Waimate

Waimate District council
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Waimate – nestled at the foot of the rolling Hunters Hills, comes close to being a perfect example of a New Zealand rural town. Ideally located in the centre of the south, it is halfway between Christchurch, Dunedin. Waimate is a convenient gateway to the Waitaki Lakes and to the spectacular MacKenzie Basin and provides one of the shortest routes to Queenstown. 

Originally known as 'Te Waimatemate' or slow moving water, Waimate was born from the meeting of Chief Te Huruhuru and Michael Studholme (first settler) in 1854. Waimate has not forgotten its earliest European residents, the historic thatched ‘cuddy’ built by Studholme in 1854 is still in existence.  On the hills behind the town is a unique tribute to the role played by the Clydesdale horse in the development of the rich farm lands that stretch away into the distance – the White Horse monument.

An Edwardian heritage

The town itself has wide spacious streets, a valued collection of Edwardian buildings, including several churches of historic importance.  The Waimate Historical Museum (housed in the old Waimate courthouse), has many wonderful displays including local history and Maori heritage telling the stories of Waimate and its growth. 

Waimate is known for a number of unique features including holding the rare distinction of being one of the few places in NZ where wallabies have taken up residence. Introduced from Australia in the late 1860’s and known as 'Bennett's Wallabies', numbers have increased dramatically. These nocturnal marsupials have adapted well to the Waimate environment and can be found in wildlife parks throughout the district. They have flourished here and are the largest found in New Zealand.You can see them in wildlife parks in the district or if hunting is your sport there is ample opportunity for this too.

Waimate is also famed for its famous strawberries and raspberries which have been grown in the district since late 1880’s. You can buy them in season from a number of road side stalls, or you can pick your own - can’t get fresher than that!  

An ideal midway stopping point

Ideally located midway between Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown, Waimate is the second South Island location to become Motorhome Friendly. Its wide streets are ideal for parking up as well as exploring on foot. Check out the Information Centre for self-guiding tours to discover the history of the town and its historic attractions. As a base for exploring the attractions of nearby districts, take your pick of coasts, alpine scenery and wonderful lake vistas.

For Local Activities see the above Directory Tab.

Waimate District council Telephone: 03 689 7771

Featured Event:

Waimate Strawberry Fare 2017

Strawberries have been grown in the Waimate District since 1880 they were then and still are today an important contribution to the Waimate economy. In 1984 it was decided to celebrate this little luscious red fruit by staging a community event, from there the rest is history!

The fare today...is hailed as the largest annual regional event. Visitors swell to 14,000 attracted from all over New Zealand to this free family day out offering all day entertainment, upmarket stalls and colourful rovers and entertainers.

The Waimate Strawberry Fare commences at 10.30am, with the arrival of Father Christmas at 11.00am.

Stalls

Each year stall demand outstrips available sites with 250 sites on offer. Strawberries and ice cream sell in their hundreds, punnets by the thousands. Stallholders from throughout the country sell an amazing array of upmarket arts and crafts, clothing, jewellery, plants and gardening accessories. Local clubs, schools and organisations utilise the fare as a vehicle to fund raise via raffles and food stalls.

Foodies

Enjoy fine cuisine with an international flavour on offer including Indian, Swiss, Turkish, French, Chinese and of course kiwi favourites, BBQ, hot dogs, cheeses, and other culinary delights.

Buses

Bus groups are welcome and the Strawberry Fare Committee are happy to arrange special parking/meet and greet, by prior arrangement.

No Dog Please

Sorry folks, NO DOGS. The District Council has designated the Meridian Waimate Strawberry Farea DOG FREE ZONE. Their Animal Control Officers will be about and they don't take prisoners!

Find out more about this event
Featured Story:

Remembering pioneering Kiwi Margaret Cruickshank

All I remember of Margaret Cruickshank was from Intermediate school, that she was the first female New Zealand doctor. When we visited Waimate and came upon her statue at Seddon Park, a local who was there also enjoying the afternoon sunshine with her grand-kids casually mentioned that the statue was one of only four statues of women in the country.

I couldn't decide whether to be shocked at the gender disparity or to be ashamed that I didn't know anything about this historical personage who must have done something remarkable to deserve this rare honour.

So I looked it up (ahh, the powers of accessible technology) and this is from nzhistory.net

Margaret accepted a position as assistant to Dr H. C. Barclay of Waimate, and on3 Ma

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