Wānaka Lakefront Development Plan

Te Mahere Whakaahu mō te takutai o Wānaka

Creating fresh open spaces and people-friendly places on the lakefront.


Wānaka's lakefront is one of the Upper Clutha community's most treasured assets, integral to both local and visitor experiences in town and an ever-increasingly popular place to be. Following the completion of the Wānaka Lakefront Reserves Management Plan (2014), a three month consultation period was held in 2016 and produced the Wānaka Lakefront Development Plan which was consulted on in 2015/2016. 

Project Aspiration

To provide continuous pedestrian access – making strong connections with the town centre, reducing vehicle use in the town centre, hosting a range of activities and enhancing the ecology throughout, while enhancing the visibility of Kāi Tahu through lakefront design, reflecting the importance of the lake to mana whenua, the Wānaka community and to visitors.

A Staged Approach

The Wānaka Lakefront Development Plan is split into five stages:

  1. Stage One
  2. Stage Two
  3. Stage Three
  4. Stage Four (in conjunction with the Wānaka Town Centre Masterplan)
  5. Stage Five



Stage One:
Stage One of the Wānaka Lakefront Development Plan saw the construction of the Wānaka-Mt Aspiring Road Carpark, completed in December 2018.

Stage Two:
Stage Two of the Wānaka Lakefront Development Plan runs from the Wānaka-Mt Aspiring Road Carpark and connects up with Stage Four (adjacent to the Wānaka Town Centre). Initial work was paused in 2019 to allow for alignment with parking decisions made through the Wānaka Town Centre Masterplan. A concept design is currently underway and new community consultation will be held on Stage Two following the design's completion.

Stage Three:
Stage Three of the Wānaka Lakefront Development Plan runs from Bullock Creek through to the Wānaka Marina, and will see the implementation of a number of features, including:

  • Restoration and development of native vegetation - large scale planting to maintain the lakefront's rugged, wild landscape.

  • Te Ara Wānaka - a shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists that connects Wānaka's Town Centre with the Marina.

  • A boardwalk running along the lake's edge.

  • Informative signage - highlights of the area's significance to Kāi Tahu, and details of native plant and animal life found nearby.

  • Improved landuse - improvement of lawn areas to allow for recreation activities.

A Concept Plan was released in June 2019 for community consultation and received large support. A Detailed Design continues to be worked on.

Visuals of the boardwalk and a view of the site from above are available.

Stage Four:
Stage Four of the Wānaka Lakefront Development Plan is adjacent to Wānaka's Town Centre. Initial work on a Concept Plan for this area is underway.

Stage Five:
Stage Five of the Wānaka Lakefront Development Plan runs from the Marina through to the Wānaka Yacht Club. Initial work on a Concept Plan is underway.

Four Big Moves

The community feedback shaped four 'big moves'. Every stage and project within the Lakefront Development Plan will be designed with the four big moves in mind:

  • Restore and develop Ecology through ecological enhancements and native revegetation planting. 
  • Provide continuous Access with a pedestrian/cycleway promenade around the lakefront.
  • Improve Landuse with lakefront linear parks and precincts.
  • Provide a range of Facilities.

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