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It’s no secret that the top attraction in Omarama is the hot pools, but there are plenty of other things to do in Omarama too. The Clay Cliffs are pretty spectacular, and the Benmore Peninsula track is well worth doing. You probably find you’ll be quite surprised at what this small rural town has to offer, aside from being incredibly scenic of course!
Omarama is the perfect place to visit if you want to get off the beaten track a bit. The town is nowhere near as busy as Queenstown and Wanaka. It’s just as beautiful too!
So where in New Zealand is Omarama?
It’s about a 1 hour and 20 min drive from Wanaka, and definitely worth it.
If you’re staying in Wanaka it’s very doable to do a day trip to Omarama or if you really want to get to know the area, you could book some accommodation and spend a night or two.
10 Best Things to do in Omarama
1. Soak in the Omarama Hot Pools
One of the best things to do in Omarama is to visit the Omarama Hot Pools.
No matter the time of year, or the time of day, you’re in for some incredible views. The Omarama Hot Pools are set right in the heart of the Omarama Valley with 360-degree views of the Southern Alps.
If you’re familiar with the popular Onsen Hot Pools situated in Queenstown, Omarama is a lot less busy and more private.
At night you’ll be able to relax under the stars and during the day you can take in the beautiful landscape.
The awesome part about Omarama Hot Pools is you have the ability to adjust the temperature of the water yourself.
To cool it down just turn the tap to let fresh cold water trickle in, or to heat it up, open the lid to where the natural wood fire burns so the flames get hotter with the oxygen.
You’ll probably find the water gets quite hot after awhile so it’s great to have a way to cool it down a bit!
Each hot pool has been designed so it’s private and are nestled amongst trees and shrubs for optimal relaxation. The hot pools also have their own private changing room and free drinking water is provided.
Omarama are proud of the fact that they use natural and sustainable New Zealand resources. The wood that heats the pools is locally sourced and the water runs off the gorgeous surrounding mountains. This same water is what runs through the tap when you need to adjust the temperature.
To take your experience up another level there are various platters you can order, ranging from cheese, to dessert to antipasto. They can do a vegetarian option as well.
Omarama Hot Pools Location and How to Get There
Omarama Hot Pools are located at 29 Omarama Ave, along State Highway 8, in the Main Omarama Twizel Region.
The Omarama Hot Pools are about a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from Wanaka. From Omarama, drive south on SH8 for about 4km. The Omarama Hot Pools will be signposted on the left just before you reach the turn-off to Omarama Saddle.
Omarama Hot Pools Price
There are two different sessions you can book for Omarama hot pools, either 60 minute morning sessions or 90 minute sessions from about midday.
The morning 60 minute sessions run from 10.30am – 12pm and you can have up to 8 people per tub. The 90 minute sessions run from 11.30am onwards.
While we were here we did the 90 minute session and it was the perfect amount of time to totally unwind and relax.
Towels are included free of charge so no need to worry about packing one.
Hot Pool 60 min session prices
1 person = $50
2 people = $40 per person
3 people = $35 per person
4+ people = $30 per person
Hot Pool 90 minute session prices
1 person = $61
2 people = $54 per person
3 people = $45 per person
4+ people = $40 per person
Children are also allowed in the hot pools for an extra charge of $20 for 5-14 year olds or $15 for under 5’s.
If you love a good sauna, there’s also an option to add this to your hot pool experience.
Totalling 120 minutes, prepare to feel super relaxed.
Hot pools + Sauna prices
1 person = $85
2 people = $80 per person
3 people = $70 per person
4+ people = $60 per person
2. Walk the Benmore Peninsula Track
The Benmore Peninsula Track is one of the most popular hiking trails in Omarama. The track winds through native bush and grasslands, offering stunning views of Lake Benmore and the surrounding mountains.
The Benmore Peninsula Track is an easy-to-moderate hike, taking approximately two hours to complete. However, the walk can be extended by taking side trips to explore the many lakes and streams that dot the landscape.
Whether you’re looking for a short stroll or a longer hike, the Benmore Peninsula Track is a great way to experience the beauty of Omarama.
3. Visit the Clay Cliffs
Omarama clay cliffs are a must-see for anyone visiting Omarama. The cliffs are made of clay that has been naturally eroded over time, and they provide a stunning view of the Omarama Valley.
Visitors can walk along the Omarama clay cliffs, or take a short hike to the top of the cliffs for an unobstructed view. The Omarama clay cliffs are also a popular spot for photography, and many visitors come to Omarama specifically to see the cliffs.
Whether you’re looking for a breathtaking view or a unique photo opportunity, the Omarama clay cliffs are sure to impress.
4. Stop at Lindis Pass Lookout
Lindis Pass is one of the most scenic lookout points in New Zealand. It is a high mountain pass in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Lindis Pass is located between the towns of Lindis and Omarama, at an elevation of 973 meters.
The pass is popular with tourists for its scenic views. There are several lookout points along the pass, as well as a number of walking and cycling trails.
The Lindis River winds its way through a valley of golden tussock, and on a clear day, you can see Mount Cook in the distance. The best time to visit Lindis Pass is in the late afternoon when the sun casts a warm glow over the landscape.
5. Cycle the Alps 2 Ocean Trail
The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is one of the most scenic cycle trails in New Zealand. It winds its way through alpine forests, tussocklands, and river valleys, offering breathtaking views of the Southern Alps.
The trail can be completed in stages, and there are a number of day trails that can be done from Omarama. The trail is well-marked and relatively easy to follow, making it a great option for both experienced and novice cyclists.
One of the most popular day trails is the section from Otematata to Omarama. This trail takes you through some of the most picturesque scenery in the area, including Lake Aviemore and the Ahuriri River Valley.
If you’re looking for a challenge, you can also continue on to Twizel or Mount Cook Village.
However you choose to cycle the Alps 2 Ocean Trail, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
6. Take a ride in a Glide Plane
Glide planes are a unique way to experience flying. With no engine, they rely on the wind to stay up in the air.
This makes for a very smooth and peaceful ride.
Glide planes are also very easy to fly. No previous experience is required. You can even fly them yourself if you want!
Trial flights are available in 30, 60, or 120-minute increments. Or, for the ultimate experience, you can fly for a whole day. Glide planes are a great way to see the world from a different perspective and they are perfect for any occasion.
Book your experience today!
7. Get a photo with the Omarama Sheep Statue
The Omarama Sheep Statue is a must-see for any visitor to Omarama.
And it’s not just a pretty face – the Omarama Sheep Statue also has an important message.
The statue was built to raise awareness of the importance of farming in New Zealand. Omarama is a small town in the heart of New Zealand’s sheep country, and the statue is a tribute to the town’s history and heritage.
If you’re visiting Omarama, be sure to check out the Omarama Sheep Statue. And don’t forget to grab a selfie!
8. Relax by the fire with some tasty food at The Wrinkly Rams
The Wrinkly Rams is the best cafe in Omarama, so of course, it had to make the list as one of the best things to do in Omarama. It’s a great place to relax by the fire with some tasty food.
The cafe has a cosy atmosphere, and the food is delicious. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the prices are reasonable. The custard square is definitely worth a try!
Overall the Wrinkly Rams is a great place to eat, drink, and relax.
9. Eat lunch at The Pink Glider Cafe
At The Pink Glider Cafe the food is delicious and the service is excellent. The staff is friendly and helpful, and they make sure that you have everything you need. The atmosphere is perfect for a casual lunch date.
The prices are reasonable, and the food is always fresh. The atmosphere is pleasant and relaxed, and the restaurant is clean and well-kept. The Pink Glider Cafe is a great place to eat lunch, or any meal for that matter!
10. Enjoy a pub meal at Boots and Jandals
There’s nothing quite like a pub meal after a long day of exploring. And at Boots and Jandals in Omarama, you can enjoy classic Kiwi fare in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The menu features all your favourite dishes, from meat pies and fish and chips to hearty stews and salads. And of course, there’s a selection of local beers and wines to accompany your meal.
So whether you’re stopping in for a quick bite or staying for the evening, Boots and Jandals is the perfect place to relax and refuel.
If you’re not so keen on doing a day trip from Wanaka, another option is to stay in Omarama itself! Also a great option if you want to explore the Omarama area a little more.
There are plenty of accommodation options available, from camping and caravan parks to B&Bs and hotels. Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park is a great option if you’re wanting to camp or are after a comfortable, affordable cabin.
They offer powered sites as well cabins you can rent if you don’t have your own gear.
Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park
The Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park is situated on SH8, just two minutes from Omarama township, in the stunning Omarama Valley. The Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park has a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including self-contained units, cabins and powered or unpowered campsites. The Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park also has a range of facilities and activities on offer, including being pet friendly!
👉🏻 Check Reviews and Prices of Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park Here!
Ahuriri Motel is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a peaceful and quiet setting. The motel is situated in the heart of Omarama, a mountain community in the middle of nowhere, and surrounded by a spacious garden-like setting.
This country atmosphere and stunning views of the mountain ranges are just a short distance from beautiful lakes for boating or fishing.
With 14 units available, we’ll be sure to have the perfect space for you and your group.
👉🏻 Check Reviews and Prices of Ahuriri Motel Here!
Sierra Motel is a comfortable and convenient place to stay when you’re in Omarama. The motel is situated within walking distance of village shops and restaurants, and there’s even a fishing tackle shop on site.
Sierra Motel is also cycle friendly, making it the perfect place to stay for cyclists on the new Alps to Ocean cycle trail. And if you’re looking to relax after a long day of exploring, Omarama Hot Pools are situated opposite the motel.
So no matter what your plans are while you’re in Omarama, Sierra Motel is the perfect place to base yourself.
👉🏻 Check Reviews and Prices of Sierra Motel Here!
Conclusion: 10 Best Things to do in Omarama New Zealand
Omarama is a stunning town in the heart of the Omarama Valley, and there are plenty of things to do there. It’s not as popular as the likes of Queenstown and Wanaka so if you’re after a place with a more laidback pace, Omarama is for you.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, from exploring the Omarama Hot Pools to hiking in the stunning mountain ranges. And with plenty of accommodation options available, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Omarama today!