Wanaka, New Zealand
The new school will be located in Wanaka, a peaceful, small town on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the eastern Southern Alps of New Zealand. It is an hour drive from Queenstown International Airport (70km).
The name “Wanaka” is translated as “sacred knowledge” or “place of learning” (a school) in the te reo Maori (indigenous) language. The name reflects the area’s history as a place where seasonal schools were held to pass on the spiritual wisdom and treasures of the elders to the next generation.
Originally founded as a holiday destination, the town maintains its restful atmosphere while attracting adventure seekers from around the world. The region is known for summer and winter recreation and its crystal-clear lake and snow-capped mountains.
In summer, activities in Wanaka range from hiking (tramping), mountaineering, mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing, rafting, kayaking, and more.
In winter, Wanaka has the closest access to the world-class ski fields of Treble Cone, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Farm. The Cardrona Alpine Resort has one of only a few Olympic sized half-pipes in the world. With such a diverse range of environments, Wanaka is a paradise for the nature lover and the adventurer.
The South West of New Zealand is one the great natural areas of the world and is internationally recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wanaka is also a gateway to Te Wahipounamu: South West New Zealand World Heritage Wilderness Area.
Known to the original Māori inhabitants as Te Wāi Pounamu—the greenstone waters—the 2.6 million hectare site encompasses four national parks: Westland Tai Poutini, Aoraki/Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring, and Fiordland.
Because of the natural beauty and often unworldly mountainous regions, Wanaka and the surrounding region it has been the setting for many international films, including The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Legend of S, and A wrinkle in Time.