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“Simply not enough time to do it justice!”

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
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USD 27.19*
and up
WWI and WWII Combo Exhibitions at the Omaka...
Ranked #1 of 49 things to do in Blenheim
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Omaka Avation Heritage Centre presents the outstanding Knights of the Sky exhibition, featuring Sir Peter Jackson's own collection of World War One aircraft and artifacts. The story of aviation, its development and the men that flew them, is brought to life in sensational sets created by the internationally acclaimed talent of WingNut Films and Weta Workshop. The aircraft are a unique mix of originals and replicas, some of which are flyable and/or can only be seen at Omaka including the Caproni CA.22. The Centre boasts an extensive collection of memorabilia and these are divided into two areas, one devoted to the Allies and the other to the Central Powers. The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre is extremely privileged to be the caretakers of these historical treasures, which include personal items of Manfred von Richthofen, the legendary Red Baron, top scoring Allied ace Frenchman Rene Fonck, top scroring American ace Eddie Rickenbacker, Germany's Ernst Udet ranked second only to Richtohfen when WW1 ended and the infamous Herman Goering. The Knights of the Sky Exhibition is a display like no other and you don't have to be an aviation enthusiast to enjoy it!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

We had only 3 hrs to tour both the WW1 & 2 exhibits and we knew as soon as we entered the WW1 ‘hangar’ that time was always going to be our enemy. The exhibits were simply amazing and placing them in action scene scenarios including mannequins, sound and light brought this aspect of the war to life. The guides were very informative and clearly knowledgeable on the subject matter and most importantly passionate! The descriptors at each exhibit were comprehensive leaving very few questions unanswered. Unfortunately we had to rush thru the WW2 hangar, finishing with the very depressing Siege of Leningrad sound n light show and a quick look at the Spitfire! The following day we met a fellow traveller, who also visited the Centre, who said he rated it at least the equal of the Smithsonian.

Sir Peter Jackson and the crew at Omaka have done a wonderful job and puts Blenheim on the world map!

Thank you!

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Chapps1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"peter jackson"
in 139 reviews
"world war"
in 86 reviews
"red baron"
in 57 reviews
"weta workshop"
in 49 reviews
"world class"
in 66 reviews
"vintage aircraft"
in 19 reviews
"amazing display"
in 16 reviews
"life size"
in 13 reviews
"two hours"
in 23 reviews
"allow plenty of time"
in 14 reviews
"air museum"
in 16 reviews
"both sides"
in 13 reviews
"great museum"
in 19 reviews
"guided tour"
in 38 reviews
"car museum"
in 19 reviews
"omaka aviation"
in 27 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 25 reviews

104 - 108 of 1,298 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2018

You don't have to be a history buff to enjoy a visit here: the human story so masterfully told in these super-realistic scenes is enough to engage anyone's attention, young or old, expert or not. If you've been to the Gallipoli exhibition at Te Papa or the Great War exhibition at the Dominion Museum, both in Wellington, you'll already know that you are in for another mind-bending immersive experience created by the inimitable Sir Peter Jackson of "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" fame, in collaboration with the world-famous Weta Workshop. Yes, it's THAT GOOD.

Plan at least half a day, more if you want to read all the historical information or chat with one of the knowledgeable guides about anything or everything. There are actually two exhibits here, with separate admission fees so you can see either one or both as you choose.

"Knights of the Sky" features World War I aircraft and rare memorabilia, such as an Iron Cross cut from the fuselage of the Red Baron's Fokker after he crash-landed it, having been fatally wounded by a shot to the chest as he pursued enemy aircraft. There are personal stories of heroic individuals, including a New Zealand ace who jumped out of the cockpit and onto the wing to steady and then to steer the disabled craft until he could get low enough to the ground to jump off safely. That is a thrilling event to see recreated here, with an "up close and personal" look at the guy whose steady nerves brought him back safely against great odds.

"Dangerous Skies" features World War II aircraft and fascinating memorabilia from the Eastern Front as well as a gripping short film on the Battle of Stalingrad. The exhibition display about Lydia Litvyak, a female ace fighter and "Hero of the Soviet Union" is fascinating and utterly arresting when you come upon it, with its life-size mannequin realistic enough to look like she could stroll over and have a conversation with you. Her story is quite incredible. She was not officially recognized until 1990. This was because her plane was shot down, but it was not known if she had died or been captured. If the latter, in Stalin's USSR, this would brand her as a traitor. It took President Gorbachev to award the honors due her nearly half a century later.

This is one of the best museums I have ever visited, with realistic-down-to-the-last-detail displays of life-size panoramas that provide each historic craft with its proper context, thanks to the creativity and imagination of Sir Peter Jackson and the high-tech magic of the Weta Workshop. What I've mentioned here is just a tiny part of what you will find to engage and impress as you stroll through the exhibitions. It is all thoroughly captivating, and not to be missed if you are anywhere near here.

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank CarolDM1900
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

Our day at Omaka was so amazing. We visited with friends from Auckland and can away amazed at the displays. These have to be the best in New Zealand. Be prepared to spend the day.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2018

Exquisite detail of models/displays. Some incredible work has gone into the whole experience. Staff very helpful. Well worth a visit.

Date of experience: July 2017
Thank TheHoundandI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 March 2018

The expertise if Peter Jackson’s company shows through. ReLly well done and interesting even for the non war/history enthusiast.

Date of experience: February 2018
Thank DandR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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