New Year’s Eve The one-time youthful revelry has been curtailed in recent years, and the new year is welcomed in with a family-oriented celebration.
Rippon Festival (w ripponfestival.co.nz). One-day rock, roots and reggae festival with a top Kiwi line-up and a magical setting with superb lake and mountain backdrop. There’s always a lively after-party. First Saturday in February every even-numbered year.
A&P Show (w wanakashow.co.nz). Town meets country at Wanaka’s showgrounds on the lakefront with everything from calf-wrangling demos and biggest pumpkin competitions to the perfect Victoria sponge and a Jack Russell race in which up to 100 dogs chase a rabbit dragged around behind a man on a horse. Heaps of food, drink and fun, but accommodation is hard to come by. Second weekend in March.
Warbirds over Wanaka (t 0800 224 224, w warbirdsoverwanaka.com). Wanaka airport plays host to New Zealand’s premier air show – three days of airborne craft doing their thing watched by over 60,000 people. Easter every even-numbered year.
Festival of Colour (w festivalofcolour.co.nz). A biennial celebration of visual art, dance, music, theatre and the like, with top Kiwi acts, including the symphony orchestra, performing all over town and at Hawea. Lots of free stuff, or buy tickets for individual performances. Mid-April in odd-numbered years.