All Year Round: Visit Franklin for Walking, Biking, History and Arts Trails and Festivals

VISIT FRANKLIN! An undiscovered part of south Auckland and North Waikato, starting at Papakura and stretching as far east as Miranda, as far West as Awhitu and south as far as Hampton Downs and Waikaritu.

Franklin is home to some very special festivals that appeal to a wide range of visitors.

Every March there is a celebration of the Mighty Waikato River with pop-up events along the river, culminating in a dusk karakia at Port Waikato. 

If vintage ploughing, tractor pulling, haymaking the old way, hayrides and steamboat rides appeal to you, then you will not want to miss the Franklin Vintage Machinery annual event at Glenbrook in March. 

April showcases Art at the Port with exhibitions held at the historic riverside "Brasell’s Woolshed" at Port Waikato. It was the original shearing shed for the farm, and still has the old wool press, the slatted catching pens and the rusting grinder; all of which provide a quirky environment to display artists’ works. The annual festival held in April provides a full day with lots of fun activities for all the family.  While you are here, be sure to visit the Harker Reserve a very gentle walk through the bush on a graded track to the historic Vivian Falls. 

In May we celebrate the Veggie Basket Food, Wine & Market Festival in Pukekohe and bring together the fresh produce growers and farmers with restaurants, cafes and food trucks.  Come for the weekend and stay at the historic Tuakau Hotel, built-in 1875 and featuring a restaurant, bar and gaming lounge. Or why not stay in the rural village of Onewhero at the elegant and historic luxury accommodation at Miller House. Other options include the Tuakau Bridge Motorhome Park or the amazingly beautiful LaValla estate where you can enjoy a lazy weekend stay culminating in a legendary Sunday at LaValla brunch. 

If walking or mountain biking is your thing, then be sure to explore the 21km 5 Summits Trail in Pukekohe or the 30+ kilometres of the Te Araroa Trail that pass through our district or the tracks around the Mangatawhiri Dam in the Hunua Ranges.

Every Labour weekend in October, the Franklin Arts Trail sees our award-winning and emerging artists in all sorts of mediums open their studios to the public.  From glass blowing to Adrian Bevis Pottery, to steel sculpture to paintings - we have some of the most diverse artwork in the North Island. Many of our artists take their inspiration from the local landscapes and features.  Be sure to check it out.   

If you are here in November, check out the V8 Supercars at Pukekohe Park.