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Don’t go com­plain­ing there is noth­ing to do in Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay on the week­ends, now that the 2018 Spring Fling is of­fi­cially un­der­way.

The Spring Fling, which will see events be­ing held ev­ery week­end in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber and the first week­end of Novem­ber, started off on Satur­day with the start of Tani­wha Daf­fodils, fol­low­ing a launch at­tended by spon­sors and event hosts at the River Park Event Cen­tre at Waipawa on Fri­day evening.

With clear blue skies and warm tem­per­a­tures, a stun­ning first day of spring on Satur­day made for a busy open­ing day at Tani­wha Daf­fodils, said event or­gan­iser, Es­ther Mabin.

“It was one of our big­ger days. Prob­a­bly not the big­gest, but cer­tainly one of our big­gest open­ing Satur­days ever,” said Es­ther, daugh­terin-law of event cre­ator, Rai­lene Mabin.

By lunchtime on Satur­day, there were more than 60 cars parked on the grounds at Tani­wha Homestead, just south of Waipuku­rau on SH2.

Vol­un­teers at the wrap­ping sta­tion and staff at the on-site cafe´ had barely a spare mo­ment, but Es­ther said it was hard to know ex­actly how many peo­ple turned out for open­ing day.

“I thought about count­ing the cars at one stage, but there’s just too much to do,” she said.

Fam­i­lies en­joyed pic­nics in be­tween pick­ing bunches of 30 daf­fodils for $7.50 to raise funds for Plun­ket, and took pho­to­graphs of their chil­dren among the sea of daf­fodils that blan­ket the 20 acres of grounds.

“There are a lot of fam­i­lies that come back ev­ery year and take pho­tos of their kids in the daf­fodils and then put them in an al­bum. A lot of peo­ple to do that.”

It took a lot of hard work by family mem­bers and helpers to get the grounds in such good shape, but Es­ther said it was all worth it.

“It’s great to see so many fam­i­lies here — I love it. Quite a few peo­ple look you straight in the eye and say thank you so much, and you think, ‘oh, it’s all worth it’.”

Due to the weather, Sun­day was less busy but still steady said Es­ther, but the month-long event — which has raised more than $250,000 for Plun­ket over the last 40 years — was off to a good start.

“We al­ways aim to give no less than $10,000 a sea­son to Plun­ket,” she said. Tani­wha Daf­fodils runs ev­ery day dur­ing Septem­ber, weather per­mit­ting. The next ma­jor event in the Spring Fling is The Fes­ti­val — a four-day hill­top cel­e­bra­tion of food, art, wine and crafts held at Puke­ora Es­tate from Septem­ber 6 to 9.

At Fri­day’s launch at River Park Event Cen­tre, which is host­ing a Long Lunch on Septem­ber 15, CHB Mayor Alex Walker said with the back­ing of Hawke’s Bay Tourism, the Spring Fling was help­ing to at­tract visi­tors to the dis­trict.

“HB Tourism has been mon­i­tor­ing tourism spend in the dis­trict and it’s up 20 per from last year at $37 mil­lion. We are cer­tainly on an up­wards tra­jec­tory when it comes to the tourist dol­lar,” she said.


Holly Sigvert­sen, 7, brother Cooper, 5, and Lucy An­der­son, 6, at the open­ing day of Tani­wha Daf­fodils on Satur­day.

Ade­line Horner, 8 months, soaks up the sun among the daf­fodils.

Fam­i­lies en­joy­ing a pic­nic while oth­ers pick buck­ets of flow­ers at Tani­wha Homestead.

A sea of yel­low.

James and younger sis­ter Made­line have fun after trav­el­ling down from Napier.

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