Wanaka Search & Rescue

Providing Search and Rescue support for the lost, missing and injured

If you’re lost, missing or injured, day or night – we’ll come and find you.

That’s the basic premise that drives the 80-odd volunteers of Wanaka Search and Rescue, which is affiliated with NZ LandSAR. We operate in the Mt Aspiring National Park and the Wanaka lakes area, from the high country to the river valleys – as well as the town environs.

Wanaka Search and Rescue is one of the busiest back-country search and rescue groups in New Zealand, averaging 45-55 operations in a busy year.

Given that most rescues happen between November and March, that’s a huge commitment by the all-volunteer team.  Our teams include bush, river rescue and specialist alpine, as well as a marine team covering lakes Wanaka and Hawea.  These teams are coordinated by the incident management team that works with the Wanaka Police and the Wellington’s Rescue Coordination Centre to run the SAR operations.

I cannot imagine what it is like to search for a person, especially knowing that you will probably not find them alive. I won’t try to imagine what you have all seen during your time at LandSAR…Each and every person on your team has signed up for what must be one of the hardest jobs.

We exist solely on grants and donations. No-one gets billed for being rescued. And no-one gets paid for being what’s been called ‘the good bastards who get out of a warm bed on a cold night to go in search of perfect strangers”. But we need money for equipment, for training, for internet, radio  and satellite communications and for the mundane essentials like rates, insurance and power.

Wanaka Search and Rescue is a registered charity and all donations are tax deductible.

SUPPORT US & help save a life