Action-packed wheels festival


Ashburton’s iconic Wheels Week Plus, where anything and everything with wheels is showcased, rolls into action in a 16-day programme.

Sponsored by Greg Donaldson Contracting, the annual event opens with the popular Ashburton Vintage Car Club Swap Meet on Saturday and finishes on May 16 with a host of events, although there is no street parade this year.

Among the events are Classic Boats on Lake Hood and a Coffee and Vintage Car Club’s classic vehicle show of vintage, classic, modern cars motorcycles and trucks in the Goodyear/Robert Harris car park on West Street (opposite the Phat Duck). It runs from 11am to 2pm.

The Ashburton Family Go Kart Club is also holding a day of paddock racing and the River Trail Mountain Bike Ride session for people to explore the 10km of purpose-built mountain bike track developed and maintained by Mountain Bike Ashburton club members. The session, from 2.30pm, will be followed by a barbecue at the skills park. Gold coin donation.

The Mid Canterbury 4X4 Club will also have a play day at the 4WD park at the river end of Cochranes Road, just off Beach Road, starting from 11.30am.

In between there are a host of wheels-related attractions for the whole family, including action on the speedway track (May 1-2), the Plains Rotary Car Club Rally, TT racing, six-hour mountain bike race, (all May 2), wheelchair basketball (both May 15), night car trial (May 12) and a 200km motorcycle tour (May 15) with the Ashburton Motorcycle Club. Riders to meet at Robert Harris Cafe, on West Street from 9.30am, leaving at 10am.

There are also a number of displays, including the motorbike show and shine at the Devon Tavern (May 1) and the chance to check out an impressive Tinwald garden railway (May 9).

One of the features this year at the annual AutoSparks Street Sprints, run by Ashburton Car Club members, is renaming of the 2021 event as a tribute to the late-Ashburton Car Club president Shayne Adams. The event, over May 8 and 9, is a tribute to the work he did for the club and the high esteem he was held in by club members.

The memorial street sprints, which cost a gold coin donation for spectators, will have something for everyone with top sprint action from 65 drivers and cool demonstrations from drifters, to a trophy truck and Don McLaren’s entire smoke display.

The club will also run the Suzie Morrison Memorial Trial (night car trial) starting from the MSA car park on May 12, registration from 6pm, ($30 per car); and a Wheels Week Motorkhana at the Rural Transport yard near the northeast Ashburton business estate. It will run on May 16 from 9.30am, cost $40 per person.

Other events around the district include vintage train rides at The Plains this weekend, hot rods, classic cars, 4×4 offroading, motorbike displays, car rallies, even spinning wheels and static vehicle displays.

Check out the programme at