Press Release – Destination Wairarapa
Celebrating the start of the grape harvest, watching hot air balloons drift through the sky and walking amongst Martinborough’s vineyards will be some of the choices for visitors to the Wairarapa this weekend.
Destination Wairarapa general manager David Hancock says the region is preparing for an influx of visitors this weekend (March 14 – 16) with four key events.
These include Saturday’s Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival, Sunday’s annual Martinborough Round the Vines fun run and walk, the Tora Tora Tora Coastal Music festival and the three-day Wairarapa Balloon Fiesta, which lifts off on Thursday.
Mr Hancock says with autumn about to set in, it is the perfect opportunity for people to enjoy another brilliant weekend outdoors in the Wairarapa.
“Fantastic wine, delicious regional food and a beautiful setting await people attending this weekend’s almost sold out Harvest Festival while the Balloon Fiesta will be just spectacular,” says Mr Hancock. “This diverse range of events will showcase the best of the Wairarapa’s wine, food, coastline and outdoors.”
The weekend’s activities begin early on Thursday with the three-day Wairarapa Balloon Fiesta that has attracted more than 20 balloons and their pilots from all over New Zealand. The annual event will also feature two special shaped balloons, a seven-storied high flying house and a 54-metre tall Space Shuttle replica, both making their first ever appearance at a New Zealand balloon fiesta. The Fiesta programme feature a series of competitions and displays and weather permitting, balloons will launch each day at dawn when the breeze is gentle and drift over the region’s characterful towns, farms and vineyards.
The programme also includes Saturday night’s family focused Trust House Night Glow at the Solway Showgrounds in Masterton where tethered balloons light up the night sky in a dazzling display set to music. It will conclude on Sunday morning with the popular ‘Splash ‘n Dash’ at Masterton’s Henley Lake.
As ballooning is dependent on the right weather conditions, decisions about each flight will be made each morning with updates on the Wairarapa Balloon Fiesta’s facebook page and website www.nzballoons.co.nz.
For those wanting to sample the region’s wines and fresh food in a relaxed and unpretentious riverside setting in the popular Gladstone wine growing area, then Saturday’s Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival is the place to be. The almost sold out event, celebrates the beginning of the grape harvest and will feature 16 local wineries, 10 high profile restaurants and local food producers. Visitors to the Festival will have the opportunity to sample wines from well known and smaller boutique wineries as well as meet the wine makers from the vineyards involved, giving them an insight into the wide variety and styles of wine available in the region.
Music lovers are also catered for at Tora Tora Tora 2014, a music festival that brings Wellington’s awesome music scene to the beautiful Wairarapa coastline. This private family event has grown from a few musicians and friends camping out under the stars to an annual event showcasing up and coming as well as long standing members of the Wellington music scene.
The weekend’s events conclude on Sunday with the annual Martinborough Round the Vines fun run and walk. The 10km and 21km courses start and finish in Martinborough’s picturesque village square, crossing normally inaccessible vineyards with stunning views of the famous Martinborough Terrace edge and surrounding country side.
• Wairarapa Balloon Fiesta, March 13 – 16 (various venues)
Programme and flight details on www.nzballoons.co.nz
Be sure to like us on Facebook/Wairarapa Balloon Fiesta
• Tora Tora Tora! Music Festival
March 14 – 16th, Tora Coast, South Wairarapa
For tickets and camping information www.toramusicfestival.co.nz
• Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival
Saturday, March 15th, Daikins Road, Gladstone
• Round the Vines run and walk, Martinborough (10km and 21km)
Sunday, March 16
For further information visit www.wairarapanz.com