rate. Use this time to regroup with the family, spend some quality time together and make lifetime memories. If you would like more information about which properties we have available for long term stays you can contact us here.

Top 5 day hikes in Wanaka, New Zealand

Posted by Release Wanaka on January 29, 2020

When you’re on vacation in beautiful New Zealand, a fab free family activity is to get out in the great outdoors and go for a hike. We’re lucky here in Wanaka, that there are so many amazing tracks with stunning views right on our doorstep. Whether you’re looking for a long, exhilarating walk to get the heart rate up, or a stroll around the lake with the family to get some fresh air, there are so many to choose from. And the best part is, you don’t have to go far to find somewhere beautiful to stretch your legs.

Here is a rundown of some of our favourite day hikes around Wanaka. Next time you come to Wanaka on vacation, why not try and tick a couple off?

Mt Iron – panoramic lake and mountain views

If you venture up Mt Iron first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon, you’ll pass plenty of Wanaka locals getting their fitness fix. This loop track hike takes around an hour and a half to complete, with stunning views at the top of Lake Wanaka and the beautiful mountains surrounding it. Why not head up for sunrise to start the day the right way, or for sunset, and relax at the benches at the top to watch the sun dip below the mountains. Great for all ages, it’s a firm family favourite of ours, and is close to the town centre.

Distance: 4.5km loop
Duration: 1.5 hours

Isthmus Peak – gorgeous views of Lake Hawea & Lake Wanaka

For us, Isthmus Peak is a much better alternative than the busy Roy’s Peak track (mentioned below), and a more enjoyable hike. The track to the 1,385m summit treats hikers to beautiful views of Lake Hawea on the way up, then, when you reach the top, gorgeous views over the top of Lake Wanaka as well. Why not take a packed lunch, and make a day of it? The views are spectacular, especially on a bluebird day like the one pictured. This track is also suitable for mountain bikes, so if you’re feeling energetic, rent a bike and get involved. 

Distance: 16 km
Duration: 5-7 hours

Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain – views of Mt Aspiring National Park

The track around Diamond Lake is a lovely, family-friendly hike. Those wanting a relaxing stroll can choose to just walk around Diamond Lake, then up to the lookout to view it from above. For those wanting to get the heartrate rising, continue up to the top of Rocky Mountain. The loop track boasts amazing views over the top of Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps. We always recommend this to guests, as it's a quieter hike than some of the others mentioned, with equally as beautiful views. We also recommend going early to avoid the heat and sun, as there isn’t much shade on the way up.

Diamond Lake lookout - 2km, 1 hour
Rocky Mountain - 7km, 3 hours

Rob Roy Glacier – explore Mt Aspiring National Park

Getting out in Mt Aspiring National Park is a must-do when on vacation in Wanaka, and the hike out to Rob Roy Glacier is a beautiful one. Starting at Raspberry Creek car park, an hour’s drive from Wanaka town centre in the national park, the track meanders through the valley before crossing the Matukituki river & heading up to the glacier. The views are sensational! Watch out for the cheeky Kea at the top – these Alpine parrots are stunning, with the most gorgeous colours on their wings, but they love to pester tourists for their snacks! Another great walk to take a picnic and enjoy the view before the walk down. This walk is also great for families as once you cross the bridge and start the climb up, the track weaves through the valley under the cover of the trees, so you’re sheltered from the hot summer sun. 

Distance: 10km
Duration: 3-4 hours

Roy’s Peak – famous views of Wanaka and Mt Aspiring National Park

Roy’s Peak is one of the most famous of Wanaka’s walks. Chances are you will have seen photos of this view before you’ve even got to New Zealand! People brave enough can expect a lung and leg-burner of a hike to the 1,578m summit, but will be rewarded with jaw-dropping views of Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps. Be prepared for the 16km return trip and take plenty of water and snacks, and of course (most importantly) your camera! We recommend heading out early in the morning for this hike, to beat the sun (there’s no shade on the way up) and to get a space in the car park! It's such a popular walk now, it can be hard to get a spot to park. There are shuttles from Wanaka town centre out to the start of the track also, which can be an easier alternative.

Distance: 16km
Duration: 5-6 hours

If this is enough to persuade you to come for a holiday, then get in touch with us and we'll help you plan your dream trip to Wanaka! 


Summer Holiday in Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 26, 2019

Why Wanaka ticks all the boxes for the perfect Summer holiday.

Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand offers an ideal destination for a fun and relaxing break. Here are only some of the many reasons why you should visit Wanaka for a Summer holiday.

The Weather

Wanaka is located in an area where the Summers are hot and dry. The sunny days are a significant plus to a Summer holiday. The average temperature sits at approximately 24 degrees and there is zero humidity. The days are long and don’t end until after 9pm, giving you plenty of time to get out and explore without having to rush back before darkness falls.

Outdoor Activities

There are an abundance of outdoor activities to partake in, in and around Wanaka. The hiking and biking is epic, with so many options for all levels and abilities.  There are plenty of places to visit which doesn’t cost a cent and the views are incredible. If you are looking for something more extreme the town is full of adventure specialists who can take you up cliffs, into crevices or out to far away places that can only be seen from the air. Wanaka is one of the ultimate adventure towns in New Zealand and can definitely compete against other areas.


Wanaka is packed with excellent cafes, bars and restaurants. The cafe culture is in full flight with award winning baristas and amazing food, available from 7am to late. The restaurant scene is awesome with an array of international eateries from Asian Fusion to Lebanese cuisine. There is something for everyone and something for every budget. 


Central Otago is world renowned for its wine, particularly the Pinot Noir. Wanaka is within an easy drive to numerous vineyards which offer tastings and meals. A great day out in some amazing scenery. If driving is off the cards ( you are wine tasting after all ) then there are options for wine tours as well as private car hire and a driver. Within Wanaka you can taste some spectacular wines including Maude and Rippon both of which are locally owned and offer tasting rooms.


A beer connoisseur would be impressed with the craft beer Wanaka has to offer. With no less than 6 micro breweries in town, Wanaka is definitely making its mark on the beer industry. Most local bars serve a choice of the local beers but you can also visit the breweries and sit in and enjoy these delicious beverages.

Lake Wanaka

The town of Wanaka sits on the shores of the lake which offers plenty of activities. Experience most water sports including Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Water Skiing, boat trips and Jet Skiing. It is also the perfect place to cool off in the crystal clear water and the kids can have a blast jumping off the wharf or pontoon. The kilometres of shore line offer numerous places to set up camp for the day, watching the kids play in the shallow water while you sit back and admire the view with a good book and a cold beer. Getting out on the water is easy with several tour operators located in town or on the lake front, providing all the gear and guides if needed. 

This is just six reasons why Wanaka is a great destination for a Summer break. What else do you need? Contact us now for availability on our luxury holiday homes which give you the option to relax, have flexibility and lots of space.

Girls Heli Ski/Board Day

Posted by Release Wanaka on July 23, 2019

The amazing ‘Miss Snow It All’ has teamed up with Southern Lakes Heli Ski and our very own local NZ Winter Olympian, Freeride World Tour competitor and The North Face athlete, Janina Kuzma, to bring you the ultimate girls Heli Ski/Board day. 

Can I go if I have never been Heli Skiing/Boarding before?..............Hell Yeah!!

Whether you are a first timer or a Heli Ski/Board addict, this is for you. This is an amazing opportunity to hang out with a group of harmonious girls who love skiing/boarding and learn from the best.

Here's what is included and this can be found on SNOWBEST.COM:


  • Join an all female heli ski and boarder helicopter of similar skill level skiers and boarders -  first timers, intermediate, advanced and beyond.
  • Ski/ride with and get tips from The North Face athlete Janina Kuzma.
  • Be guided by female heli guides.
  • 4 heli ski/board run Classic Heli Day included in the cost.
  • The opportunity to purchase more runs on the day.
  • Pick up from your accommodation in Wanaka or Queenstown (or upgrade for a heli pick up from your front lawn!).
  • Enjoy a gourmet lunch on a mountain top.


  • Half price Cardrona Alpine Resort lift pass should you want to ski/ride the day before or after!
  • 10% off a standard heli ski 4 run day.
  • 10% discount for your partner - if you have a bloke/s you're travelling with and they too want to heli, they can also score the discount on the same day and join a public circuit day with Southern Lakes Heliski.


A complimentary SWAG BAG worth AU$375!

  • POW gloves
  • The North Face hoodie
  • Gogglesoc
  • Dragon beanie
  • Icebreaker chute
  • ROJO Outerwear socks plus a 20% discount card
  • Southern Lakes Heli Ski trucker cap
  • Southern Lakes Heli Ski ski straps


  • September 7, 2019 (weather contingency day September 8)


Wow, this would be an awesome day to be part of, so grab a group of girlfriends and book your place before you miss out.

In conjunction with this amazing event we would like to offer a great deal on our accommodation. STAY 4 PAY 3 at our luxury holiday rental properties, which are ideal for you and a group of friends. This offer is available for the weekend of the 6th - 10th September (subject to availability, T&C's apply), contact us here and quote "Miss Snow It All Chopper Squad".

Here are a few of our Wanaka holiday homes which offer you space, flexibility and privacy all under one roof with your besties -

Release Wanaka - Forest Heights: 

Sleeps 8, 4 Bedroom/2.5 Bathroom, Spa Pool, Sauna, Movie Room, Stunning Views. From NZ$118/person/night.

Release Wanaka – Nokomai:

Sleeps 6, 3 Bedroom/2.5 Bathroom, Heating throughout, Log Burner, Architecturally Designed, Large Garage. From NZ$125/person/night.

Release Wanaka – Aurum:

Sleeps 6, 3 Bedroom/3 Bathroom, Breath-taking Views of Lake Wanaka, Amazing Photo Opportunities, Large Garage. From NZ$332/person/night.

Release Wanaka – Clutha Place:

Sleeps 8, 4 Bedroom/3 Bathroom, Views of Lake Wanaka, 2 x Living Areas, Large Garage, Balcony. From NZ$90/person/night.

To book your accommodation for this amazing weekend of adventure and friendship, contact our team at Release Wanaka.

Stay In Wanaka, New Zealand

Posted by Release Wanaka on June 17, 2019

Stay In Wanaka, New Zealand

Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand is the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park. A stunning part of the world that provides unbelievable views of the Southern Alps. Located only an hour away from Queenstown International Airport, Wanaka offers the perfect base to explore the Southern Lakes region, Southland, the West Coast and the MacKenzie Region including Mt Cook.

Basing yourself in Wanaka at your own holiday rental home makes sense, it gives you flexibility to come and go as you please. You can set off on an exciting road trip or scenic flight, knowing you are coming back to a warm inviting home where you can wear your 'comfies' and slippers to dinner. A holiday rental home means you can stop and relax, take your time and have a HOLIDAY!

Don’t rush around in a crazy frenzy trying to see as much as possible in a short time, stop and stay a while. Packing your suitcase, checking you have everything, packing the car, getting everyone ready to depart to your next destination is a waste of time. Wouldn't you rather be packing a day pack to go on an adventure for the day?

There are numerous places to visit within the local region of Wanaka, but day trips are possible to the West Coast including Fox Glacier, Te Anau, Milford Sound and Mount Cook. You can see a lot of New Zealand basing yourself in a central location without the stress of moving on. With a selection of Heli and flight companies in Wanaka, based at Wanaka Airport, you can travel a long way in a short time and see some amazing sights which will remain in your memories for a lifetime. 

Wanaka is an amazing little town without the hassles of a bigger town. There is everything you need to have a fantastic holiday when you are not out sightseeing including, award winning restaurants and cafes, boutique shops, cocktail bars and local breweries. There are several sporting events throughout the year as well as Arts, Music and Theatre. The view is amazing from the lake front, where you can sit and enjoy a drink and dinner while the sun sets over the mountains. For all you outdoor enthusiasts, you will be in outdoor heaven, with endless mountain biking, hiking, climbing and lake activities. You will have countless opportunities to get out into the fresh mountain air.

So don’t just rush by on a fleeting visit…….STOP - take a look around, breathe the fresh air and listen to the birds sing. Wanaka can offer so much, you just need to know the right people!!

Contact us to find out how we can organise a trip of a lifetime and ensure you make the most of Wanaka and surrounding regions.

Corporate Wellbeing

Posted by Release Wanaka on May 17, 2019

"well-being" - noun - a state of health, happiness and high life satisfaction.

It’s early. Lake Wanaka is still, bearing the reflections of immense mountains. The view takes up your living room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, the snowy tip of Mount Aspiring just visible. Two hours ahead of Sydney, you get a couple of hours of work done, a cup of coffee in hand, before most of your competitors are even out of bed. Then a heli-ski day awaits; you leave the ground and all your worries far below, the sound of the chopper blades filling the cabin as you’re carried through the clear mountain air to the powder-filled valleys of New Zealand’s exquisite backcountry. 

This is a snapshot of how Release Wanaka can assist your organisation to acquire, engage and retain your biggest asset; your employees.

It’s no secret that employers of choice prioritise a healthy, happy and engaged culture, thereby improving staff retention and performance. Smart businesses support holistic wellbeing strategies, in turn attracting the best talent to their organisations. This choice ripples top down through companies; inspired employees hit bigger targets more consistently and more sustainably. They think on their feet, see the bigger picture and have more passion to pour into their work.

The best teams are made up of individuals operating at their prime. Energised, enthused and focused, they’re innovative and fluid in a world that demands an ability to pivot between precision and passion. 

The average person spends 90,000 hours of their life working. By helping your staff take steps towards that elusive work-life balance, you are actively ensuring their wellbeing. We have your business’s success at heart, providing your team the time to rest, recharge and spend time with loved ones pays dividends in the long run.

We don’t want your key talent to simply survive - we want them to thrive!

Release Wanaka are the locals who can help ignite the flame that burns in your valued employees. Our team specialise in creating tailor-made, holistic Corporate Wellness Solutions like no other, far beyond the realms of just another team building exercise. 

Wanaka and its surrounding pristine playground can become your new flexible work environment, combined with bespoke staff-experience programs designed to challenge, inspire, engage and invigorate. 

Our exclusive network of elite outdoorsmen and women, professional athletes and instructors offer exhilarating, once in a lifetime backcountry adventures and training sessions in a spectacular alpine terrain. There is simply nothing like bracing mountain air and a holistic mind-body approach to recharge, rewire and release.

Based from our luxury villa collection we provide outstanding individualised employee experiences that will be seared into the memories of your staff. We open doors for them to remember their unlimited capacity. We flick the switch on the floodlight of their purpose and help disrupt the status quo so your employees and teams can reach new heights. Do more, change more, be more. 

For more information regarding our 'Corporate Getaways' and how we can help you and your employees, contact us here.

Skiing in Wanaka, New Zealand

Posted by Release Wanaka on April 16, 2019

Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand is a haven for ski enthusiasts and snow lovers. With 3 awesome ski fields on our doorstep it makes the perfect destination to find suitable terrain for all ages and abilities and provides an ideal location for an unforgettable family ski holiday. Wanaka town is buzzing in the evening, for a bit of ‘Apres-ski’ and with numerous events and non-snow activities, the whole family can be in winter holiday heaven. 

There are an array of snow focused activities available, including Heli-Skiing, Dog Sledding and Back Country Touring, but here we outline the 3 ski fields that offer a variety of skiing and winter activities and all are within an easy 40 minute drive of Wanaka. 

Cardrona Alpine Resort 

Set on the mountains above the Cardrona valley, Cardrona Alpine Resort is a favourite amongst families. Offering an array of terrain for beginners right through to advanced racers, it is a very popular field all winter. At the moment Cardrona has 2 x magic carpets, 2 x chairlifts and the Chondala (Chair and Gondola in one), making the snowy peaks accessible for not only skiers and boarders but also snow lovers who wish to take in the stunning view of the Southern Alps from the top without having to put on the planks. The ski field offers ski and snowboard lessons for all levels and with 5 locations to grab a drink and something to eat there is plenty of opportunity to rest those tired legs.

Treble Cone Ski field

Treble Cone Ski Field is the largest ski field in the South Island of New Zealand, offering a lift serviced vertical drop of 700m, the longest run in the Southern Lakes region. It is well known for its fantastic off piste terrain and stunning views over Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps. Advanced skiers and boarders can experience a playground of challenging powder runs featuring natural half pipes and gnarly slopes. The ski field offers 5 cafes/restaurants to choose a beverage from, whether it is a grab and go pie on your own, or a sit down and relax meal for everyone!

Snow Farm

For all you cross - country skiers out there or all you ski-lovers who want to experience something other than downhill, then The Snow Farm is the place to go. With over 55km of groomed trails, you will never get bored of the terrain. Catering for all levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced, and offering not only cross-country skiing, the Snow Farm makes the perfect location for a fun, family, winter day out. The kids will love the snow tubing and if you are feeling adventurous, chuck on some snow shoes and head out on a guided tour of the Pisa Range. At the base sits the Snow Farm Lodge where you can grab a bite to eat, in either the bar, cafe or restaurant.

So if you are looking for a ski holiday destination in New Zealand, then Wanaka probably has it all. We can sort your accommodation, ski passes, rental equipment, transport and offer advice on which field would work for you and your group. For more information about skiing in Wanaka, contact the Release Wanaka team here.

Top 5 Lunch Locations in Wanaka, NZ

Posted by Release Wanaka on February 26, 2019

Release Wanaka’s Top 5 – Lunch

It is lunchtime in Wanaka and the choice is overwhelming. Here are a few of our favourites for you to go and try. So grab some friends and head out for a long leisurely lunch, maybe it will lead to some pre-dinner drinks (our next blog!)

1/ Big Fig Wanaka 

“Slow food served fast” is how they describe this extremely popular restaurant in the centre of Wanaka. This funky restaurant has seating inside and out and serves the best coffee in town (ok, 'one' of the best coffee's!). “We have a changing menu of slow-cooked meat like lamb shawarma and pomegranate beef cheeks, sweet spicy tangy meatballs, free-range rotisserie chickens, yummy vegetarian and vegan tagines, gratins, pilafs, stuffed veggies, stews, and braises. Our salads are grainy and greenie, roasty and tasty, herb-filled and jammed with flavour.” - rumbling tummy alert!!

2/ Hook

Newly opened, Hook, is not just a restaurant but an experience. If you are a fan of Salmon then this is the place to go – Sashimi / Hot Smoked / Cold Smoked, they will prepare it however you like it. Grab a rod and head over to the purpose built lake to catch your lunch, “From Lake to Plate” in a matter of minutes. "Located in Wanaka, right at the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Lakes, Hook is a place where everyone is welcomed to enjoy Wanaka’s stunning alpine setting in comfort and with ease."      

Photo from     

3/ Cardrona Hotel

This has to be one of the best beer gardens in the area. Beautiful established gardens surround this historic hotel, providing a peaceful, spacious setting to relax and enjoy a local beer and lunch. There is plenty of room for the children to run around and the outdoor fire in the winter is real draw card. "Rumoured to be the most photographed building in New Zealand, the historic facade hides an award-winning restaurant, legendary beer garden and charming hotel rooms with an atmosphere second-to-none. "

Cardrona Hotel NZ

4/  Double Black

If you are out and about, maybe on your bike, then stop by Albert Town and visit the team at Double Black. Serving delicious food and awesome coffee, this is a popular spot for the locals. With dishes like the “Asian Pork Benny” and the “The Double Black Original Hash”, it is a place not to be missed on your culinary search around Wanaka. "The perfect pit stop! There are a number of walking and bike tracks near us. Located only a five minute walk from Wanaka's famous Mt Iron walking track - why not drop in for a refreshment or bite to eat? Ample parking also available!"

5/ Burrito Craft

One of the many food trucks in town, Burrito Craft offers a tasty meal that can be enjoyed by the lake. With the choice of Burritos or Tacos filled with your choice of meats or vegetables, this is the perfect lunch for a hit of Mexican flavour and a kick of chilli! You can phone your order ahead, grab it and head to one of the many idyllic spots around Wanaka. A flavourful take away lunch that the whole family can enjoy!

Photo from Lake Wanaka Tourism

This is just a small selection of some of the fantastic places to eat we have here in Wanaka, New Zealand. There are many, many more to sample and Release Wanaka guests have access to local advice and recommendations via our Wanaka based team. You can contact us here to become a Release Wanaka guest.

Couples Retreats

Posted by Release Wanaka on January 10, 2019

Calling all Couples......

We have just introduced a new section to our website, Release Wanaka – Couples Retreats. This section offers luxury, self-contained accommodation for couples who like to be independent and have all the mod-cons to hand. 

Release Wanaka - The Banya

We have a number of apartments which are specifically for two, but we are currently adding some of our full holiday rentals at a couples rate. This gives you the space and amenities without the full rate price tag. All our homes are fully furnished and come with luxurious linens and towels as well as toiletries and pantry essentials, all you have to do is bring your clothes.

Release Wanaka - Nokomai

Wanaka is a wonderful holiday destination with idyllic scenery and adventures for everyone. If you are feeling energetic, there are lots of walks, climbs, bike rides and activities to participate in or if not so energetic then opt for a wine tour, heli flight or boat trip. It can be as romantic as you like with beautiful sunsets, award winning restaurants and perfect locations for that stunning couples shot, Instagram look out!

Photo from

Keep an eye on our “Couples Retreats” section on our website as we add more homes for you and your partner to relax in without having to pay full price. A perfect option for those who wish privacy and freedom to do what they want when they want!!

For more information, contact us here.

Release Wanaka - Horseshoe Bend Estate

Posted by Release Wanaka on December 13, 2018

Amongst 17 acres near to the Hawea River sits this resort style property. A private retreat which offers peace, space and fun.

luxury self-contained villa in Wanaka

Horseshoe Bend Estate, our beautiful luxury self-contained villa, sleeps 12 guests in 2 separate buildings – ‘The main House’ and ‘The Tennis Court Pavilion’. The Main House has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an open plan kitchen/dining/living area. Upstairs features the master bedroom with an En-suite bathroom, balcony and adjoining nursery, complete with cot and change table. The Tennis Court Pavilion also sleeps 6 in 3 guest rooms. It too has an open plan kitchen/dining/living area and features an indoor/outdoor BBQ area with a fire and sofas.

luxury villa in Wanaka

The grounds and outdoor area are the real treat. A swimming pool beside the Pool House takes centre stage with a changing room and steam room as well as a spa pool hidden discreetly around the corner. The fully fenced pool area provides sun loungers, bean bags and large cantilever umbrellas, all you need to provide is the sun block and cocktails.

horseshoe bend estate

A tennis court situated between the pool house and Tennis Court Pavilion provides entertainment for all, especially those competitive mums and dads who would like a break from the kids. 

The large outdoor seating area with built in BBQ, outdoor fire, fridge and lots of comfortable furniture is the perfect place to entertain and relax in the warm, Otago evening sun. The kids can play on the huge piece of lawn or head over to the inground trampoline to burn off some of that holiday energy. There are heaps of places for them to explore with an edible garden, a fully fenced pond and forest everywhere.

Horseshoe Bend Estate is a mini resort. A place that you don’t need to leave to keep the kids and yourselves entertained. It provides a holiday vibe in beautiful surroundings. It is the perfect place to stay with extended family or friends and it can provide the ultimate location for a special event/occasion.

For more information about availability or hosting an event at Horseshoe Bend Estate, please contact our team today. 

A Day Out At Cardrona Village

Posted by Release Wanaka on December 07, 2018

Only a  20minute drive from Wanaka on the Cardrona Valley Road, you will come to the small village of Cardrona. The area is well known for Cardrona Alpine Resort but there are definitely a few other things to see and do to make a great day out. Here are a few ideas to enjoy your time in this stunning area, surrounded by mountains and set in a delightful valley.

Heading along the main Cardrona Valley Road and before you reach the Cardrona Alpine Resort access road, you will see a turn-off to the right, where you can view the infamous “Bra Fence”. Pushed by locals to continue growing and spread awareness of Breast Cancer, the “Bra Fence” is a great photo opportunity and an interesting addition to Cardrona's uniqueness.

Heading down the same turn off you will come to Cardrona Distillery. Here you can take a tour and learn about the art of making hand-distilled artisan spirits and finish it off with a tasting. The tours take approximately 75 - 90minutes and are available from 10am - 3pm every day.

things to do in cardronaPhoto from

Further along the road, if you fancy an ice cream/coffee/cake/soft drink……., you can stop off at the General Store. Open from 7am it is a great place to fuel up before your next adventure or grab a take away.

If you are after a lunch date, head to The Cardrona Hotel, where they have the most beautiful beer garden. The menu is varied and it is perfect for the kids, with outdoor swings and games to keep them entertained, while you sit back and relax with a local brew. Next door, in a cute little gallery, you will find a selection of local pieces, so you can take a piece of Cardrona home with you.

Photo from

If you are looking for something a bit more active then head to “The Cardrona”. Located at the same turn off as the distillery, they offer Horse Trekking and Quad Biking. They provide one on one riding lessons or numerous treks including ‘Twilight Rides’. The Quad Biking is adapted to your personal ability, so is suitable for everyone and it will take you up to some amazing views only accessible by Quads.

things to see in cardrona Photo from

If you carry on past the Cardrona Hotel you will come to “Backcountry Saddle”, offering fantastic family-friendly treks. Taking you into the historic gold mining valley and high country farm plateaus, there are great photo opportunities with the surrounding mountains and the Cardrona valley below. Treks take 2hours and leave twice a day, 10am and 1.30pm.

Plenty to do on a day out in Cardrona and it is only a 20minute drive from Wanaka. For more information please contact us

A Dining Room With A View

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 29, 2018


A dining room with a view

Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand is situated at the head of Mt Aspiring National Park amongst the Southern Alps. The views are spectacular of the pristine lake and the snow-capped mountains. Release Wanaka properties have some stunning views and below are some of our best ‘dining room views’. Here you can sit back, enjoy some delicious food and wine while looking out to the mesmerizing landscape

Release Wanaka - The Dacha

The Dacha epitomises the elegance of modern architecture and is one of New Zealand's finest private residences. The Dacha enjoys dramatic panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and its spectacular mountainous landscape. Local Otago schist stonework has been featured throughout the property, soaring ceilings are timber lined delivering warmth and contrast. The main residence has three superb ensuite bedrooms and two generous bunkrooms that offer guests flexibility, depending on their preferred bedding requirements.

Luxury Holiday Properties | Release Wanaka News | Release Wanaka

Release Wanaka - Forest Heights

Forest Heights is a brand new luxury holiday home with fantastic panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding rugged mountains. This stunning residence is ideal for your Wanaka vacation with easy access to walking and biking trails, not to mention all the activities and restaurants that Wanaka has to offer. With 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, this luxury property sleeps up to 8 people. Architecturally designed and split over 3 levels, there are multiple spacious living areas filled with beautiful artwork. These include a modern kitchen with butler's pantry and a unique alfresco BBQ area that provides plenty of room for extended family and friends.

Release Wanaka - Whare Kea

Strikingly designed in timber and glass, Whare Kea appears to float on the edge of Lake Wanaka against the dramatic backdrop of the Southern Alps. This award-winning lodge has been transformed into an exclusive use villa offering a private retreat for up to 12 guests. With its light-filled interior and spectacular vistas, Whare Kea provides perfect luxury accommodation for families or groups of friends wishing to soak up the splendour of the area in a private location.

Release Wanaka – Westlands

Established, native gardens surround this large, secluded home and frame the outstanding views of Lake Wanaka and the rugged peaks of the Mt.Aspiring National Park. Westlands is a charming property, set in a private location, yet only a short walk to the lake and an easy 5-minute drive to the Wanaka township. This spacious 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom home offers various living and entertaining areas. 

Release Wanaka – Faulks Terrace

Faulks Terrace is perfectly located within easy distance of central Wanaka and has beautiful views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. In the summer, picture yourself sipping on your morning coffee on the balcony as you watch the first boats of the day head out on the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wanaka. Or in winter, retire to the fireside with a glass of Central Otago Pinot Noir after a day on the slopes, as you watch the sun go down behind the snow-capped mountains.

If you would like to experience "A dining room with a view", here in Wanaka, New Zealand, then get in touch with our team at Release Wanaka. We can accommodate 1-16 guests in our luxury holiday rentals, so you can sit down, unwind and enjoy the view!

Top 5 Morning Tea Locations in Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 22, 2018

Release Wanaka’s Top 5 – Morning Tea

Continuing on from our Top 5 – Breakfast locations, we move to ‘Morning Tea’. Morning Tea, Elevenses, Smoko…..whatever you want to call it, we all need something to get us through to lunchtime, whether it is savoury or sweet! 

1/ Pembroke Patisserie

Pembroke Patisserie has been around for a while suppling local businesses with their delicious pastries and cakes as well as been a regular at the local market. Recently they opened their doors in Albert Town and now offer all their sweet treats in stylish surroundings with delicious coffee too.

2/ Edgewater Resort

If you would like a relaxing morning stroll along the lake front, then park up and wander west, past the lone Wanaka Tree, to Edgewater Resort. If you like freshly baked scones, then even better! Edgewater’s “Famous Scone Menu” offers both savoury and sweet scones made to order which can be finished off with a nice cup of tea.

3/ Paddle Wanaka

Yes, you read that right –“Paddle Wanaka”!! Not only do they offer a fantastic morning out on the lake but they have, according to reviews, the best homemade chocolate brownie EVER. Coupled with barista made coffee in an amazing location this is a morning tea you will never forget.

Photos by Paddle Wanaka

4/ Alchemy

Set across the road from the lake with lots of seating inside and out, Alchemy offers fresh baking daily including Gluten Free options and yummy coffee. An easy choice if you are in town and need to fuel up in between shopping and sightseeing.

5/ Soul Kitchen

Soul Kitchen has been around for a long time and has a well-established reputation to be the place to go for healthy food. Sweet treats are no exception and the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee. With plenty of choice for gluten, dairy, or sugar-free cake, there is something for everyone in this organic shop/cafe which to us is, bliss ball heaven!

There are heaps more places to go in Wanaka, this is just a taster. They all do take way also, so if you are heading away on a trip somewhere make sure you pack that morning tea treat. For more info contact Release Wanaka.

Family Holiday Rentals in Wanaka, NZ

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 16, 2018

Family Holiday Rentals

Traveling with family requires space, inside and out. It is great to have various living areas, a spacious garden and enough beds to sleep everyone comfortably. Release Wanaka have a number of large properties which fit the ‘family’ criteria and so we thought we would show you our most popular here for you to take a look at.

1/ Release Wanaka - River Ridge

Family Holiday Rentals | Release Wanaka News | Release Wanaka

Release Wanaka - River Ridge : Sleeping 10 guests in 5 bedrooms, with various bed configurations, this property is an awesome family choice. The layout of this home features several  living areas, a billiard room and a separate second kitchen. Set on a number of acres there is lots of space outdoors to explore and play for both kids and adults. The river is only 500m away for a cooling dip in the summer or a spot of fishing, family fishing licenses are available in Wanaka. With surrounding mountain views, this property ticks all the boxes for a great family getaway.

2/ Release Wanaka - Westlands

Release Wanaka - Westlands : The garden at Westlands is a perfect hide and seek venue, with established planting and a secret sleepout. The 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms offer plenty of room to sleep a group of 10 and with the separate upstairs TV room, the kids can hang out and watch a movie while the adults relax in the luxurious living room or outdoor area. There is also a separate ensuite bedroom with sitting room and deck for whoever needs the peace and quiet and privacy. The views are spectacular and it is a short walk (even the littlies will manage) to the lake where you can swim, kayak, paddleboard and picnic.

3/ Release Wanaka - Horseshoe Bend Estate

Release Wanaka - Horseshoe Bend Estate : A child’s dream property with a swimming pool, trampoline, tennis court, huge grounds to play games in and an edible forest to go looking for snacks. There are two separate houses both sleeping 6 and the master suite has a nursery next door with cot and change table. The ideal property for a large family or two families traveling together but with the space to have family time to yourself. Located a short drive from Wanaka, Horseshoe Bend Estate is the ideal property to get away from it all and have your own minature resort all to yourself.

These properties are available most of the year including school holidays, so get in touch to secure your dates. You can contact us via our website or email us at [email protected]

Tiaki Promise - New Zealand

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 08, 2018

Have you heard of the “Tiaki Promise”?

If you are living in New Zealand, traveling or moving to New Zealand, then it is your responsibility to take this onboard and look after this beautiful country. To find out more about the Tiaki Promise, go to their website and watch the video.

What Does Tiaki mean?

"Tiaki means to care for people and place. New Zealanders have a special connection to the land, and want to help visitors travel safely and conscientiously. The Tiaki Promise has a set of guiding principles for visitors to follow, showing them how to contribute to preserving and protecting our land."

Who created the Tiaki Promise?

"Seven private and public sector organisations came together to create the Tiaki Promise: Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, Tourism Industry Aotearoa, Local Government New Zealand, New Zealand M?ori Tourism and Tourism Holdings Ltd."

"New Zealand is precious and everyone who lives and travels here has a responsibility to look after it. The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand, for now and future generations. By  following the Tiaki Promise, you are making a commitment to New Zealand. To act as a guardian, protecting and preserving our home."

Tiaki Promise | Release Wanaka News | Release Wanaka

Living in Wanaka, we are very proud of our town and country. We respect the land and appreciate its beauty. We never take it for granted, we feel lucky and privileged to live here. We are surrounded by the most amazing landscape and we love that people from all over the world are visiting to experience this stunning place, but we do need to preserve it and ensure it stays amazing in the future.

Release Wanaka encourages environmental respect. We are always looking for ideas to help our land and planet. We offer our guests Ecostore products throughout our rental homes and provide fabric shopping bags for our guests to use. All our homes have recycling bins and we are moving closer to becoming paper free by providing information via online apps.

You can show your support by creating your own Tiaki Promise photo to spread the word! For more information about the Tiaki Promise and how you can help, contact us here.

Bucket List Itinerary #1 - Drive, Heli, Lunch

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 01, 2018

Here at Release Wanaka, we specialise in creating bespoke itineraries, so you can tick adventures off your New Zealand bucket list ideas. Wanaka, New Zealand is the ultimate location to experience something new and unique. Here is our first adventure idea, look out for more on our News Page in the future.

Ever fancied driving a Lamborghini? Or maybe an Aston Martin? Release Wanaka can help your driving fantasies come true by organising a luxury sports car for you and your friends. This allows you to make your own way to your Heli pick up point at a pace that suits!

Photo from

Once you have meandered your way through the scenic roads of Central Otago, stopping to take photos of the view and maybe a few selfies with your new set of wheels, you will be met by your next means of transport – helicopter.

Photo from

Jump on board to experience a scenic flight over the snowy peaks of the Mt Aspiring National Park, taking in some stunning scenery before landing at 5,700 ft. on the North side of Dragonfly Peak for a spot of lunch at Release Wanaka's Mountain Top Chalet. (For the ultimate adventure, be dropped off for the night and sleep in the luxurious chalet, waking up to nothing but a 360-degree view of the Southern Alps!)

New Zealand Bucket List Ideas | Release Wanaka Mountain Top ChaletRelease Wanaka - Mountain Top Chalet

Once you have enjoyed a relaxing stop at the Mountain Top Chalet, jump back into your chopper and head down to your luxury sports car, which you can then drive back to beautiful Wanaka and to your Luxury Holiday Private Villas & Residences.

Does this sound like you? Or maybe you know someone who would love to experience a day like this. Our Wanaka Fixer’s are on hand to make anything possible, just ask!

For more information about this trip or any of our Luxury Holiday Home Rentals, Contact us here!

Top 5 Breakfast Locations in Wanaka, NZ

Posted by Release Wanaka on October 25, 2018

Release Wanaka’s Top 5 - Breakfast

Next on Release Wanaka’s Top 5 is ‘Breakfast’. A lot of people believe that this is the most important meal of the day and it can be the most delicious. Whether you are after savoury or sweet, breakfast menus around Wanaka offer some amazingly tasty meals to get you ready for your day exploring.

As decided by the Release Wanaka Team, in no particular order:

1/ Kai Whaka Pai – Set on the corner of Helwick and Ardmore Street in the centre of Wanaka sits a local legend. Kai has been serving locals and holiday makers for years and has a fantastic location across from the lake. Open at 7am it is a great place to kick start your morning with a hearty breakfast…..try the pancakes they are divine!

2/ Federal Diner – Down an alleyway in the centre of Wanaka (yes, it is related to Fedeli), lives Federal Diner. A cool café serving delicious food all day long. Breakfast starts at 7am for all you early risers and continues until 3pm. A favourite dish for us is the “Hawea Flat” -Spinach, Mushrooms, Roasted Tomato and Halloumi served on a Polenta Cake, Yum!

3/ Alchemy – For a big breakfast option head to Alchemy. They serve the ‘Full Breakfast Grill’ from 8am – 4pm as well as some healthy alternatives such as the ‘Black Rice Pudding with fruit’, Black rice with grilled banana, orange segments, ginger, lemon grass + coconut yoghurt served Hot or Cold. 

4/ Ritual – On the main street in Wanaka, Ritual Café is a real local favourite with a fantastic selection of food. A cabinet full of choices plus a breakfast menu and blackboard and it’s where Reece Witherspoon went to hang-out while she was filming "A Wrinkle in Time"!

5/ The Dripping Bowl – If you are after a healthy alternative to the usual breakfast items then head to The Dripping Bowl on Brownston Street, one of the many food trucks that have appeared in Wanaka. The Dripping Bowl serves super healthy porridge and smoothie bowls with all the trimmings.

The team at Release Wanaka have you to need to go out and explore the breakfast culture of Wanaka, New Zealand. 

If on the other hand you would rather stay in your Release Wanaka Luxury Holiday Rental Home, then we can organise for breakfast to be delivered to you OR a private chef to pop by and create whatever you feel like, ask our Wanaka Fixer for more information.

Short Walks Around Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on October 18, 2018

Short Walks Around Wanaka

There is an abundance of walking tracks in and around Wanaka. Ranging from an easy stroll to a more challenging climb we have listed 5 walking tra which offer something for everyone. So if you have a free morning or afternoon and want to get out in the fresh air, then check these out.

Mount Iron Track - 4.5km  1h 30m return

“The track begins over the stile by the car park, taking the left fork, climbs through low Kanuka shrubland on Mount Iron's western side to the summit. After taking in the view and the information on the panels, follow the track to descend on the eastern side and return around the foot of the hill to the car park.” - We think taking a right at the stile and doing it in the opposite direction is a better way as you approach the top from the eastern side the terrain opens up to 360-degree views.

Photo from

Eely Point to Wanaka township and back - 3.6km 1h return

Park your car at Eely Point and drop down to the track which runs all the way to the yacht club along the lakeside. After the yacht club join the footpath along Lakeside Road and it will take you down through the Dinosaur park to town. A perfect walk to break up with breakfast, lunch, coffee or ice cream.

Rocky Mountain Summit Track - 7km a 3 hr return 

“Follow the 4WD track from the car park, climbing to the lake where the circuit track is marked. Another track winds up to a lookout above Diamond Lake. Beyond here, there’s a choice of the Lake Wanaka lookout, off to the right or to Rocky Mountain’s 775-m summit via a loop track. Spectacular views include Lake Wanaka and a skyline dominated by the surrounding peaks. The distinct shape of Mount Aspiring/ Tititea lies to the west.”

Photo from

Hawea River Track - 3-4hrs 14km return

“Suitable for all ages and experience, this riverside walk is over easy country and links Lake Hawea township to Wanaka, via Albert Town.”

Waterfall Creek Track - 1hr 2.5km

“This track starts from the western end of Roys Bay, soon reaching Wanaka Station Park, a beautiful picnic area on the left. The track then winds along the lake’s western shores for superb views, passing Edgewater Resort and Rippon Vineyard before reaching Waterfall Creek.” This track also passes the 'Lone Wanaka Tree'!

Photo from

This is just a handful of walks around Wanaka, there are many more. For more information, contacts us! 


Road Trips from Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on October 11, 2018

Looking for some self-drive day trips? 

Wanaka is the perfect place to base yourself.  It has plenty of amenities for your everyday needs and it is a great place to come back to after a day touring the countryside. Here we have listed a few road trips which are easily achievable from Wanaka in a day and take you places that you may not have considered going to or stopping at before.

Wanaka - Omarama - Wanaka (return - 230km / approx. 3h total drive time)

Take a drive through the beautiful Lindis Pass to Omarama. Stop at the summit to take pictures and breath in the fresh air. Once in Omarama head to the Clay Cliffs for a walk through these stunning rock formations. After a wander around the cliffs head back to the main highway and stop off at the Omarama Hot Tubs. There are numerous places to eat and drink in Omarama as well as a few shops to pick up a souvenir. This is a fantastic day out with ever-changing scenery.

Photo from

Wanaka - Makarora - Wanaka (return - 125km / approx. 2h 40m total drive time)

A stunning drive along the shores of Lake Hawea with plenty of photo opportunities. Once in Makarora, you can refuel at the Makarora Tourist Centre which also has a shop and licensed bar. From Makarora there are a number of activities you can do including the ‘Blue Pools Nature Experience’ the ‘Jetboat Makarora’ or if you are feeling really adventurous, join the ‘Siberia Experience’, a 4-hour unique wilderness adventure!

Wanaka - Alexandra - Wanaka (return -180km / approx. 2hr total drive time)

A beautiful drive along the side of the mighty 'Clutha River'. Stop off at Clyde on the way, where you can view the huge 100m high dam then head down into Clyde village where there are plenty of places to lunch and if you time it right (Easter Sunday, 1st April 2018) the famous Clyde Food and Wine Festival will be happening. Alexandra is a fun place for the kids with a great bike track, ice rink (winter only) and swimming pool all located beside Molyneux Park. If you do have bikes with you, jump on the Otago Central Rail Trail and enjoy some of the surrounds. You can also walk up to the clock on the hill which stands 11m high.

Photo from

Wanaka - Cromwell - Cardrona - Wanaka (loop - 150km  / approx. 2h 30m total drivetime)

There are so many places to stop on this fantastic day trip loop. Cromwell has numerous fruit stalls along the side of the road, selling freshly picked Central Otago peaches, cherries, apricots, nectarines and apples. As you leave Cromwell you will head on to the Kawarau Gorge Road. Along this road, there are various places to stop including Goldfields Mining Centre and Wild Earth Wines, Gibbston Valley Winery and AJ Hackett's Kawarau Bridge Bungy. Head on up and over the hill back to Wanaka via the Crown Range Road, (again plenty of photo opportunities here) before descending down into Cardrona village where you can visit the Cardrona Hotel for great food and coffee, the Cardrona Distillery for tours and tastings and a photo stop at the infamous “Bra Fence”!

Photo from Lake Wanaka Tourism

Wanaka - Cromwell via Tarras - Wanaka (loop - 120km  / approx. 1hr 40m total drivetime)

Most people head to Cromwell via Highway 6 but why not try Highway 8 instead. This gives you the opportunity to stop at Tarras and sample the delicious delights Tarras Country Cafe has to offer. You can also peruse the shops - Mrs Robinsons, Tarras Country Store, Perriam, and The Merino Shop, which offer some beautiful New Zealand clothing and gifts. Head on to Cromwell where you can do a tour of some amazing vineyards such as Wooing Tree, Mt. Difficulty, Bannock Brae and Misha’s Vineyard. As you head back to Wanaka on Highway 6 you can stop at The Lazy Dog Vineyard & Edible Garden and Hoglund Art Glass, a beautiful gallery showcasing some amazing glass artwork.

For more information about any of the trips contact our 'Wanaka Fixer' and if you happen to be a guest at one of our luxurious holiday home rentals then we can help you achieve these trips with endless information, car hire or a private driver. Contact us now!

Top 5 Coffee Spots in Wanaka, NZ

Posted by Release Wanaka on October 04, 2018

With so many amazing cafes and restaurants in Wanaka serving delicious food and even more delicious coffee and drinks, we thought we would start to put some Release Wanaka Top 5’s together over the next few months for Coffee, Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Cocktails and Dinner!

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more Top 5’s but firstly – COFFEE!

As decided by the Release Wanaka Team, in no particular order:

1/ Fedeli – Tucked away down an alleyway in the centre on Wanaka, sits this fantastic café offering rich, tasty coffee in funky surroundings. Sit in peace in the sheltered courtyard or grab a “Keep Cup” (which they sell) and head down to the lakefront to enjoy the view.

Release Wanaka's Top 5 Coffee SpotsPhoto from The Fed Group 

2/ The Little Black Caravan – In a small industrial area on the outskirts of Wanaka, sits a cute little caravan selling organic, fair trade coffee. Sit and relax on site listening to some great tunes or get a takeaway (they too, sell “Keep Cups”) and pick a spot to indulge in the delicious coffee.

3/ Alchemy – Across the road from the lake with plenty of seating inside and out, Alchemy offers a relaxed setting to enjoy a great cup of coffee. There are sofas to chill out on and read the newspaper and an open fire for those cold, wintery days.

Alchemy coffee spot in Wanaka Photo from Alchemy 

4/ Relishes – A long-standing restaurant in Wanaka, Relishes always produces a good, strong coffee. Located in the centre of town, it is a quick, easy coffee fix with parking out front and across the road from the lake.

5/ Urban Grind – A great place to go in a group or as a family as there is plenty of space. The coffee is great and if you order a Mocha you will get a huge piece of chocolate on the side, coffee and chocolate craving knocked on the head in one!

This is our Top 5 spots to grab a coffee in Wanaka, New Zealand. Who would you have on your list?

For more information about coffee or any other hot or cold beverage, contact our team who can point you in the right, caffeine, indulgent direction!

Biking Events in Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 27, 2018

Following on from last week’s blog about Mountain Biking, we would like to tempt you with some cycling events that are coming up on the Wanaka calendar. Whether you are after a big or small challenge, these annual events offer a safe and fun environment to push yourself in a location that is stunning.

The Deans Bank 10hr + Kids Race - 21st October 2018

The challenge here is to ride a purpose-built 12km mountain bike loop as many times, as you and your teammates can, in 10hrs. This can be done individually for the ultimate challenge! Set by the Clutha River in Albert Town the Deans Bank 10hr is a popular event for both locals and holidaymakers. It will test your endurance, skills and dedication.

The Red Bull Defiance - 19th & 20th January 2019

Not for the faint-hearted, this event is extreme, an ultimate challenge to complete in 2 days. The mountain biking is only a small part of it, with running, kayaking and abseiling. An event that spans over 140km through high country stations with the most amazing views of the mountains as your backdrop.

Biking events in WanakaPhoto from Red Bull Defiance 

The Big Easy - 26th January 2019

A 48km mountain bike starting at the snow farm and finishing in Luggate, will reward you with panoramic views, challenging terrain and over 2200m of fun-filled decent! There is also a shorter 36km, but just as challenging, course or an 18km course called ‘Lil Easy’, which you can do as a family.

Challenge Wanaka 2019 - 16th February 2019

For all you roadies out there, this is an amazing event to be part of. A triathlon described as “The most scenic triathlon in the world”. Form a team with a swimmer and runner and enter the full or half Challenge biking 180km or 90km, respectively. Challenge Wanaka has grown since it first started in 2007 and is now one of the most popular events that Wanaka hosts in its yearly calendar.

Cycling events in Wanaka Photo Tim Pierce

Motatapu Mountain Bike - 9th March 2019

A mountain bike event taking you into the high country through the amazing Motatapu, Soho and Glencoe Stations. A 47km track with hill climbs river crossings and a few steep descents. Starting on the shores of Lake Wanaka and finishing in Arrowtown, this event welcomes “pro’s, amateurs and newbies”.

Contact Epic - 13th April 2019

There is something for everyone at this mountain biking event that takes place on the shores of Lake Hawea, only 15mins from Wanaka. With 3 different courses, you have 3 different options depending on what your aim is. 

‘Epic’ - “The 125km “test piece” for endurance athletes or those with a sense of adventure. A full circumnavigation of Lake Hawea.”

‘Classic’ - “A 95km circumnavigation of Lake Hawea. Taking in the best of the scenery and course”

‘Traverse’ - On a different course than the Epic or Classic, this is a 35km introductory race for those wanting to be part of the Contact Epic experience. The course traverse’s parts of the Hawea and mighty Clutha rivers in a loop track before finishing back at the lake Hawea Hotel.

Biking trails in Wanaka Photo from Lake Wanaka 

There you have it, something for all you bikers out there of all abilities. Come and stay at one of Release Wanaka’s luxurious holiday homes and experience the amazing bike culture we have here in Wanaka. We can help you with equipment hire and entries as well as pre and post race massages, private chefs to cook up some nutritious, energy providing meals and hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas to relieve any aching muscles. 

So, what are you waiting for - GET ON YER BIKE!!

Mountain Biking in Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 20, 2018

Mountain Biking in Wanaka

The weather is certainly warming up here in Wanaka, New Zealand (except for that massive snow storm on Monday!) which gets you thinking about packing in the skis and dusting off the bike. What better way to explore the region than off the beaten track, peddling at a pace that suits you and the great thing about biking in Wanaka, is that it caters for all. 

If you are looking for an easy, cruisey ride, Wanaka’s got it!

If you are looking for some excitement but without the ‘extreme’, Wanaka’s got it!

If you are looking for some gnarly downhill tracks, Wanaka’s got it!

Yep, this region has some of the best mountain biking in the country and it is all on your doorstep. Here are some tips to help you decide where to go and what to expect -


Wanaka Township to Waterfall Creek Track 

From town, you can bike around the lake edge to Waterfall Creek. Head along the western side of the lake where an easy, flat track takes you past the infamous "Wanaka Tree" and Wanaka Station Park. You will also head past Edgewater Resort, a great coffee or lunch stop and then Rippon Vineyard, before finishing up at Waterfall Creek.  

Wanaka Township to Beacon Point

An easy, flat ride along the lakeside from the Dinosaur Park to Beacon Point beach, passing Wanaka Yacht Club, Eely Point and Bremner Bay. There are plenty of picnic, swimming and BBQ spots as well as endless photo opportunities.

Easy mountain biking trails in Wanaka


Waterfall Creek to Glendhu Bay

“From Waterfall Creek, the track follows re-vegetated terraces above Lake Wanaka with spectacular views, to a small north-facing beach - Damper Bay - ideal for swimming in the summer. This first section of the track is quite hilly with some short, steep sections. From Damper Bay the track becomes easier until you finally reach Glendhu Bay and the motor camp. Don't miss the spectacular views of Mount Aspiring from Glendhu Bay.”

Minaret Burn Track

“This well-formed track provides easy access to beautiful beaches along Wanaka's western shore. From Homestead Bay carpark the track gently undulates towards small, sheltered, Colquhouns Beach; a popular swimming and picnic spot.", This track passes through native forest and bush, crossing streams and offers direct access to Lake Wanaka.

Upper Clutha River Track

“This track, from Lake Wanaka Outlet to Luggate, follows along the river bank offering views of the Clutha’s emerald-green water with the odd trout lurking in its shadows. Cyclists will enjoy shade in summer and shelter from the elements in winter. A loop option is possible when combined with the Newcastle Track, located on the true left of the river.”

Hard mountain biking trails in WanakaPhoto Tim Pierce


Meg Hut Track

A high-country hike or mountain bike to an iconic back-country hut on the Pisa Range. A reasonable level of fitness is required for this track but you will be rewarded with the views and the feeling of isolation amongst the mountains.

Hikuwai Loop

“The Hikuwai Track is made up of two tracks which join onto each other to make about a 7 - 8 km circuit depending on where you finish the track. They are generally done in a clockwise direction and the easiest place to find it is either just above the car park at the up-river end of the Outlet Track or off Aubrey Road approx 1km east of Outlet Road. An intermediate single track that is not particularly technical but with some wooden structures over fences and uphill pinches. Follow the Hikuwai Loop markers at ground level”

Deans Bank

“A fantastic one-way cross-country mountain bike loop track. The flowing single-track weaves its way through typical Otago landscape featuring matagouri and tussock with great views of the Clutha River and the Southern Alps. A selection of banks, berms and tight corners appeal to intermediate mountain bikers, with easier riding options around rocks and other technical obstacles. All of the climbs are well-constructed switchbacks with nice flowing downhill sections.”

FUN (for all abilities)


When Cardrona shut their doors for the winter they open them up again for the summer. With numerous tracks all accessed by chairlifts, this has to be one of the most fun days out you will have on a bike. All levels are catered for in this biking playground with some of the longest vertical descents in the country.

Sticky Forest

Sticky Forest is a network of tracks from beginner to advanced. If you are looking for something fun and challenging, download the trail map here and follow the green (beginner), blue (intermediate) or black (advanced) runs. With heaps of tracks and plenty of Gap Jumps and Table Tops, you will never get bored.


This is just a handful of tracks Wanaka has to offer and Release Wanaka can help you to experience the very best. We can also help with bike hire, equipment hire and tours as well as private guides and heli biking.
Contact our team at Release Wanaka for more information. 


Wanaka Restaurants Hit Top 100

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 13, 2018

Wanaka Restaurants Hit Top 100

One of New Zealand’s top food magazines, “Cuisine Magazine”, announced their top 100 New Zealand restaurants on Monday. No less than three local Wanaka restaurants made it onto the list. Per capita, this has to allow Wanaka to claim the title of ‘Food Capital of New Zealand’. Even if this title has not been publicly claimed, we believe that it is true! Wanaka’s restaurant scene has taken off in the last 10 years with the introduction of many world-class, award-winning eateries and it was fantastic news to see three of them recognised this week.


“Owned and operated by award-winning chef James Stapley, kika is a restaurant in the lively town of Wanaka, New Zealand. Led by talented chef, Matt Brock, we take inspiration from global flavours to deliver innovative sharing style plates in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. A carefully curated wine list with a mix of local and international varietals complements our eclectic style. Our menu changes with the seasons and we’re always searching out new and interesting produce.”

Kika Wanaka Restaurant hit top 100 Image from

Bistro Gentil

“Led by Head Chef Mario Rodrigues, we revisit typical flavour combinations using fresh seasonal ingredients from our kitchen garden and the best of our region…..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 sixteen wines by the glass, half glass and tasters through our Enomatic self-dispensing wine machines.”

Bistro Gentil Wanaka hits top 100 Image from


“Ode was created as a space for us to connect with and live our truths, to collaborate, to grow and generate change. We care about and respect our environment and our communities and are conscious of the impact our choices have on them and their long-term wellbeing…..Our food is innovative & progressive and like nature, ever evolving. Ode is a place for you to experience your environment through food. Food is our art form and each plate is an ode - to the earth, to family, to the present, the future & all that has lead us to this point. Ode is here to be enjoyed together in a place we are stoked to share with you.”

ODE restaurant Wanaka hits top 100 Image from

This proves that Wanaka is not only a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and ski fanatics but also a food connoisseurs paradise. Come and sample some of New Zealand’s best restaurants in the stunning location of Wanaka, New Zealand, amongst the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps.

Release Wanaka has luxury vacation rental homes within walking distance of these amazing restaurants. For more information, contact our team today. 



Wanaka Luxury Family Holiday Without The Price Tag

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 06, 2018

Taking a family holiday can be a financial concern, but also an essential part of life and creating happy memories. A luxury family holiday in Wanaka, New Zealand may seem unrealistic, but we believe renting a Release Wanaka holiday home can make it achievable.

Sharing the cost of luxury rental accommodation with friends and family is the first step to an affordable luxury holiday. With a Release Wanaka holiday rental home, everyone can be under the same roof but can still have separate bedrooms and living areas. The cost of your entire stay can be split, making your family getaway more economical than a hotel.

Wanaka Luxury Family Holiday Without The Price Tag

Having a full kitchen with all the mod cons and essentials for cooking up a storm, is definitely a way to save money. Restaurant dining and takeaways can be pricey especially when you are doing it every night. Dining at home costs a fraction of the price and eliminates any hassles you have with fussy kids. It is also a great way to explore the local shops and cook with some local ingredients. Who doesn’t love a healthy home cooked meal?

Luxury family Wanaka property with kitchen

The Release Wanaka team are all locals who live here full time and have done for years. We know some amazing places to visit, without having to get your wallet out. It’s easy to keep the kids and yourself entertained without buying tickets in and around Wanaka. There are heaps of free activities and events to go to and the Release Wanaka team offer free recommendations and advice, just ask!

Experience the luxury of lake WanakaPhoto Tim Pierce

Staying with Release Wanaka you will also know what you are getting before you arrive, therefore there will be no hidden costs. Cleaning, Wi-Fi, cable TV, and parking are all included in the rental price as well as luxurious linens, towels and toiletries. A yummy welcome pack is provided which contains some delicious, local goodies which you can sit back and enjoy in the knowledge that you won't be billed for it at the end of your stay. You will also become a Release Wanaka "VIP", which gives you discounts throughout town at various local cafes and shops.  

Stay with Release Wanaka

So if you are thinking a luxury family holiday in Wanaka is unachievable, then think again! Release Wanaka can make your dream holiday happen, you just need to grab a group of friends and family and make lifelong memories!

For more information contact us here.

10 Reasons To Visit Wanaka New Zealand In Spring

Posted by Release Wanaka on August 30, 2018

10 Reasons To Visit Wanaka New Zealand In The Spring


Wanaka, New Zealand is an all year round destination and adult playground and we believe Spring is one of the best times to visit, here is why…….

1/ Fewer People

Wanaka offers the opportunity to feel like you are the only one here with plenty of unique places for that “in the middle of no-where” feel without driving for miles.  Visit the Southern Lakes region during Springtime and enjoy the Wanaka township, surrounding mountains and rivers at a comfortable, relaxed pace.

2/ The Weather

The weather in New Zealand in the Spring is beautiful. Wanaka produces blue skies and comfortable temperatures, quite often getting into the mid 20’s, perfect for activities like biking, water sports, hiking, fishing and anything else you fancy doing in the great outdoors!

3/ Quieter Lake

It is an ideal time for boating and water sports on Lake Wanaka, with plenty of space to drop your boat in, explore the lake and maybe enjoy some trout fishing.

Lake Wanaka during spring Photo Tim Pierce

4/ Accommodation Deals

Coming to Wanaka during off-peak times gives you the opportunity to negotiate longer stay, holiday accommodation rates and get the pick of the bunch, especially with vacation and holiday rentals. It makes economic sense to stay just that little bit longer and explore this stunning region. Speak to our team for more information. 

5/ Daylight Saving

The clocks in New Zealand spring forward in September offering you longer daylight hours to enjoy whatever outdoor adventures you are enjoying but without interfering too much with the darker evenings. We all want to experience the sparkling fairy lights of town while having drinks and dinner.

6/ Spring Skiing

The Ski fields are still OPEN! 

Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone Ski Area are only a 30min drive away, which means, you can pop up the mountain in the morning to enjoy a few runs and then back into Wanaka, change into your shorts and T-shirt and enjoy a beer in the sun by the lake.

7/ The Photo Opportunities

Longer days means you have longer to enjoy your activities without having to rush back to the lakefront to capture the stunning sunset over the snow-capped mountains. Also, with the trees and flowers in blossom, there are endless opportunities to capture the perfect shot.

8/ The Cute Little Lambs

As you probably know, New Zealand is well known for its sheep, so what better time to visit than, when the lambs are being born. Wanaka is surrounded by countryside and endless fields of sheep, which come to life in the Spring with lamps springing everywhere!

9/ Great Training Conditions

For all you outdoor sports enthusiasts, you would be mad not to come and develop your training skills here in Wanaka during Spring. The lake is like a mirror, superb for Kayaking and SUP Boarding, the skies are blue and the temperatures are mild, perfect for a riverside run, Mountain Biking and/or some quiet country road rides, it doesn't get much better!

Kayak on the Wanaka lake during spring

10/ Cheaper Flights

Off-peak times produce off-peak rates, therefore flying to New Zealand in the Spring tends to be cheaper. Wanaka is only a 1-hour drive from Queenstown International Airport over the stunning Crown Range Road.


There you have it, 10 reasons to come and visit Wanaka, New Zealand this Spring. 

For more information about our holiday and vacation rentals and activities in and around Wanaka, Contact the team at Release Wanaka today. 


Calling All Digital Nomads

Posted by Release Wanaka on August 24, 2018


Hello digital nomads, I hope you are sitting in an amazing location with your lap top in front of you looking out to a spectacular view and looking forward to what the rest of the day may bring. 


You have the opportunity to work anywhere in the world so make the most of it!

We believe that Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand is the ultimate place to settle for a while to work and play. It is the perfect place to strike that work/life balance.

Photo Bonnie Jenkins

With New Zealand being the first country in the world to see the sunrise on a new day, you will always be ahead of the game, so you can get that deal done before everyone else awakes. It also offers an escape from the cold winters of the Northern Hemisphere.

Wanaka is a superb location for a ‘digital nomad’. An adult playground in the most stunning location and only a 1hour drive from Queenstown International Airport. Wherever you are in Wanaka you are treated to views of the Southern Alps and if you stay in one of Release Wanaka's luxury holiday rentals you are more than likely to have views of Lake Wanaka. You have a choice of activities to participate in when your work is complete for the day -  mountain biking, hiking, climbing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, paragliding, yoga, fishing, strolling along the lake front, enjoying award winning food and beer…...the list goes on and if you decide to come in the winter, then skiing is just a 40min drive away.

Photo Issac Johnston

Wanaka is a small town where you can slip right into the local way of life. Staying with Release Wanaka we not only offer you a home away from home but we offer local knowledge so you can make the most of your time here. We can point you in the right direction of just about anything and help you to organise equipment rental, trips, travel, meals… name it, we can help! The local schools welcome transient residents and short term memberships are available for clubs and groups. Wanaka is an international town welcoming people from all over the world all year round.

So, get away from the norm and do something different. Give your family a life experience and amazing memories. The only problem you will have with Wanaka, New Zealand is being able to leave!!

Contact Release Wanaka for information about renting one of our fabulous holiday homes.

Release Wanaka - River Ridge

Posted by Release Wanaka on August 14, 2018

Release Wanaka - River Ridge is an adaptable holiday rental home and caters for numerous types of groups and families traveling together. The home was hand made in Canada by “Pioneer Log Homes of BC” as seen on TV’s “Timber Kings”, then shipped to New Zealand. It offers so much due to its location and style - a bucket list luxury property!! Set on the banks of the Clutha River with views of the mountains, it is an ideal holiday rental for all.

Why you should stay at our new property…….

The Family  

Set in the countryside this luxury holiday home is surrounded by space for the kids to explore and burn up energy. The luxury holiday home is spacious and adaptable, providing separate living areas for the kids and adults.

The Fisherman

Set on the banks of the Clutha River you are treated to world class trout fishing a stone’s throw away. Grab your rod and wander down a mere 100m to the river, set up camp and relax in the peace and quiet.

The Host

Have friends and family come and visit you and stay in one of the 5 luxurious bedrooms with luxury linens. Entertain in the ‘Grand Room’ in front of the roaring fire and cook up a storm in the large, fully equipped kitchen. 

The Peace Seeker

Set on several acres, this luxury holiday home is private, secluded and tranquil. Listen to the roll of the river as you enjoy the views of the snow - capped mountain peaks.  A place to rejuvenate the body and soul.

The Friends

With 5 bedrooms, it is the perfect luxury Wanaka retreat for a group of 10 friends to hang out. Relax in the Billiards room until the small hours of the morning and crank up the music, safe in the knowledge that nobody is going to hear a thing.

Release Wanaka - River Ridge is a wonderful luxury holiday home for everyone. Unique, spacious and grand! It is a work of art and has been lovingly hand crafted to produce a one off property. A fantastic place for a special occasion or get together and enjoy a Wanaka holiday with friends and family. A fantastic place to get away from it all but still have the stunning town of Wanaka only 13 minutes away. 

For more information about availability and the surrounding area, please contact our team at Release Wanaka.


Escape The Madness

Posted by Release Wanaka on August 02, 2018

Escape The Madness

Flying into Queenstown International Airport you may be struck by the people, queues and traffic, it’s a busy place!! As the tourist population rate grows rapidly, it is always a bonus to find a unique location away from the madness.  Just 1-hour drive away from Queenstown, over the stunning Crown Range Road, you will discover the charming town of Wanaka

wanaka or queenstown summer

Wanaka is located at the gateway to the Mount Aspiring National Park in the South Island of New Zealand. Like Queenstown, Wanaka sits by a lake, has spectacular mountain views and offers amazing outdoor/adventure activities without the hordes of people.  Yes, it is a lot smaller and doesn’t have the number of shops, restaurants and bars that Queenstown offers, but it does have stylish shops, award winning restaurants and a bar to suit everyone. It’s all about quality not quantity, right?

Staying at one of our luxury holiday rentals, with all your family and friends under one roof, you are not only treated to spacious, luxurious surroundings , you are offered truly local advice. Our local team here at Release Wanaka can point you in the right direction to experience the surrounding area without the crowds.

Reasons to visit Wanaka instead of Queenstown

So don’t waste time sitting in traffic or waiting in a huge queue for a burger, come and experience a place where you can relax, unwind and easily find a seat at an excellent local restaurant! 

For more information about any of our properties and the best time to visit this area contact our team at Release Wanaka here.


Cardrona Alpine Resort To Expand

Posted by Release Wanaka on July 23, 2018

Cardrona Alpine Resort to Expand

Big news emerged from the New Zealand ski industry last week - Cardrona Alpine Resort are joining forces with Soho Basin to eventually offer you the largest ski resort in New Zealand. 

world-class ski areasPhoto by Tim Pierce

What does this mean?

For you and me this means easy access to some pretty amazing terrain with stunning views of the Southern Alps and the Wakitipu Basin. It will open up approximately 600ha, more than doubling the size of Cardrona Alpine Resort currently.

When is this happening?

A 5 year plan was put into place 3 years ago to prepare for this expansion, therefore development will begin in a couple of years. Cardrona Alpine Resort want to have every aspect covered before access is given to the extra terrain. This means more car-parking, more eateries, more snow-making, more utilities…..

It is exciting news for all concerned and it will be a real asset to Wanaka locals and visitors. 

At present you can still experience the wonder of the Soho Basin and test out the terrain for the future. Release Wanaka can organise an amazing day trip, where you will be treated to some amazing skiing, unbelievable views and culinary delights. Contact Us for more information.

Release Wanaka - Kura House

Posted by Release Wanaka on May 29, 2018

The word ‘Kura’ means ‘school’ in Maori and relates very well to this brand new property. The former Wanaka Primary School site in the centre of town has been transformed into a modern, convenient subdivision with a diverse range of architecturally built homes. Release Wanaka - Kura House commands the front row and therefore has spectacular views. With a well thought out layout and upstairs living, the home captures plenty of sun and makes the most of the view of Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps.

This bright, fresh home is located within an easy walk of Wanaka centre, where you can experience some fantastic cafes and restaurants. There are numerous to choose from and you can relax with a local beer or wine knowing that your holiday home is only a short stroll away.

This is an ideal property for winter with central heating throughout and gas fire in the living room, provides warmth and comfort. The huge garage is perfect storage for all your ski gear or mountain bikes and golf clubs, for those days off the slopes. A great place to stay with a group of friends or family with the convenience of town on your doorstep!

For more information about Release Wanaka - Kura House, contact us here.

Holiday Home V's Hotel Room

Posted by Release Wanaka on February 12, 2018

Holiday Home V’s Hotel Room - no contest in our eyes!

If you are anything like us then being on holiday is all about relaxation, comfort and doing what you want when you want. A holiday home can offer all these things plus more, giving you flexibility, convenience and enjoyment.

Here are our top 3 reasons why you should stay in a holiday home rather than a hotel room.

1st there is ‘Space’ - If you are traveling with kids or in a group you will appreciate space. 

  • Space for all the equipment you may bring or hire  - ski gear, bikes, kayaks, push chairs, guitars.
  • Space to escape to if you need some alone time, everyone needs alone time.
  • Space to unpack a bag and not live out of a suitcase, no more searching for that pair of socks.
  • Space to exercise and work on those yoga moves, dance moves, gymnastic moves…….
  • Space to entertain friends or family, without having to crowd around a bed drinking wine!

2nd is ‘Privacy’ - Knowing there are people on the other side of that wall is not relaxing.

  • Privacy gives you the option to talk as loud as you want knowing you won’t disturb others. 
  • Privacy allows you to dress in whatever you feel like, PJ’s at dinner?
  • Privacy to use the pool or hot tub and not share it with other guests.
  • Privacy lets you relax in your own living area, feet up in front of the fire.
  • Privacy gives you the option to work away from everyone else having a siesta!

3rd is ‘Flexibility’ -  You can do whatever you want, when you want.

  • Flexibility to eat when you want, breakfast at 11am, why not!!
  • Flexibility to drink wine for as long as you want, forget closing time.
  • Flexibility to use the facilities when you want, not during allocated hours.
  • Flexibility to cook for yourself and not eat out ALL the time.
  • Flexibility to decide when the music goes off, no more listening to a live band until the small hours.

There are plenty more reasons to stay in a Holiday Home and with Release Wanaka, Contact Us, if you would like more information about any of our wonderful properties.

Release Wanaka - Te Kahu

Posted by Release Wanaka on January 17, 2018

Wanaka residence features on BBC

Release Wanaka - Te Kahu (Te Kaitaka) has featured on the BBC as "one of the world’s four most extraordinary mountain residences".  Te Kahu (Te Kaitaka) is nestled into its environment at perfect peace with its 50-acre surroundings of tussock and natural bush. The architecturally designed luxury waterfront private villa in Wanaka, New Zealand, has timber cedar cladding inside out and blends beautifully with the outstanding natural landscape upon which it sits.

Articles in the NZ Herald and Otago Daily Times acknowledged the achievement and wrote -

"A multi-award-winning Central Otago house designed by two Auckland architects and owned by a pioneering skin specialist has featured on the BBC as one of the world’s four most extraordinary mountain residences.

Te Kaitaka is outside Wanaka and was designed by Nicholas Stevens and Gary Lawson of Parnell’s Stevens Lawson, and it featured on the BBC’s The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes.

The BBC show’s hosts, award-winning architect Piers Taylor and actor and property enthusiast Caroline Quentin, also presented a Californian house which incorporated the wings of a Boeing 747, a Swiss Alps chalet and a Tucson mountain retreat in Arizona.

The hosts enthused over the Wanaka home, showing off its unusual shape.

“Designed to fit within strict planning regulations, the house was inspired by the surrounding trees and mountains and is camouflaged using wooden cedar cladding to cloak the building and with fireplaces cast in concrete,” the BBC said of the home.

The New Zealand house is around half an hour outside Wanaka, sits above the lake, is beneath a main flight path and is an origami-style structure which took about three years to build.

Stevens said the clients were Mark and Suzanah Gray.

“It’s very satisfying and exciting,” Stevens said of the BBC programme.

“Te Kaitaka refers to the timber draping over the building like a cloak. The house was built in 2010 with timber which wraps around the whole house, so tonally it looks like tussock. The timber weathers off, developing a tussock colour, so that’s why it has that camouflage sense. The geometry is also quite angular, like the mountains and rocks. It’s a very, very special house, to do with how it relates to its environment. You might call it spirit of place.”

Mark Gray is a pioneer of cosmetic dermatology who founded the Skin Institute national chain of specialist medical centres. His profile outlines his main areas of interest.

“Dr Gray’s special interests include skin cancer, in particular complex skin cancer surgery involving reconstruction of the head and neck area utilising the Mohs micrographic method. Dr Gray has been practising Mohs surgery for over 10 years. Dr Gray is currently working in a multidisciplinary group of specialist surgeons from head and neck surgery, facial plastic surgery, ear, nose and throat surgery, plastic surgery and general surgery within the Skin Institute group of clinics,” his professional profile says.

Lawson said he was delighted with the BBC programme on the Wanaka house.

“The fact that it was one of only four was pretty flattering, it’s an amazing, amazing thing,” Lawson said. “It’s a concrete structure with concrete internal walls and a reasonably complex build in a very challenging environment.”

The house was about 400sq m, had four bedrooms and was built into the hillside which made it cool in the summer and warm in the winter, he said. It was built by local firm Tony Quirk Builders, pre-cast concrete features were made in Ashburton and David Trubridge’s Snowflake pendant lampshades were specified in the architectural plans, Lawson said.

Floors were of local schist and oak. Skylights feature in the hallway area, kitchen and living area.

The job was challenging, Lawson said, because the lake and main views were to the south, making it harder to capture warmth and solar energy from the north “so we had to orientate the house to take in the dramatic lake and mountain views”."

This private award winning residence sleeps up to 8 guests in 4 ensuite rooms. For more information contact Release Wanaka.

Wanaka Travel Fixer

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 23, 2017

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Wanaka Travel Fixer service is like a secret society working underground to find the best places and activities for you to enjoy - that’s right folks, these people do exist! Providing you with endless amounts of local information our Wanaka Travel Fixers are here to guide you and ensure that your vacation dreams are realised!

Our head “Wanaka Travel Fixer”, Andrea, has lived in Wanaka since 2002 and has worked in the NZ Tourism Industry for over 15 years. She has worked in the ski industry in several countries including NZ, France and the US as well as in Adventure Tourism and Water sports.
Originally from the UK, Andrea has become a familiar face around town after working for companies including Cardrona, Skydive Wanaka and Paddle Wanaka. Her local contacts and knowledge astound me but don’t surprise me, as she is friendly, chatty and inquisitive. She has yet to have been asked a question about beautiful Wanaka and NZ that she cannot answer.

Andrea admiring the view at Release Wanaka - Whare Kea

“Wanaka Travel Fixer” came to fruition after Andrea joined Release Wanaka. She has developed and expanded our concierge service providing guests with an experience and an opportunity to enjoy Wanaka to its maximum. This is not something that can be achieved by going online, it takes contacts, word of mouth and involvement. These are things that Andrea excels at and previous guests would agree:

- “I can't possibly say enough about the experience and support providing by Release Wanaka, which greatly exceeded our expectations. I spent almost 6 months researching and planning for this trip and without any prior knowledge about New Zealand. Andrea and anyone covering when she wasn't available, made us feel like visiting family, both during my endless emails and phone calls, as well as the arrival and during the visit. I really appreciated Andrea's patience with my endless questions and uncertainty about the activities initially thought to be well outside of our budget. From helping persuade me to convince my parents to enjoy their first helicopter ride, to restaurants recommendations, arrival gifts, home walk through, etc.....” - Mike, New Mexico

- “To Andrea and the Release Wanaka team: Thank you so much for your assistance in making our visit to New Zealand a dream come true. The house was beautiful and a perfect retreat for my family of 4. The lake/mountain views were incredible and pristine. Andrea was incredibly responsive throughout the planning phase, helping to facilitate everything from lift tickets to a surprise selection of craft beers for my husband (in the refrigerator upon our arrival)......” - Raven, Ryan, Australia

Here at Release Wanaka we have a combined local knowledge bank of over 40 years and we would love to share it with you. Let our Wanaka Travel Fixer’s treat you to that local knowledge and show you an abundance of opportunities that you may otherwise never hear about.

A luxury holiday provides not only accommodation but those personal touches that stick with us forever! We would love to help make that trip to New Zealand a trip of a lifetime, contact our Wanaka Travel Fixer here

The 'Food Truck' culture hits Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 07, 2017

We have all experienced food from a truck at some point in our lives, whether it’s ice cream or a gourmet wrap. It can be a risky choice and there is always a chance of a wrong decision but if you get it right then it can be a culinary experience you will never forget. Wanaka has now joined that ever growing ‘Food Truck’ culture with an array of trucks serving international cuisine.  

Check out these permanent Wanaka food trucks for great food and drinks which are quick and tasty.

1/ The Good Spot

The Good Spot is a funky coffee and food caravan situated on the Good Corner, in an ideal outside setting. Our focus is to serve good quality coffee and food with a touch of style and flair. We like to think outside the square and up-cycle where we can, as can be seen by the creation of the caravan and the evolving garden and seating area around it.”

2/ Francescas Pizza

A food truck stemming from the infamous 'Francesca’s Italian Kitchen', it serves delicious wood fired pizza and garlic bread with a weekly changing special - “Fran’s Special”! Based on Brownston Street, Wanaka, Francesca’s Pizza was one of the first food trucks to hit town and a real favourite with the locals.

3/ Charlie Brown

“Delicious French sweet crepes and gluten free savoury galette made with organic buckwheat flour.” This funky little retro van looks the part with great signage and lighting. Try the “Pomme D’Amour” - “oo la la, tres bon!!”

Image from

4/ The Dripping Bowl

The Dripping Bowl - “We are a small food truck located in the heart of Wanaka. We make fresh homemade Soups served with The Peoples Bread co. sourdough and beautiful toppings such as roasted seeds and Raglan coconut yogurt. We are primarily focused on supporting local farmers and producers. We don’t use any stocks, thickeners or preservatives, and all of our Soups are gluten free!”

5/ Burrito Craft

Choose your filling and heat level and sit back and enjoy a taste of Mexico. With a selection of delicious Burritos and yummy Tacos, Burrito Craft has definitely stamped their mark on the Wanaka food truck scene. 

6/ Buddhas Corner

Offering a selection of indian curries and dumplings Buddhas Corner has some tasty choices. Cooked fresh while you wait you can expect authentic cuisine and generous portions. The “Naughty Naan” is a popular choice.

There are also a selection of mobile food trucks which are perfect for events. For more information about places to eat in Wanaka, ask our "WanakaFixer" at [email protected]

Relax and stay a while - Training in Paradise

Posted by Release Wanaka on October 13, 2017

Training for an event? A challenge of a lifetime? Or, maybe it's your everyday job?

Wanaka, New Zealand is the ultimate training ground for anyone who wishes to push their limits or wants a relaxing setting to prepare their body for a task ahead. Located within the Southern Alps there are numerous terrains to train on from flat trails and tracks to steep mountains and rugged surfaces. The opportunity is there to maximise your capabilities or relax in a natural environment and escape into the middle of nowhere.

Wanaka has the perfect climate to train depending on what you require and is a great place to escape the Northern Hemisphere seasons -  

  • Winter provides the snow and mountains, a place to hit the slopes and work on muscles that generally don’t get used in other activities. A place to come face to face with extreme weather conditions and test endurance, persistence and stamina.
  • Summer provides hot and dry conditions, the perfect place for your body to adapt to heat and develop strategies to maintain energy levels and fluid intake.
  • Spring and Autumn are much more forgiving. Although these times of year don’t provide the extreme conditions of Winter and Summer, they do provide a comfortable training environment with cooler temperatures, blue skies and quieter roads and tracks.

The terrain that surrounds Wanaka is diverse. The roads are long and quiet (with great views), there are endless amounts of tracks, the mountains are steep and challenging and the lakes and rivers are crystal clear and inviting, the perfect training environment!

Image by Tim Pierce

The town offers numerous amenities to enhance your training schedule including yoga & pilates classes, massage therapists, world class physiotherapists, chiropractors, fitness professionals and gyms offering various activities and membership options. There are whole food and organic food stores to buy speciality foods that provide you with the ingredients to maintain your training diet and eating regime, along with numerous dieticians, local health coaches and elite local athletes that can give you advice and information.

Release Wanaka can point you in the right direction of who or what you require and organise appointments, training sessions, gym memberships, equipment hire and specialised chefs. We can accommodate you in a luxurious holiday home where you can relax and unwind after a day of pounding the tracks. Somewhere to retreat to and evaluate your training schedule with stunning views amongst the fresh mountain air. A place you can spread out and feel at home with space for a personal yoga class or to host your training buddies and talk “Swim, Bike, Run”!

For more information you can contact us here.

Relax and stay a while - Work/Life Balance

Posted by Release Wanaka on October 03, 2017

Planning a sabbatical? Or are you lucky enough to be able to work from home?

Taking a sabbatical is a luxury in itself and to spend that time in Wanaka, New Zealand, can revive and rejuvenate your work ethics. Taking time out for yourself and family is so important in today’s crazy world, where people get so caught up in the rat race that they forget what living is all about. Wanaka can offer so much, from a calming retreat to an adventurous playground. The climate is ideal with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. The fresh mountain air clears the head and allows your mind and body to give in to relaxation and prepare you for your next journey. It is a little slice of paradise amongst the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

Image by Tim Pierce

If you are able to work from home then why not make Wanaka home for a while. Imagine waking up to the sunrise over the lake and mountains, doing a few hours work in an office with an amazing view, then hitting the trails on your mountain bike or taking a stroll along the lake shore. Becoming one of the locals opens up a wider variety of choice as you learn of the best places to go, see, eat, drink, relax, swim, bike and so on! The family can join local clubs and sports teams and the schools welcome short term pupils with open arms.

New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of London, 17 hours ahead of New York and 20 hours ahead of LA. Take advantage of the time difference.  As your work colleagues sign out at the end of the day, you have the afternoon ahead to enjoy life.

It’s all about achieving that work/life balance to increase productivity in your working life and eliminate stress. You will feel better for it and so will your family as you enjoy time together in an environment that is healthy and rewarding.

Here at Release Wanaka we can offer guests a long term solution to accommodation, travel and activities. We are happy to negotiate a great long term rate on accommodation and we can negotiate a competitive rate on car and equipment rental. Our holiday rental accommodation is a home away from home and gives you freedom and flexibility.

  • Enjoy hosting family and friends when they come to visit and show off that lake view. 
  • Stay in an environment that is clean and healthy.
  • Enjoy the space inside and out.
  • Great locations close to the lake and walking/biking tracks.
  • All the mod-cons including Wi-Fi, Satellite TV
  • Luxurious Linens and optional weekly cleans.
  • A garden or balcony to relax in the sun and top up that Vitamin D.

Release Wanaka - The Managers House

It is all sounding very tempting, Yes? Take a break from that monotonous routine that we are all guilty of at some point in out lives and become a Wanaka local. Make the dream a reality! Contact Release Wanaka for more information.

Are you a looking for the ultimate training location? Our next blog will focus on why you should choose Wanaka, NZ as your training ground!

Relax and stay a while - A Family Affair

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 28, 2017

Coming to Wanaka, New Zealand for an extended trip makes sense, especially if you are traveling from the other side of the world. Who wants to travel all this way for a rushed, short vacation? No way! Staying for a longer period is definitely the way to go!

Traveling with the family can be stressful at the best of times but throw jet lag into the equation and it's a recipe for a rocky start to your holiday, even more so if you have little ones. An extended trip allows everyone time to adjust, get used to the time zone, climate and being away from home without the thoughts that you are wasting precious holiday time. 

Basing yourself in one place also adds to the benefits of an extended family holiday. A home away from home where you can relax, spread out and be flexible with your plans. Holiday Rental Homes / Vacation Rentals are a perfect place for your family to retreat to, get privacy with no disruptions and do what you want when you want. 

As a family, pleasing everyone can be difficult, some may want to go sight seeing, others may want to mountain bike. A Holiday Rental Home / Vacation Rental offers that haven to come back to and compare stories and marvel in the spectacular views that surround you. 

Here at Release Wanaka we believe a Holiday Rental Home / Vacation Rental in Wanaka is the perfect place to base yourself and discover the region. Wanaka is situated in the South Island of New Zealand, a fantastic place from which to explore Mount Aspiring National Park, Milford Sound, The West Coast, Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo, Queenstown, Southland and beyond.

Image by Ross Mackay

So consider this………..

- Unpack once

- No living out of a bag

- Spread out and have a room for everyone

- Home cooked meals

- All mod-cons

- No time frames

- Separate kids space

- Garden for the kids

- Space for bikes, skis etc.

- Basecamp to explore at your pace

- Beneficial to your wallet

- Negotiate long term rates on accommodation

- Negotiate long term rates on bikes /skis /kayaks /SUP boards /car rental

…………..this is just scratching the surface!

Taking 8 -12 weeks off work is not always possible for everyone, therefore a work /life balance might be a better option. Our next blog will focus on the benefits of staying long term in Wanaka while working from your Holiday Rental Home and achieving that balance.

For more information about Holiday Rental Homes / Vacation Rentals in Wanaka and long term rates, please contact us here.

Top 10 FREE things to do in Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 13, 2017

Sometimes you just want to get up and walk out the door and do something that doesn't involve buying tickets or booking a time. Wanaka has lots of FREE activities to do to entertain the family.....check out our Top 10!

1/ Walk Up Mount Iron 

A moderate walk up Mount Iron will reward you with spectacular views. An approx. 1.5hrs return with some steep uphill and downhill sections, but a must for the whole family when visiting Wanaka.

2/ Visit Wanaka Lavender Farm 

This is a hidden gem and a great place to wander around relaxing amongst the lavender. Speak to the farm animals (alpacas and lambs in spring), have a game of 'Petanque', sample some of the yummy smelling products in the quaint shop or try the delicious homemade lavender ice-cream.

3/ Play Disc Golf 

There is now a Disc Golf Course at Eely Point as well as Lismore Park. Eely Point can prove to be challenging with all the trees and Lismore Park offers spectacular views. Buy, hire, borrow (if you are in the know) or bring your own disc and get that competitive side of you going!

4/ Mountain Biking 

If you are lucky enough to have access to bikes during your stay in Wanaka, get out and discover the endless tracks which cater for all levels. An easy cycle around the lake or a more challenging course through sticky many to choose from so little time!

5/ Hang Out At The Lake 

Lake Wanaka offers beautiful views all year round. Grab that camera and picnic blanket and head on down to relax and watch the ever changing scenery and if you are brave enough, jump off the wharf for a refreshing swim.

Photo from Wanaka Tourism

6/ Wanaka Skate Park 

If you are traveling with kids be sure to bring their scooters or skateboard. Hours of fun can be had at the skate park by the young ones (and some cool oldies to)! If you don't fancy a roll then watching can be just as entertaining as the teens hit the bowl.....the views are pretty good from here to!

7/ A Scenic Drive 

Who doesn't love a scenic sunday drive? Whichever way you head out of Wanaka you will be greeted with stunning views. For more information and ideas you can speak to our Wanaka Fixer who will send you off in the right direction (not that there is a wrong one)!

8/ A Playground Marathon 

Need to entertain the kids? Then go on a playground adventure and visit some of the best in the area.  Our top picks would be The Dinosaur Park (@ the lakefront), Hawea Park, Luggate Park and Domini Park. There are heaps more, so just ask!

9/ Wanaka Artisan Market

Every Thursday from 3pm a group of talented people set up their stalls outside the Speights Ale House on Ardmore Street along side Bullock Creek. The market runs until 6pm and sells an array of items from artwork to jewellry and delicious foods.......get there early if you want to buy something as the food stalls sell out pretty fast!

10/ Climb A Mountain 

There are plenty of mountains to choose from around Wanaka. For ideas and information, go to or visit the "Mount Aspiring National Park Visitor Centre" on the corner of Ballantyne Road and Ardmore Street.

Photo from Wanaka Tourism

For more information about any of these activities contact us here.

Release Wanaka's Top 5 Wanaka Family Activities

Posted by Release Wanaka on August 15, 2017

Looking for some fun activities for the whole family?

The team at Release have put together their top 5 family activities in the area to keep everyone happy and entertained.

1/ Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona has plenty to do in both winter and summer. If you are here over the winter months there is of course skiing and snowboarding, but you can also go tubing, hiking and sightseeing. With this years introduction of the Chondola, it is a great way to take in the view without having to put on those skis. Summer months offer just as much fun with Mountain Bike Trails and Mountain Carting. They are also introducing a "Geo Adventures Family Day" - "This is an activity day for new & experienced geo sportsters to experience a range of different activities in our alpine environment. Orienteering & Frisbee Golf courses will be available for anyone & everyone to try & there will be heaps of deals on our usual summer activities!  Bring your friends & family for a fun day out!"

2/ Wildwire

"A Must Do Wanaka Activity. Our via ferrata tours are perfect for anyone who loves waterfalls and beautiful places.  Our tours are also suitable for beginners and families. We start in Wanaka and you will climb alongside Twin Falls, one of Wanaka’s most iconic waterfalls on our via ferrata tour. If you can climb a ladder, you can do it! There are hidden pools beneath towering falls, picnic swimming spots along the way and the views to the surrounding mountains and lakes are breathtaking."

3/ Wanaka River Journeys - Glacier Jet (Heli Combo)

"This is an incredible opportunity to fly by helicopter direct from the jet boat located deep in the mountains, on a thrilling up-close look at the glaciers. On this scenic glacier helicopter flight see hanging valleys where glaciers once lay and waterfalls that cascade from under giants of ice into the streams and rivers that feed into the Matukituki River. Land on the spectacular Isobel Glacier and disembark the helicopter for photos before flying back to join the guided wilderness walk and return leg of the Jet Boat Journey. Flight time with Aspiring Helicopters approx. 25 minutes includes a Glacier landing"

4/ Paddle Wanaka - Heli SUP

"Begin your adventure with a spectacular 40 minute helicopter flight, getting you up close and personal with Titea (Mt Aspiring), and remote glaciers along the way. Once at our secluded mountain lake, 1000m high above sea level,  explore the pristine area, fully guided by a qualified and experienced SUP instructor, before relaxing on the shoreline with a decadent gourmet picnic. Be spoilt once again with more scenic helicopter flying over the stunning landscape below as you return to Wanaka."

5/ Wanaka Bike Tours - Explore the Clutha

"A local favorite! We cut out the hassle and supply your transport, bike, and of course the best guided service! It is the combination of the scenery and terrain which makes this the perfect ride for all abilities. With our local and knowledgable guide, you will get to see and experience so much more that just riding including a cup of tea and some home baking while overlooking the Clutha river as well as finishing off with a delicious lunch at the historic Luggate Pub."

For more information about any of these activities, contact our Wanaka Fixer.

Release Wanaka - The Dacha

Posted by Release Wanaka on August 07, 2017

The Release Wanaka website reads "The Dacha is one of New Zealand's finest residences and epitomises the elegance of modern architecture. Absolute luxury with commanding lake and mountain views." A truer word could not be said of this unique property. A property which was designed by Wanaka architect Eliska Lewis, who was a winner in the Housing Category of the NZIA Southern Architecture Awards this year. The judges described The Dacha as "a generous house designed to take full advantage of an amazing view........the Wanaka house captures the magnificent landscape from every room, and throughout the architect has handled scale thoughtfully and with careful attention to details and materiality."

Can you believe that you can actually stay here? Yes, you can holiday here throughout the year.

Do you have a special occasion coming up ? or a family get together ? or the mother of all ski trips planned ?.....this is the place for you. Not just accommodation but an experience, an entry into your long term memory to share with others forever!

To find out about availability at Release Wanaka - The Dacha, contact us here.

Release Wanaka - The Dacha sleeps up to 16 people, 14 in the main house in 5 bedrooms and 2 people in the extremely stylish self contained apartment - The Banya. It has numerous sitting areas all of which capture the breath taking view of Lake Wanaka. It has a pool, hot tub and beautiful gardens and not forgetting the luxurious interior, it really does have the wow factor!

The main criteria for this build was the view. The owners wanted to capture the view from all rooms, from all angles and they certainly achieved this. The view is awe-inspiring and you would be forgiven to think that it is a backdrop, a painting, a photo shopped picture, but no, it is real and breathtaking!! 

For more information about Release Wanaka - The Dacha, check out our website.

Release Wanaka - Matagouri Ridge

Posted by Release Wanaka on June 29, 2017

Release Wanaka - Matagouri Ridge ticks all the boxes for a luxurious holiday home. Stunning views, a beautiful interior with lush furnishings, fantastic entertaining areas, amazing outdoor spaces and to top it off, a private swimming pool and hot tub. This architecturally designed home radiates comfort and luxury and offers you a chance to stay in one of the most prestigious properties in Wanaka. Located only a 30-min drive to the ski resorts of Cardrona and Treble Cone, this is the perfect place to come home to after a day up the mountain. A hot tub, a glass of wine and an amazing sunset over the lake! Set in the grounds is Matagouri Apartment which has a tennis court, gym and again, fantastic entertaining areas. The main house sleeps 6 and the equally luxurious apartment also sleeps 6. Plenty of space for extended family or 2 families traveling together. With sophisticated style and well thought out interior design this property provides private luxury for weekly stays.

Release Wanaka are offering a promotion at Matagouri Apartment (only) through to the end of September 2017. Stay for 7-nights and pay for 6-nights. A great opportunity to get a group of friends together or a fellow skiing family and head to Wanaka to enjoy the sun, snow and apres ski! For more information regarding this promotion contact Release here.

Release Wanaka - Matagouri Ridge

Wanaka Activities (minus the snow)!

Posted by Release Wanaka on June 19, 2017

Wanaka is a winter wonderland and a snow lovers dream with plenty of snow related activities. But, not everyone is here for the skiing or snowboarding, some of us wish to enjoy the winter months minus the snow!

The team at Release Wanaka have put together their favourite non-snow activites:

1/ Wanaka Wine Tours - "Wanaka Wine Tours has been in operation since 2001. It is the original wine touring company in and around Wanaka. We take you to the best places to sample award winning wines and to hear the local stories. As we travel our friendly and knowledgeable guides will tell you tales and stories of the people and land as you enjoy the stunning scenery." 

2/ Eco Wanaka Adventures - "Come with us to see glaciers in World Heritage Mt Aspiring National Park, or walk through Middle Earth, following the very footsteps of the dwarves and wizard as they traversed the Misty Mountains, as seen in the hobbit movies. Let us take you on a helicopter flight to three pristine Alpine Lakes, Bear Grylls training ground seen in the series “Get out Alive”."

3/ Wanaka Bike Tours - "Wanaka Bike Tours is like no other adventure guiding company. For us, the outdoors is not only a passion, it's a whole lifestyle, and it's this experience we will share with you on each tour. Many of our biking locations are exclusive to us and off the beaten track to really give you a sense of adventure, from NZ's highest heli bike to a breathtaking beautiful leisure ride around Lake Wanaka."

4/ Cardrona Hotel & Cardrona Distillery - Visit the iconic Cardrona Hotel with its rustic charm and delicious, traditional pub food. While you are out that way, take a look at the Cardrona Distillery and join a tour, which run on the hour daily. There is also a photo opportunity beside the Cardrona Bra Fence where donations are appreciated for a great cause!

5/ U-Fly Wanaka - "A U-FLY flight over the beautiful mountains and crystal clear Lake Wanaka offers the finest alpine scenery in the South Island of New Zealand. This may be your first flight lesson - YOUR chance to fly the plane will be an incredible highlight of your holiday. Rated as the #1 must do activity, you will be assisted with an experienced and friendly flight instructor."

If you would like anymore information about these activities or if you would like to enquire about one of Release Wanaka's luxury holiday homes, please contact us here.

Audi Quattro Winter Games New Zealand 2017

Posted by Release Wanaka on May 24, 2017

The fifth biennial Audi Quattro Winter Games 2017 runs from 25th August to 10th September 2017 in Wanaka, Queenstown and Naseby. This is an awesome event to watch with athletes from all over the world competing. 

"Free to watch, this is your chance to see elite athletes compete for glory in one of the world’s top winter sports events. Don't miss our on-mountain music festival with live bands & DJs. 

Winter Olympic, Paralympic and X Games stars are heading to Queenstown, Wanaka and Naseby once again for the first major championships of the season. Fields will be stacked with top athletes desperate to grab early qualification points for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Korea.

Audi quattro Winter Games NZ are one of the world’s top winter sports competitions and the only one in the southern hemisphere. They're also New Zealand’s largest recurring sports event.

Free to watch, this is your chance to see the world’s best compete for glory in freeskiing, snowboarding, alpine ski racing, cross-country skiing and curling. Then enjoy our on-mountain WGNZ music festival featuring some of NZ’s top live bands and DJs.

Join us for a uniquely Kiwi experience that athletes, coaches, judges and spectators all rave about. The relaxed atmosphere, friendly people, sporting action and music festival – it’s going to be the biggest party on southern snow...

...and everything on-mountain is free to watch!

Make the most of your Kiwi winter and join us at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2017. For more info and a full schedule visit"

If you need accommodation during this event, we have a number of available holiday homes. Go to and have a look at our accommodation suitable for couples, families or groups of up to 12 people. Please contact us if you require anymore information.

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?'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."- 


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 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!!

Wanaka's Beer Industry

Posted by Release Wanaka on February 20, 2017

Wanaka's beer industry is tastier than ever. With no fewer that 6 micro breweries in this small town, it is becoming a beer connoisseur's destination. Micro breweries are fast taking over the beer industry and why wouldn't they with flavour and quality at the top of their list. In 2017 these 6 businesses are set to brew 300,000L collectively. From "Jabberwocky" to "Mojo Pin" to "Lunatic Fringe", the choice is huge and the taste is even bigger.

Photo courtesy New Zealand Tourism

Here is a run down of Wanaka's 6 local breweries:

1/ Wanaka Beerworks - "Today Wanaka Beerworks is a micro brewery with a 700L copper brew system which produces approximately 100,000L a year. As passionate brewers we want to create as many specialty brews as possible, yet operating a small brewery dictates a limited amount of space so we've kept the original Wanaka Beerworks beers and added the Jabberwocky range of products with the occasional seasonal beer rearing it's head."

2/ B.Effects - "B.Effects philosophy is derived from the Edward Lorenz's Butterfly Effect, and it is built on highlighting small changes in the brewing process that have large effects on the final product. Series of craft beers with small changes in one variable like the hops, yeast, grain and non- traditional adjunct's display how small changes have a great effect on the beer."

3/ Ground Up - "We make beer for the bold, the audacious and the gutsy. We're brewing on the edge, from the ground up, and we love it. Wanaka, N.Z."

4/ Maverick - "Demand craft beer where ever you go, and don't be afraid to be a pest about it. Learn where good beer comes from. Consider who you are giving your money to. Turn your friends on to the pleasures of craft matters."

5/ Sidewinder - "Sidewinder is a beer crafted for enjoying once the work is done. Apres work, slide, ski, ride, Sidewinder tastes better once earned. Founded by mates, Dave and Luc in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, their micro brewery in Wanaka is their passion, with each brew heaved full of malt, hops, clear water and happiness."

6/ Rhyme & Reason (Coming Soon)

Wanaka is the ultimate place for a beer tasting adventure. Let Release Wanaka organise your luxury holiday accommodation for you, your family and friends and sit back with a 'Brewski' and watch the ever changing scenery. Our Wanaka Fixer can fill your fridge before you arrive with your choice of local beers or you can head into town to the many establishments who serve these unique craft beers. For more information contact [email protected]

An eventful time of year!

Posted by Release Wanaka on February 01, 2017

Wanaka has something for everyone in the way of events. Over the next few months, before the ski season starts, it is jam packed with Sport, Art, Performance and Entertainment. Check out this list for ideas.

1/ Challenge Wanaka: 17th - 18th February

"Challenge Wanaka features one of the world’s toughest and most honest long distance triathlon courses set against the stunning alpine backdrop of New Zealand’s Southern Alps and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. It is New Zealand’s largest triathlon festival, featuring events for all ages and abilities involving over 2,000 participants, attracting 10,000 spectators and a global audience of millions."

2/ Mountain Bike National Championships: 25th - 26th February

"Cycling New Zealand presents the 2017 Altherm Window Systems Mountain Bike National Championships. This is New Zealand’s premier national mountain bike event, attracting New Zealand’s top Cross Country and Downhill Mountain Bike cyclists. The 2017 event will be hosted by Bike Wanaka - Lake Wanaka's Mountain Bike Club in the beautiful Cardrona Alpine Park."

3/ Motatapu - 4th March

"Each year for one day only the pristine trails of the Motatapu welcomes thousands of all-comers to experience one of New Zealand’s favourite off-road sporting events. Set in the stunning Wanaka to Queenstown high country, you'll race through some of the most stunning high country terrain in New Zealand, with five different events to choose from depending on your appetite for scenery or suffering!"

4/ Wanaka A&P Show: 10th - 11th March

"The Wanaka A&P Show is one of New Zealand’s largest agricultural and pastoral events, attracting more than 35,000 people each year. Run over two days and set on picturesque Showgrounds overlooking Lake Wanaka, the Show includes traditional features such as equestrian and livestock events, home industry displays, wool classing and more than 400 trade stalls from around the country."

5/ Breca Wanaka - 25th March

"Breca Wanaka is New Zealand's first swimrun race around the shores of Lake Wanaka. Set in the heart of the Southern Lakes District against the awesome backdrop of the Mt. Aspiring National Park, this race is not for the faint-hearted. Teams will pit themselves against technical trails and deep glacial waters to stake their claim forever as the intrepid pioneers of the New Zealand swimrun scene."

6/ MT Outdoor Half Marathon - 1st April

"The MT Outdoor Southern Lakes Half Marathon will be held on Saturday 1st April 2017 Start time 9am. The course will be down the Cardrona Valley starting from just below the Cardrona Ski Field entrance (parking will be in adjacent field) finishing on Pembroke Park in the middle of town. This may well be the fastest and most scenic Half Marathon in the country."

7/ Festival of Colour: 4th - 9th April

"New Zealand’s best little arts festival returns to the region from 4 – 10 April 2017 bringing with it some of the country’s best cultural performances. This will be our seventh Festival and once again we will bring an outstanding programme of local, national and international arts to the Southern Lakes region. Get ready to surf the Festival wave for seven days and nights of world class music, dance, theatre, comedy, visual arts and Aspiring Conversations. The Festival brings transformational moments and unforgettable experiences to the whole region."

8/ Wanaka Sun Marathon - 8th April

"The Wanaka Sun Marathon Event is an off road sporting event held in April each year and is a great time to experience the autumn colours that really light up the river and forest trail. The Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km & 5km events all start at the Albert Town Tavern on the outskirts of Wanaka. All are loop courses and are run over well groomed trails that meander alongside the beautifully scenic Cluther River."

9/ Contact Epic - 22nd April

"The Contact Epic is about the challenge of circumnavigating the shores of Lake Hawea by mountain bike. Lake Hawea is located on the edge of Wanaka, right next to the Southern Alps in the South Island of New Zealand. The Epic ride is a 125 km journey of discovery about the land, about your bike and about yourself."

10/ NZ Film Festival: 30th June - 9th July

"The NZ Mountain Film Festival is an NZ made event. It began in 2002 and is now internationally recognised as one of the world’s premier mountain film festival events. It is NZ’s original mountain film festival with it’s own international adventure filmmaking competition and highly regarded NZ-made division. Filmmakers receive cash for various awards and the films featured often go on to do well in other similar festivals like the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Sundance Mountain Film Festival, Kendal Mountain Film Festival and Vancouver Mountain Film Festival."

Contact Release Wanaka if you would like anymore information about these events. We can organise anything for you from accommodation and tickets to pre-show dinners and post event massages!

Release Wanaka's Top 5 Wanaka Activities

Posted by Release Wanaka on January 16, 2017

With an overwhelming number of things to see and do in Wanaka, Release Wanaka has put together their Top 5 Activities to make decision making that little bit easier.

1. Heli - SUP

"Begin your adventure with a spectacular 40 minute helicopter flight, getting you up close and personal with Tititea (Mt Aspiring), and remote glaciers along the way.

Once at our secluded mountain lake, 1000m high above sea level, explore the pristine area, fully guided by a qualified and experienced SUP instructor, before relaxing on the shoreline with a decadent gourmet picnic.

Be spoilt once again with more scenic helicopter flying over the stunning landscape below as you return to Wanaka.

This is the perfect outing for those seeking something truly special – be it an unforgettable day out with a group of friends or a romantic get away with someone special."

2. Heli - Bike

"How about landing at 6500 feet on one of New Zealand's highest mountain bike trails. Enjoy a scenic helicopter flight over looking three giant lakes below with breathtaking aerial views of Mt Cook (NZ's highest mountain) and Mt Aspiring towering through the giant snow capped Southern Alps. This is a New Zealand adventure at it's best!

Oh and did we mention this trip also finishes at the area's oldest historic pub!"

3. Wild Wire

"A Must Do Wanaka Activity. Our via ferrata tours are perfect for anyone who loves waterfalls and beautiful places. Our tours are also suitable for beginners and families. We start in Wanaka and you will climb alongside Twin Falls, one of Wanaka’s most iconic waterfalls on our via ferrata tour. If you can climb a ladder, you can do it!"

4. Oxbow - Jet Sprint

"Learn how it feels to fly on water. Literally. This speed demon is the only custom built 4-seater Jet Sprint boat in New Zealand, and guarantees to make a ‘screamer’ out of everyone it has the pleasure of meeting.

"Accelerating at an incredible 0 to 100km in only 2.5 seconds your expert jet sprint boat driver will negotiate you around Oxbow’s very own Aqua-Track before you’ve had a moment to catch your breath. This ride is guaranteed to get you wet!"

5. Drift Fishing

"Drift fishing is a great way to get a long true, natural drift of your fly and to access areas that would be impossible on foot and of course you can fish both sides of the river with ease! A lot easier than bush bashing or boulder hopping your way up a river!

Depending on time of year or time of day or even different sections of the same river on the same day, we could fish various styles.

Nymphs and indicators is a popular way if the fish are deep, dries and droppers, even stripping a streamers like a large woolly bugger can be very effective or our summer favourite which is to drift large terrestrials such as cicadas or blowfly type patterns.

This is an awesome way to fish. Long drag free drifts, watching your fly gently bounce along in the current and waiting for that large snout to appear!"

There you have it, an insiders guide to activities in Wanaka! For more information about these activities, or any other Wanaka activities you may have come across during your Google searches, contact us here.

Challenge Wanaka 2017

Posted by Release Wanaka on January 10, 2017

The countdown is well and truly on for Challenge Wanaka. On February 18th an inspirational crowd of athletes will take to the streets and surrounds of Wanaka to take part in one of the major Wanaka events of the year. Labelled "the world’s most scenic iron distance triathlon", Challenge Wanaka has grown tenfold since it began in 2007.

"Challenge Wanaka features one of the world’s toughest and most honest long distance triathlon courses set against the stunning alpine backdrop of New Zealand’s Southern Alps and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. It is New Zealand’s largest triathlon festival, featuring events for all ages and abilities involving over 2,000 participants, attracting 10,000 spectators and a global audience of millions.

Part of the legendary Challenge Family global series of long distance triathlons, renowned the world over for their memorable events, Challenge Wanaka is the race of a lifetime for athletes wanting to compete and holiday in paradise. Watch over 1,500 top professional and amateur athletes from all over the globe compete on the world’s most scenic iron distance course in the 3.8km swim in crystal clear waters, the 180km bike taking in two alpine lakes and the 42.2km run which is 75% off-road along the water’s edge.

The festival includes the Puzzling World Junior Challenge for budding triathletes aged six to fifteen. There’s also the 'Swim the Course' during the week before the two highlight events.

The week culminates with the flagship Challenge Wanaka race on Saturday 18 February 2017 which features both full and half distance races. Thousands of spectators line the route and finish chute cheering on these inspirational contenders as they compete in the most arduous of the triathlon disciplines. The finish line is in the heart of the Lake Wanaka township and, in true ‘Challenge’ style, there’s a fun finish line party with music and fireworks to welcome the athletes home late into the night."

If you are taking part and need accommodation or you would like to come and support and experience an amazing event then check out Release Wanaka's website. We have a selection of luxury holiday homes available, perfect for unwinding after a day of pounding the roads (...not just for the athletes but the supporters too). For more information about availability, please contact us via our website here.

2017 Bucket List

Posted by Release Wanaka on January 02, 2017

Happy New Year... here's to a luxurious 2017!

Is Wanaka, NZ on your bucket list this year? It should be.

Located at an altitude of 300 metres, Wanaka is fast becoming one of the world’s great playgrounds. Visitors can venture into the hills and mountains surrounding Wanaka for skiing, heli-skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking and climbing. Or just enjoy the views!

There are many world-class attractions, sporting activities and adventure opportunities within easy reach of the Wanaka township. Take a scenic cruise on Lake Wanaka, taste world-renowned local Pinot Noir wines or try your luck fishing the many rivers and streams.

Something else for your bucket list should be to stay at Release Wanaka - The Dacha.

The Dacha is one of New Zealand's finest residences and epitomises the elegance of modern architecture. Absolute luxury with commanding lake and mountain views.

Local Otago schist stonework has been featured throughout the property, soaring ceilings are timber-lined delivering warmth and contrast. The main residence has three superb ensuited bedrooms and two generous bunkrooms that offer guests flexibility, depending on their preferred bedding requirements.

The spacious living and entertaining areas all have jaw-dropping views and flow seamlessly onto the balconies and beautifully landscaped private gardens. The Dacha (translates to 'second home' in Russian) is for those who aspire to experience Wanaka and its inspiring landscapes in a private residence that is itself, a stunning work-of-art.

See Release Wanaka - The Dacha.

Release Wanaka - Forty Seven

Posted by Release Wanaka on December 20, 2016

This property enjoys views of Lake Wanaka and the mountains beyond. Bordering a reserve, the property has the advantage of a huge extended garden perfect for the kids to play on and providing that extra bit of privacy.

Forty Seven has recently been fitted out in modern luxurious furnishings. It is a bright and airy home with a fresh feel, just what you need on a summers day. You can relax in the outdoor courtyard, enjoying the landscaped gardens and mountain views with a glass of your favourite wine or create a cocktail in the fully equipped kitchen.

To escape for some time out on your own, head upstairs to the balcony with a coffee and the newspaper.

For the more adventurous, jump on your Mountain Bike at Sticky Forest which is just around the corner. 'Release Wanaka Fixer' can sort you out with bikes amongst other things, or if you fancy a more mellow ride head down to the lake track which will take you around the lake to Wanaka township where you can enjoy cake, ice cream, lunch, coffee, beer, fish and chips (the list goes on) in one of many excellent cafes and restaurants Wanaka has to offer!

Forty Seven still has dates available for this summer, check out the property and calendar on our website @ Release Wanaka - Forty Seven

Win a Wanaka Wedding 2016

Posted by Release Wanaka on December 09, 2016

Imagine winning a wedding of a lifetime?

Well, this couple did and Release Wanaka were honoured to be part of it! launched the competition in February 2016 for all Australian residents who were planning to marry. - “Sooooo excited to finally announce what we have been busy working on and why I did a mystery trip to NZ and haven't shared any pics yet...!!! This incredible prize could see you get married in Wanaka, New Zealand, beside an Alpine lake overlooking Mt Aspiring National Park (see location in pic). Aside the Helicopter which will lift you to this isolated and magnificent location you get all your details taken care of by the awesome team below + me as your photographer.

I was pinching myself at the incredible beauty all around me when doing our promo shoot, see the pics here and learn more about the comp at PLEASE SHARE this far and wide as we are so pumped to get this out there. Entries are open to Australian residents.”

Fantail Weddings / Road To Beauty - Makeup, Hair, Beauty / Aspiring Helicopters / Release Wanaka / 1791 Diamonds Ltd / Crimson - Wedding Flowers / Nouba / Anna Campbell / Delicious Catering / Staple+Cloth / Wanaka Selection / George & Edi - Boutique Home Fragrance Company / Gwen Hendry Marriage Celebrant / Bonnie Jenkins Photography / Sharp Hair / Pristine Steaming of Wanaka / Wanaka Party Hire

Image by Bonnie Jenkins Photography

Mia and Ben were the lucky couple to win this wedding trip of a life time. They stayed in the luxurious 'Release Wanaka - Infinity Drive' which sits up on the hill at Peninsula Bay looking out to the lake and mountains.

Everything about Infinity Drive says ‘luxury’, from the decor to the furnishings and art work. No expense has been spared with this superb designer home. The solid masonry home has clean lines and plenty of natural light. An amazing retreat after a day of helicopters, photographs and celebrations!

Congratulations Mia and Ben!

Wanaka Events

Posted by Release Wanaka on December 02, 2016

Heading to Wanaka for your luxury break with Release Wanaka? Then get buying those tickets and entry fees and become part of a musical, sport mad community! Release Wanaka Travel Fixer can help organise your events calendar so you have time to concentrate on your dance moves or training schedule!

Here are a few events that are coming up:

Music Events

Summer and music festivals go together like cheese and wine. Wanaka is no exception when it comes to the summer music festival scene and with New Year approaching there are a number to choose from.

Top Paddock Music Festival - "New Years Eve 2016 will blow your mind with 10 acts from around the globe. Located outdoors in Lake Hawea, an iconic alpine location surrounded by lake and mountains. Genres include: contemporary country, country, rock, pop, blues and roots. We know how hard you work throughout the year - this is your opportunity to play harder."

Wanaka New Year Celebrations - "New Year's Eve for many is a highlight on Wanaka's event calendar. Positioned on the Wanaka Lakefront, the year of 2016 is brought in with a great line-up of live music, entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display lighting up the night sky at midnight.  A great celebration for locals and internationals from around the world. Join the celebrations in the most picturesque surroundings. Free to attend!"

Rhythm and Alps - "The South Island's largest and best dressed music festival is on again December."

Sport Events

For all those athletes among us, there is plenty to keep you busy too.

The Ruby Swim - "From the very competitive 3.8km Big Ruby swim to the 200m Little Gem for the kids - these races are designed to offer a challenging but achievable event. No excuses - if you can swim then you can do The Ruby."

The Big Easy - "But it's not all downhill, with a reasonably hard climb at Sally's Pinch and some quite challenging rutty and rocky downhill bits but the views are more than worth it and the sense of accomplishment at the end will make it all worthwhile."

Sovereign Tri Series - "In its 7th year running, the Wanaka Festival will be part of the 2017 New Year vibes. The off road run and breath-taking views of the mountain ranges will give you the ultimate tri experience."

Far Horizon

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 25, 2016

Planning a family get together? or maybe a friends reunion?

Release Wanaka - Far Horizon offers space, views and all the mod-cons. Set in the exclusive neighbourhood of 'Far Horizon' on an acre site, this property is surrounded by countryside but is still within walking distance of Wanaka town centre and the lake.

Sleeping 8 comfortably in 4 bedrooms, there is plenty of room for that extended family. Throw a DVD on for the kids in the separate living room and relax in the open plan dining/living/kitchen area, with views out over the garden to the mountains beyond. With large sliding doors out to the deck and spa pool, relax and enjoy the sunset or grab a cold one from the fridge and a friend or two and decide who’s going to be batting or fielding for that compulsory game of summer cricket on the huge lawn!

If you think you are a bit of a ‘Gordon Ramsey’ then you will love the fully equipped kitchen with everything you could possibly need to get creative with some local produce. On the other hand, if you really can’t be bothered cooking, lets face it, you are on holiday, then let our ‘Release Wanaka Fixer’ organise a private chef to come in and do the creating for you!

Luxury, views and space at Release Wanaka - Far Horizon.

Release Wanaka - Apartment 1.1

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 18, 2016

Who wouldn’t want to stay somewhere with views like this?

This apartment in the centre of Wanaka oozes luxury. From the sumptuous furnishings to the luxurious linens this holiday apartment ticks all the boxes for a couples getaway. With two large bedrooms each with ensuites boasting spa baths, there is plenty of room for 4 adults to relax in style. And, if you are looking to relax just that little bit more, jump into the private sauna and let those worries disappear!

Apartment 1.1 is located right in the centre of the little slice of paradise we call Wanaka. Forget about jumping in the car to grab a drink and a meal at one of the many first class restaurants Wanaka has to offer. Walk out that front door and you are there, surrounded by cafes, restaurants, shops, ice-cream parlours, hairdressers, beauty salons... the list goes on! And, to top it off, you are a 25m stroll to Lake Wanaka where you can sit and watch the ever changing view or partake in the numerous activities such as Water-Skiing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding or on those hot Central Otago days, a swim to cool off. Release Wanaka can organise any activity you wish to experience, click here to find out more.

So, after a day of drinking coffee, eating gelato and cooling off at the lake, wander back to the apartment, grab a glass of pinot and sit back and watch the sunset from your very own balcony!

Release Wanaka - Apartment 1.1 - sunset over Lake Wanaka.


Posted by Release Wanaka on November 11, 2016

Over the course of November, Wanaka has become biking mad (as if they weren’t already)! Bike’Vember was introduced to the town to encourage people of all ages to get on that bike more often!

"The goal is healthier and happier people, quieter roads, stronger community, a nicer town to live in. On top of that, fundraising will contribute to finishing a project that will benefit anybody in our community: a ramp onto the Hawea River swing bridge. During the whole month, lots of events are organised and we encourage anyone to organise group rides or other social events celebrating human powered transport." From 'Double Shot Dawn Riders' to 'Wanaka Kids Club Bike Friday', there is an event for everyone. Check out the Events Calendar here.

BIke’Vember ends with the ‘Grand Finale - Frocks and Tweeds on Bicycles’ on November 30th; "To celebrate, dress up and come for a social ride through town. Decorate your bike, wear a frock or your finest tweed. We meet at the Dinosaur park at 5pm, ride from 5.30 to 6pm. We’ll have extra decorations for you and your bike. At 6.15pm: prize-giving for riders who have filled their 'Bike'vember passports' out (don’t forget to bring your passports!) and spot prizes for the best dressed!"

Wanaka has some of the best Mountain Biking tracks in the area, from an easy cruise along the Lakefront to the more advanced tracks of Deans Bank or the Hikuwai Circuit. If you are looking for a bit of fun check out Sticky Forest. "This fun network of trails makes the best of exotic pine forest in Wanaka township. There are over 20 tracks to choose from; from the technical switchbacks of Stumpy and Yumpts, to the beautiful berms of Venus, to Crankin' Fine's legendary uphill corkscrew, these trails are expertly designed to be enjoyed by beginners and pros alike." - Wanaka NZ

Release Wanaka has luxury holiday accommodation that are a hop, skip and jump to Sticky Forest. If you are keen to ride all day with the option of popping home for a quick snack, check out these properties - Edgewood Place, Infinity Drive, Forty Seven, Clutha Place and Kirimoko. We can also organise a tailor made luxury biking trip for you and your friends... click here to find out more.

Summer Holidays

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 05, 2016

As summer fast approaches the thought of holidays enter our heads. Wanaka is not only a fantastic winter destination but it is pretty good in summer too!

With the crystal clear water of Lake Wanaka at our doorstep and some astounding surroundings there is an abundance of activities for the adventurous and non-adventurous alike.

If you are looking for something to get that adrenaline pumping then maybe free falling from 15,000ft will do the trick or possibly a high speed jet boat down the Clutha River. If on the other hand you would prefer something a little more sedate, then grab that fishing rod and head on down to the river, or, sit back, relax and take in the views that surround this amazing location.

We think the best way to experience Lake Wanaka, is to get on it. Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Sailing or a Luxury Cruise are some of the ways to get out on the water and see the area from a different perspective.

Here at Release Wanaka we have the local knowledge to make that summer holiday unforgettable. With our 'Wanaka Fixer' in tow you can experience the best this area has to offer. Click here to find out more.

Release property featured in Robb Report article

Posted by Release Wanaka on November 05, 2015

The Managers House has been featured in an article entitled 'Five Beautiful New Zealand Vacation Villas'.

"New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world thanks to its varied and largely unpopulated landscapes, which range from rugged mountains to the scenic coastline. While the country has its fair share of upscale lodges and hotels, a new crop of luxury villas are offering a more intimate way to enjoy the scenery with all the comforts of a five-star hotel."

"California's Marmol Radziner architects (who restored Richard Neutra's famed midcentury-modern Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, Calif.) collaborated with local architects to create The Managers House, a striking luxury vacation rental that merges into a barren hillside along Lake Wanaka. The long, thin footprint - a signature Marmol design element - allows for views of the mountains from every room. The great room incorporates a kitchen, a living room with an open fireplace, and an indoor/outdoor dining room. A wall made of shimmering gray Gibbston Valley schist runs from the living room to the patio and includes an outdoor fireplace and benches. The master suite and two other bedrooms are located in an adjacent wing. From the heated outdoor swimming pool, guests can take in views of rolling farmland and vineyards..." See the article

Foodie Friday - How to do 'luxury' in Lake Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on September 08, 2015

We’ve all dreamed of holidays like the rich and famous. Idyllic days of heli skiing in winter, boating in summer, private wine tours, chartered flights into the glorious wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park or Fiordland or Milford Sound – yes, I’m quite sure we can all see ourselves there wearing our Prada sunglasses and Karen Walker Halifax coat. But what if I told you it’s actually possible? What if you could have it in the most beautiful place in the world?

Well it is totally doable in the Lake Wanaka region!

Release Wanaka have a stunning portfolio of properties available and if you pull a few friends together – you too can live it up lush from $230.00 per night!

One such gorgeous property is The Managers House located on the Hawkesbury Wine Estate. The design of the house is exquisite – every detail attended to with architectural attentiveness – from the in ground lap pool to the cosy TV loft to the hidden pantry and cupboard space of deceptive volume. Utterly impeccable, but it’s the special touches, the value-add inclusions which makes The Managers House stand out.

The house is situated on a vineyard that produces what might be the most divine Pinot Noir I have tasted yet. I am partial to a good Pinot, heavy with berry fruits with a velvety finish, and Akitu answers every wine prerequisite on my list. Opening the bottle was like unleashing the renaissance.

And like all the Release properties, The Managers House comes with your own private chef if required. Oh, yes, absolutely required!

Leungo Lippe comes with a broad and impressive epicurean vintage. From Marco Pierre White in London to Botswana Butchery in Wanaka, Leungo is the man behind BoaBoa Food Company private catering and his three course Saturday night meal was so scrumptious, we may as well have been in a 5 star restaurant – minus the other guests!  Cauliflower soup with prawns, beef fillet with Asian greens and a crème brulee topped with fresh berries silenced the table. No one was talking – everyone was eating!

Perfect for families or a couple of couples, The Managers House is a stunning example of luscious living – and the views are absolutely amazing!

Article reposted from

Live like a gazillionaire in Wanaka from $210 a night

Posted by Release Wanaka on August 05, 2015

Some days my job sucks. Today is not one of them.

I am writing this from my villa on the outskirts of Wanaka in New Zealand's South Island. Not that you'd call this a villa, it's more an estate, a wonderland, a bubble in which uber rich people retreat.

They call it Horseshoe Bend Estate. 'They' are Release Wanaka, a villa management company that specialises in all inclusive homes, villas, retreats, estates, bubbles, call it what you will.

My alter ego, Mary Millionaire, is in her element. She's the one that drinks French, drives German, smokes Cuban and wears Italian and puts it all on someone else's tab that eventually ends up with me.

I don't have the heart to tell her that Horseshoe Bend is ours for only three nights for fear she will throw a tantrum and pack up the Bromley artwork under her arm from the Main House before leaving. I just can't afford to cover that kind of dummy spit.

Not that you could blame her. The wonderland we find ourselves in features a Main House, a Guest House and a Pool House. Three houses that together sleep twelve and just beg a bucks party, girls weekend, yoga retreat, family reunion, big birthday or wedding.

There's a resort style swimming pool lined with palm trees and flamingos, a sunken hot tub and a state of the art steam room. But wait there is always more. An outside fire pit alongside a petanque sand pit and a stainless steel beer pit you can fill with ice and your favourite cold ones or get 'the staff' to do it for you.

Fancy perfecting your golf swing? Try the tee.

Got kids? Throw them on the kids trampoline and playground.

Love tennis? A private coach will come and play with you day or night under the lights.

Yes, there's still more. A lake they call a pond complete with fountain, sustainable vegetable garden, an edible forest and an outside entertaining area with pizza oven and open fire worthy of a Justin Hemmes gourmet pub.

The ever present mountains act as an amphitheatre on all sides with the Hawea River nearby and you'll find Wanaka a five minute drive down Albert Town Road. Unless you have a helicopter, then you can use the retreat's heli pad on the main lawn. As you do.

Mary loves the quirky elements of style and design. The heated bathroom floors, the giant pots that act as outside lamps, the pink flamingoes, the exposed stone, the blackened timber, the wood piles, the sheep that run to the gate, the lounges to sink into and the high tech lighting, security and media systems. And the art, she loves the art. Beautiful splashes of renowned artist colours that brighten the neutral tones.

Of course we fought over who loved Leungo Lippe, our private chef, more. Lippe worked under Marco Pierre White in London and spent time at Criterion and L'escargot in London. He also worked at Red Sage in Washington and Pegasus Bay in New Zealand before opening Botswana Butchery in Wanaka and Queenstown.

He is now the name behind BoaBoa Food Company private catering and served up activated lentil soup with prawns as our entree before sticky ginger rice with twice cooked slow roasted pork belly and sautéed bok choy. This was followed by creme brûlée and a thousand compliments (from us to him).

Don't tell Mary but Horseshoe Bend Estate is actually affordable. The main house sleeps 6 and can be rented for NZ$1250 a night which when split amongst three couples is cheaper than most hotels in peak season. You could take over the whole complex from NZ$2500 for 12 people too.

Mary would prefer to keep it to herself though, she's like that.

Article courtesy of Snows Best, published July 14, 2015

Wanaka's Food Revolution

Posted by Release Wanaka on August 27, 2013

There's a culinary revolution happening in Wanaka. Whether it's French, Italian, fusion, tapas, fast or slow food you're after, this movement seems to have found its stride. We did our due diligence and recently visited a few of the new eateries on the block, again.

BoaBoa Food Company

BoaBoa is the latest creation of Leungo Lippe, the guy we have to thank for award winning eatery, Botswana Butchery. Leungo's burger combinations, whether meat, veggies or fish are so original and delicious that I now find myself eating there at least once a week. If burgers aren't your thing, fear not, wraps, fish and chips, fried chicken, smoothies, fresh juices and seasonal salads are among the other goodies you'll find on the menu.

BoaBoa is open 7 days a week from 10am-10pm. 137 Ardmore Street / 03 443 1234

Francesca's Italian Kitchen

The younger, albeit bigger, sister to the iconic Francesca’s mobile wood fired pizza trailer is Francesca's Italian Kitchen. FIK is one of the newest eateries to be gracing our bellies and our wallets, with no main priced over $25. Between the handmade gnocchi, truffle infused potato skins, fine Italian wines and Peroni on tap, you're sure to leave with a full belly and a satisfied smile.

Francesca’s is open 7 days a week from 12pm-3pm for lunch and 5pm-late for dinner. Bookings are essential for dinner. 93 Ardmore Street / 03 443 5599

Urban Grind

If you happen to find yourself at Urban Grind on a Monday morning, you'll likely run in to a few of the Release Wanaka folks. It's our treat to ourselves at the start of the week. We nestle into a sunny spot in the courtyard or, on cold days, by the roaring fire and drink coffee until we're buzzing. To refuel, we order either the Spanish or Turkish Baked Eggs and then we're set up for a great rest of the week. UG is also well known in town for their delectable hot chocolate.

Urban Grind is open 7 days a week, 8.30am-midnight. 47 Helwick Street / 03 443 5152

Bistro Gentil

The views of Lake Wanaka from Bistro Gentil are nearly as good as the food, and the view is breathtaking. I thought it impossible to top the starter of Quiche du Bistro, which features caramelized onion and leek, a wild watercress emulsion and goat's cheese cream. Then I had my main of Agneau Deux Façons, a slow cooked Cardrona lamb rump and braised lamb shoulder – tout à fait délicieux! (absolutely delicious!) With your appetite satiated, take a glass of Gallic wine to the lawn and give Pétanque (French bowls) a try.

Bistro Gentil is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am-late. 76a Golf Course Road / 03 443 2299

Yoga Studio Opens its Doors in Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on August 11, 2013

The newest member of Wanaka’s budding business community received quite a welcoming on opening night. Hot Fusion Yoga opened its doors this weekend and I could barely find a spot to unroll my mat.

Nicci Huston, who most recently taught Bikram, Ashtanga, Yin & Hatha yoga at Studio Sangha & Bikram Yoga Queenstown with Peggy Preston, has let loose her passion and vision on Wanaka. Lucky us!

Coming from the (western) mecca of yoga, Los Angeles, I must admit that I found great comfort at the sight of people strolling down our quaint, beautiful streets adorned in Lululemon garb and colourful yoga mats clutched at their sides.

The buzz inside the deliciously warm studio was evidence enough that Wanaka is ready for what Hot Fusion Yoga is offering: a place to practice, to come together, to create community, to breathe and to leave feeling relaxed, recharged and basking in the afterglow of a damn good yoga class.

To learn more about Hot Fusion Yoga, visit their website or find them on their Facebook page.


Posted by Release Wanaka on April 17, 2013

WOMENZone, created by the newest member of Release Wanaka’s team, Prairie Pritchett, is dedicated solely to developing and offering packages that are created by women, for women.

The first foray of WOMENZone comes with an exciting partnership with Jo Guest of the international organisation, Mission WOW.

The course is aimed at proficient skiers who want to develop their off-piste skill base and confidence and, ultimately, to introduce them to the wonders of backcountry touring. The first two days are spent honing off-piste skills under the tuition of outstanding local female instructors. On days 3 and 4, the women take what they’ve learned and venture into the backcountry with two world-renowned female Himalayan guides to learn backcountry travel and safety skills.

Luxurious evenings are spent at a more leisurely pace, indulging with in-house restorative yoga classes and massage treatments. Gourmet dining experiences featuring menus specially designed to refuel and nourish active bodies, combined with private wine tasting from local award-winning wineries round off the day.

With the guides, instructors and special guests we have lined up there will be no shortage of inspiration, conversation and entertainment.

New Developments

Posted by Release Wanaka on December 12, 2012

We have had a few developments at Release recently. After successfully selling our flagship property ‘Release: Private Retreat’, the new ‘Release Wanaka’ was born and we have been very busy expanding our operations to include a hand-picked selection of the finest accommodation and experience options available in Wanaka.

We are currently designing new and exciting skill development packages for those of you that are after personal challenge. Combine our local knowledge and carefully designed itineraries to give you the ultimate Wanaka experience, an adventure holiday that broadens your horizons and develops your skills. So whether you are a beginner looking to try a new hobby, an intermediate or expert wanting to step-up your game, or a travel enthusiast looking for a unique Wanaka experience, Release Wanaka has something for everyone.

Mother Nature provides perfect start to winter in Lake Wanaka

Posted by Release Wanaka on June 28, 2012

Lake Wanaka, recently named amongst the top 25 ski resort towns in the world by National Geographic Magazine, is poised to live up to its reputation. Mother Nature has provided a perfect start to the 2012 winter season, delivering over 50 centimetres of fresh powder to the region this week.

"The timing couldn’t have been better for those travelling to Wanaka for the school holidays," said James Helmore, general manager of Lake Wanaka Tourism. "All four ski areas will be open by Friday (29 June) and the new snow will allow the mountains to put plenty of terrain on offer."

Seen as one of the world’s premier adventure towns, Lake Wanaka gets the most snow in New Zealand, with over 4 metres (160in) in an average season.

Its four mountain resorts combine to offer a wide variety of skiing, snowboarding and cross country terrain. Home to many of New Zealand’s elite snow sports athletes; Wanaka offers everything from perfectly groomed beginner slopes to powdery steep slopes that promise to get the adrenaline pumping. Those looking for time in the air can take advantage of world-class park and pipe facilities and, on any given day, will likely be skiing or riding alongside some of the world’s best. Wanaka is also home to New Zealand’s only cross country ski area, Snow Farm which provides a truly unique experience for those looking to improve their fitness while enjoying the peace and quiet of the winter outdoors.

Visitors to Lake Wanaka can also take advantage of the areas new OnePassNZ, which provides unlimited freedom to ski and ride at eight of the South Islands favourite mountain resorts, including all four Wanaka resorts (Cardrona, Treble Cone, Snow Park and Snow Farm).

"What makes this pass unique is that it allows visitors freedom to ski any of the eight mountains as they choose," says Nigel Kerr, Treble Cone marketing manager. "Beyond that, the pass can also be used to rent gear, take lessons, eat in local restaurants and experience an array of other activities like skydiving, jet boating, spas, vineyards and more."

"It’s magical when the peaks surrounding Wanaka are covered in white," said Helmore. "The town is buzzing and we’ve once again become a winter wonderland."