Lake Wanaka is much more than just a pretty place. If you thought that all there is to do on your holiday in the Southern Lakes Region (other than visiting Hobbit locations) is bungy jumping or jet-boating, then you definitely need to think again. If you find yourself in the area when one of these events is on, then drop everything and get yourself there!
1. Warbirds over Wanaka
Every second year the skies come alive over Wanaka. Now acclaimed as the largest warbird show in the southern hemisphere, Warbirds over Wanaka has grown from it’s first fair of 14,000 people to well over 65,000 people. In New Zealand, that is a LOT of people – more people in fact than the population of Nelson, New Zealand’s 10th largest city. This means that it is BIG. It is always held over Easter weekend, so accommodation is usually booked out months in advance – make sure you get in early. You don’t need to be a plane enthusiast to have a great time at Warbirds. The combination of excitement, amazing views and friendly locals can’t fail to result in a brilliant weekend. Next Warbirds is held Easter 2014, see you there!
2. Rippon Festival
You absolutely cannot beat Rippon Vineyard as a backdrop to…well just about anything! The Rippon Festival is another biennial event set solidly on the shores of Lake Wanaka. With the lake in the foreground and the Southern Alps in the background you couldn’t ask for a better location to spend the day. Usually held on the first weekend of February, Rippon doesn’t just offer some great New Zealand sounds to frame the beauty of Wanaka. With plenty of food, craft, and jewellery stores, plus a fine choice of wine to try, there is definitely something here to please everyone. Next Rippon Festival – 1st February 2014.
3. Festival of Colour
The next Festival of Colour takes place for 5 days from the 16th April 2013. Clearly named after the colour of the trees (and indeed, the whole town) in autumn, the festival features art, music, theatre performances and much more. With homegrown and international stars gracing Wanaka with their talent for a few days, it is definitely worthwhile investigating. The town comes alive with street performers, and the acts really do showcase the best of our local talent. Not to be missed!
Angela Schrider is Director at NZ Snow Tours.