From the smells of sausage sizzles, farm animals and tractor fumes to the sounds of hooves clomping and kids giggling, the Rotorua A&P show hosted everything rural and more.

Today's one day show at the Agrodome included axemen competitions, a playground, games, equestrian events, the Ngongotahā King and Queen of the Mountain running race, highland dancing, trade sites, food sites, and military vehicles.

Daniel Wills, 3, enjoying the range of tractors. Photo / Stephen Parker
Daniel Wills, 3, enjoying the range of tractors. Photo / Stephen Parker

The sun was out, but light southwesterlies ensured the temperature did not climb higher than 22C.

The McFadden family, from Rotorua, said this year's show was better than last year's.

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Hannah Selman, front, leads the line in Rotorua Western Riding Club's adult showmanship. Photo / Stephen Parker
Hannah Selman, front, leads the line in Rotorua Western Riding Club's adult showmanship. Photo / Stephen Parker

Melanie, mother of Poppy, 2, and Jack, 4, said the bouncy castle had been a big hit.

"We also went on the Jeeps, looked at the Minis and tractors, and went for a ride on Sparky the fire engine, before grabbing some lunch. We've had a few chips on the ground but that's all part of it.

"We love animals so we're off to the petting zoo soon."

She said the free entry for kids was a great initiative.

An axemen competition, the standing chop 🌲

Posted by Rotorua Daily Post on Friday, 25 January 2019

Tina and Ernie Styles were up from Timaru visiting family when they heard about the show.

"The people here are relaxed, friendly, and it's a really good venue with lots for the children to do," Tina said.

Tina Styles enjoyed the family day out while visiting from Timaru. Photo / Samantha Olley
Tina Styles enjoyed the family day out while visiting from Timaru. Photo / Samantha Olley

"We spent a lot of time looking at the alpacas, then we came here to the wood chopping. It's amazing how quick these competitors are. They're very strong."

Axemen compete in the heat. Photo / Stephen Parker
Axemen compete in the heat. Photo / Stephen Parker

The Ngongotahā Venturers' Club hosted one of the show's most popular thrills - a plate smashing tent.

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Competitors paid to throw golf balls at the plates labelled with names of public figures.

Everyone from Trump to Jacinda Ardern, David Seymour, Todd McClay, Tamati Coffey, 'Aussies' and Piers Morgan was a target.

Players could even customise plates with siblings, teachers or bosses.

The Ngongotahā Venturers plate smashing fundraiser. Photo / Samantha Olley
The Ngongotahā Venturers plate smashing fundraiser. Photo / Samantha Olley

Kate Urquhart, 16, helped lead the fundraiser.

"We got the plates from op shops and thought the names up on the spot... We've had more and more people come as the day has gone on which has been good."

The group hoped to also draw MPs to have a shot at their opposition colleagues.

It’s all go at the Rotorua A and P Show! 🐕🐷🐏🐎

Posted by Rotorua Daily Post on Friday, 25 January 2019

Laura Purves, 12, came from Te Awamutu with her family, to compete in five Highland dancing events.

"It's been a hot day but I've had a lot of fun getting on stage with my friends."

Rotorua A&P Association president Heather Brake said all the sites had been busy and all the attendees appeared happy.

The committee began organising the show 11 months ago, and "the last month was all go".

"This week we've had members here every day setting up."

Colleen Hoggins with Achina Sharquilla, left, and Geoff Pullen with Ikon, are judged in the carriage driving. Photo / Stephen Parker
Colleen Hoggins with Achina Sharquilla, left, and Geoff Pullen with Ikon, are judged in the carriage driving. Photo / Stephen Parker

Brake's been involved in shearing competitions for more than 25 years and joined the committee 15 years ago.

She said she continued to help out because she loved "seeing everybody happy".

"It's also great to keep the association and show going when some are dying out these days."

Cattle were the only missing feature this year.

Their absence at A&P shows has been enforced across New Zealand as the Ministry for Primary Industries works to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis.

Tomorrow, only axemen competitions, shearing, wool handling, and Western riding will remain at the Agrodome.

Entry is free to watch these events and the last of the Western riding is on Monday.