It’s time for Labour Day long weekend once again – the kickstart to summer, and all the local fun, games (and extra traffic) that usually entails. There’s plenty going on as usual, with new events joining old favourites and something to suit all tastes and budgets. Mahurangi Matters has put together a round-up of some of the highlights …
Saturday, October 20
Bargain hunters should head out to Snells Beach, where a ‘Nip n Kwik Sale’ is being held at Snells Beach Community Church at 325 Mahurangi East Road from 8am to noon. There will be a car boot sale, plus white elephant, clothing, book and plant stalls, plus refreshments.
Info: Gary Spittal 425 5415.
Book lovers have two opportunities to indulge themselves. At Point Wells, there is a book sale in the community hall between 9am and 12.30pm. Fiction, non-fiction and children’s books will be on sale from 50 cents each, raising funds to buy new books for the Point Wells Community Library. Further north, Mangawhai Museum in Molesworth Drive is holding its annual Labour Weekend book sale on both Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 4pm, with all books priced from $1 each.
Meanwhile, free bouncy castles, outdoor games and face painting will be on offer at a Labour Weekend Family Day in the beer garden at The Red House at 182 State Highway 1 just north of Warkworth, from 11am to 6pm.
Sunday, October 21
Take a peek into the past at the Warkworth & District Museum’s annual open day, with free entry, a range of activities and a chance to see items and areas not normally on public display, including the textile and archive departments. There will be children’s crafts, including painting rocks and fence palings, kauri gum polishing, a scavenger hunt and old-fashioned party games. Vintage machinery will be running, there will be a blacksmithing display and food and drinks will be available. The open day runs from 10am to 4pm at Parry Kauri Park.
There might be no Matakana School Gala this Labour Weekend, but the almost-as-iconic Leigh Community Preschool Country Gala is full steam ahead as usual, in the Leigh School grounds on Sunday from 9am until 2pm. A diverse range of stalls will be selling vintage clothing, pre-loved treasures and books, arts and crafts, and children’s clothes and toys. There will be a Little Farmers Market featuring locally-grown plants, fresh produce and flowers. In addition there will be a gala café selling Devonshire teas, home baking and gourmet hot food, including snapper, lamb and steak burgers. The ever-popular quick fire raffles, featuring prime seafood from Leigh Fisheries, and a silent auction will also be held. There will be rides, bouncy castles, a magic show and the traditional giant ice slide for the kids.
Two local wineries will be staging music, food and wine events on Sunday. Heron’s Flight has Wine, Blues & Food at its cellar door in Sharp Road, Matakana, featuring the “good ’ol growling blues” music of Blind Willie Motel and food from Fired Up Pizza, starting at 1.30pm onwards. In Mangawhai, Te Whai Bay Wines is holding Music in the Vines at its King Road winery, with singer Greg Lay playing 60s and 70s classics and platters and gourmet barbecue food available between 3 and 6pm.
Monday, October 22
The annual Matakana Mixed Doubles Social Tennis one-day knockout competition is being held at the tennis courts in Jubilee Park from 10am, with the finals at 4pm. Couples wanting to join in the fun need to register via firstname.lastname@example.org by 4pm on Thursday, October 18 and the draw for partners will take place at the Sawmill Brewery on Friday, October 19 at 6pm. On the day itself, it’s BYO picnic, drink, blanket, chairs and water, with a barbecue provided.
Meanwhile, in Mangawhai there’s a one-day pop-up photography exhibition by Paul Walter Kaiser, a former Australian motorsport and Melbourne Age photographer. Mangawhai Life will feature shots exemplifying Mangawhai’s relaxed rural, beach and holiday lifestyle. The exhibition will be at the old Anglican church at the Mangawhai Pioneer Village, next to the Mangawhai Museum in Molesworth Drive, from 10am to 3pm.
Paul Walter Kaiser’s photography.