WOW!!! Franklin is once again showcasing a great deal of things to do and places to be over the next few weeks – just to start the summer season!!
Our area is quite a vast rural one, on the outer edges of what is now the Auckland Supercity, (not too far from the airport) but also taking in the Northern edge of the Waikato region, so we do have lots around – the west and east coast beaches are great for surfing and swimming (when the weather is fine), but also fantastic to walk along and take in the sounds, smells and sights at this time of year.
Right now we can also enjoy (well many of us can!!) a long weekend with fun times at the local Glenbrook Vintage Railway. This weekend is their opening weekend for the season and there will be fun aplenty for all ages,, including a country market day on Monday!
Our local Pukekohe Performing Arts group will help bring back memories of a bygone era with their production of “Grease,” showing until Sunday.
If that isn’t enough to get you interested, then just wait and keep an eye out for more happenings in the region – including the V8 Supercars – only a matter of weeks away now!!! and with Christmas looming ever closer, there’s always the Christmas display to help get into the swing of things to come .
so, now I can make an effort to continue with the alphabet of Franklin, starting this time with the letter N –
is for New Zealand Steel who own the Steel mill at Franklin’s Glenbrook.
Although there has been some talk of the Steel mill closing, as there is and has been off and on for many years, according to Wikipedia, which was last updated in March of this year – Currently, the mill produces 650 000 tonnes of steel a year which is either domesticity used or exported. Over 90% of New Zealand’s steel requirements are produced at Glenbrook.
Public tours are available by arrangement – and a very interesting tour they do!!
and thanks to the generous support of New Zealand Steel, the NZ Steel galleries in Franklin: The Centre, Pukekohe, provide a flexible exhibition space with international-standard facilities for art works. Well worth a visit for the likes of the recently held Franklin Arts Festival .
is for one of our many wonderful places to stay – Orua Bay Beach Motor Camp & Accommodation, which is nestled in the tranquillity of the countryside on the northern shore of the Awhitu Peninsula, on the shore and in the centre of a beautiful 3km sandy beach, north-facing (for all day sun).
Onewhero Golf Club – one of our many good golf courses which is open dawn to dusk and is a mature course of 18 holes, set in the fertile Franklin area, with volcanic free draining soil, that means the course is rarely closed. Areas of native bush on the course attracting native pigeons.
Port Waikato Holiday Park – another of our regions great holiday parks where you can enjoy a true kiwi summer holiday experience – just the way it should be.
The Port Waikato area of Franklin region, is a well-known surfing and whitebaiting destination and a popular holiday spot as well as being one of the few places dinosaur fossils can be found in New Zealand.
Pukekohe Golf Club –The best course in Auckland (and it’s here in Franklin)- in our humble opinion! It is normally in such good condition that it deserves the title.
We also have the Pollok Arts & Crafts Co-op where you can purchase original arts and crafts mainly from the Awhitu Peninsula. These range from fine art, glassware, ceramics, jewellery, fabric art, right through to cards and organic foodstuffs.
is for Quality Caterers – our local catering company, specialising in wedding catering, spit roast catering and so much more.
for our wonderful Red Shed Palazzo – a place just off the southern motorway at Drury where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the wonderful food, gardens and let the kids have fun on the swings. You’ll enjoy tasty innovative cuisine in a laid-back environment and also serves delicious coffee. The fully licensed cafe has Steinlager Classic, Macs Gold on tap and a full range of Mount Riley wines.
this has GOT to stand for our famous “Spookers” attraction!!! The one and only scare yourselves silly site, where they will try to scare the yell out of you! and New Zealand’s only haunted attraction theme park.
We also have one of the fine dining locations here at Simunovich Estate’s Bracu Restaurant
plus one of our many wonderful B&B’s – Springcurl Lodge, an affordable luxury B&B and deer park, who are a pet friendly accommodation.
is for our reserves and parks – Tamakae Reserve in Waiuku with it’s bit of history : Legend has it that two prominent Wai O Hua brothers, Tamakae and Tamakou, vied for the hand of a beautiful high ranking Waikato chieftainess.
and Tapapakanga Regional Park, which has a rich Maori and European history.
For many centuries Täpapakanga was an important dwelling place for the Marutüahu iwi, especially Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Whanaunga.
In those days Tāpapakanga supported several large ka – inga (villages) each with extensive ku – mara and taro cultivation. Archaeological sites on the park, include three Māori pā, storage pits (rua), terraces (tūāpapa), shell middens (ahu ota ota) and ovens (umu) as well as stone heaps indicating extensive riverside gardens.
Generally, Franklin is a great place to be……
We have so much that is great here.
but……………………the locals are once again, feeling the effects of big brother – Auckland.
Let’s just hope that someone can take notice of the local ratepayers and constituents!
The idea of an information centre in Tuakau has been floated, off and on, for many years now, but it will need the support and communication of local businesses, groups and other entities.
The community and businesses will need to discuss where and what they want for the area, for this to come to fruition for the benefit of not only Tuakau, but the wider region. There will be questions to look at and answer – Is it best to continue along the current path of many businesses working to promote themselves on a slightly more individual basis, either through Waikato and/or Franklin as a whole? Should all of the regions businesses and tourism interested groups, all communicate to make one over-arching place with whom to work as a Southern Auckland/Northern Waikato region??
Many areas will have been through similar procedures when trying to get the best for their areas.
Maybe the issue here though, is how to deal with promotion and “getting noticed” since the “Franklin” region became split, with the Supercity structure officially putting Franklin’s southern areas into the Waikato.
Much food for thought!
Just one instance is –
Pokeno, our neighbour down the road in the Northern Waikato part of Franklin, has been through many changes over the years – going from a fairly busy village as per our photo, to an area by-passed by the modernisation of the highway/motorway and now back again towards being a busy town with it’s new and increasing housing areas.
The town also has Yasihili, the new Infant Formula Factory, being built. It will be interesting to see how this helps to build the region with employment, visitors and growth in general!
Yashili is part of a major group that leads the dairy market in China. To help us achieve our preeminent position there, we have been a longstanding importer of New Zealand milk powder. Now we are taking that one step further – we are not just sourcing our milk powder here; we are producing our finished goods here. Our $200 million investment in Pokeno focuses on the development and construction of a 30,000m2 manufacturing plant. Our annual production capacity of around 52,000 tonnes of infant formula products will supply the rapidly growing and increasingly demanding Chinese market.To help us achieve our potential in New Zealand we are looking for the brightest and best people in dairy manufacturing to come on board with us. We have job opportunities in manufacturing, supply chain and quality management. Come and join us and be part of our team that is putting Kiwi expertise on the world’s stage.
Yashili is one of the “big three” producers of infant milk formula for the domestic market in China. Our two leading brands, Yashily and Scient, and the more recently introduced Merla brand account for more than 80 per cent of Yashili Group’s total business. Yashili is also one of the leading suppliers of soymilk powder, cereal, rice flour and milk powder for adults and teenager to the Chinese market. Our products are sold in just over 105,000 retail outlets in China. In July 2012, we were named among the top 500 Most Valuable Brands in China for the ninth consecutive year. Yashili Group employs over 5000 people and reported an annual turnover in 2011 of NZ$566 million. We are publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In June 2013, China Mengniu Diary Company announced plans to acquire Yashili Group. Mengniu, China’s largest producer of liquid milk products, is part owned by China’s state-backed agricultural and food industry supplier COFCO.
Building Future CapacityChina’s infant formula market is expected to grow to NZ$32 billion by 2017, according to Euromonitor data. The increasing demand for infant milk formula is being driven by families shifting from rural locations to the cities, a stable birth rate, more mothers going out to work, and increases in disposable income. The challenge for Yashili and other manufacturers is to keep pace with demand while maintaining a high level of quality control. That’s why we have looked to New Zealand and its internationally recognised expertise in the manufacture of quality milk powder to build our newest dairy processing. Yashili already promotes the high quality of New Zealand-sourced milk content in our premium brands. We have imported milk powder from New Zealand for over 10 years and we have used New Zealand milk powder exclusively in our infant milk formula since August 2010. Now we are adding further value to our product with Kiwi manufacturing expertise, and the support of the country’s skilled labour force.
Today the Franklin Taste show was on at the Karaka Sports Grounds, with a pretty good turnout, and apparently Mayor Len Brown arrived, not sure where he was, but it was mentioned that he WAS there (maybe that bit will show on telly tonight?)
So, although not all of the stands were foodie stands, there was quite a mix of mainly local Franklin stands, and here are a few photos to get a “Taste” of what was on show.
Along with our own Balle family’s “Chip off the old Block” yummy potato chips,
Chip Off The Old Block potato chips are only ever made with Balle family grown and supplied potatoes which the chip makers then only ever cook in sunflower oil and then only ever sprinkle with natural seasonings. When they’re Flat Cut Chips they’re sliced thick with their skins on and when they’re Kettle Chips they’re cooked slow and long in batches for a bigger crunch.
Tuakau Hotel, Awaroa Vineyard and Cottage, Mercer Cheese
and more had a presence along with delicious cold pressed juice from Soul Organics, rich in nutrients and tasty too, bringing their product to the Auckland market. I am NOT much of a veggie eater particularly, but the “Detox Dude” organic, carrot, apple and lime drink was very delicious. It is packed with vitamins A, K and potassium and is a great source of energy for the body. My friend tried the “Energiser Bunny” – organic carrot, beetroot, apple and spray free ginger, and was impressed by this mix too! – amazing for heart health and a great source of nitrates with anti inflammatory properties. Look out for this brand in our region!
In the non foodies range, Glenbrook Lavender Oil Co had a range of beautiful smelling lavender soaps, along with shampoo, conditioner
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!!
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.
Book 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 –
Mix & Mingle
Venue: Bombay Rugby Club
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!
Dinner & Guest Speaker
Venue: Bombay School Hall
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 ……
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!
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