Queen’s Birthday Weekend is coming up fast and since it’s the last long weekend before spring (that’s nearly five months of full working weeks), you’ll want to make it count. Here are a few places to head for, with a bike ride thrown in for good measure!
Escape! Tauranga Readers & Writers Festival
Saturday 31 May & Sunday 1 June
A thought-provoking lineup of writers, journalists and photographers, plus workshops, theatre and panel discussions. Highlights include:
Where the Wild Things Are: Craig Potton.
Join explorer, ecologist, vegetarian, surfer, philosopher, documentary maker, author, publisher and photographer Craig Potton on a stroll (no special fitness required) through his life and to some of his favourite remote locations.
The Fallen: Damien Fenton
The researcher behind new book “New Zealand and the First World War, 1914-1919” will talk about the men and boys who went to the battlefields and the social changes the war brought, half a world away from the trenches.
For the full lineup, dates and ticket details: taurangafestival.co.nz/home
Ride: Tauranga City Council has put together several urban cycle rides around the city. Head to their website to download maps and directions.
If off-roading is more your thing, hit up the trails at Summerhill. Situated 10 minutes out of Tauranga, the park offers tracks suitable for beginners through to experienced riders.
3D Rotorua – Multisport Festival
Sunday 1 June, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Cheer on those taking part…or enter yourself. There are 10 different events to choose from with 120 entry options, 139 performance prizes, 42 medals, and over $75,000 in giveaways and spot prizes. Find entry details on their website.
Ride: It’s Rotorua, which means more mountain biking than you can shake a stick at. Whakarewarewa Forest on the southern outskirts of Rotorua has 130km of trails just waiting to be explored.
Looking for a road ride? Take the back road to Lake Taraweara, which will also take you past the Blue Lake and the Green Lake.
29 May – 2 June, Oamaru
A festival with a very real difference. Steampunk celebrates an imaginary Victorian future, where steam meets punk and creativity runs riot. Dress up in your best Victorian garb, attempt to ride a penny farthing and take part in tea duelling, aka biscuit dunking! It sounds absolutely bonkers and an absolute riot. For full details: www.steampunknz.co.nz
Ride: Not sure you’ll get much time to ride, as there’s heaps going on at the festival. But if you do manage to tear yourself away from the madness, head for Cape Wanbrow MTB tracks. Access is via Test Street or the lookout at Selwyn Street. These are purpose-built tracks through forest. Be warned, some of the trails are reported to be very steep.
Or, grab a map and explore Oamaru’s back roads, which are usually fairly quiet.
What’s on your list for the long weekend? Head to our Facebook page and let us know.