If it’s a nice day as you’re driving through Waipukurau, check out the local airport. This is where gliders and hot air balloons come out to play.

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Waipukurau, which translates to something like ‘river of edible fungus’, is a rural service town with a passion for aviation. When conditions are right, the airfield is buzzing with activity. Gliding and hot air ballooning are popular here. Other favourite local activities include golf and trout fishing. If you’ve always wanted to sample country life, a Waipukurau farmstay promises an authentic experience. Ask at the information centre about private gardens you can visit. The town centre has a range of cafés and restaurants.

Functional facts: Approx. population 4000, good range of shops and services, various types of accommodation.