Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

4.9
Occupying a crater carved by glaciers, Lake Wakatipu resembles a lightning bolt in shape. Surrounded by towering mountain ranges, the lake draws tourists looking for an adrenaline rush along nearby ski fields, paragliding spots, and bungee jumping sites. Because of its unusual shape, the lake has a strange tide that rises and falls by 10 cm (3.9 in) every 25 minutes; Maori legends link this to the heartbeat of a huge monster named Matau. The beaches here serve as popular swimming spots during the summer and the lake itself offers year-round trout fishing. For those looking just to sightsee, a vintage steamboat, the T.S.S. Earnslaw, cruises the lake every day. Plan to see Lake Wakatipu and other attractions that appeal to you using our Queenstown online vacation planner .
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Lake Wakatipu Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
287 reviews
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  • We went on the Earnslaw to the top for the Afternoon tea cruise option. Very well organized, great views, excellent knowledgeable staff at the station, Station shop was good too, very rreasonably pric...  more »
  • as i said, view of the mountain is something you will never forgot. our hotel is closed to the lake and we very love it very much. a duck in the lake also pretty. there are many activities to do , lov...  more »
  • We had a great trip across the lake from Queenstown on the Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise. It had snowed on the mountains the night before and the dusting of snow enhanced the spectacle. It was a ...  more »

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Where to stay in Queenstown

To enjoy views of Lake Wakatipu in a luxury setting, try one of the many boutique and long-established hotels of the downtown area. As a resort town, Queenstown also offers a range of more modest accommodations, ideal for adventurers, backpackers, and those eager to spend more time outside than in. These come in the form of hostels, rental apartments, campsites, and suburban motels. A good local bus service provides connections between the downtown and suburban areas, and out to the surrounding attractions, and many accommodations offer package tours.
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