Omarama

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An aerial view of Omarama
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An aerial view of Omarama

Omarama is a small township (population <400) at the junction of State Highways 8 and 83, near the southern end of the Mackenzie Basin, in the South Island of New Zealand. Omarama is part of the Waitaki District, and at the northern edge of the Otago Province. Whilst most of the Waitaki District resides within North Otago Province, Omarama appears to be part of neighboring Canterbury Province.

It has a well-deserved reputation as a world class gliding area, gaining fame among sailplane pilots around the world after hosting the 1995 Gliding World Cup. Omarama is Maori for "Place of Light", a reference to its extraordinarily pure and clear sky, which also makes it of great interest to astronomers.

Scenic flights are available to tourists who want to fly in a glider. The glider flights range from 20 minute local flights to longer flights into the Southern Alps. See Southern Soaring (http://www.soaring.co.nz/) - the company also runs a world famous glider pilot training school.

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