Trains ‘n boats…

Franklin Country is having their fantastically popular Thomas the Tank Engine Weekend this weekend!!

IMG_0271If trains are your thing, this will be the place to be.

The Glenbrook Vintage Railway ‘s annual Thomas day always proves to be a great winner and an added bonus will be the new Glenbrook Morel Railway, which is situated on Morley Road…..a train stop away from the station at Glenbrook.

Bob and his elves have been working intently to make sure that they can get the Model Railway operating to coincide with the Thomas weekend, so if you are in the area……keep an eye out to discover the magic of the miniature train, boats and more!

GMR 6….but wait!!….there IS more.

The Port Waikato Whitebait fritter competition is also on!. Head out to our west coast beach for a taste test of some of the locals recipes for the perfect fritter!!  mmmmmmm….mmm

I can personally vouch for a fantastic taste tingle!

P1000743so why wait??

Head to our patch of country – where Auckland meets the Waikato – and check out what’s on!!

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Southern Corridor Update

Another update on happenings for the Southern Corridor, including part of the Franklin region, has now been published and delivered.

Auckland Mayor, Len Brown turned the first sod on the 21st October of this year – 2015.

The project will see –

  • improved safety and journey reliability on Auckland’s Southern Motorway

and extends 9.5 kms from Manukau to Papakura along SH 1.

Walking and cycling improvements have also been factored in to the improvements

Southern corridor improvements Nov 2015

Southern corridor imp Nov 2015

Franklin’s new town…….

Franklin’s growth has been a talking point for some time as part of the greater Auckland Long Term Plan – we have Karaka growing rapidly and now there is more about  Paerata’s area – Wesley College.

Wesley College pic

According to reports , the site of Wesley College will be “transformed into a liveable town”.

Most of the college buildings, barring the historic chapel and a handful of newer buildings, will be demolished and relocated elsewhere. The sale of the sections will help secure the school’s future and fund the rest of the development.

Wesley College Trust Board general secretary Chris Johnston said the investment returns were crucial.

“The key beneficiary is Wesley College which provides for economically disadvantaged students.”

He said the plan was to transform the area and make it into the “most liveable town, within the most liveable city”.

Once built, the town would offer terraced homes, apartments, stand-alone houses, a primary school, high school, retail developments, green spaces, natural reserves and a retirement village – all interlinked with cycle, walking trails and public transport………….

………..”The rezoning will open up the Pukekohe area for new infrastructure and should provide new opportunities for those looking to live close to Auckland city.”

Pukekohe Business Association manager Kendyl Gibson said the added growth would help increase business capacity and enable residents to work locally. Plans for a high school were particularly welcome………….

……….Before any land is dug up the finer details need to be finalised, then an application for development consent could be lodged next year.

Pukekohe Paerata Map

Franklin’s Fresh Taste

Well – the time has arrived!

Fish - Taste Franklin

Franklin‘s very own special Taste Fest is on here at Karaka on Saturday 21st March. It should be a great experience.
Some info about the show from one of our local papers –
Franklin Taste Festival March 21, 2015

Come stay and play at our place in Franklin for a great getaway!!

…and here we are – 2015!!

green 2015
Where DID 2014 go?

The beginning of a new year with new plans and prospects. Franklin is no different in that respect as we have such a lot on the agenda again this year! BUT we do have such awesome events.

If you are a racing fan, then the end of this month at Hampton Downs (officially in the North Waikato, but we still call that area our southern Franklin!!) is the Fifty Plus Formula 5000 lineup

An unprecedented turnout of Formula 5000 cars looks set to secure the 2015 Gulf Oil Howden Ganley Formula 5000 Festival’s place in motorsport history as one of the largest ever gatherings of the iconic race cars.

The organisers are confident fans will see 50 plus of the V8, 10 and V12 powered machines, with cars covering all years of the F5000 formula’s life, and most if not all of the manufacturers who built cars for the series which ran in various guises in the USA, Europe and Australasia between 1968 and 1982.

The 2015 event – which stretches over the weekends of January 16-18 and 23-25 at the Hampton Downs circuit in the North Waikato – is a celebration of both the Formula 5000 type of racing car and driver Howden Ganley. Unheralded Kiwi Ganley’s story is a fascinating one that took the former team mechanic to sports cars, F5000 and the dizzy heights of Formula One.

It also marks the first ‘Formula 5000 World Series’ – the champion of which will be crowned after the last race of the second weekend of the Festival. At least one full grid of Formula 5000s will race during the Festival, and that could mean as many as 35 of the earth-shaking single seaters roaring around the Hampton Downs track almost five seconds a lap quicker than the best ‘V8 taxi’ is capable of

..and while you’re over this way, why not stay awhile and head to Waiuku for the Movies in Parks Rocky Horror Picture show on the 16th Jan? Rocky Horror pic

Splore pic
February, on our calendar here in Franklin has the “Splore Festival” at Tapapakanga Regional Park. So get set for summertime fun and music by the water!

Simply put Splore is a boutique music and arts festival like no other.

In March we have some celebrations of the area and our own Taste Festival…so keep an eye out for more info here AND get your accommodation booked (if you can!!) and come stay a while !!

pohutukawa beach pic

Franklin Country – our awesome place to share

I recently had an email from a very kind lady offering to write about Franklin,and here it is – I think that she has covered it very well, so a big thanks to contributor, Suzanne Dear
A Guide on What to Do in Franklin Country

Kaye Maxwells Golf

Few places in New Zealand can match Franklin for the diversity of activities it offers its locals and visitors. Whether it’s enjoying some motor sport or horse racing, shopping for antiques or fresh produce, or wandering in the countryside or city, Franklin has a little bit of everything to ensure every visitor finds something to do. The area consists of a number of towns, including Pukekohe, Tuakau, Pokeno, and Manukau City, amongst many others, which means that the exploring never has to end whether you’re a local or visiting.

Getting here
Visitors to Franklin Country can reach the region by flying in to Auckland Airport and making the 50 kilometre journey south by car or public transport. Travelling to the region by public transport may not be as straightforward as one would hope during weekend and Public holidays, at present, however reaching the various towns of Franklin Country will be much more straightforward if traveling by car, and so it’s worth looking at rental cars before your trip. Before signing the agreement to rent a car, be sure to check what the rental does and doesn’t include – extras, such as navigation systems, are likely to be extra but will make getting around much easier. Also ensure that the car is properly covered against accidents or breakdown; driving in a foreign country can take some getting used to, especially when driving through busy cities, and it’s equally important to be properly protected in case of breakdown in more rural areas where help might not be instantly available.
Things to Do
Racing
Pukekohe Park Raceway (located in Pukekohe) offer both motor and horse racing throughout the year. There are a total of 14 horse race meetings from October to July, each tied to a particular theme that turns the race into a real social event. Car lovers can attend V8 Supercar and Supertourer events to see their favourite fast cars up close and personal, whilst those that wish to get behind the wheel and try the track for themselves can attend track days or take the advanced driving courses offered by Pukekohe Park Raceway.
Franklin Markets
Get a taste of local Franklin life – literally and figuratively – at the Franklin Markets, which take place on Saturday morning in Pukekohe and on Sunday morning in Pokeno. The selection of offerings range from the usual excellent, locally produced fresh produce, jams and preservatives, hot food and drinks, clothes, jewellery, flowers, and arts and crafts. If you only buy one thing, make it some fresh hot food – it’s excellent, and was even voted by the NZ Herald as number 14 of must try foods before you die. But whatever you’re looking to buy, a weekend stroll around the markets is what Franklin is all about, and shouldn’t be missed.
Get Active
Franklin Country’s beautiful rural location may it an ideal place to into nature and get active. Visitors to the town of Waiuku can choose from a couple of kayaking trails for their adventure that both take several hours to complete. The kayaking isn’t strenuous, but always be careful when on the water and remember to wear life jackets at all times. However, the water is calm, and there are several stopping points along the routes to take a break and enjoy lunch. Alternatively, stay dry by enjoying one of the many pleasant walks available in Franklin; visitors can choose from light bush walks or scenic walks around lakes. For a taste of Franklin’s beauty and for more activities (including hiking and cycling), visit the Hunua Parkland, which features thousands of acres of open land and even camp sites.
Franklin Arts
Franklin has a rich artistic community that produces a host of excellent work throughout the year. These are showcased – along with national artists – at the Franklin Arts Centre. Located in Pukekohe, the Arts Centre is Franklin’s cultural hub, and visitors can easily spend an afternoon feeling thrived in the modern building that was built in 2007; the site has two exhibition rooms, an art shop, and a workshop space.

(almost) The final countdown!!

Yes – it is ALMOST the final countdown to the V8 event here in Franklin!

V8 picThe wheels are turning at a more intense pace now that it is only two weeks out from the V8 Supercars here at the Pukekohe Park Raceway.

Transport to and from an event, is often one of the points of major concern. With Pukekohe experiencing a huge influx of visitors around this time, the roads could be chocka!!
Auckland Transport have been working to try to make sure things run smoothly without too much disruption to the locals and visitors alike, and to make the V8 weekend a memorable event for all of the RIGHT reasons!! So check out the timetables before you hit town.

There will not be any special buses running other than the usual scheduled ones, and the train will be an express running from Britomart in the Auckland CBD, although for anyone wanting to come to Pukekohe, and not already staying here for the weekend, there will be FREE buses running on ANZAC Day to come to the services, where some of the V8 crew/drivers will be before the practice sessions which will start at 11:30 on the 25th. (gates will open on ANZAC day at 11:00 a.m)

Auckland Train
Could be an awesome evening too, on the evening of the 23rd, with Drivers in the Hot Seat at an RSA event, RSA rooms, Pukekohe. All of the proceeds from this will go to help the local RSA. Tickets are available at ticketek
With Scott McLaughlin’s statement after his win on the final corner at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide twilight race, (” I slowed down too much I should’ve blocked (Whincup) a bit better. He got me, we went side by side racing, I plucked it into first, gave it a bit of jandal……..”), this has given an unexpected chance to promote our good ol’ kiwi “jandal” (or thong as the Aussies know it!) so 1000 jandals will be given away!! jandals

– oh, and there will also be a Disney Fun Zone with LIGHTNING McQUEEN!!!! wooohooo…..appearing in New Zealand for the first time, so the kids will be able to have a fantastic experience too
Lightning McQueen

……and DON’T forget….you can stay in the area and get some great dining/shopping/locals experiences as well as having an awesome time at the V8’s themselves, so come on over to our patch and experience what we have