Love Wānaka is a funding platform that invites visitors, and the industry that supports them, to protect this place – now and for generations to come.
We’re on a mission to transform the way we do tourism in Wānaka, and we hope you’ll join us. Find out how.
Love Wānaka is a non-profit initiative powered by Destination Southern Lakes – a collaboration between Lake Wānaka Tourism and Destination Queenstown.
Love Wānaka and Love Queenstown (our partner initiative over the hill) are delivered in partnership with the Wakatipu Community Foundation – a donor driven charitable trust that supports localised philanthropy right here in our region. Learn more about the team and the organisations behind the fund.
We’re taking action to meet the greatest challenge and opportunity of our time: a regenerative, carbon-zero future.
Climate change is here, and it’s accelerating. With over half of our region’s economic activity tied to tourism, travel has a huge part to play in our ecological footprint, both locally and globally. Tourism equates for more than 11% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and with international travel only set to grow, we know now is the time to act.
Love Wānaka exists to change the way we travel, for good; giving everyone who visits, lives, or does business in Wānaka, the chance to offset the impacts of their activities and be part of protecting our home, now and for generations to come.
Love Wānaka funds localised climate, conservation and biodiversity action exclusively within the Wānaka region, supporting the organisations who are championing this work right here and now, as well as funding the innovators and the change-markers who are driving systems-level solutions to meet the needs of our region into the future.
This is about funding an entire ecosystem to support our region’s regenerative, carbon-zero future, and putting it in the hands of our local organisations with targeted and strategic funding.
Read about some of our local champions.
Each year, we allocate funds to local organisations who operate in the climate, conservation, and biodiversity space. Every dollar raised is spent exclusively within this region, so you know you’re making a difference to the place you love.
Funding is available to charitable organisations and initiatives on a contestable basis, with annual grant rounds open each year. Click here to find out about our grant criteria and application process.
Volunteering your time is a great way to support the work of our local organisations who do the hard mahi (work) on the ground, and to share a story, a day’s work, or a cuppa, with some like-minded locals.
We pool our funds for collective impact, so no matter how big or small your donation is, it all goes back to protecting this place.
By collating donations from visitors and businesses in the region, we have the capacity to drive impact, at scale.
20% of all funds raised are invested in an endowment fund, enabling long-term, substantial funding opportunities that will benefit this place for generations to come.
Funds are invested with support from the Wakatipu Community Foundation. Each year, the income earned on the investments is available for annual distribution to local organisations and initiatives, whilst the capital remains intact. This annual gifting continues in perpetuity – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Our region has a bold ambition for a regenerative, carbon-zero visitor economy.
While sustainable tourism encourages positive steps towards reducing our impact as travellers and hosts, regenerative tourism is all about leaving places better than before.
There are a number of ways your business or organisation can get behind Love Wānaka, from sharing the initiative with your audience, to raising or donating funds.
Check out our For Businesses page for all the details.