Wheels at Wānaka rakes in $19.2 million

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 16, 2023

The 2023 Wheels at Wānaka event attracted approximately $19.2 million of total direct spending, according to a new report.

The Wheels at Wānaka Event Economic impact Assessment and Visitor Experience report from Research First found $13.5 million of the total direct spending could be attributed to event motivated expenditure.

This was a substantial increase from 2021, where the Wheels at Wānaka event attracted approximately $10.3 million of total direct spending; $6.9 million of which could be attributed to event motivated expenditure.

Total event expenditure from outside the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago Districts amounted to just over $750,000. This includes gross revenue from ticket sales and total sponsorship revenue. Trade and food stall sales brought in an estimated $1.5 million.

Patron numbers for the 2023 event doubled to 40,700 over three days, compared with 25,000 over three days in 2021.

Saturday, 8 April was the biggest day, with 71% of visitor/spectators attending just one day, while 20% attended on two days and 9% were there all three days.

Overall enjoyment and satisfaction ratings are very high, with 98% of participants having enjoyed the event and the overall experience and 99% enjoying the overall atmosphere. Similar to 2021, the variety at the event was a clear drawcard, especially the variety of vehicles and machinery on display.

There were 2500 to 3000 various wheels and machines on show over the three-day event, of which 350 were trucks and 106 earthmovers.

Wheels at Wanaka is governed by the Wheels at Wanaka Charitable Trust, a not-for-profit operation that wishes to provide surplus funds to selected regional community organisations. The 2023 event facilitated $100,000 in fundraising and donations for community groups involved.

“The team and are I delighted with this year’s results and can’t thank the vehicle owners, partners, volunteers and patrons enough for the vital roles they play in our show,” said event general manager Allan Dippie.

Wheels at Wanaka will make a return in 2025 with the vision of being “Australasia’s biggest and best all-vehicle show, attracting international visitors and industry leaders alike.”

The theme for 2025 is 100 Years of Caterpillar. The show will take place on Easter Weekend 2025, Friday 18 to Sunday 20 April.