What’s on this weekend: Central Otago, New Zealand

By Lillian McHugh

What’s on this weekend: Central Otago, New Zealand
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Central Otago has you sorted.

Not much beats a warm, dry Central Otago Summer with buckets full of freshly picked cherries and afternoons by the lakes. As Summer holidays come to an end, and the kids start complaining about heading back to school, we’ve sourced a range of great, local activities for you to get up to this weekend.

– The one and only Waikeri Fest is back this weekend in the Waikerikeri Valley, Alexandra. With over 30 live bands, the three day festival is set to be the ultimate Summer event. Pitch your tent, stay for the whole weekend, and enjoy the best of the local New Zealand music scene with some delicious Southern fare.

– Also in Alexandra this weekend, are the Alexandra Summer markets. Located in Pioneer Park on Saturday, January 16, the Summer markets are organised by the Four Marketeers, a group of local women, who took over the planning of the markets in 2007, with all profits going to local community groups. The European-style markets sell plants, local produce, crafts and second hand goods.

– Quickly becoming a local favourite, the Teviot Valley Cherry Chaos festival on Saturday, January 16, is heating up this year with a host of new events. The annual fruit fight held at the Roxborough Sports Ground from 5pm, includes an obstacle ‘Cherry Chaos’ course and Cherry Cook off, with a great range of prizes up for grabs.

– Another local market, and a weekly favourite of the MiNDFOOD team, is the Cromwell Farmers’ and craft market held every Sunday from 9am at the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. Abundant regionally sourced produce is for sale, including cherries and stone fruit, cheeses and chutneys, as well as wine and freshly baked bread and sweet delicacies. And don’t forget to stop by the galleries and stores in Old Cromwell and feed the ducks floating past under the Willow trees by the lake.

– Legendary group UB40 are heading to Waitiri Creek Winery in Gibbston on Friday night for the Otago leg of their Red Red Wine Vineyard Tour. Kicking off from 5pm, pack a picnic and enjoy a night under the stars, listening to some great, classic hits. Iconic Kiwi artists Jason Kerrison and Herbs are set to get the night started as the support acts.

While in Central Otago, don’t forget to call into the many incredible vineyards and local producers for a real taste of the area. You’ll be surprised at what you find; fresh peonies, sprouted peas and berries galore. There is a vintage car rally in Cromwell on Friday night, remember to pack an umbrella, its looking a little cloudy, and this weekend is the last for Sam Neil’s pop up cellar door at Two Paddocks, in Bannockburn.

Let us know what you get up to this weekend and share your photos with us @mindfoodmag.


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