About Omarama

Omarama is an attractive high country township ideally situated at the junction of State Highway 83 and State Highway 8, to serve the tourist and holiday-maker. Wide, empty roads are a pleasure to drive on.

Accommodation is well catered for, with top of the line hotels and motels, homestays, camping grounds and a visitor friendly local pub. A choice of restaurants, a winery, take away food outlets, a general store, tourist shops, and two large service stations all operate seven days.

For something a bit more down to earth, sight seers can visit the spectacular Clay Cliffs a few kilometres west of Omarama.

Omarama Places to Visit

The Ahuriri River

The nearby Ahuriri River is world famous for its rainbow and brown trout fishing, with trophies reaching more than 4.5 kg. The best stretches are the headwaters where you must hike in and camp or, if finances permit, hire a helicopter. Omarama is within an hour of a variety of equally renowned trout fishing streams and rivers.

But the Ahuriri isn’t limited to fishing enthusiasts. It is home to the largest numbers of the rare Black Stilt and a variety of other fascinating birdlife. Among those you might encounter here or on other high country rivers are Pied Stilts, Pied Oystercatchers, Banded Dotterels, the rare Wrybill, Paradise Shelducks, Harrier Hawks, Falcons, Black Shags, Black-fronted Terns, Kingfishers, Pukekos, Spurwing Plovers, White-faced Herons, Canada Goose, and Welcome Swallows.

Omarama Activities


Aircraft Rental Service, Southern Soaring – different flight packages available.

Omarama’s gliding is renowned among glider pilots the world over. The Nor’wester blows steady and warm off the Alps to form the famous Northwest Arch, a thermal that can take the intrepid pilot to 10,000 metres. World records have been set from here, and facilities are available for accommodating both people and gliders at the airfield.

In August 2002, millionaire Steve Fossett made an attempt on the gliding world record. Unfortunately the weather conditions were unfavourable.

Walking Tracks

There are many well-defined walking tracks above the dams and rivers, with breathtaking scenic views. More extensive tramps can be made into magnificent alpine river valleys, native beech forests, and mountain passes.

Huxley Gorge, Temple Basin, Ohau areas, routes cater for beginners and serious trampers. Also, 1½ – 2 hour Peninsula circuit walk above the Benmore dam – local walks by the river (entrance opposite Mobil). Check at the Info Centre if unsure.

Clay Cliffs

For something a bit more down to earth, sight seers can visit the spectacular Clay Cliffs a few kilometres west of Omarama. Natural Heritage protected site – about 15 mins drive, vehicle donation at gate. Amazing natural erosion created as a result of the Ostler fault. Often used for film site.


Renowned fishing in the Ahuriri River, Lake Benmore, or hydro canals. Products and licences available at the Sierra Motel or Caltex Garage – Fishing Guides available.

Alpine Lakes 4×4 Adventure Tours

Offers 4 wheel drive tours, walks and white water kayaking, mountain bike rides (mild to wild).

  • Alpine Classic Tour – Alps 2 Ocean – For those who want to experience the breath-taking alpine highlights, of the A20 Trail from Mt Cook Station through to Omarama. With this tour you don’t have to worry about packing and transferring your luggage each morning as your accommodation is based centrally in Twizel and we provide a transfer back to your home each day.
  • High Country Journeys – have been operating self-drive, 4×4 tours for the past 20 years and have plenty of experience in making sure you’ll have many happy, memorable experiences on your own self-drive adventure that’ll take you into the heart of the South Island high country.

High Country Salmon

On the Omarama road to Twizel – visit the farm, catch your own salmon, buy one fresh or smoked.

Golf Course

Clubs for hire at the Omarama Golf Club. Green fee applies. Irrigated greens and tee areas.

Omarama Rodeo

Always on the 28th of December each year, held at Buscot Station.

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Discovery Tours

Twizel / Mt Cook walks, Farm visits, Heli-biking, Mountain bike riding and Lord of Rings film site tours.