This is the first instalment in a three-part series chronicling all the cool things happening in Waipara this month. Having only ventured to Waipara once before, I had always vowed to explore more of its offerings.

As a local food and wine lover, I couldn’t resist a day trip to the North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival. Showcasing the region’s best food and wine, NCWFF is an annual event that draws crowds from North Canterbury, Christchurch and beyond. Even the monotonous rain didn’t dampen the mood. Festival goers showed up in gumboots, swanndri jackets to ward off the rain and enjoy the atmosphere.

Thankfully Nick offered to drive, so I could indulge in a few different wines. I adored the rosé from Mt. Beautiful and the Damsteep Pinot Noir from Black Estate. Cakes by Anna created rosé-infused cakes for the occasion (!) and Akaroa’s own, Sweet and Savage served champagne and elderflower poached apricot doughnuts from a shiny silver shiny 1959 airstream caravan! Even Tom Hison of Auckland’s Orphans Kitchen was in attendance, serving pies with venison sourced from his sister’s North Canterbury farm. It was perfect pie weather, after all!

Glenmark Domain was rustically decorated with foraged flowers and bales of hay. The acorn trees provided the perfect backdrop for the festivities. An hour’s drive north of Christchurch, we welcomed Waipara’s slower pace and rural charms. Live entertainment included The Swan Sisters and Goldonies as well as retro-infused DJ Willy Styles. 

I could go on and on, but instead I’ll leave you with some photos from today! Stay tuned for next Sunday’s instalment, which will feature a brand new Waipara attraction.

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