Events

The Insider's Guide to New Zealand - - NORTH ISLAND -

The Ohakune Car­rot Car­ni­val, end of May. Ohakune pays homage to its her­itage with a mas­sive street car­ni­val hon­our­ing the car­rot. Car­rots, parsnips, swedes and spuds have fu­elled the lo­cal economy since the 20s. Be­fore the ski fields opened the car­rot was king. The car­ni­val is a chance for lo­cals to cel­e­brate their roots. There are stalls, com­pe­ti­tions, car­rot grow­ers’ games, orange-themed fancy dress and a Car­rot Cake of the Year com­pe­ti­tion. car­rot­car­ni­val.org.nz

The Moun­tain Mardi Gras, early June. This was launched as part of a bounce-back cam­paign af­ter Mt Ruapehu blew its stack in the mid-90s. It was a sig­nal that the moun­tain was back in busi­ness. Thou­sands of ski-crazy folk wear­ing one­sies dance till dawn to live mu­sic in Ohakune’s main street. The high-al­ti­tude party co­in­cides with the open­ing of the ski fields. ohakune­mardi­gras.co.nz

Waimarino Lo­cal Wild Food Chal­lenge, Wai­tangi week­end. Good old-fash­ioned hos­pi­tal­ity and home-grown gourmet grub are guar­an­teed. On the menu are eel, trout, puha, veni­son, wild pig, this­tle, wild flow­ers, huhu, kura, feral ap­ple, wild rasp­ber­ries, Ma–ori pota­toes and rewena bread, plus heaps of seafood from the re­gion’s coastal neigh­bours. Hun­ters and gather­ers, chefs, home cooks and peo­ple who love food are wel­come. lo­cal­wild­food­chal­lenge.com

The Goat Alpine Ad­ven­ture Run, De­cem­ber. This run from Whaka­papa to the

Turoa ski fields is not for the faint-hearted or the un­fit. It’s 21 kilo­me­tres around the moun­tain’s western slopes cov­er­ing a 1000-me­tre ver­ti­cal des­cent. Those with the en­ergy to look around will see an­cient lava flows, moun­tain beech forest and boul­der-strewn rivers. Rated as one of New Zealand’s most pop­u­lar off-road run­ning events. the­goat.co.nz

Waimarino Rodeo, March. New Zealand’s long­est con­tin­u­ously run­ning rodeo is held at Raetihi Show­ground. Cow­pokes pit their skills against the power of wild bron­cos, big bulls and steers. It’s the fi­nal rodeo on the Aus­tralasian cir­cuit so big bucks are on the line. rodeonz.co.nz

Tus­sock Buster, March. The Waiouru Tus­sock Buster is the largest trail-bike event in New Zealand and is re­garded by many as be­ing the best event of its kind in the south­ern hemi­sphere. Rid­ers get to race around a mil­i­tary train­ing ground, which makes it more ex­cit­ing. There are more than 250 kilo­me­tres of marked rid­ing trails for all lev­els of com­pe­tency. of­flim­its.co.nz

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