Waimate - nestled at the foot of the rolling Hunters Hills, comes close to being a perfect example of a New Zealand rural town.
This is a town that reflects the confidence the early European settlers felt in the fertile lands they began to develop in the 1850s. Its wide spacious streets, valued collection of Edwardian buildings, including several churches of historic importance, and beautiful parks and gardens create a relaxed friendly environment for both residents and visitors.
The town itself is the heart of a district that offers everything from tranquil bush walks to the thrill of fishing for quinnat salmon in the world renowned Waitaki River.
The Waimate district also holds the rare destinction of being one of the few places in New Zealand where wallabies have taken up residence. The wallabies 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.
The district can provide a peaceful atmosphere for a holiday and plenty to do once you have unwound. It is also a convenient gateway to the Waitaki Lakes with their multitude of opportunities for water based recreation, and to the spectacular Mackenzie basin, and provides one of the shortest routes to Queenstown.
Waimate has a fast-growing reputation as a town that knows how to put on a party. Among the many events staged each year are the Waimate Strawberry Fare held annually on the second Saturday in December and is a celebration of the delicious locally grown strawberry. March Hare Motor Cycle rally held first weekend in March, while the Edwardian Heritage Group hold their heritage celebrations on the second weekend of March! Labour weekend is a busy time in the town with the Waimate 50 Street Car Racing event, the Museum Bookarama and Art Soc exhibition held during this time.
Friendly locals, a picturesque rural setting and world class recreational opportunities on the doorstep make the Waimate district an ideal place to experience quintessential New Zealand.
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