The Big Bike Film Night is riding into the Bay of Islands for the first time on April 16.

Cycling enthusiasts can head to the Copthorne Hotel in Waitangi from 7pm-9.15pm to see the best cycling short films from New Zealand and around the world.

Action, adventure, drama, humour and plenty of inspiration are all in the mix for audiences, with stories including a Kiwi who has a two-wheel love story to share and a heart-warming documentary about a mum who runs a bicycle training programme for migrant and refugee women in Amsterdam.

These tales of character, resilience and courage also cover five friends with disabilities attempting a world first human powered ride from Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre to Mount Kosciuszko in Australia and two pioneering mountain bikers undertaking an adventure in wild and unknown landscapes, riding only horse trails in heartland Africa.


Curator Brett Cotter said the short films are a great reminder of why we love to ride our bikes, with stories that captivate us, make us think, and inspire us to get out and ride.

"Our event celebrates cycling in all its glorious shapes and forms. Regardless of whether you're a cycling fan or a cinematography fan, there is something in the 2019 line up that everyone should see."

Buy tickets from Paihia Mountain Bikes, at or on the door.

Steiner playgroup

The new Kaikohe Steiner Playgroup is proving a hit with youngsters and their parents and caregivers.

The Bay of Islands Waldorf Education Trust – which also runs a kindergarten at Oromahoe and a playgroup at Waimate North - opened the Kaikohe playgroup several weeks ago.

The playgroup meets every Thursday during school term at the Pioneer Village, which is a great venue with plenty of opportunities for imaginative play, said trust chairman Graeme Kettle.

It is free and runs from 9.30am until midday with activities including free time, baking, singing songs, story time, playing with handmade toys and art activities.


Kettle said he's very pleased at how it's going.

Although parent involvement is encouraged, parents can just relax and enjoy the morning without having to worry about organising or cleaning up afterwards, he said.

"We see the value of the playgroup is just as much for the parents as it is for the children."

Paddleboard champs

The best stand-up paddlers in the South Pacific will converge on the Bay of Islands during the New Zealand Stand-Up Paddleboard Race and Sprint Championships on April 13-14.

Paddlers are preparing for a fun weekend on the water with the New Zealand Stand-Up Paddleboard Race and Sprint Championships. Photo / supplied
Paddlers are preparing for a fun weekend on the water with the New Zealand Stand-Up Paddleboard Race and Sprint Championships. Photo / supplied

Chief organiser Bill Dawes said it's the first time the event has come north of Auckland and is a major scoop for Northland.

Children and adults of all ages can compete in 4km, 8km and 16km races on Saturday and 200m sprint races on Sunday.

The first Northland Region Secondary Schools stand-up paddleboard champs are also taking place on Saturday guaranteeing "an amazing weekend".

"The event is for all levels of paddler, with separate divisions for each age group, from under-12 to 70+, and all types of boards including inflatables and recreational boards," Dawes said.

"If you can paddleboard for half an hour, you're good enough to enter. It's all about being out there on the water."

Visit to register.

Swim therapy

Little Dippers Swim School in Kerikeri is launching its new hydrotherapy sessions on May 2.

Soon people with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities will have access to the indoor pool via a water wheelchair, hoist and ramp, along with trained therapy instructors working in conjunction with allied health professionals.

The pool will also be heated to a therapeutic temperature.

Little Dippers owner Karla McCaughan said hydrotherapy is one of the key treatments and rehabilitative options for people with disabilities and has proven to increase mobility, decrease pain, and reduce blood pressure.

"We are super excited to be able to provide these services to our community, and they will be a huge help to those who would have had to travel elsewhere for these services previously."

McCaughan thanked Kerikeri, Kaikohe, Waipapa and Bay of Islands rotary clubs along with the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board for their help and donations.

The sessions start term 2. It costs $6 per hour for clients and support workers can join them free.

Dance showcase

The DDF Dance crew grooved their way to success at the Whangarei regional dance qualifiers last month.

The DDF Dance crew are set to dance up a storm at the Turner Centre on April 12. Photo / supplied
The DDF Dance crew are set to dance up a storm at the Turner Centre on April 12. Photo / supplied

The local dance studio took five crews to represent the Far North, with the junior crew winning their section.

All five crews qualified to compete in the nationals in Auckland this month, which leads onto the world hip-hop championships to be held in the United States.

DDF founder and choreographer Alannah Curtis said she was delighted with the dancers' performances and the results.

"They all worked so hard with one vision to do their utmost best."

You can see them in action at the DDF Dance End of Term Showcase at the Turner Centre on April 12 from 6pm.

The show, in its fifth year, is the culmination of an eight-week workshop featuring first-time dancers through to intermediate level and advanced dancers who have been with DDF for several years.

Cost $15 adults, $8 under 16 and under 5s are free. Contact the Turner Centre for tickets 09 407 0260.

Art exhibition

The Drawing Show at the Village Arts Gallery in Kohukohu promises to be an exciting exhibition showcasing the work of artists, illustrators, cartoonists, teachers and designers.

The diverse line-up of art works include pencil, paint, charcoal, biro and drawing over photography.

Also on show will be a "capsule collection" celebrating the calligraphic and hand-drawn demonstrations that local teacher James Wyley created for his Broadwood School students.

The opening is on April 13 at 2pm and the exhibition runs until May 12.

Visit for more information.

Sunday fun-day

It's all fun and games at the Old Packhouse Market with the introduction of Packhouse Play Time on Sunday.

There is now a supervised play area for children along with a bouncy castle and sausage sizzle.
Parents can get involved with the activities or leave their littlies while they mooch around the market. It's open from 10am to 1pm for a gold coin donation.

* Hello Bay News readers! I'm Jenny Ling and I'm pleased to be bringing you this weekly column, so Far North reporter Peter de Graaf can focus on what he does best - the news. If you have an upcoming event or a snippet of news you'd like to share please email me some details at, along with your full contact details, for consideration.