I find the most interesting thing about Omarama its pronounciation: while any indo-germanic / romanic speaker would pronounce it "Omarama", the kiwis, true to the Maori root of the name, call it "Omarama". I like the first (incorrect) version better, as it sounds like the german for "Grandmarama". The name apparently means "clear light" in Maori.

But I digress: there are so many other things to mention in a node about Omarama: it's a tiny wee village at the end of State Highway 83 with less than 400 souls population consisting of a couple of nondescript houses, two pubs and a garage.

Additionally to that it has a small airport, that attracts glider pilots from all over the world who come for the amazing thermals that the proximity to the Southern Alps gives this area. The village with its airport is nestled between the waitaki river and the alps and was centre of a 100 year conflict between the crown and the South Island iwi Ngai Tahu, which was only settled in 1944. In 2002, professional madman and extreme sports person Steve Fosset tried to break the world record in high altitude gliding, but ultimately failed due to the weather. The whole of North Otago was apparently amazed by his private jet and the fact that he wasn't a farmer.

Anything else to do? Well, if you're not into fishing, gliding or sheep, you could always set up camp on the roadside and watch the thousands of german tourists in their shiny campervans that drive through the place and wonder why so many other germans seem to be around. Makes wonderful viewing, especially when they realise that they are surrounded by their fellow countrymen drinking Becks, when all they wanted to do is get away from them.

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