Easter celebration on wheels

Vintage tractor collection. | Photo: Allison McLean

Wheels at Wanaka Easter Extravaganza is set to kick start its maiden voyage at Three Parks to celebrate all things with wheels or tracks.

Four normally separate events will be showcased together over the two-day, biennial event to celebrate New Zealand’s transportation, farming and construction industry heritage. The sky is the limit on the new tradition of Easter weekend activities as the committees behind Warbirds Over Wanaka, International Airshow and Wheels at Wanaka rotate their shows annually.

“It’s a fair with all of the early tractors, steam engines and vintage machinery, and it’s an earthmoving and engine demonstration with all of the giant earthmoving machines,” said Allan Dippie, trustee of Wheels of Wanaka Charitable Trust. “It’s also a classic car and truck show, which includes motorbikes. The car show will be the biggest component as we are not discriminating over what kind of car; if it’s special to you, you can bring it.”

Dippie and his fellow trustees are setting up the entire collection at the 50-acre site. The melting-pot run of show was designed to cater to all interests ranging from children to engine-enthusiasts, complete with food vendors, trade stalls, tractor square dancing and parades.

Scores of vehicle registrations have been received thus far, including a family who will tractor-trek from Balclutha in their 1970s tractors.

“It’s going to be a real time warp,” Dippie said. “We’ve been encouraging people to dress up in period costumes to suit their cars.”

The event is even drumming up international interest from as far as America. Dippie encourages all guests to book their accommodations early.

With backing from a QLDC’s event grant, Dippie said the charity event will benefit Coastguard Wanaka Lakes and its development of the Eely Point rescue centre. It will also support the group that originally approached him about organising the show, West Otago Vintage Club.

Ticket information can be found at www.wheelsatwanaka.co.nz.


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