Autumn is here – and no slowing down!!

P1000532 Autumn is officially upon us but that doesn’t slow things down here in Franklin Country – a region also known as Auckland’s Southern playground – where Auckland meets the Waikato!!

For those car and vintage vehicle enthusiasts, Franklin’s main town of Pukekohe is home again to the ever popular Swap Meet, where all things vehicle related should be able to be found – whether in the original state or a reproduction, there should be something there and very likely all manner of other items too. Should be THE place to be!!
Model A

Bombay 150th poster

Following on from that, over the next weekend, is the celebration of Franklin’s Bombay area. Another part of our district will be having a ball showcasing the 150 years of Bombay,

March 14th 2015
Bombay Family Festival, open to all, no entry charge.
10am to 3pm in the Bombay School grounds.
Farmers market, bouncy castle, Clydesdale cart rides, unicycles, tractor displays, face painting, historical displays and refreshments.

Bombay the shipBook sales: ‘They came by ship’ the history of the first 100 years of the district, and ‘Bombay, the next 50yrs’ telling the stories of the families, clubs, farms and businesses of Bombay between 1965 and 2015.
This Family Fun day is being held as part of Bombay’s 150th Anniversary Weekend, so come along dressed up 1860’s style and you may win a prize.

Should be a great weekend for all –

FRIDAY
Mix & Mingle
Venue: Bombay Rugby Club
Time: Evening
SATURDAY
Fun Run & Family Festival
Venue: Bombay School
The Pioneers Settlers Fun Run will start the day with a festival atmosphere growing as we celebrate success of fun run entrants. We envision games, food and fun activities for the whole family! Local Stalls/Farmers Market, Athletics, Old School Races (Egg & Spoon, Sack Races), Ethnic Foods, Vintage Tractors, Photobooths, Displays, Olden day Dressups/Photos, Facepainting. Ideas and input welcome!
SATURDAY NIGHT
Dinner & Guest Speaker
Venue: Bombay School Hall
SUNDAY
Church Service
Historical Bus Tour/Scavenger Hunt
With the help of local/school families, we would love to put together an ‘Amazing Race’ type challenge for families/teams to be a part of. This could be a really exciting way for us all to learn about our wider community and what it was like in years gone by.

……but wait – there’s more!!
If you haven’t already decided to book some accommodation and enjoy a great few weeks, this may help you to decide ……
Touchwood sign

we have our very own Taste Franklin happening, This should be an amazing event showcasing the wonderful food that we produce right here on the edge of Auckland!
Fish - Taste Franklin

Us locals know that we live in an area that grows, produces, cooks, carves up, bakes and ferments some of the very best stuff that we consume here in Godzone yet do you always buy locally? What about people moving into the area – do they know what’s available? Do you know about cheesemakers, butchers, growers, breadmakers, fishermen, winemakers and brewers plus so many other culinary magicians that are found around the corner, a few streets down, or a short drive away (we are semi-rural after all)..

Check out the newsbeat piece here about this event.

So if you hadn’t considered Franklin – (where Auckland meets the Waikato) before now, this IS the time to get on over to our patch and celebrate – history, our own home-grown everything and so much more

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…and the history continues in Franklin…..

Further to my blog about marking our history in Franklin, (as we are in the years of having notable historical events to recount), is a little info about connections to possibly one of the most famous kiwi warships, HMS Archilles – being the first NZ unit to engage the enemy in WWII.

A movie was made about the Archilles part in the war – this 1956 poster advertising the movie – river-plate-movie-poster

When the cruiser HMS Achilles opened fire on the German ‘pocket battleship’ Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic, at 6.21 a.m. on 13 December 1939, it became the first New Zealand unit to strike a blow at the enemy in the Second World War. With the New Zealand ensign flying proudly from its mainmast – as battle loomed, a signalman had run aft with the ensign shouting ‘Make way for the Digger flag!’ – Achilles also became the first New Zealand warship to take part in a naval battle.

The 82-minute engagement between the Graf Spee and its three smaller British opponents – Achilles, Ajax and Exeter – was inconclusive. All four were damaged, with the British ships suffering 72 fatalities (among them two New Zealanders) to the Graf Spee’s 36. But the German warship’s subsequent withdrawal to the neutral Uruguayan port of Montevideo, and its dramatic scuttling by its own crew on 17 December, turned the Battle of the River Plate into a major British victory – and a welcome morale boost for the Allied cause.

Achilles’ role in the battle was a special source of pride for New Zealanders, who welcomed the ship’s crew home at huge parades in Auckland and Wellington in early 1940.

Archilles article Jan 2015

Archilles links wanted

The original Admirals Barge that was aboard the Archilles, was found on Waiheke Island and a Waiuku local managed to purchase the barge for restoration.
Franklin, as with other parts of the country and the world, has it’s share of history – albeit, younger than overseas, but history none-the-less! and here we have descendants of crew who served on the Archilles, as I can personally vouch for.

Weather patterns and Vege prices

One of Franklin‘s local papers has reported on what “Joe Blogs” enjoyment of the great summer weather is doing to our vege growing!

sun cartoon image

The damp start to February may not be enough to keep vegetable prices down, as growers and dairy farmers battle to deal with the particularly dry start to the year.
….according to Weatherwise Auckland, Pukekohe received just 6 % of its historical average rainfall for January and Waiuku received 22% of January’s average.
…While the hot and sunny weather has been good for holiday makers, they too could be hoping for rain with the potential vegetable price rises on the horizon.
The Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association president said that if the dry weather continued, prices of crops like potatoes and onions could go up.
It has been an abnormal season for growers and farmers alike.

The hot dry weather has meant that the later planted onion crops may not reach their potential.
Many of the local crops are being irrigated, but that too, will bring its extra costs to the end product – extra watering and manpower amongst the mix!

Lets hope our patch in Franklin, will be able to cope!

potatoes redonions

Marking our history in Franklin

Franklin is in the process of celebrating it’s history
Franklin old building
Pukekohe and Bombay will be busy over the next few months, showcasing how the area grew, with Pukekohe having an open day and historical town walk this month and Bombay doing their showcasing and celebrations in March – just a week before our wonderful Taste Franklin expo!

If your ancestors arrived in New Zealand as part of the Waikato Immigration Scheme or settled in Franklin (the land south of Auckland) at a later date, then mark this day in your diary (14th February 2015) and register (free) now. Maybe your ancestors didn’t live in Franklin but you would like to know more about the history of the district, then this is a day for you.
The Franklin Branch NZSG has organized for 13 repositories throughout the district to be open on this day to share their resources and knowledge with you so you can learn more about your ancestors and their lives.
Five local museums, two genealogy branches, an historic church, historic homestead, heritage centre, historic society and the Franklin Historic Collection and Archives housed at the Pukekohe Library will be offering a wide variety of records, books, maps, photographs, memorabilia and early colonial artefacts specific to this area.
An Information Site in Pukekohe, featuring static displays and helpful volunteers will have maps and brochures of the various venues plus contact details of other groups with resources who do not have fixed facilities. These will be available electronically nearer the date. Lots of other suggested activities and sights to see throughout the district. A guided walk of the Pukekohe CBD historic sites will be held on Sunday 15th Feb.

Participating Organizations
They will all be open on Feb 14th 2015, 9am to 3pm and other days as advertised or by arrangement
1. Manukau Heads Lighthouse, unmanned display boards, Manukau Heads, Awhitu Peninsula
2. Waiuku Museum, Tamakae Reserve, 10 King St, Waiuku
3. NZSG Franklin Branch, at Pukekohe Library, Franklin The Centre, 12 Massey Av, Pukekohe
4. Franklin Historical Society, Pioneer Cottage, cnr East St & Stadium Dr, Pukekohe
5. Franklin Historical Collection & Archives, – Pukekohe Library, 12 Massey Av, Pukekohe
6. Pukekohe East Church, Runciman Road, Pukekohe East
7. Tuakau & Districts Museum Society, 10 Liverpool St, Tuakau
8. Mercer Art & History Museum, 7 Roose Av, Mercer
9. Rangiriri Heritage Centre, 12 Rangiriri Rd, Rangiriri (check before visiting)
10. Papakura & Districts Museum, Accent Point Building, 209 Great South Rd, Papakura
11. NZSG Papakura Branch, 80 Opaheke Rd, Papakura
12. Karaka Museum, Blackbridge Rd (next to the Karaka War Memorial Hall, Kingseat Rd)
13. McNicol Homestead, McNicol Rd (Wairoa Bridge end), Clevedon
Other organizations who have resources covering Franklin – information will be available at Info Site

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

…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

Our corner of the World…..

Franklin District; your ultimate and unique destination – combining relaxed country lifestyles with savvy city style, all just a short drive south of Auckland or north of Hamilton, features olive groves, vineyards and market gardens, while providing a unique opportunity to taste locally grown and produced foods and wines, many of which are featured on menus around the district.
cropped-west-coast.jpgThe district has many beaches, – the rugged West Coast being perfect for walking, beachcombing and surfing while the East coast provides easy swimming.
The main town is Pukekohe, one of New Zealand’s fastest growing secondary urban area, Pukekohe offers not only excellent residential options and recreational opportunities, but also access to the goods and services available in much larger centres. Pukekohe is renowned for it’s market gardening, stylish cafes and enviable shopping.
Neighbouring towns and villages include Tuakau, a growing rural town with reasonably priced homes and land on offer and handy to wherever you want to be, THE_BRIDGE
Bombay being home to New Zealand’s largest olive estate, producing award-winning olive oil and skin care products and features an excellent restaurant.
Pokeno is a favourite stop known for its generous servings of icecream, its locally produced bacon and sausages and friendly country village atmosphere.

YUM!
YUM!

Mercer, beside the Waikato with its Dutch cheese shop is a ‘must do’ in any itinerary. Mercer Cheese
Patumahoe,Clarks Beach & Waiau Pa – The area reveals some of Auckland’s finest gardens, charming Wedding Chapels, Boutique Vineyards, Animal Studs, Olive Groves, Golf Course and more, Waiuku – with it’s historic Hotel built in the 1850’s and one of New Zealand’s oldest licensed hotels.
Awhitu Peninsula – offering some of the best views of the Manukau Harbour and rugged West Coast. The area was an important early settlement area and gateway to the rest of the country for both Maori and European and home to the replica Manukau Heads Lighthouse Awhitu Lighthouse
Clevedon Oysters signClevedon well known for Clevedon Oysters and Clevedon Valley Buffalo farm. A first for NZ, the company’s buffalo dairy has won multiple awards and gold medals at New Zealand’s national cheese and artisan awards. Pure white buffalo milk contains much more protein and calcium than cows milk. it is higher in fat but has roughly half the cholesterol of cows milk.
Drury and Karaka are tranquil, quiet, picturesque areas, situated just 30 minutes south of New Zealand’s largest city. They offer superb accommodation and cuisine.
Seabird Coast, Kaiaua and Miranda with its world renowned Chenier shell banks, is the summer home to a variety of migratory Arctic wading birds including the Wrybil which is found here all year round. A relaxing soak in mineral hot springs at Miranda is the perfect way to end your day before enjoying delicious fish and chips at Kaiaua, a favourite of locals and Aucklanders.P1000455
Hunua offers a natural playground – it’s park having the largest native forest in the Auckland region, and its impressive yet picturesque Hunua Falls
Hunua Falls

Franklin – where Auckland meets the Waikato!!

I attended a(nother) meeting the other day and began to wonder about Franklin

Clarks BeachShould we just leave it to Auckland to take care of, as most of our region IS in the greater Auckland area – aka the Super City, and the rest to the Waikato/Hamilton, as there is the tail end of OUR patch that sits in the Waikato?
After listening to the speakers at the meeting, I really began to feel that Franklin IS the gateway that links the two regions!!

Anyone travelling by car will be going through the very centre of the Franklin region.
Sure….Auckland has, well, what Auckland has as does Hamilton and the Waikato – and what they DO have is not to be sneezed at. There are some wonderful attractions…..and here WE sit – smack in the middle, with our very own slice of paradise.
Port Waikato beachWe have beaches (ok – it’s now winter, so a tad cool for swimming, but awesome to wander along and watch the wild surf on the west coast or take in the calm seas on the east coast),
Nikau Cave we have our very own glow-worm cave, we have the wonderful Pukekohe Park Raceway – which is not only home to the V8 supercars again, but also for horse racing and events, we are also one of the venues for New Zealand’s largest antique and collectables fairs, we have the War birds D day open day display, we have international sporting events, a range of great golf courses to try your hand at, some amazing shopping and cafes/restaurants to name a few!
Kaye Maxwells Golf

Franklin is a GREAT place to come and take a stop and if you are heading north or south, we can give you that relaxation time before hitting the road again for your onward travels.
We ARE a destination that links Auckland and the Waikato! so come and visit, if you haven’t already and if you have – then why not come back and have a winter weekend with some of the awesome accommodation providers that we have here.
bersanti day spa Have some pampering at one of our fantastic spa’s before heading off on your journey to your next destination, or heading back to work! Pure day spa
This weekend is your last chance for the season, to go for a steam train ride at Glenbrook’s ever popular Vintage Railway but you can always come visit and see the station and have a picnic if the weather is favourable!GVR engine