Fieldays is in full swing but where to go first?

First of all, congratulations for finding a parking space and getting yourself inside. Unless you caught the free bus from Te Rapa, in Hamilton. That will save you at least one grey hair.

The rest of your day is easy, it seems as though the weather gods are playing their part. After a couple of stormy weeks and the odd scattered shower, it should be relatively dry.

But if you've never been out there before, what do you do, where do you go? There's no shortage of options - there's a whopping 1059 exhibitors this year, just up on the number from last year.

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Well, the Herald has compiled a few - five, even - things for you to do, visit, see now that you're inside and mingling among the crowd of tens of thousands.

1 - Tractor Pull

It's Fieldays. You can't not go to Fieldays and not look at a tractor. But you can go one step further and watch people drag them, pull them along at, probably literally, break-neck speeds. Heats of each event begin today and continue through to Friday, with the finals on Saturday.

The events vary from pulling a tractor the fastest to the furthest.

Heats are held Wednesday through Friday, followed by the finals on Saturday.

2 - Food

It's hungry work traipsing around Mystery Creek. Treats are deserved. There are a plethora of eateries and new this year is the Herringbone Restaurant, Café and Bar.

However, if you want to get some tips on how to make some new dishes, then head to the Kitchen Theatre where there'll be a who's who of the cooking world.

Feel like an Indian snag paneer with a twist? Go and see chef Belinda McDonald on Thursday morning. Want to get back to some wholesome food? Check out Megan May and her presentation on raw food. Also featuring are legends Simon Gault, Peter Gordon and Ray McVinnie.

Tractors, tractors and more tractors ... tractors are lined up at a previous Fieldays ahead of the annual tractor-pull competition. Photo / File
Tractors, tractors and more tractors ... tractors are lined up at a previous Fieldays ahead of the annual tractor-pull competition. Photo / File

3 - The Health Hub

Here you can get everything from a haircut to getting your prostate given a check for cancer. There's information on mental health and wellbeing, there are activities, prizes and a chill-out area.

You can "predict your chance of critical injury on the farm through data with Midland Trauma System" or you can test your CPR skills with Barry, the "simulation manikin". Members of the Waikato DHB Critical Care team will be on hand in case you make a wrong move.

4 - Logging

You might have seen it on the television or just wonder why these guys and girls do what they do with their oversize saws. Well today, or any day through to Saturday, is the day.

And, for the first time ever, the chicks are involved with Stihl sponsoring the New Zealand Ladies competition to be held on Thursday. The country's top competitors from around the country will battle it out using axes, saws and chainsaws.

There's a "Rookies" competition on Friday - those aged 25 and under and who have never competed before. Then, on Saturday, it's all go with events like the Stocksaw, Underhand Chop, Standing Block, Single Buck Saw, Springboard and the Hotsaws. Sounds exhausting.

The Fieldays 114-hectare site at Mystery Creek, 10 minutes from Hamilton, is quite a sight. Photo / File
The Fieldays 114-hectare site at Mystery Creek, 10 minutes from Hamilton, is quite a sight. Photo / File

5 - Keeping safe on the farm

It is Fieldays, and the Southern Hemisphere's largest agricultural event, so sharing tips about keeping safe on the farm should also be a priority.

Worksafe have set up a stand in the pavilion and while sharing tips about safety, they're also giving people the chance to test their skills with a quad bike with a new virtual 3D tech system.

Designed by a tech-savvy South Islander, the machine gives people the opportunity to drive along a farm in a real-life scenario, with the added task of counting sheep.

Al McCone, sector lead for agriculture at WorkSafe, says it's a great way to see the challenges of farming in New Zealand, alongside the risks taken when at work.

"It really shows the power of these machines and how dangerous they can be when your attention is diverted."

Given nearly 90 per cent of all deaths on farms involved a vehicle - not just quad bikes but utes, tractors and side-by-sides - it is a serious but fun way to get a refresher, or even learn some new safety techniques.