WAIRARAPA: WINGS, WHEELS AND WONDER
There’s plenty to see and do in the Wairarapa this summer thanks to an action packed events calendar and a stunning landscape that provides lots of opportunities for people to reconnect with nature. Aerosparx, a world renowned display team flying motor gliders with wing-tip pyrotechnic capabilities will make their New Zealand debut at the 2017 Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival. The UK based Aerosparx will showcase their spectacular flying performance at the Air Festival being held at Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome from February 17th – 19th, just one of several major events being held in the region this summer. As part of the Wings programme they will perform two daytime displays and a special one-off evening show on Saturday 18th February which is a new addition to the flying programme and will be different to what is seen in the skies during the day. Aerosparx will dazzle the crowd with their smoke and wing-tip pyrotechnics on the gliders that paint a remarkable picture in the sky. They will also complement other aircraft that span 100 years of aviation – from the world renowned WWI Vintage Aviator Collection permanently based at Hood Aerodrome to the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s newly formed Black Falcons, who will also make their NZ debut at Wings Over Wairarapa. Like previous years, there will also be on-the ground entertainment including military re-enactments, a family-friendly area and retail tent village. The same Saturday, town meets country at the Trust House Masterton A&P Show being held at the Solway Showgrounds. This fun, fantastic day out for all of the family includes prized livestock on show, a farm yard nursery, a three-day equestrian event; a food village, children’s entertainment and exhibition stands selling both rural and homewares. Another action packed weekend is Waitangi Weekend that begins when international singing superstar Ladyhawke headlines a summer concert in Masterton. Ladyhawke, aka Pip Brown, will headline the concert to be held at Memorial Park on Friday, 3rd February 2017 and is excited about performing in her old home town. Ladyhawke is expected to play tracks from all three of her albums including her self-titled debut album which was No. 1 in the Australia and New Zealand’s album charts in 2008; Anxiety and the recently released Wild Things. Wairarapa indie band LA Woman will open for Ladyhawke. Other events on the same Waitangi Weekend include the popular Martinborough Fair on February 4th and the Tauherenikau Horse Races on the Monday, which is a public holiday. Before February gets underway, the Wairarapa will host several events in January including UB40 playing at Luna Estate in Martinborough (Jan 2nd); The Topp Twins headlining the three-day Wairarapa Country Music Festival at the Tauherenikau Racecourse (Jan 13th – 15th); the UCI 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic, an international men’s road cycling event and Huri Huri: Wairaparpa’s Bike Festival with events catering to all levels of involvement in cycling. If you’re coming to the Wairarapa for any of these events, be sure to take the time to explore the region’s five townships of Featherston, Martinborough, Carterton, Greytown and Masterton and the nearby countryside which is surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, orchards and rolling pastures. They’ve plenty of terrific cafes, restaurants and country pubs that serve local and seasonal produce to keep people fuelled up while the coastal communities of Castlepoint, Riversdale and Ngawi at Cape Palliser provide endless fishing, camping and walking opportunities. For more information on the Wairarapa, including booking accommodation, visit www.wairarapanz.com.