Reliving Muscular Racing Glory – Highlands Festival of Speed & Classic Car Weekend
Whether your passions include classic cars and vintage racing, or you just enjoy a really good day out with amazing atmosphere, then it’s time to book your tickets for the 2017 Highlands Festival of Speed & Classic Car Weekend. Instead of high-tech modern vehicles, spectacular Classic Cars will be throwing off their protective covers and coming out of storage to re-live their racing glory.The hugely popular ENZED Central Muscle Cars are back again, with a full field ready to wow the crowd! They are joined this year by Pre 65 Racing, who are also bringing a full grid to add to the old school racing feel for this year’s Highlands Festival of Speed. With Highlands own categories, of modern and nostalgic classics, historic saloons and single-seaters the weekend is shaping to be one of the best yet!
Ticket prices to be confirmed, children under 16 are free when accompanied by an adult. The important thing to remember is that once you enter the gate there is a wide range of free activities. Ride the Hop on Hop off bus around the entire facility and visit the Jurassic Safari Park, great for the kids and spectacular viewing. There are also the free grid walks, free pit access and free kids activities, as well as a free vehicle show with over 100 vehicles!
Lock in your great weekend of classic racing and family fun, and get your tickets now – either pre-purchase from TicketDirect or from the Highlands Museum. An entire weekend of family-friendly action, right on your doorstep!
Check out what the Otago Polytech Central Campus has on offer.
Start a new Career @ Otago Polytech Central Campus
There are a myriad of courses Otago Polytechnic Central Campus all of which are held in high regard by employers. The subject of employability is where Central Campus really delivers. With over 250 students from all walks of life, the programmes offered at Central have been designed to ensure that students are both well-educated and work ready. Real work experience is woven into the fabric of each course, making it a truly experiential learning experience, putting them in good stead when it comes to looking for employment.
Mel Kees, the Central Otago Campus Marketing Coordinator explains: “Many of the courses we offer are focused on meeting skills shortages, which is why our graduates have such a high employment rate. Most of our courses are also specific to the region, and offer skills that get the students jobs in and around the area as well as further afield.”
“Sustainability is also a key element in all our courses especially in regards to the world of ‘paddock to plate’ or vineyard to bottle,” continues Kees. “We even have an online course in Sustainable Growing Practices that urbanites from all over New Zealand can study!”
Degree or diploma courses are offered in Business, Bike Mechanics, Cookery, Farming, Horticulture, Mechanics, Sports Turf Management, Stonemasonry, Sustainable Practice, Snow Sports, or Viticulture.
There are also ‘earn while you learn options’ and courses that offer the Youth Guarantee Scheme. For more information on what the Otago Polytech Central Campus has to offer go to www.central.op.ac.nz or email email@example.com.
Back Country Cruising – Bike Week 2017 @ Bannockburn
It's Motorcycle Adventure Time
If you enjoy spending a week cruising on two wheels, it’s time to sign up for this year’s Bike Week @ Bannockburn. The Bannockburn Pub, affectionately called “The Banny” by locals, will be Bike Week HQ (for the fifth year running) from the 28th January to 3th February 2017.
Known as ‘The Heart of the Desert’ Bannockburn was once a hive of gold mining activity, and in more modern times it has become known for its wineries that produce world-famous pinot noir, it’s the ideal location for the week-long motorcycling schedule. Participants can choose from ‘Adventure Rides’ – exploring the hills of Central Otago and beyond; ‘Road Tours’ – day trips exploring the wider region; and as an added bonus a series of guest speakers and dinners.
Dave Moreton, one of the event organisers, is quick to point out that although you get to see some amazing scenery, the week is really about the people you ride with.
“It’s amazing how lifelong friendships can be forged on a full tank of gas and a day’s adventuring on a motorcycle. Bike Week is all about exploring as a group and the sense that you are riding places that most people don’t get to.”
This year’s highlights would include adventure rides and road tours and -yet to be confirmed - the Highlands Motorsport Park ride.
“It’s the stuff that dreams are made off, and at $35 per single or $50 with a pillion, people can actually afford to do their two controlled laps without becoming a professional rider!” says Moreton.
Breakfasts and dinners are where riders swap their two-wheeled road stories and the speaker evenings are always well attended.
If getting out on your motorcycle for a whole week sounds like your idea of a perfect holiday, register for 2017 Bike Week @ Bannockburn simply go to www.bikeweeknz.com and register online.
Out of Africa to Flying High in NZ: The Story Behind Team Heliview
Many Cromwellians have come to know Richard, Jolanda and Safi Foale as the community-minded team behind Heliview Flights who specialise in scenic helicopter flights, alpine snow landings and heli-bike adventures around the Cromwell Basin. However, the story behind their move to Cromwell is just as interesting as the view from their “office” soaring high over Central Otago.
Richard and Jolanda both grew up in Kenya. Richard was introduced to fixed wing flying from an early age thanks to his father, so a six-year stint flying helicopters for the British Army Air Corp seemed almost inevitable. As a ‘young colonial’ he enjoyed his officer training school days and another highlight was a one-year deployment to Canada. After completing his service, he was ready to return to Africa and look for a different challenge.
Richard didn’t pick an easy option as he ended up managing an airfield in Somalia for an American organisation that sub-contracted to the United Nations. This was during “Black Hawk Down” days and overseeing the main airfield in Mogadishu definitely had its challenges. He was in charge of making sure that all non-military personnel and resources arrived and departed on time Occasionally, this also meant stopping enemy forces from stealing UN aid supplies and just staying alive were more important than normal airfield objectives.
The call to take to the air again saw Richard sitting his fixed wing licence before he began flying UN personnel and VIPs in a Cessna Caravan around Somalia and East Africa. This endeavour was short-lived; however, as the United Nations pulled out of Somalia, so it was back to Kenya and helicopters.
Kenya not only re-ignited his joy of helicopters he also got back into rally car driving as he often undertook fly-in supply and support runs for motorsport rallies. It was on a trip to Timau where he was driving his own rally car that he met Jolanda, where she was busy doing three-day eventing. Richard insists that he and his mates went to see the equestrian prowess; Jolanda thinks it was more about watching ‘girls in jodhpurs.’
Born in Switzerland, Jolanda and her family moved to Kenya when she was four years old. She became an accomplished horsewoman at a young age and by the time Richard met her she could hold her own on the East African eventing circuit. She also proved her mental fortitude beyond the equestrian world by completing her BSc in International Tourism and Hospitality Management from Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland.
The Foales moved to New Zealand in 2001. Richard’s sister had married a kiwi and Aotearoa seemed like the place to be. Richard had a short stint flying private charters and scenic flights out of Mechanics Bay in Auckland before they moved to New Plymouth and began flying for the rescue helicopter.
After flying around Taranaki’s mountainous maritime climate for a few years, Richard and Jolanda started Heliview Flights in New Plymouth in December 2003. More recently, operating in a more temperate climate seemed like a good idea. On average, Cromwell has the sunniest, most flyable days of anywhere in Central Otago so they moved down south in 2014. When asked what they like best about Cromwell, the answer was simple according to Jolanda, ‘It’s the people. We’ve always made great friends wherever we’ve been, but the Cromwell community really is welcoming and fun to be a part of.”
Next time you decide you want to get a different perspective of Cromwell (from the air that is) know that the team behind your aerial Central Otago adventure is both experienced when it comes to everything involving helicopters, and extremely proud to be based in Cromwell. For more information on Heliview Flights go to www.heliview.co.nz.
Catching up with Comedian Peter Rowley: Morning Host on Central Otago Radio
It’s an odd feeling knowing that you are about to interview the new presenter on Central Otago Radio who was also the voice behind ‘Dog’ from Footrot Flats. It becomes even more daunting, knowing that he is also a comic genius. He has worked with New Zealand comedy icons like Billy T James, McPhail & Gadsby, and Pio; in fact, he really is a comedy icon in his own right!
It’s not surprising that Peter (Harrison) Rowley is an engaging conversationalist. What is unexpected is just how candid he is about his life story and aspirations for Central Otago Radio and Central Otago in general. It’s because of this sense of authenticity that this was perhaps the most enjoyable interview with a “famous” person that I’ve ever done.
The first thing to clear up is the name ‘Peter’ as he was christened Harrison; Peter came from his childhood nickname “Peterkin”. He is absolutely unashamed about being a slightly “odd wee thing” when young and he remembers being told by most of the family to “stop showing off”. The exception here being his grandmother who lived on a farm in Hawea Flat and would ask him to “stand on a chair dear and do that thing you do,” whenever her friends came to visit.
Peter’s father flew in the South Pacific and after doing an agricultural cadetship at Lincoln started a business as an aerial photographer and crop dresser. This explains the root cause behind Peter’s love of aviation and his pursuit of his own personal pilot’s licence. His mother was a nurse at Cromwell Hospital and he was supposed to have been born in Cromwell; however, due to complications his official arrival happened in Timaru.
Peter also acquired a spirit of entrepreneurialism from his parents. His dad would fly over farms taking photo’s and drop a leaflet saying “If you want photographs of your property for your farm management plan please contact….” His mum would then do a ‘colour touch up job’ on a low flying photograph of the farmhouse and these also seemed to sell every time.
Sadly, the effects of flying under stressful conditions in World War II meant that Pete’s dad was not an easy man to live with and his parent’s marriage dissolved while he was still young. Pete’s upbringing was focused around Central Otago with time also spent on Haldon Station in the Canterbury High Country and his formal schooling completed at Christ’s College in Christchurch.
His earliest memory of Cromwell was doing road trips with his grandmother to visit the ‘big’ department store that had an ‘Air Vac’ system running around the building. The shop assistant would put the purchase order and money in a special tube and it would be sucked up a tube only to return with a receipt and exact change. To a young boy, it seemed like mechanical magic!
After years of well-documented comedy success and living in Australia Peter has returned to Central Otago because “it’s my home and I love it.” He’s now the weekday morning host on Central Otago Radio based in Alexandra and is heavily focused on ‘bringing in the Cromwell side of the story.” He’s inspired by the growth in viticulture and tourism.
When I asked him what were the biggest change that he had noticed coming back to New Zealand and he gave a no holds barred answer. “The centralisation of all things media to Auckland, Queenstown has just lost a major radio station, and we had to close our office in Cromwell. What we’ve got here is really special. Community radio is an endangered species and like so many other facets of business, we need to support our local people.’
Pete’s astute view of the world, comedic sense of timing and ability to get people relaxed and talking, blasts through loud and clear across on Central Otago Radio. If you want to hear interviews with local people, more about what is going on in the world (Central Otago and beyond), and enjoy an updated song playlist tune into 91.9 FM. Or you can stream the programme live or download the app to hear his broadcast live every day at www.localradiocentral.nz.