Warbirds Over Wānaka International Airshow runs this Easter, from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, 25- 27 March, attracting around 20,000 people Saturday and Sunday and half that number on the Good Friday practice day.
Held at Wānaka Airport to the south-east of the town, the main highways feeding people to the Airshow carparks from the south are State Highway 6 from Cromwell, State Highway 8A from Tarras and from the Wānaka side, State Highway 6 to the east.
Drivers wanting to park and attend the Airshow
In order to avoid traffic jams, drivers parking on Saturday and Sunday need to be aware that SH6 in the vicinity of the Airport will be run largely as a one-way system morning and later afternoon to get people smoothly in and out of the carparks.
During these times a detour will be available to those using SH6 to go to destinations other than the Airshow – see below for more detail.
From the intersections of the Tarras and Cromwell highways to the south of the airport to the intersection of SH6 with Ballantyne Road on the Wānaka (north) side of the airport, the road will have traffic management controls morning and afternoon/evening.
Morning inwards towards the carparks 9am to 11am
To get people safely parked, drivers can drive towards the airport carparks from each side of State Highway 6 in these hours. Emergency vehicles and residents will also be able to have access both directions.
People who want to drop others off can probably also do so, but need to exercise caution as they leave as the road lane outwards will be constricted by people coming in. Ideally, they should try to drop people off well before 9 am when the traffic starts to build up and people are looking for a carpark.
Afternoon advice for leaving the carparks and picking people up 4-6 pm
In the afternoon the flows reverse. Drivers can go away from the airport in both directions with no inbound traffic towards the airport, bar emergency vehicles.
People who want to pick others up need to ensure they arrive and park at the Airshow carparks well before 4 pm or after 6 pm.
Outside the morning and afternoon ebb and tide flow period.
Outside the morning and afternoon carpark filling and carpark emptying hours, the state highway will be open in both directions as a two-lane highway.
Speed restrictions will be in place and drivers are encouraged to slow down given the amount of people and cars in this area and the Airshow taking up people’s attention.
Good Friday traffic management – slow down, Stop/Go
Around 10,000 people go to the Airshow on the Good Friday practise day, about half the Saturday volumes. Manual traffic management (Stop/Go) will control inwards and outwards drivers to the carparks and there will be speed restrictions on the highway.
Not going to the Airshow? There is a detour in place, but it may only be operational at peak hours. Be prepared for it.
- People just wanting to get to Wānaka or the West Coast via Haast may be detoured off State highways 8A and 6 from before Luggate Hill onto Church Road and the Red Bridge and Kane Road.
- On the north side of Wānaka, drivers coming south towards Cromwell will be detoured onto Camphill Road off SH6 towards Kane Road and back towards the Red Bridge.
- This detour could add half an hour to the trip for people heading to Wānaka from the south.
- The detour is able to be in place all day Saturday and Sunday, 6 am to 10 pm if necessary, but it is likely it may be only be enforced at the peak morning and evening arriving and leaving hours – 9-11 am and 4-6 pm.