As we head into August, the final month of winter, many are beginning to think about their plans for getting out and about this spring. Tararua District Council is encouraging residents to Love Local and consider checking out some of the local attractions and activities this spring.
Tararua District councillor Shirley Hull is passionate about what our district has to offer and is always encouraging people to explore and enjoy.
"I feel like a salesperson in every conversation with folk who live outside our district," she said.
A trip to Waihi Falls is well worth it this time of year, Hull said.
"They are pretty spectacular," she said. "The Mangatainoka Reserve opposite the Tui Brewery offers a variety of experiences: camping, fishing and brewery tours all rounded off with a meal and a craft beer. That's where you'll find me on a Friday evening, eating pizza and chips with a glass of something."
Harvard Park in Pahiatua, Woodville's Fountain Square and Bush MultiSports Wheel Park are great places for celebrations or days out with the kids, Hull said.
"Bring your bikes and skate boards. Grab a cuppa and chill while the kids have a ball and expel all that pent-up energy. The Tararua District is a great place to explore."
At Marainanga Station in Akitio, Mat and Cec Radford offer a unique accommodation and farm experience, set in the historic grounds of a working station. The recently renovated Shearers Quarters on the banks of the Akitio River are perfect for big groups and families and are just a short distance to the untouched, remote coastline and sandy swimming beaches.
"Our main market is Kiwis, although we did have Australian visitors before Covid," Cec Radford said. "We have visitors from Wellington, Manawatu and Wairarapa - lots of Kiwi families and friends. The Shearers Quarters can accommodate a lot of people and that's our point of difference."
Walking and horse trekking are some of the attractions on the station, where four farm tracks are available. Picnic lunches for a day out are available and platters can be ordered to kick off your evening after a day out.
"We've good forward bookings and we're booked out over Christmas," Radford said.
More people are experiencing a special, rural break in our own backyard.
And Tararua District mayor, Tracey Collis, has noticed more traffic during level 1 as people take the opportunity to explore and experience some of the unique locations we have to offer.
"There are some great hidden gems in the Tararua District and each of our towns has a rich history and stories to share," she said. "A day in Norsewood offers not only great shopping but also a troll stroll, the Water Wheel Reserve, Anzac Park and a beautiful educational whare at Ngamoko, the source of the Manawatu River. Enjoy touring the district and having a look at the whare at Te Waha o Te Kuri at Ferry Reserve in Woodville and at Ngawapurua whare on Bluff Rd, Pahiatua.
"These form part of a story along the Manawatu River with whare in Ashhurst, Palmerston North, Linton, Shannon and Foxton.
"Just outside Dannevirke is the Mangatoro Scenic Reserve with bush walks, swimming holes and a giant totara. Department of Conservation staff have mentioned this is a beautiful area and perhaps we have the largest totara in New Zealand.
"Go local and explore our own backyard. Pick up a copy of our Must Do Walks and Rides Booklet and see just how much we have to offer.
"Our people can often be the best promotors of our district, so take your family and friends out and about in Tararua and let them tell our story."