Spoilt for choice with Wairarapa March events

Castlepoint Beach Races

Yes, the glorious Wairarapa summer continues but at last the sting has gone from the sizzling heat, perfect timing then for a host of outdoor events.

First on offer is the ever popular Martinborough Fair, Saturday 7 March, where the focus is quality craft, clothing, delicious food and great music. If the February fair is anything to go by when 30,000 people descended on Martinborough wine village, better you will definitely find something to take home.

Martinborough Fair

For more family fun, the following weekend, Saturday 14 March, has two absolute top-shelf events, but you’re going to have to make a call on which one, Castlepoint Beach Races or Bush Cycle Tour?

Pack up your picnic, fold-up chairs and chilly bin for a fantastic family day at the Castlepoint Beach Races. The beach races date back to 1872 when local farmhands would race each other for bottles of rum and stray coins. Today, thoroughbreds have replaced farm hacks and the day is as much about family as it is about horses. Betting is allowed but you'll be allocated a horse at random, for a ticket price of $2. Plus there is plenty of fun and games to be had before the races kick off.

Castlepoint Beach Races

One of the best cycling occasions, the Bush Cycle Tour caters for all ages and abilities. Starting and finishing at the Tui Brewery, in Mangatainoka, the rides cover 5km, 15km, 40km, 80km and 125km, with all routes steering clear of the busy main road. As is always the case with events at the Tui Brewery, there are lots of epic prizes to be won on the day.

Bush Cycle Tour

It’s a massive weekend with two other big events; the sold out Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival, and the 121 Festival, a 3-day dance and music extravaganza at Tauherenikau Racecourse starting Friday 13, tickets still available at www.121festival.co.nz.

For the penultimate weekend of the month, 21-22 March, Drag racing action returns to the international track at Masterton Motorplex with the National Champs Series Final. If burning rubber is not your thing, the annual Round the Vines fun run in Martinborough is a great option with 10 km and 21 km courses.