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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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

Weather bomb…

Well THAT was a bit scary last night!!
lightening

Here in Franklin, we had a bit of a wake up at around 10:30 last night with the crashing of thunder, that sounded like it was right over my head!! and lightening straight afterwards.
Apart from hearing a few alarms going off, I couldn’t see that there were any other major problems.
The paper this morning, tells of –

about 20 properties on Pukekohe’s O’Connor Drive received electrical damage about 10.30pm. Firefighers, police and staff from local lines company Counties Power attended, checking on homes and residents.

Apparently Papakura was also hit,

Fire Service spokesman Scott Osmond said ower to the entire street was cut for the night with damage due to be assessed this morning.

“There was no actual fire but there’s been some damage to electrical switchboards in the houses.”

Two houses in Ariki Place, Papakura were also struck by lightning and damaged.

There were no reports of injuries in either street.

I guess this IS winter and we do expect the weather to brings challenges…..all I can say is that I am glad I wasn’t driving anywhere at that time last night! Now that would have been scary!!!

cartoon lightening

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