SPRING IS HERE!
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.