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What’s happening in North Canterbury?


North Canterbury is putting on exciting events to round off summer in 2020. Everyone is heading north for the fresh air, fun times and family get togethers.

 

 

Guy Cater Comedian Magician and Hypnotist
22 February
Head to Rangiora for some hilarious stand-up comedy and hypnotist talent at the Rangiora RSA this week. The show starts at 7:30pm at the Rangiora RSA. Tickets $25.
www.hypnotist.co.nz


Wellbeing Festival
29 February
Even bigger than last year, the Wellbeing Festival offers healthy new experiences and activities, from yoga and Tai Chi demonstrations to sampling of delicious fare. Invest in wellbeing. Head to Kaiapoi Food Forest, on the corner of Cass and Meadow Streets from 10am to 3pm.
For details contact the Kaiapoi Food Forest Trust on 03 327 0066.
www.kai.net.nz


The Philippines comes to North Canterbury
29 February
Cultural events celebrating the diversity of the community will enlighten Waimakariri in 2020. Beginning the celebrations is the exciting exhibitions and presentations of traditional dance, music and food of the Philippines. The free event is from 11am to 3pm at Rangiora Town Hall Cinema.
Email denise.wiggins@wmk.govt.nz or phone 0800 965 468. Bookings are essential.
www.townhallcinemas.co.nz


Miscellaneous – an Art Exhibition
29 February to March 8
Three local artists – Jan Campbell, Nikki Parker and Mandy Palmer will showcase a collection of their artworks, aptly entitled Miscellaneous at The Brick Mill’s exhibition room, 1473 Main North Road, Waikuku from February 29 to March 8. Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm, Saturdays and Sunday 10am to 4pm.
www.visitwaimakariri.co.nz


Ashley River Ramble
1 March
Get a group together for a fun run, walk or cycle 12 kilometres along the Ashley-Rakahuri River – from Waikuku Beach to Ashley. Registration is from 8:30am for a 9am start, with spot prizes and refreshments at the Rangiora end of the Ashley River Picnic Grounds. All proceeds go to Koru Care Christchurch.
Contact the Rangiora Lions Club 03 310 6102 or 021 312 230.
www.ashleyriverramble.nz


Kaiapoi River Carnival and Boat Show
1 March
Jet boats, dragon boats, raft races, jet skis and classic boats are just some of the on-water action, including fun for the kids such as bumper boats and bouncy castles from 10am-3pm on Kaiapoi River. For information email kaiapoirivercarnival@gmail.com.
www.facebook.com/KaiapoiRiverCarnivalandBoatShow/


Swannanoa country fair
1 March
A fun day out with children’s rides, games, farming demonstrations, sheep shearing, gumboot throwing, craft and trade stalls, a plant stall, white elephant bargains, classic cars and fabulous food. From 10am to 3pm at Swannanoa Domain, $5 adult and children are free.
www.swannanoacountryfair.co.nz


Kaiapoi Fun Run
8 March
Whether it’s 5km or 10km, the fun run starts at 9am at Kaiapoi Borough School, Raven Quay, with spot prizes. Tickets can be purchased from the Kaiapoi i-site or on the day.
www.alltogetherkaiapoi.com


 

What’s happening North Canterbury?


 

Waitangi Day in the Waimakariri
Make a beeline to Rangiora for a full day of affordable fun with the family, which promises action aplenty this Waitangi Day, Thursday 6 February.


Inflatafest
All things inflatable in a kaleidoscope of colour will be bouncing about at Victoria Park in Percival Street, Rangiora, on 6 February.

Jump for joy among the obstacle courses, paddle boats, water walkers, bouncy houses and castles, carnival games, cliff jumps, slides, mini golf and more.

Refreshments after all that action will be on-hand at Food Truck Alley and Mr Whippy – and some special guests will surprise the crowd.

Tickets are $15 per child for a wristband which will give access to all the crazy, amazing activities for up to five hours.

Adults will only have to pay if they join in and play! Presented by Fun HQ and friends.

Bookings can be made through Eventbrite or phone 021 191 0103 for information.


Interislander Summer Festival Rangiora Harness Races
This Waitangi Day it’s Rangiora’s turn to saddle up for race day.

It is tipped to be a relaxed family day out at Rangiora Raceway in Lehmans Road, starting at 10:00am.

The setting is an unsurpassed casual country atmosphere, with fantastic live music and fun entertainment for the kids, in between the nail-biting racing action.

Feast from the food stalls or unwind in the sunshine with a picnic on the lawn.

To book a range of packages for groups and other options visit www.theraces.co.nz for more information.


Outstanding Oxford
Celebrate the new decade in the charming town of Oxford with its word-class backdrop of the Southern Alps.

Only 40 minutes from Christchurch – it’s a relaxing summer’s day drive to a special spot of North Canterbury countryside.

With its museum, divine cafés and unique boutique shops, Oxford just gets more enchanting by the year – and staying overnight is even quite tempting.


Oxford Farmers’ Market
The Oxford Farmers’ Market is a country farmers’ market where the stallholder is very likely to be the grower and producer.

Main Street in Oxford, from 9am to 12 noon, transforms with the sights, tastes, textures and smells of artisan and locally grown produce.

There is an appetising range of meats, cheeses, fruit, vegetables, flowers, preserves and sauces more than 15 stalls.

Don’t forget to grab brunch and a coffee while you’re there! The market is burgeoning, so the increasing diversity of local artisan craftspeople makes it a must to discover, while supporting local businesses.

Visit the Oxford Farmers’ Market on Sunday mornings, all year round, come rain, hail or shine.


Arts in Oxford
Catch the last few days of Oxford Art Gallery’s biggest exhibition, running until Saturday 26 January. Over 20 artists’ work are showcased, with local artist Amy Hoedemaker among the talent.

The gift shop is full of original handcrafted artwork such as pottery, jewellery, cards and books.

The gallery is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11am to 2pm and Friday to Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Phone 03 312 1639 or email artsinoxfordgallery@gmail.com.


 

Rural gem: Route 72


Us urban dwellers often forget the little rural gems that lie beyond the boundaries of Christchurch. One such gem is Route 72 Café Bar Emporium in the charming country village of Cust, just a 40-minute drive from the city.

 

ANDRÉ GLYNN PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Nestled in the heart of the village, Route 72 is a destination dining experience that marries exquisite food and shopping with a stunning country environment – perfect for a day out to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Upon arrival to the café, bar and emporium, you are greeted by local friendly staff and a buzzing atmosphere. Upstairs dining offers stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains, rivers and valleys – what better place to relax over a delicious breakfast or lunch?

Why not start with an outstanding organic fair-trade coffee as you peruse the tempting breakfast menu, available from 9 to 11.30am. Their flavoursome breakfast speciality the ‘Kiwiana’ – think homemade hollandaise, kumara rosti and free-range country eggs topped with either bacon or salmon – is their unique take on the classic eggs benedict. Other delectable breakfast dishes include French toast, fluffy pancakes and a traditional Farmers’ cooked breakfast.

Adjoining the restaurant is North Canterbury’s best kept secret – the emporium. Browse an impressive, eclectic range of treasures from giftware, art and homewares through to candles, skincare and clothing – here you’ll find Christmas gifts for the whole family! Recent special additions to the range include beautiful Italian linens.

Discover this North Canterbury gem at 1697 Cust Road. Table reservations are recommended – phone 03 312 5595.

 

 


 

Coolest little wine festival


The North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival returns to the Glenmark Domain in March, showcasing the very best the region has to offer.

 

NAOMI HAUSSMANN, NAYHAUSS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Following the popular event held earlier in the year, organisers are now getting ready for another brilliant festival that is set to feature 30 local wineries and more than 20 stalls offering a bounty of local and seasonal fare.
There really will be something on offer for everyone at ‘the coolest little wine festival’ on Sunday 8 March and it’s only a 45-minute drive north of Christchurch.

As you wander the beautiful grounds, you’ll have the opportunity to talk directly to the food and wine producers, and sample a range of local delicacies as well as new, exciting flavours.

When it’s time for a break, grab your favourite beverage and stop off at one of the food trucks. Enjoy the sunshine as you listen to some awesome tunes from local musicians and DJs.

Another popular attraction will be the Makers’ Market, a place where artisans share their skills through classes and demonstrations, and also the Talk Tent, which allows producers time to discuss provenance and sustainability.

The family-friendly festival will also include a bouncy castle, face painting and entertainment for the kids.

The North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival will be held on Sunday 8 March 2020, from 10:30am to 5pm at the Glenmark Domain, Waipara, North Canterbury.

Keep an eye out on www.ncwineandfood.co.nz for a full list of stallholders and the musical line-up!

 

 


 

Fashion craze


If you’ve taken a trip out to Kaiapoi recently, you’ll know it’s transformed into a happening hub of activity. Delighted to be part of this refreshed township is the team at funky fashion boutique, Craze Fashion.

 

 

The moment you walk into Craze’s inviting new store, you are embraced by colour – and the beautiful aroma of candles! The fashion business has recently relocated to Kaiapoi’s attractive new courtyard of shops on the bank of the Kaiapoi River.

“Kaiapoi is becoming a destination,” says Sherie McKinlay, owner of Craze Fashion. And it is – an abundance of new businesses have opened their doors, with eateries, activities and more just a stone’s throw away.

Craze’s bigger, better premises sees stunning spring and summer styles from quality New Zealand and Australian labels all hanging in bright and beautiful colour co-ordination on their racks. There are beautiful designer pieces to suit all tastes and occasions, from capsule must-haves to statement dresses for Cup Day – with a curated collection of on-trend shoes and accessories to match!

Existing ranges have recently been extended with the move to a larger space – you can now browse more of your favourite designer pieces from the likes of Wish, Minx, Cooper Street and Federation.

There’s never been a better time to visit the region’s newest destination, and while you’re there, snap up a stylish ensemble for summer at Craze Fashion, who were ‘Highly Commended’ at this year’s Retail Awards!

Find the new store at 178 Williams Street, open seven days with late nights Thursday, or shop online at www.crazefashion.co.nz.

 

 


 

Reasons to head to Hanmer


Hanmer Springs – that magical place which offers something for everyone! The sub-alpine town is gearing up for holiday time, with entertainment, gourmet dining and an interesting array of boutique shops and galleries to enjoy, not to mention that pivotal attraction – the gorgeous springs, which features six different types of pool systems, topping at 42 degrees. Ahhhhh, fabulous relaxation! And nearby is the spa, which offers the delights of massages, facials and hot stone treatments. Who can resist – and why would they? It’s only a 90-minute scenic drive from Christchurch.

 

 

For those who want entertainment, Acoustic Blues is featuring on 10 November, and on 15 November, the Women’s Adventure Film Tour showcases extraordinary and adventurous women.

If adventure is more up your alley, the beauty and birdlife of the gorgeous Heritage Forest is stunning, with its short and longer trails making it accessible to all.

Special events for the outdoor adventurers include an 8.4km run race from Molesworth to Hanmer on 16 November, and on 7 December, alpine marathons offer full, half or 10km runs. Mountain biking, multisport and fun runs and walks are available at the St James Conservation Area on Friday 17 January and Saturday 18 January.

A huge array of outdoor activities are available daily, including bungy jumping, horse riding, jet boating, fishing, quad bike riding and bush walking. Two ski fields are also nearby for the snow lovers.

 

 


 

Summer in North Canterbury


The weather is heating up – and so is the events itinerary for North Canterbury! Here’s a few fun events you can look forward to from now until the end of the year.

 

 

 

Kaiapoi Community Garden Open Day
Kaiapoi Community Garden, Hilton Street, Sunday 10 November, 10am-1pm
Enjoy a slice of nature while listening to live music at the Kaiapoi Community Garden Open Day! A children’s corner featuring a mud kitchen, sand pit and garden bed will keep the littlies entertained while you have a bite to eat, check out the food demonstrations and browse the seedlings and preserves for sale.
www.facebook.com

Women’s Adventure Film Tour
The Heritage Hanmer Springs, Saturday 16 November, 6:30pm-8:30pm
This fun evening of entertainment features a series of short films celebrating the extraordinary things women are doing in the name of nature.
www.musicandarts.co.nz/event/adventure-film-festival

Rangiora Christmas Celebration Night 2019
High Street, Rangiora, Friday 22 November, 5:30-9:30pm
With most retailers open til 9:30pm and a bunch of quality market stalls to browse, Christmas Celebration Night is your chance to get those Christmas gifts sorted! Have a family photo taken with Santa, be entertained by talented street performers and end the night with a fireworks display.
www.rangiorapromotions.co.nz

Ohoka Garden Tour & Fete
Ohoka School, Sunday 24 November, 10am-4pm
This biennial fundraising initiative is a wonderful day out featuring a self-guided tour of six stunning gardens, complemented by a beautiful country fete filled with local stallholders, food, raffles, entertainment – and the ever-popular Pimms tent.
www.ohokagardentour.co.nz

Mandeville Craft Festival
Mandeville Sports Club, Sunday 1 December, 10am-3pm
Relax in the summer sun and revel in an exciting array of top-quality arts and crafts stalls. Enjoy yummy eats, live music and free off-street parking.
www.mandevillecraftfestival.co.nz

Amberley Christmas Festival
121 Carters Road Amberley, 5 December 2019, 4-8pm
Jot this one in your diary – Amberley is set to sparkle this Christmas with a festival featuring market stalls, carols, buskers, Christmas cookie workshops, and Kiwiana style Santa photos with a Kombi van!
visithurunui.co.nz

 

 


 

Shaking prompts garden festival


An opportunity to see the world-renowned ‘Wall of Waiau’ and ‘Lake Rebekah’, the lake created when the 2016 Waiau-Kaikoura earthquake triggered a massive landslide that dammed the Leader River, is an attraction of this year’s Hurunui Garden Festival, being held from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 November 2019.

 

 

The Woodchester Walls and Waterfalls Tour (yes, there’s even a waterfall created as the lake spills over the dam) is expected to be popular with people keen to see the impact of the earthquake on the vast high country of Woodchester Station.

If you’re wondering about the connection between a Garden Festival and a tour of earthquake damage, the answer is the earthquake did more than shake up North Canterbury. It stirred local garden owners into creating New Zealand’s newest garden festival as a way to help with earthquake recovery in the Hurunui District.

“The Hurunui District was a playground for Christchurch residents who came up here for the hot pools, the wineries and exploring all the wonderful wide open spaces,” Festival Organising Committee Chair Marina Shearer says. “With State Highway 1 closed and a constant ripple of aftershocks, people stayed away in their droves. The impact was felt across the district as businesses struggled when visitor numbers fell.”

 

 

Shearer and five friends, all of whom had beautiful gardens, hatched a plan to open their gardens and offer warm rural hospitality to visitors wanting to enjoy a day in the tranquility of the country. The six gardens opened over four days in 2017, attracting visitors from far and wide. In 2018 the event was upscaled into a district-wide festival that attracted more than 4,000 visits to gardens. For 2019, the festival has expanded to include 23 gardens and two tours.

“Visitors told us they liked the eclectic mixture of town and country gardens, so we’re adding new gardens in Hanmer Springs, in the remote Kaiwara Valley and on farms around Culverden. We feel really privileged to share them with garden lovers from Canterbury and New Zealand.”

The 2016 Waiau-Kaikoura earthquake stirred Hurunui District garden owners into creating New Zealand’s newest Garden Festival. Although it’s only the second year the event has run, with six new gardens, two tours and exhibitions, talks and stalls in gardens, expectations for another successful festival are understandably high.

Visit the website www.hurunuigardenfestival.com to find out more.

 

 


 

Ohoka’s big day out


For almost three decades, Ohoka has been welcoming visitors from all over the country to its annual Garden Tour and Fête.

 

 

 

Featuring a self-guided tour of stunning local gardens and a gorgeous country fete at Ohoka School filled with local stallholders, food, raffles, entertainment and the ever-popular Pimms tent, the event provides a wonderful day out in the beautiful countryside.

From cottage charm to beautifully tended formal grandeur, the 2019 tour will include six of Ohoka’s finest gardens, including the Historic Homestead Gatekeepers Lodge at the Ohoka Domain and the immaculate gardens of fashion boutique Magpie Style.

Proudly run by the Ohoka School PTA as a biennial fundraising initiative, tour tickets are available for $25 on Eventbrite or from Ohoka School, with entry to the fete by gold coin donation. Suitable for all ages and perfect for Christmas shopping – think artwork and local crafts, jewellery, furniture and chocolates!

Save the date: Sunday 24 November from 10am-4pm. Email fete@ohokagardentour.co.nz.

 

 


 

For the culinary connoisseur: Woodley’s Restaurant and Wine Bar


Located just 40 minutes from Christchurch, Woodley’s Restaurant and Wine Bar is Darfield’s best kept culinary secret.

 

 

With three outdoor dining areas, a newly landscaped beer garden, under-cover and heated dining area and the front terrace that has a stunning picturesque view of the Southern Alps, Woodley’s is easily Darfield’s cosiest and most stylish restaurant and bar.

Talking of restaurants and bars, Woodley’s has a delightful range of beautifully prepared, reasonably priced meals and desserts to satisfy every culinary connoisseur. Lunch/brunch is served from Wednesdays to Sundays 11am until 3pm, and Dinner from Tuesdays to Sundays from 5pm till late. Woodley’s also sports Darfield’s biggest range of craft beers; a good IPA, pilsner or lager from Boundary Road is never far away.

Woodley’s can also cater for your function and can take large bookings on request. For more information on Darfield’s dining hotspot, check out www.woodleys.kiwi.