This small airport, with basic passenger facilities, operates numerous charter and scenic flights.
Wanaka Airport, central in the pioneering days of mountain flying in New Zealand, has a rich aviation history. One of the airport’s most popular attractions is trial flights, where visitors get the chance to fly an airplane or helicopter under the expert tuition of a flying instructor.
With Mount Aspiring and the glaciers of the Southern Alps right on Wanaka Airport’s doorstep, it’s a popular hub for scenic flights by airplane and helicopter, including fly and cruise options to Milford Sound. Glacier landings by helicopter are also available year-round.
For thrill-seekers, there is the chance to skydive(opens in new window) from 15,000ft over the spectacular scenery of the Southern Alps and Lake Wanaka & Lake Hawea, or loop-the-loop on an exhilarating aerobatic flight. If you’d prefer something a little more relaxing - and with a hint of nostalgia - take a flight in a vintage 1940’s Tiger Moth biplane.
The National Transport & Toy Museum(opens in new window) located at the airport houses one of the world’s largest private collections of vintage aircraft, vehicles and toys as well as Wanaka Beerworks, a boutique brewery which offers tours and tastings. Warbirds & Wheels(opens in new window) exhibits a collection of exquisitely restored classic cars, aviation memorabilia and it’s retro-style diner is a great option for lunch and coffee. Across the road from Wanaka Airport is Crossfire, where you can try your hand at target or clay bird shooting and archery.
The biennial Warbirds Over Wanaka International Air Show held at Easter is the biggest air show in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s a must-do in the calendar for aviation enthusiasts from around the world with spectacular displays from vintage WWI and WWII fighters as well as modern day jets.