1. Feilding Farmers Market
On Friday mornings, come rain or shine, the Fielding Farmers Market takes place on Manchester Square from 9am when producers from both the local region and around New Zealand gather to sell their wares. Grab a coffee from Christie at Alchemy coffee, and BYO bag to fill with delicious ingredients. Cartwheel Creamery has a stall selling their regionally famous cheeses made in the nearby Pohangina Valley. Steve from Emoyeni Products in Tokomaru sells spray-free, hydroponic lettuces and micro greens, including tiny cress, kale and sweet yellow corn shoots that are delicious in a salad. Or pick up a plateful of seedlings to grow your own at home.
After you’ve been to the markets, check out arguably the biggest and busiest attraction in town – the Feilding Saleyards.
Bustling, noisy, smelly and hot, the saleyards provide a visceral insight into the workings of New Zealand’s farming industry.
From the elevated walkways, you can look down on patchwork pens of stock awaiting sale and transport to their new homes. Not only an integral part of local business, the saleyards are the place to go to for farmers to catch up on local gossip. For more in-depth insights into different animal breeds, stock values and the workings of the auction room, you can join a guided tour with a knowledgeable local farmer.
3. Coachhouse Museum
Located in the capacious building that was once the Feltex carpet factory, the Coachhouse Museum is home to the largest collection of horse-drawn transport in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s also an impressive collection of iconic green and yellow John Deere farm equipment that attracts tourists from as far afield as the USA. A dedicated team of volunteers work behind the scenes to create exhibits, industriously crafting native bush and wildlife out of plaster and plastic and various recycled materials.
Make an appointment to visit the affable John Brebner at Homeprint, his home art studio in suburban Feilding.
You’ll be astonished by his array of vintage printing equipment – from cast iron presses and early stencil cutters to a huge selection of lead type, plates and bookbinding equipment.
Try your hand at creating your own art in a guided workshop and check out the extensive private collection of New Zealand art including rare prints from renowned artists Michael Smither and the late Cliff Whiting.