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Live Learning

February 10, 2021 Latest news

An “experience” is often the adjective used to describe the much-loved Wanaka A&P Show – this is the place where people come from all over New Zealand to enjoy the incredible scenery, top-quality family entertainment, traditional agricultural and livestock events, and varied shopping and activities. 

But a surprising by-product of the experience is the knowledge gained via the journey along the bustling makeshift aisles of the vibrant Wanaka Showgrounds. This isn’t just an event to experience, it’s an opportunity to learn about NZ’s agricultural roots, our community and our environment. 

This year, we’ve kicked the education aspect up a notch with the introduction of the Our Place area, held in the former Life & Style Marquee (which has now moved to the rugby clubrooms). 

Both fun and interactive, Our Place is a partnership between the Wanaka Show and WAI Wanaka, a non-profit set up to safeguard and improve the quality of the water in and around the broader Upper Clutha catchment. WAI is the Maori word for water (the acronym stands for Water Action Initiative) and the organisation is dedicated to sharing their knowledge about our precious alpine waterways and the real impacts of human activity on water quality. 

Our Place also highlights some other crucial organisations such as SUCfree Wanaka, the Forest & Bird Kiwi Conservation Club, Mount Aspiring College Team Green, Grow Wanaka and the Otago Museum, as well as the brilliant work they do to protect our natural world and promote sustainability.  

Another important aspect of the Upper Clutha environment – as well as our economy – is wool. This is reflected at the Show in the New Zealand Wool WoolOn tent, a cosy space that educates the advantages of wool as a fibre, and where you can find out about the amazing uses, properties and features of wool.  

The annual wool competition has been an integral part of the Wanaka Show since its inception. The various fleeces are categorised according to breed, type, fineness and preparation and are judged against national standards by an independent wool expert. Meanwhile, the wool exhibition is a must-see in the adjoining marquee; this is the place to go for fascinating yarns about the latest in wool innovation.   

There are also many secrets shared and recipes gathered from the home industry displays, as well as the trade stalls where hosts are keen and waiting to have a chat about their trailblazing product or service made with pure Kiwi ingenuity. No matter where you travel throughout the Wanaka Showgrounds on Show day, there’s something new to learn about.

Come and visit “OUR PLACE” for a fun and interactive experience.

  • WAI Wānaka’s vision is to safeguard and enhance water quality, ecosystem function and biodiversity within the Upper Clutha basin
  • Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust is a community-based native plant nursery that specialises in propagating plants of local origin and uses these plants for localised native habitat restoration
  • SUC Free Wānaka is a community led campaign to make our beautiful place free of the scourge that is single-use cups by 2022
  • Grow Wānaka is a community food hub that diverts food scraps from the landfill and uses them to build healthy soil and grow nutritious kai
  • WAO (We Are One) aims to educate, inspire and enable New Zealand communities to accelerate towards a carbon-zero, regenerative future and beyond
  • Kiwi Conservation Club is Forest & Bird’s young members group, connecting Kiwi kids to New Zealand’s amazing wildlife and wild places
  • Team Green from Mount Aspiring College is self-driven group of young students interested in taking action in the community on sustainability and environmental issues
  • Backyard Trapping is focused on Predator Trapping in Upper Clutha’s backyard
  • Friends of Bullock Creek exists to protect, restore and enhance the environment of Bullock Creek from head waters to its entry point into Lake Wanaka
  • Otago Museum shares the natural, cultural and scientific stories of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.