Kids visiting or living in the Bay of Islands will once again be treated to more than a week's worth of free activities in Pahia's Summer Festival.

The festival, which starts with the ever-popular sandcastle contest on Saturday, includes a fishing contest, circus workshop, wearable arts, old-fashioned races and pavement art.

New activities this year include a walking photo safari for budding photographers and a build-a-boat challenge in which contestants will be given all the material they need for a boat, which they need to build and be first to row to a buoy and back to claim the prize.

The nine-day child-friendly festival is organised by Blah Blah Marketing and Paihia's Business Association, with prizes donated by a plethora of local businesses. All activities are free but most require adult supervision.


Festival programme

Saturday, January 3

- Sandcastle competition, Paihia Beach (Kings Rd end). Start anytime; judging at 4.30pm and prizegiving at 5pm.

Sunday, January 4

- Beach dig, Paihia Beach, 11am, for kids aged 4-10. Games and barbecue from 9am.

Monday, January 5

- Walking photography safari, starts at Wairoa Bay (past the Treaty Grounds and golf course) at 10am. Kids, bring a digital camera and an adult.

Tuesday, January 6


- Kids fishing contest, register at Paihia Dive on Williams Rd from 9.30am, fishing from 10.30-11.30am. Bring a hand line or rod; bait supplied.

- Circus Workshop led by performers of the Biggest Little Circus, Village Green, 4pm.

Wednesday, January 7

- Street smart funky art pavement drawing and shadow chalk drawing, post office mall, 10am. Judged by photographer Frank Habicht.

- Amazing race, Horotutu Park, 2pm. For pairs or groups; adult supervision needed.

Thursday, January 8

- Wearable arts, Paihia School marae, 10am. All materials supplied.

- Flippa ball, Haruru Falls Panorama Resort, 2.30pm. A fast, simple version of water hockey played in the pool. For kids aged 8 and up.

Friday, January 9

- Kids duathlon (running/kayaking), registration 9am, start 9.30am. Team and individual events for kids aged 6 and up.

- Monster mural painting, post office mall, 1pm. Wear old clothes and bring an adult. Includes squirt gun painting.

Saturday, January 10

- Fun on the green, Village Green, 10am. Old-fashioned games such as three-legged, wheelbarrow and egg-and-spoon races.

- Mystery trail, Waitangi Treaty Grounds entrance, 1.30pm.

Sunday, January 11

- Build a boat challenge, Paihia Beach, 10am. Contestants have to build their own boat then row it to a buoy and back. Materials and lifejackets provided.