Wanaka is a town situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand. It is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park.
Initially conceived by New Zealand live deer recovery pioneer, Sir Tim Wallis, as a display day for him to play with his collection of World War II aircraft, the show has grown into a major institution. Roads are closed and traffic is detoured around the area during the weekend. Hotels, motels and backpackers around Wanaka are usually booked well in advance (two years ahead). Accommodation is impossible to find if one does not have a booking. A large contingent of historic and contemporary aircraft of note from all over New Zealand and the world converges on Wanaka each second Easter for the air show. Numerous aviation personalities from all over the world attend Warbirds over Wanaka, Gen Chuck Yeager and Buzz Aldrin being the most notable of recent times. The mainstays of the display have traditionally been the aircraft from Sir Tim's Alpine Fighter Collection, based at the New Zealand Fighter Pilots' Museum.