Te Puna Quarryfest showcases garden

By Kiri Gillespie

Combine abseiling with cultural drumming, bake stalls and one of the Western Bay's most beautiful parks and you have a colourful family day out at Te Puna Quarryfest.

Children, elderly, families and pets turned out in droves to explore Te Puna Quarry Park during the festival yesterday.

Stalls lined tracks up to the park's amphitheatre, where entertainment such as the Wai Taiko Japanese Drummers performed to an enchanted crowd at the annual event. Quarryfest was part of this year's New Zealand Garden and Artfest.

Te Puna Quarry Park committee member Jo Dawkins said the turn out this year was "brilliant".

"Everyone seems so happy and that's what you get when you come here, it's a happy place."

Ms Dawkins said the day helped showcase the park and introduce it to newcomers, who often returned by themselves days later.

Entry donations went toward maintenance and developments at the park, including a butterfly house, Mr Dawkins said.

As people walked around, Katikati's Chordial Quintet provided barbershop tunes while buggies helped transport people up and down main tracks.

Stephen Wood said he and daughter Katie, 2, had not known of the park and were blown away with what they found.

"I moved up from Wellington, saw it in the paper and all the guys at work talked about it, said it was well worth going to. And I'm really impressed." Mr Wood said he loved the amount of different activities on offer for families. Katie especially loved the alpacas on display.

"What was amazing was I couldn't get over the size of it. Once you get here, it's all day entertainment," Mr Wood said.

Children were offered the chance to go abseiling while green thumbs perused the flora and fauna. A team of volunteers has worked to develop the disused quarry, owned by the Crown, into a world-class park.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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