In 1988 New Zealand aviation and business entrepreneur Sir Tim Wallis shared his passion for Warbirds with the public by creating an airshow that is now a centre piece of Central Otago’s tourist attractions.
The first airshow and country fair attracted 14,000 visitors to Wanaka Airport. Delighted with this success, Sir Tim decided to expand on the theme and hold a biennial event over the long Easter weekend.
As the show grew so did its support and now around 50,000 people over three days make the pilgrimage to Wanaka to fulfil a ‘bucket list’ ambition. While the Warbird aircraft, both old and new, remain the central focus of the airshow, Wanaka is also renowned for its pyrotechnics, lakefront mini airshow, a big variety of ground exhibits and great hospitality options.
Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is now run by a Community Trust with any surplus funds being reinvested in the local community. The economic impact of the event over the past three decades has been estimated at more than $200million.
The Trust also funds the Warbirds Over Wanaka Flying Scholarships which enables up and coming pilots to hone their skills and getting them one step closer to one day becoming Warbirds Over Wanaka display pilots.
Warbirds Over Wanaka remains the largest Warbird Airshow in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the world’s top four Warbird Airshows, For more information go to www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com
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