Waimate is a town that loves to throw a good party. Our district sets the stage for fantastic events that attract thousands of visitors from all corners of the globe.
Our events range from celebrating the strawberry (grown at Waimate since the 1880s) to the longest-running street car race in New Zealand - the Waimate 50. The Strawberry Fare is the biggest event on our calendar. It's held on the second Saturday in December.
Waimate is popular on the motorsport calendar, with the March Hare Motorcycle Rally - known as one of the friendliest rallies in the nation; and, in October, the iconic Waimate 50 street race. You can also watch rally car drivers test their times on the district's back country roads during the Waimate 50 weekends.
On the cultural front, the Edwardian heritage weekend celebrations bring out beautifully attired ladies and gentlemen who proudly wear the clothes of the era for themed festivities. The Waimate Bookarama attracts collectors, families, and hundreds of happy readers. Our local artists host an annual show and pop-up exhibitions through the year.
Other key events on the town and country calendar include the South Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Show, where you can see the latest tractors, the finest livestock, and mingle with the locals; and the Waimate Shears, where New Zealand’s best shearers and wool handlers compete for honours.
A new event caters for mountain-bikers, runners and walkers of all ages. The Whitehorse Big Easy kicked off for the first time in 2017, when hundreds of individuals and many families competed in races on the cycling tracks in the Hunters Hills above Waimate. This event is sure to grow.