Wanaka has an average annual rainfall just half the national average at just 682mm (27 inches). January to March are hot and dry and temperatures can reach up to 30°C (86°F) during the day, though nights can be quite cool. July to September see cold, crisp days of 0°C–14°C (32°F–57°F), and plenty of snowfall in the surrounding mountains.
Wanaka Rodeo (tel. 03/443-7736) is held in early January. Rippon Open-Air Music Festival (tel. 03/443-1833; www.ripponfestival.co.nz) is a biennial open-air music festival held in a vineyard in early February; the next festival is in 2012 . April's Warbirds Over Wanaka International Air Show (www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com) combines classic vintage and veteran aircraft, machinery, fire engines, and tractors with dynamic Air Force displays and aerobatic teams in the natural amphitheater of the Upper Clutha Basin. It's one of the top four Warbirds Airshows in the world and is held every second Easter in even-numbered years; the next show is April 6–8, 2012. In autumn, celebrate the Festival of Colour (www.festivalofcolour.co.nz), 5 days of intense arts, dance, theater, and music; the next festival will be held in mid-April 2013. There are also numerous ski festivals during the winter; the visitor center has details.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.