Close to the Southern Alps, mountain ranges, and lakes, the junction town of Ōmarama at SH8 and SH83 is a charming place to stop and stay.

Ōmarama is Māori for ‘place of light’, and you will understand why when you look to the skies. The crystal clear air is so pure and the nights so black that the star-gazing opportunities here are a once in a lifetime experience.

marama is the gliding capital of NZ. Both national and international gliding records have been achieved here, with the wind conditions and unique uplift attracting record seekers, such as Steve Fossett who smashed a speed record soaring above Ōmarama.

The great outdoors can be enjoyed by exploring, tramping, hunting, fishing, kayaking, and horse riding throughout the lush and rugged Ahuriri Conservation Park.

While in Ōmarama the stark and striking landforms of the Paritea Clay Cliffs beckon. This is one of the many featured Geosites in the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark.  From SH8 make your way along to Henburn Road. Once parked, there is a 15-minute walk before you’ll find yourself open-mouthed with a curiosity shared by so many—how many millions of years passed for the cliffs to look like this?

The Geosite was originally formed as gravels, sands and silt in freshwater lakes and rivers. The sediments, which were deposited around 20 million years ago, were over time buried and compressed, then uplifted and eroded.

Surrounded by sharp pinnacles and steep ravines the terrain here is not suitable for people with mobility issues.

If your legs are cramped or weary after a long day’s drive, then you’ll want to end the day in eco-friendly glamour at the iconic Ōmarama Hot Tubs and soak up those mountain views.


Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

New Zealand’s longest and most spectacular cycle trail – this is a trail not to be missed. The name says it all; start at Aoraki Mt Cook in the heart of the stunning Southern Alps or the equally beautiful Lake Tekapo Village and wind your way round mountains, deep-blue lakes and canals, then rolling farmland before meeting the Pacific Ocean on the edge of Oamaru Harbour.

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Clay Cliffs

Explore these staggering natural land forms. The Clay Cliffs are a geological wonder; ‘bad land’ sharp pinnacles and ridges separated by steep and narrow ravines.

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High Country Salmon

High Country Salmon is a boutique, 100% New Zealand family owned salmon farm, situated 3km south of Twizel, and 25km from Omarama.  We grow glacial mountain salmon (chinook or king salmon) in the hydro canal system – this constant flow of clean water means that our salmon are fitter than

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Lake Benmore

Lake Benmore is New Zealand’s largest artificial lake, created by the Benmore Hydro-Dam. It is about 74km² and holds about 1.25 billion cubic meters of water – that’s 1.5 times the water in Wellington Harbour!

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Sailors Cutting

Sailors Cutting is a popular camping and fishing site for local Kiwis. A lovely resting spot on the shore of Lake Benmore, the view across the lake is a treat to behold.

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