New Year’s Day Picnic – Full Steam Ahead!


We’re delighted to announce the return of the Oratia New Year’s Day Picnic! If you’re around the area on Tuesday 1 January, come along and nurse your hangover in the the good company of your neighbours. David and Barbara Harre are once again kindly opening the garden of their property at 527 West Coast Road (behind the Oratia Folk Museum) for a casual afternoon get-together.

The picnic runs from 2pm until 5.30pm. David will be stoking up his old steam engine and steaming up a tub of mussels, so bring your kids, a picnic, a blanket, and a piece of firewood for the engine or a gold coin donation to the Folk Museum. There’ll be games for the kids and a woodfired pizza oven for anyone who cares to bring an uncooked pizza. If you’re a musician, bring your instruments too – we’d love to hear you play!

So we can get an idea of numbers, please email us in advance at to let us know you’re coming and how many people are likely to be in your group. In the unlikely event that bad weather threatens on the day of the picnic, please check this website to find out if it’s going ahead.

A little history: The New Year’s Day Picnic was started by the Parr family, who established Albion Vale nursery on the site in 1853. The picnic was a regular event until 1907 – then in 2006 the Oratia Ratepayers & Residents Association decided to resurrect the idea. Since then it’s been held on a roughly biennial basis.

Oratia New Year’s Day Picnic
2pm – 5.30pm
Tuesday January 1st
527 West Coast Rd

– The family;
– A blanket and a picnic lunch
– Any musical instruments;
A piece of firewood or a gold coin donation. Or both!

Check here for postponement or cancellation.