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“An eclectic mix”
Review of Warbirds & Wheels

Warbirds & Wheels
Ranked #22 of 74 things to do in Wanaka
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Our world-class visitor attraction showcases a collection of Warbirds aircraft, over 30 world class and privately owned classic cars, RealArt Roadshow of unique New Zealand art, wearable arts and tales of a local legend Sir Tim Wallis. This attraction also contains a 1950's retro diner with a wide range of delicious snacks baked on site daily, diner-style meals and refreshments, and retail shop with loads of exciting car and aircraft memorabilia. Open seven days 9am to 5pm. Located at the Wanaka airport, 9km from the township.
Malvern, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“An eclectic mix”
Reviewed 14 December 2013

Like a previous reviewer we were disappointed with the number of items on show. We had been expecting many more planes and tributes to fighter pilots, instead we found just 5 planes, some engines, a collection of beautifully preserved motor cars, a display of modern art and a gallery feature about the founder of the "Wings over Wanaka" air show, none of which sot comfortably together.

What was there was beautifully displayed and explained and the whole place was bright and clean, bit the experience was not worth the $20 adult admission fee.

We had lunch in the retro-style café. The food was good and reasonable and the place bright and clean.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Caslondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lynette D, Manager at Warbirds & Wheels, responded to this review, 18 December 2013
Just another reminder that we are NOT the NZ Fighter Pilot's Museum which used to be at Wanaka Airport until it closed down a few years ago. By the time that facility closed down most of Sir Tim Wallis' fine collection of Warbirds aircraft had left Wanaka. However, we do have five aircraft in our display which seeks to trace the evolution of fighting aircraft from our WWI SE 5A through to the imposing A4 Skyhawk jet. As the reviewer points out our facility is more than a Warbirds museum. It features the story of Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow founder Sir Tim Walls, a world-class collection of cars - including the only Duesenberg Model J in the southern hemisphere - an impressive collection of original NZ art, a retail shop and a diner serving great food and coffee.
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197 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Invercargill
1 review
“A Must Visit!!!”
Reviewed 23 November 2013

When in Wanaka the Warbirds and Wheels museum and diner are a must see. The vintage cars and warbirds are spectacular and the friendly service in the diner makes for an enjoyable time. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting Wanaka.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Manz246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lynette D, Manager at Warbirds & Wheels, responded to this review, 19 December 2013
Thank you for your comments. We are thrilled you had such a good experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Excellent display of war planes, fascinating cars and one man's workshop”
Reviewed 11 November 2013

This relatively new museum is a treasure for anyone with an interest in NZ aviation history and wonderful, rare (mainly American) cars.
My main interest was to see the recent addition of a recreation of Ralph Watson's shed/workshop. Watson was a brilliant Kiwi engineer who managed to create impressive feats of engineering in a primitive workshop. This faithful recreation includes all of Watson's workshop contents. Two of his most famous feats of engineering stand close by, the Lycoming Special sports car (driven by Jim Clark and Bruce McLaren, amongst others) and a radial aircraft engine in working order.
Once you have stopped wondering at the genius of Watson turn to the rare Duesenberg and other beautiful American classic cars. Then wander through the warbirds display. Lots of interesting information about both the exhibits and associated people is provided. On the mezzanine, that provides a good view of the complete collection, there is a tribute to Sir Tim Wallis, the creator of Warbirds over Wanaka.
Make sure you stop for lunch or refreshments in the '50's retro cafe, complete with duke box. It's brilliantly done.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank pierrekiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lynette D, Manager at Warbirds & Wheels, responded to this review, 19 December 2013
Thanks for the comments. We are very pleased with how the Ralph Watson Workshop exhibition has come together. A real 'Kiwi ingenuity' story - a bit like the Burt Munroe story.
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South Australia, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
1,046 reviews
358 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 654 helpful votes
“To the Plane Enthusiast”
Reviewed 10 October 2013

We went during the Easter Festival and it is simply stunning to see such an array of old warbirds and old aircraft doing fly past and you can see on the ground. The highlight of our whole trip was to see the only flying restored WW11 Mosquito bomber. Those Rolls Royce Merlins are amazing.
Book accommodation early as Wanaka gets full.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tim J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lynette D, Manager at Warbirds & Wheels, responded to this review, 19 December 2013
The reviewer may be a little confused because we have never had the Mosquito aircraft here in Wanaka. The Mosquito, which was built in Auckland, left some months after completion for the United States where it is now located.
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Brisbane, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“An impressive regional museum”
Reviewed 1 October 2013

My Husband, Son and I visited Warbirds and Wheels on our recent visit to New Zealand. We were surprised at the quality of the vehicles and the presentation, the museum was well set up and labelled. We all really enjoyed our visit. The staff in the museum and 50's diner were very helpful and made us feel welcome. The shop had a good range of products. We visited on a fine day and there were hardly any other people there. Great place to visit on a rainy day, they even have an old car to sit in to take your photo.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank LuluDol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lynette D, Manager at Warbirds & Wheels, responded to this review, 19 December 2013
Thank you for your comments. Great to hear you had such a good time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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