Omarama’s location is ideal with local attractions from otherworldly landscapes of the Clay Cliffs to soaring silently in a glider above the Mackenzie basin. Nearby iconic Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and Ahuriri Conservation Park encourages visitors to get outdoors on walks. Omarama, along with Twizel, Lake Tekapo village and Mt Cook village are gems where visitors have a wealth of activities to choose from.
WHAT TO DO, HIGHLIGHTS
- The extraordinary pinnacles of the Paritea Clay Cliffs
- Indulge in HOT TUB Omarama private scenic retreat
- The WRINKLY RAMS merino show and cafe
- Visit a high country farm for close up encounters with life on the edge of the alps
- Bird watching at Kaki visitor hide observing black stilts.
- 4WD trip into the heart of the Alps
Paritea Clay Cliffs are extraordinary in their jagged appearance.
The cliffs are one of the featured Geosites in the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark. The ‘badlands’ are where you expect to see a western film set. The sharp pinnacles and ridges are separated by steep and narrow ravines. The cliffs are on private land, respect the property and use the honesty box.
For details how to get there and what to see check Duntroon day road trip, travel guide, things to see & do: NZ Jane
Cycling enthusiasts who have participated in ‘Cycle the Alps 2 Ocean Trail’ have the well known glamour of Omarama Hot Tubs where mountain views are the reward for an enjoyable day biking the high country.
Gliding has the prevailing westerly winds rising over the Southern Alps creating consistent conditions for gliding. Omarama is New Zealand’s gliding hot spot. Canterbury Gliding Club – Flying from Springfield and Omarama supports an introduction to gliding and choices available to continue participation in the sport.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Between October to March
Winter you could require snow chains, for winter sports this is a perfect time of the year to visit.
WHAT TO DO NEARBY
- LAKE Ohau and Lake Benmore offer fishing, boating and water sports
- Nearby Waitaki Valley with wineries, fossils and Oamura penguins has the makings of a great day trip from Omarama.
- Ohau Snow Field is a boutique ski field offering uncrowded slopes for all levels.
For more information what to do in the Mackenzie country check MacKenzie Country, Alpine South Island, 10 things to see: NZ Jane and Towns in the MacKenize country, trip guide, things to see: NZ Jane
- A Mountain Community in the Middle of Everywhere
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE
- Enormous, massive male merino sheep sculpture in village centre
WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS
- Sheep shearing show
- Visit a high country farm
- Ladybird Hill Restaurant with its two storied children’s playground and ponds stocked with salmon and trout for visitors to feed
WHERE TO EAT
The Wrinkly Ram cafe offers great kiwi classics plus a sheep shearing show. Kids will be entranced by the spectacle of a large sheep being handled and then the shears cutting the thick woolly coat.
Ladybird Hill Winery
Walking track, playground, fish feeding, wine tasting. Open from October – April. Another popular feature of the complex is the large custom-built two-storeyed children’s playground facility which provides young visitors with endless enjoyment.
At an altitude of 450m, Ladybird Hill is the highest producing vineyard in New Zealand. The winery grows pinot gris and pinot noir grapes.
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE?
OMARAMA is Maori for “place of light” aptly captures the essence of the location.
WHAT KEEPS THE PLACE TICKING?
The Southern Alps are a glorious backdrop to the Mackenzie country. With its sparse population the high country feels untouched and natural. State Highway 8 running along the shoreline of Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki is the transport spine for the district. Economic activity is focused on high country farming and tourism.
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