Wanaka ranked in world's top 10 getaways

Balloons rise into the air on a crisp Wanaka autumn morning. Stephen Jaquiery.
Balloons rise into the air on a crisp Wanaka autumn morning. Stephen Jaquiery.
Move over Paris - if you are after a world-class romantic rendezvous, you need look no further than Wanaka.

The town has been named one of the ten most romantic holiday destinations in the world.

Published by Life Books, Dream Destinations: 100 of the World's Best Vacations puts Wanaka at number 10 in a list topped by India's Wildflower Hall and the Carmargue in France.

The book says of Wanaka: "More than 300m above sea level, in the centre of New Zealand's gorgeous South Island, lies this 43km-long lake.

The lakeside town is a charming place to stay, with sheep farms dotting the surrounding countryside."

The praise comes as no surprise to Lake Wanaka Tourism head John Alldred, who sees large numbers of honeymooners flocking in.

"It's a very peaceful place. It's not crowded and it's drop dead beautiful, obviously," Mr Alldred said.

"It inspires people, I think."

Wedding celebrant Bev Clark has seen a marked increase in the number of weddings in Wanaka in recent years, and she puts it down to the resort's beauty and peaceful nature.

"I'm quite sure the mountains and the lake are very restful, and Wanaka has not become a destination as busy as Queenstown," Ms Clark said.

"You have everything from people who get married up on a mountain or on skis in the snow, or out on the lake as the sun rises - it certainly creates a romantic atmosphere."

Tale of two romance capitals 


• Population: 7000.

• Romantic meal: A nice piece of venison and a local pinot noir.

• Famous architecture: Puzzling World (Wanaka's answer to the Leaning Tower).


• Population (city): 2.2 million.

• Romantic meal: Escargot and champagne.

• Famous architecture: The Eiffel Tower.

• Tale of two romance capitals


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