Franklin County News
Explore fabulous Franklin this autumn
With two more months of autumn, it’s the perfect time to explore your own backyard. Start with the historic town of Waiuku, the gateway to the Awhitu Peninsula.
You can easily spend a day exploring the town. Follow the heritage trail and visit the unique range of gift, clothing and hobby stores, eateries and endless options for pampering. As you stroll Queen Street you’ll catch glimpses of the hills sheltering the town from the rugged west coast, and the meandering Waiuku River, a tidal inlet of the Manukau Harbour, once a major trading port. At the bottom of town is the Kentish Hotel and Portside Bar, the oldest continuously licenced pub in NZ. Over on Tamakae Reserve is the now famous ‘‘Weather Stone’’, accurately forecasting the weather for over 30 years! Waiuku Museum is one of the best little country museums in the region, well worth a visit.
The Waiuku Trails are the perfect opportunity to take in the water views and work up an appetite as they snake around the river to the harbour’s edge with views to Glenbrook.
Hire a vintage bike and hamper with options for all ages. Take your time with lots of lovely spots to stop and relax, or swim and play at Taahuna Taikoto
Travel the Waiuku River aboard beautiful Ratahi, see Waitangi Falls, enjoy Devonshire Tea, hear about the history and sites of significance.
Glenbrook Vintage Railway is a a must for history or train enthusiasts and the kids will love it! Check out Glenbrook Model Railway too, which now has a miniature train ride for kids.
Waiuku Golf Club has a lovely scenic course if you fancy a putt. Tour the outstanding Waiuku Agricultural & Machinery Museum. Visit beautiful gardens; learn about the properties of west coast Titanomagnetite.
There’s no need to travel far to explore the great outdoors
Waiuku is known for. From Karioitahi’s expansive black ironsand beach, dramatic cliffs and adventure options, to Castaways resort, to the pine woodland of the Waiuku Forest. Venture further afield and be rewarded with breathtaking scenery as you navigate Awhitu Peninsula towards the windswept dunes of Hamilton’s Gap, the iconic Kohekohe Church, and incredibly scenic Awhitu Regional Park. Cross the peninsula to picnic at one of the tranquil sandy bays hugging the harbour.
Discover local arts at Pollok Coop and stop for a coffee in the sculpture garden or visit Awhitu golf club.
Take in the stunning scenery, discover unique experiences, the lovely village shops, and enjoy a bite to eat at one of the 30+ cafes, restaurants, bars and bakeries. Feel the old-world charm and friendly country atmosphere. Come for a day or stay for a while, we guarantee you will visit again.
❚ For more information, visit www.waiukutown.co.nz or Waiuku Information Centre, 2 Queen St Waiuku, open Wednesday to Sunday. Phone 09 235-6201.
❚ The lighthouse at Manukau Heads is not accessible at present due to serious storm damage to the Manukau Heads Rd.