Franklin Country – it’s where things happen!!

It’s that time of year again – the V8 Supercars are here in town – our place – Franklin Country!

Today saw the blessing of the Pukekohe Park Raceway track and drivers for the V8 Supercar racing ahead of this weekends excitement.

The fun has really begun now – the track is set up and raring to go with the thunder of V8Supercars ITM 500. Fans will be flocking in to see their motor sport heroes in action!

during the ITM 500 Auckland, Event 04 of the 2014 Australian V8 Supercars Championship Series at the Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe, April 27, 2014.

For those wanting to spread their wings and investigate the region, well….there’s plenty to see. Head to our web page for some ideas including our fantastic local GVR steam train, our iconic Manukau Heads lighthouse and surrounds.

gvr-steam-train-and-engine.jpg

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

If you want to just hang out in Auckland city, the Cloud on the waterfront will be the place to head to see the Travel Expo for what we have in the outer regions of Auckland – the regional playgrounds!

There are local museums to investigate – great foodie haunts for all appetites….and speaking of haunts – head on over to Spookers too!!

Keep looking – there is much more to see and investigate than what it appears. We have it all – in a location that gives you city savvy with country style!

…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.

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

All over for another year!

Well…that’s it for this year!
and as the Sunday Star Times said ” Mighty Murph does it again”


v8-podium-pic.jpgFranklin’s Pukekohe Park Raceway has, once again, been the home of the V8 Supercars racing over the ANZAC weekend, and what a weekend it was!

After a cooler ANZAC day start, the sun came out for Saturday and Sunday to give the crowd some fantastic viewing moments – such as Jason Bright heading into the wall at turn four, (not so good for Jason, but all adding to the excitement!) as well as some great passing moves on the track, by the likes of Shane van Gisbergen, and in the V8 Supertourers race, Aucklander, Simon Evans passing moves as well as Ant Pedersens attempt at passing Greg Murphy, only to end up hitting another car – Simon Evans!

With more than 125,000 people coming in to Pukekohe to spend the weekend at the V8 racing, the region can be proud of the way things went.
Obviously many people and businesses had a huge hand in the proceedings, with Franklin’s sub area commander of Police, Rob Honan, commenting (see the May 1 Franklin County News Paper)”

I would like to thank the people of Franklin for being great hosts……….it went without a hitch”

So fantastically well done Franklin and the visitors who came to our patch :)!!