This Freightliner truck, driven by Inky Tulloch, has been
'brought out of retirement' to take part in the Highlands
Fling this weekend. Photo supplied.
Rabbits, racing and riesling will be the focus for
thousands of visitors to Central Otago at Easter.
The Alexandra Lions Great Easter Bunny Hunt, the Highlands
Festival of Speed and the Clyde Wine and Food Harvest
Festival are among the attractions for visitors and locals
The bunny hunt is in its 22nd year and convener Dave Ramsay
said 15 teams had to be turned away this year because of a
shortage of properties.
''There's a lot of disappointed people - about 180 hunters-
but we usually strike this in the [Warbirds over Wanaka]
Several of the blocks we usually use are around the [Wanaka]
airport, so they're ruled out for safety reasons, and another
of our blocks has the [national championship] jet sprints
going through it, so that's another one out.''
A total of 26 properties throughout the Central Otago and
upper Clutha district will host teams of hunters, who begin
their task tomorrow and tally up the following day, laying
their haul in Pioneer Park to be counted by noon on Saturday.
Hunting teams are from all over the country and conditions
might favour the rabbits this year, Mr Ramsay said.
Rain is forecast and wet weather would keep rabbits
''indoors'' in their burrows, so tallies could be down.
Funds raised from the event will be donated to the Otago
University stem cell research on type 1 diabetes.
Motorsport enthusiasts will be heading to Cromwell, where the
Central Speedway and the Highlands Motorsport Park have
racing organised from Friday to Sunday at adjacent venues on
the outskirts of the town.
The Highlands Fling, being contested at Highlands, could
become the signature event in an Easter motorsport calendar,
the organisers hope.
''If you've got a classic $200,000-plus car for example,
you're probably reluctant to race it and risk door
handle-to-door handle contact or wheel-to-wheel,'' Highlands
general manager Mike Sentch said.
''This event is a no-contact event, a single car sprint, a
timed race around a circuit that's about 1250m long, and we
expect it become an iconic event.''
The sprint will be one of the highlights in the two-day
Festival of Speed being staged at Highlands on Saturday and
About 50 vehicles have been entered in the fling, including a
Freightliner truck raced by former Mataura mayor ''Inky''
Each day's festival programme is identical and ''it's as much
about what's off the track as what's on the track'', Mr
A wide range of vehicles will feature in the Classic Road and
Racing Car Show, which will be set up on the car park area in
front of the museum.
The display includes Porsches, Jaguars. Pontiacs and ''some
immaculate Minis'' along with several vintage wooden jetboats
and old caravans.
A fashion show and a ''best-dressed'' contest will add a new
element to the festival. Patrons are encouraged to dress in