top of page

Warbirds Over Wanaka 2024 - a  6  day New Zealand Tour

Wanaka-Warbirds-John-Lamont-pilot-Spitfire.jpg

DAY 1 - After picking you up from home (all part of the Hinterland service) we arrive at Tauranga Airport to check in for our direct flight to Christchurch. On arrival in the Garden City, we will board our coach for the short journey to the first of our “aviation” themed destinations, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand at Wigram.

Grab a bite at the Contact Café, located alongside the historic aircraft with views across the former Wigram airfield to the Port Hills, before our guided tour. Suitably replenished it's time for an in depth “behind the scenes” tour, which offers access to the restoration workshop as well as the reserve collection of aircraft, vehicles and engines, not normally open to the public.

Departing the museum, its just a short drive to our Christchurch hotel where we will dine together this evening.

DAY 2 - Leaving Christchurch, we head south along SH1 to Ashburton, which has a strong aviation history. The town was a training centre in World War 2 with 50 Tiger Moths based here.  We visit the Ashburton Aviation Museum which houses a collection of over 20 aircraft including the Devon, Vampire, Harvard, Harrier GR3, Canberra B2 Bomber Cockpit, Meteor, Zlin, DC3, Vampire and Tiger Moth to name a few. We will also be able to visit the aircraft restoration workshop. 

 

We continue to Omarama, our base for the next 4 days with a stop for lunch in Geraldine on the way at the Barkers Foodstore and Eatery, another NZ icon. Following lunch (your cost) we travel further inland, through Burkes Pass and into the legendary Mackenzie - an area of great wide-open spaces, the highest mountains, awe-inspiring glaciers and vivid turquoise lakes.

We take a break at Burkes Pass – chance to browse the quirky Three Creeks Arts and Crafts Shop - housed in the old General Store. There is also a 1950s service station and a blacksmith shop and trading store. The shops provide a wealth of art works, crafts, giftware, retro collectibles, wooden furniture, and more. 

Our route travels past Lake Tekapo with its famous Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Pukaki where we should have views of Aoraki / Mount Cook before arriving at our hotel at Omarama.

 

Day 3 - Today is the practice day of the Warbirds over Wanaka International Air Show (acclaimed as one of the world's top four Warbird airshows), which in 2024 celebrates 36 years of operation. Started by aviation entrepreneur Sir Tim Wallis in 1988, this is now a biennial centre piece of Central Otago’s tourist attractions with around 50,000 attending this amazing showcase of all things aviation.

 

Our GOLD PASS tickets offer us the best 3-day experience – with great seating in the grandstand situated directly in front of the runway. An attached large marquee and hospitality area offers a range food and beverage options to purchase. Complimentary tea, coffee and water are available to us throughout the show.

GOLD PASS holders also receive an airshow branded bag, gold cap and badge, an airshow programme, a voucher for one free drink and free entry to the Warbirds and Wheels visitor attraction (see below). You will also be able to mingle with the pilots, get autographs and walk the flight line on Saturday or Sunday.

The Warbirds and Wheels museum houses New Zealand’s best collection of luxury American classic cars and vintage vehicles. The recent extensive upgrade showcases how classic cars, warbirds and people’s lives have changed from the major conflicts of the 20th century through to modern times. The attraction also boasts six fighter  aircraft from World War 1 and World War 2 through to the impressive SkyHawk and more modern jets. You can visit the museum at any time during the airshow.

Friday is practice day so there is no airshow scheduled, but all ground displays are open and Warbirds, civil and military aircraft will be conducting practice displays in preparation for the following days.

Day 4 - Today is Airshow Display Day – which commences at 10.00am. We will make an early start to arrive in good time.  Spend the day making full use of your Gold Pass privileges, really enjoy the amazing flying displays and also get close to the aircraft and displays on the ground. The finale each day is worth waiting for as aircraft attack the ground based enemy - with plenty of large pyrotechnics going off. You can also expect to see the RNZAF here celebrating their 85th Anniversary. If you want to keep abreast of the flight program leading up to the show then see the official airshow website.

Day 5 - The final day of the air show.  The program today replicates the one we saw yesterday but there may be a few additional aircraft flying due to operational issues the day prior. If you have had your fill of planes, then we will have a few options available that you could opt for (some additional charges may apply) while others attend the show.

The National Transport and Toy Museum situated alongside the airshow may be of interest and can take a whole day to explore fully (entry $20 or seniors $17). This fascinating museum houses one of the largest private collections in the world, with over 600 vehicles, including classic cars, motorcycles, fire appliances, military vehicles, buses, trucks, tractors, construction gear and boats. There are also 20 civilian and military aircraft from the 1930’s to 1990’s as well as a collection of over 60,000 toys. There is something for everyone, such as clockwork and battery powered toys, dolls, teddy bears, pedal cars, remote control models, money boxes and 1,000’s of scale models.

Or you may want to just relax at the hotel and “do your own thing” today before we meet up again this evening for dinner, our last night in Omarama.

 

Day 6 - Today we leave for Christchurch and our direct flight back to Tauranga. Plenty of time to see sights along the way, maybe enjoy a pie at the famous Fairlie Good Pie Shop. Our early evening flight will  give us time in the afternoon to explore Christchurch City before we depart. 

Warbirds Over Wanaka 2024

Warbirds over Wanaka is back in 2024, after 2022 & 2021 were cancelled this is a must see event for any aviation enthusiast…

 

This new shorter 6 day tour focuses solely on aviation, with a Gold Pass ticket included, you will be in the best location to see all the action at the show. The flying displays and events on the ground will be the highlight of the tour, but we have also included visits to the NZ Air Force Museum at Wigram and the Ashburton Aviation museum. We will travel through the amazing landscape of the Mackenzie Country to Omarama, our base for 4 days which allows us to experience all 3 days of the airshow.

With return flights direct from Tauranga to Christchurch, we make the most of our time.

Date 27th March - Price $2975pp

What's Included:

  • 6 days of touring

  • 5 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service (Tauranga area)

  • Air NZ flight to Christchurch

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary from your guide

  • All breakfasts and dinners

  • Air Force Museum of NZ - Wigram

  • Ashburton Aviation Museum

  • 3 day GOLD pass to Warbirds

  • Warbirds Commemorative program

  • Warbirds gold hat and gold badge

  • Complimentary tea/coffee/water

  • Flightline grandstand seating

  • Warbirds and Wheels museum

  • Exclusive food and beverage area

 

Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

 

A single room surcharge of $425 applies.

You will see:

  • Christchurch & the Canterbury Plains

  • Wigram Air Force Museum

  • Ashburton Aviation Museum 

  • Barkers Foodstore and Eatery

  • Mackenzie Country & Burkes Pass

  • Lake Tekapo

  • Church of the Good Shepherd 

  • Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook

Veterans Special Area

If you have served in any theatre of war then the airshow has a special "veterans only" area for you and your family.

 

Located in the Gold Pass holders area, a special marquee offers a great place to catch up with fellow veterans.

20210219_112345.jpg
bottom of page