Wheels show next year to be the last

A grader shows its stuff in the earthmoving pit at Wheels at Wanaka in 2023. PHOTO: GREGOR...
A grader shows its stuff in the earthmoving pit at Wheels at Wanaka in 2023. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The next Wheels at Wanaka is set to be the biggest yet, organisers say, but it is also going to be the last.

The show alternates every year with Warbirds over Wanaka and tickets have just gone on sale.

But in a press release last week, organisers said the event next Easter would be the fourth and also the last.

It promised to be a grand finale — a fitting occasion to fondly farewell something that has captivated vehicle enthusiasts from across the country and the world, organisers said.

Allan Dippie. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Allan Dippie. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Wheels at Wanaka general manager Allan Dippie said it was best to go out on a high and the fourth show would be exactly that.

The three-day event will centre on the centennial of the founding of the Caterpillar brand and he hoped some sort of world record attempt would tie in with the celebration.

Mr Dippie said nothing lasted forever.

"We can’t go on forever. It does take a lot to organise and we are a small team," he said.

"I’m not saying we won’t do something else. But we do not know what that is.

"Every event had a lifespan and I’m not saying this one has reached that but we have decided this is going to be the last one."

He said the show had not got too big and it had turned out to be more successful than they had ever thought.

"People do love it. We have built up a huge following and so many people have said they never expected it to be like this, when they come."

He said it was basically a fulltime job for him a year out from the event and a small team of about 20 helped with the organising.

The event was at Three Parks and it was likely to run out of room if it continued.

That was not an issue, though, as it could have easily moved to another area as all that was needed was "a couple of paddocks".

He was promising to go with a bang.

"Anyone who loves machines, cars, tractors — anything and everything with wheels or tracks, really — would be mad to miss it."

Wheels at Wanaka is set for a big farewell.

"The 2025 event will be buzzing with energy, with rare and exceptional vehicles plus all number of machines including hundreds of tractors, steam engines, cars, and trucks along with dirt bike races, interactive ATV, 4WD and rally demos, a huge earthmoving extravaganza, tractor and truck pull competitions and a non-stop parade-ground programme.

"There’ll be a host of activities to engage attendees of all ages."