Music festivals normally book big name global artists to lure a crowd, leaving local artists sitting at the bottom of the line-up in small font. But Wellington’s Homegrown festival (kicking it since 2008) is filled exclusively with Kiwi musicians. Six stages are split by genre and wandering across them is the best way to discover new artists, surrounded in a carnival-like atmos.
Here are some ideas from Roadtrippers for travellers from Gisborne or Hawkes Bay.
Six Sisters Coffee House
Sadly, you won’t find six sisters inside this café in matching headscarves but if you look from the outside you’ll see six quaint two storey Victorian buildings from the 1890s all standing in a row. Hence the name. They make good coffee and freshly baked goods.
Supertrike Tours and Hire
Where else can you ride around in a gigantic five seater souped up motorbike, not wear a helmet (tiaras are OK), and tell the driver where to go? You’re already on a roadie but a forty-minute blast with Vic will put you in a rock star mood for Homegrown. Make sure you ask for some open road full throttle moments.
Rush Munro's Ice Cream Garden
The first time Rush Munro opened their doors they sold out by the end of the day. That was 1926 and it’s been smashed with customers ever since. Their natural ice cream with no additives or funny stuff includes lots of local Hawkes Bay fruit. The feijoa sorbet is the bomb.
Te Paerahi Beach
It’s off the main drag (48 minutes from Waipukurau) but Te Paerahi is the best old school beach for a swim and quick lounge on some golden sand. There’s a pub that serves up country style home cooking and ten minutes south is the longest place name in the world.
You won’t be able to say it quickly but you will get a good selfie next to Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu. You can also freedom camp at Te Paerahi.
Kaituna Swimming Hole
The Waingawa River is cold on the hottest of days and Kaituna has been a local swimming fav since the 50’s because of the massive holes for bombing and the highest cliff jump in the Wairarapa. Check the river safety report first.
The Clareville Bakery
A couple of artisan bakers run the Clareville Bakery and it’s usually always packed (a good sign) but they’re super fast at serving customers. They’ve won pie awards and it’s home to the Clareville Cracker, a fancy Lavash flatbread found at Moore Wilson’s, plus their stone baked sourdough and range of breads are OMG amazing.
Garage Project Tap Room
If you’re not heading straight for the shower or festival then slip into Garage Project’s bohemian taproom and discuss your festival strategy over some craft beers and hot cheese dip and bread.
The only advice we have for Homegrown is have fun!
If you’re heading home via SH57 stop in at Kimberly Road Reserve, Ohau for a really good river dip.
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