Cooking demonstrations, fish filleting and mussel opening competitions are part of the fun at the Tauranga Moana Seafood Festival on November 27. There'll be lots of great seafood (and other food), and entertainment on five stages includes kapa haka. A bouncy slide, treasure hunt and sandcastle competition will keep the kids amused. Tickets cost $15 (adults), $7.50 (kids), $40 (family). Book at Ticket Direct.
The skies over Ohaupo light up during the Waikato Fireworks Fiesta on November 6. The professional fireworks extravaganza is preceded by fun-filled gala at Ohaupo Rugby Club, which includes live entertainment, medieval fighting displays, fire dancers, sideshows and plenty of food stalls.
On the web: ohaupo.school.nz
Follow the flowers
On November 20-21, six gorgeous gardens along State Highway 50 at Tikokino in Central Hawke's Bay welcome visitors for a weekend of wine, food, plants, art and music. Gardens range from expansive woodlands to rose and perennial gardens, and a peony farm featuring 90 varieties spread over 1.2ha. Gardens are open 9am to 5pm and entry is $5 per garden or $25 for six gardens.
On the web: chb.co.nz
The beautifully restored steam locomotive, WA165, provides regular Beach Loop picnic excursions which start at Gisborne and follow the Pacific Coast. Light refreshments are available or pack your own picnic lunch. On some trips, Bushmere Estate provides wine tastings. Upcoming excursions are on November 27-28. Book at Gisborne i-SITE.
Contact: (06) 868 6139, gisbornenz.com
Smell the roses
For a free, family-friendly festival, head to Hamilton Gardens for the Pacific Rose Bowl Festival, November 10-14. There will be live music, food, poetry, theatre, art, stalls and more. You can also vote for your favourite rose in the Rogers Rose Garden.
On the web: hamiltongardens.co.nz