Stop a while and discover Omarama. It’s friendly, beautiful and perfectly located at the junction of Highways 8 and 83. Based here you can experience Omarama’s unique local attractions, visit NZ’s iconic tourist attractions, the Mount Cook National Park and the new Ahuriri Conservation Park. You can enjoy the Seven Lakes, spot rare Black Stilts and visit Penguins; drive the famous Waitaki Valley to the historic coastal town of Oamaru and much more. For gold medal trout fishing, gliding, biking or hiking Omarama is a Mecca.
These itineraries will help you plan your stay.
Just Passing Through: Take an hour or two to enjoy some of the local attractions; perhaps a trial flight in a glider, the outdoor Hot Tubs, or Wrinkly Rams sheep-shearing demonstration. Share a meal at Ladybird Hill; or bargain hunt for country clothing, antique books or NZ souvenirs.
One night/ two days: arrive for lunch, experience a flight in a glider and/or take in the view from Ladybird Hill and its winery café. A late evening, outdoor Hot Tub will ensure a relaxing night’s sleep. Be sure to take in Omarama’s unique stores or visit NZ’s largest hydro dam at Lake Benmore. Travel north see the world’s rarest wading bird the NZ Black Stilt and visit Mount Cook or drive south and visit the new Ahuriri Conservation Park for a look at glaciers and a rare rugged landscape. If you leaving travelling east you will have the chance to explore the Waitaki Valley down to historic Oamaru and the Penguins.
Two nights/three days: arrive for lunch and take the time to learn why Omarama is a world-renowned gliding Mecca, check out the Glider Flights and, if conditions are suitable you might even be able to take a Glider Flight around Mount Cook! If flying is not your thing, a walk up Ladybird Hill, followed by a visit to their winery café might be just the thing. Enjoy shopping for country clothing or antique books and in the evening enjoy a relaxing outdoor Hot Tub.
For your second day the choices might be: taking a longer glider flight into the alps, a visit Mount Cook National Park, the Ahuriri Park or the Waitaki Valley and Oamaru. You mgiht prefer to go fishing, biking or hiking. Be sure to stop for a beer at the Omarama Pub, and wine and dine at one of our seven restaurants – before a massage and another Hot Tub.
On your third morning, pick up on what you might have missed of the local attractions and head north, south or east to see more highlights of the Mackenzie County or Waitaki Valley.
Four Nights/Five days You are here to relax, to enjoy the scenery and to pursue a particular activity like gliding, biking, hiking or fishing. If you like the idea of basing yourself in one place from which to enjoy much of the central South Island’s attractions then this itinerary could be for you.
Day 1. Arrive in the afternoon and check every thing out; the gliding, the Hot Tubs, Ladybird Hill, the shops and the restaurants. If gliding attracts you, plan to fly on the best looking weather day and arrange the rest of your daily programmes around that.
Your four full-days might include the following: a day to visit local attractions; gliding, Ladybird Hill, shopping and the outdoor Hot Tubs. A day to visit Mount Cook National Park (an hour’s drive away) and perhaps a ski plane or helicopter ride, think about taking the Glacier Lakes trip hike and visit the park HQ. Set aside a day to visit historic Oamaru, travelling via Lake Benmore and the Waitaki Valley with its wineries, fossils and Penguins. On one day, drive into the new and spectacular Ahuriri Park to see rugged mountains and glaciers and hike easy trails amongst rugged mountains.
By stopping a while at Omarama you not only will discover the area but your programme will be flexible to do the best thing for yourself and the weather.