Wanaka: Live ‘moose’ capture and a spectacular Royal New Zealand Air Force finale have been confirmed for this Easter’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow lakefront event.
The lakeside event was first held in 2014 and has proved so popular it is now an integral part of the airshow attracting thousands to vantage points around the Wanaka lakefront late afternoon on Good Friday.
Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says the original idea behind the event was to promote the airshow and also to put on a free event for the local community. “We wanted to give local families a chance to come down to their lakefront and get a taste of the airshow for free. But our airshow visitors have also loved the innovation and it’s now part and parcel of the whole event” says Ed.
This year’s lakeside event will feature a scenario which involves a live ‘moose’ capture. This will include the appearance of a helicopter from the early days of deer recovery in the region.
“We have a team trying to track down a descendant of the herd of moose which were released in Fiordland back in the early 1900’s. There have been no confirmed sightings of the animals in many years but we have a team working on it. If they are unsuccessful they have assured me they will find a substitute,” says Ed.
Another expected highlight for the lakefront event will be Royal New Zealand Air Force involvement for the first time.
“The RNZAF are hoping to have one of their Seasprite helicopters put on a winching display over the water plus have the mighty Hercules close the show with a spectacular flare display. This flare display set against the magnificent Wanaka lake and mountain backdrop should be truly stunning” says Ed.
The event will also see the return of the Catalina Flying Boat landing on the lake. This was a big crowd favourite from 2016.
The 30th anniversary Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is being held this March 30th, 31st and April 1st at Wanaka Airport. The free lakeside event will be held at 4.30pm on March 30th. For more information and tickets go to www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com
Photo credit: Greg Soper – Catalina and Flotilla, WOW 2016.