Be Careful out there………

In light of the recent tragedies on our roads throughout New Zealand, and also here in Franklin, I think that we all need to be aware that none of us are “bullet-proof”
Franklin SH1Some time ago, I was asked if we could put some info onto our website to help overseas tourists understand about the driving requirements in our region and New Zealand as a whole, which we have been very happy to do –

If you’re visiting the Franklin region from overseas you’ll find our beautiful countryside and sinuous roads excellent to drive on. You’ll need to know a few rules so you don’t inadvertently break the law and get a fine, or worse, cause an accident.

The main things you need to know are:

· We drive on the left

· Using a hand-held mobile phone to call, text or access services while driving or stationary at traffic lights is illegal.

· Our speeds and distances are posted in kilometres per hour and kilometres. 100km/h is around 60mph and is our open road speed limit. The urban limit is 50km/h.

· If your licence is in English you can drive in New Zealand for up to a year. However, if your licence is not in English you will need to get an International Driving Permit or an authorised translation to English to accompany your licence.

· Children up to age 7 must be in an approved child seat and all occupants must wear seat belts.

· The blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, but we recommend that you don’t drink at all if you drive.

There are quite a few differences in road signs and road markings. You can take a free Road Code quiz at this website, and NZTA produces a booklet called What’s Different About Driving in New Zealand, which you can download here.

If you are not used to driving on the left hand side of the road you will need to pay special attention to give way (yield) rules, lane markings, indication rules and particularly what to do on roundabouts where you will be going clockwise, not anticlockwise.

We hope you enjoy your stay in the Franklin region, and whether you’re taking a scenic drive to the lighthouse or Port Waikato, heading off bird watching at Miranda, or visiting one of the many historic regional towns, stay safe and alert on the roads.

We all need to understand our driving habits and make sure that we do so safely. It is a tragedy to lose family and/or friends through lack of understanding, over confidence or just plain stupidity.
Now that the weather is getting cooler and there is more rain, it becomes increasingly apparent that we need to watch the conditions in which we drive.
NZ has winding roads, many of which are narrow, and although locals become confident in knowing the road, there is always the chance that an unexpected vehicle/bike/person/animal/road slip, will be where there was nothing previously.

Take your time and enjoy being able to stop safely to look at the view, have a break or a quiet cuppa.
So ” be careful out there” as they used to say on the tv show Hill Street Blues, many years ago 🙂

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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!!

Oh NO!! A potato shortage!!

Goodness me! Franklin is making sure that there are potatoes out there (as we usually do)…..
One of Franklin’s local papers has the (short) story of the potato shortage hitting home.

potatoes Puke grown

If it were not for Pukekohe, there would be no potatoes or carrots in New Zealand at the moment after weather conditions have resulted in a shortage of new seasons crops, according to a member of the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association.
…crop yields have been below average because of the rough spring we have been experiencing. The below average temperatures and constant high winds have affected crops. Also the old season potatoes have run out, forcing the chip and crisps processors to use al the new season potatoes from the Franklin District. They are also not getting enough supply.Balle Bros chips
The situation highlights the need to preserve Franklin Districts frost free horticultural land.
“We are the first district in New Zealand to start planting and harvesting new seasons potatoes. Hence we are currently supplying New Zealand with fresh new season potatoes and carrots. If it were not for us, there would be no potatoes or carrots in New Zealand”!

The rich productive soils and the temperate climate favours the growing and horticulture industries. The name Pukekohe means “Hill of the Kohekohe”, New Zealand’s native mahogany. Pukekohe lies between the Auckland and Waikato regions (52 kms from Auckland and 97 kms from Hamilton). The town developed as a service town for the horticultural and agricultural industries and has now broadened into a thriving and modern community – a destination for shopping and recreation.

Pukekohe has been called the food basket of New Zealand.

Annual rainfall for Auckland is around 1142mm and annual sunshine hours are approximately 2149 hours. Parts of Pukekohe are frost-free – giving an early advantage over the rest of the country.

The local vegetable growing industry is acclaimed for its innovative growing methods. The Franklin Sustainability Project for environmental care won the prestigious Ministry for the Environment Green Ribbon Award in 2000. The project was initiated by the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association to champion and promote best practice guidelines amongst the commercial vegetable growers of the area for the sustainable management of the natural and physical resources of the district.

The Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association is affiliated to Horticulture New Zealand – the National Industry Body.

potatoes redcarrots

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 region is in for a busy weekend!

Goodness – this time of the year continues to be pretty darn busy here in Franklin Country!FC logo pic

If you are keen on antiques and collectables, then we have the place for you! Pukekohe Town hall will be the location to check out all of those items of interest and memories, with the Antiques and Collectables Show. antiques pic
The show is on both Saturday and Sunday and there will be plenty of other things to visit too. The market is always on at the Massey Ave carpark on a Saturday, and another at the Pokeno Village on Sunday, with great fresh produce and much much more, so well worth a visit too.
markets pic

On Sunday, if you are feeling energetic, there is the 1/2 marathon or 6 k fun run, whichever you feel you can cope with! You will need to register and get there nice and early and afterwards, just over the road, is the Pukekohe Raceway’s “Bridles, Brollies and Beauties” event. By the looks of the weather forecast, it should be a chance to get some sun and have some fun.
horse race

…..and if that’s not enough action to cover, there is always the ENZED V8 Jetsprints at Meremere also on Sunday!
Jetsprints

If you are worried about somewhere to stay then we have a range of accommodation options here in Franklin. There is the wonderful Tuakau Hotel (they also have accommodation at the Mercer airfield). Touchwood Motel in Pukekohe is handy to all events, as is Aveda Motor Lodge and BK’s Motorlodge and we have a number of B&B’s too, if that’s more your style! as well as camp grounds such as Clarks Beach Holiday Park.
The beaches are fairly handy too – the black sand west coast Karitahi or Port Waikato, or the calmer east coast beaches like Maraetai. Clarks Beach is a great place for swimming, boating and more, along with Glenbrook Beach, Waiau Pa, Kaiaua…the list is endless.
PLUS…if you are into golfing, then there are at least 5 or more courses all handy, with the Pukekohe course on the main road into town. The guys there would love to help get you set up for a round!
So check out our info on our website and come out our way for an awesome weekend with absolutely heaps to do and great weather to do it in!Clarks Beach

Antiques Fair at Drury

antiques picFor all of you antiques buffs…..it’s time for another Annual Antique Fair at Drury School Hall from 12th – 14th July 2013.
This major event in fundraising efforts by Papakura Quota, is dedicated to helping a wide range of community causes.
Since the fairs began 24 years ago, over a whopping $220,000 has been donated. This year the proceeds will be directed towards helping our local South Auckland children’s health needs.
On Friday 12th July, a special gala night will take place with tickets available at the door – $20, and the evening begins at 7:30 p.m
Door tickets to the Fair are $5, and the doors are open from 10:00 a.m until 4:00 p.m on both Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July.
This will be a fantastic weekend and visitors will also have the opportunity to have their family treasures valued by antiques valuer, Norman Young.