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Wanaka vs. Queenstown for accomodation

Hamburg, Germany
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Wanaka vs. Queenstown for accomodation


we will be travelling on the South Island in March 2013 and I am wondering what the pros and cons are wether to stay a few nights in either Wanaka or Queenstown.

Do we have to expect sandflies on both lakes?

As we are travelling with our baby girl we are looking ideally for a reasonabel priced appartment for appr. 4 nights.

Next stop on our itenerary would be the Fox Glacier and because we will be travelling with our 6 months old, we are trying to avoin too long drives.

Your advice is highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Wanaka vs. Queenstown for accomodation


Both Queenstown and Wanaka offer a range of accommodation options for most budgets.

Sandflies are not a major problem in and around the town areas though having something to use for protection is always prudent during the warmer months, especially traveling though the areas you will be going and around the West Coastal areas.

Wanaka is an hour closer to Fox Glacier - less time in the car.

Driving times:

Wanaka to Fox Glacier - 262kms - about 3 to 31/2 hrs

Queenstown to Fox Glacier - 330kms - about 4 to 41/2hrs hrs

Queenstown and Wanaka are both great places to visit, Wanaka is slightly less 'busy' and smaller in size. Both offer things to do and see.

A possible suggestion:

Stay in Wanaka to allow less driving time to Fox on your departure and visit Queenstown for day trip as it is only an hour away from Wanaka via the Crown Range road - very scenic.

Hope this helps,


New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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2. Re: Wanaka vs. Queenstown for accomodation

I've never been bothered by sandflies in Wanaka or Queenstown.

Both places offer good accommodation options and lots of activities. Queenstown is a bit too frantic for me, I prefer the more relaxed ambience of Wanaka.

Why not stay in both places? Spend a night in Queenstown then spend the next 3 nights in Wanaka.

If stopping to enjoy any of the great short walks along Haast Pass, cover the baby in clothing and repellent. The drive Wanaka to Fox is stunning - allow 4 plus hours for the drive to enjoy some of the waterfalls and views.

3. Re: Wanaka vs. Queenstown for accomodation

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