Otago Daily Times
4 May 2023

Stories of the last time Waikaia hosted the finish of the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust Cavalcade are still being told, trail boss Bill Butler says.

In 2024 the cavalcade will converge on the Northern Southland town.

Mr Butler, of Waikaka, is one of the Waikaia Cavalcade Host Town Committee members who are starting to make preparations for the event.

He took part in the 2003 cavalcade when it ended in Waikaia, Mr Butler said.

“People still talk about the hospitality that Waikaia showed and that’s 20 years ago.

“People are already buzzing about coming here.”

While Waikaia was in Southland, goldmining was an important part of its history, which was why it was included as a cavalcade destination, he said.

He expected the people of Waikaia would want to get in behind the event.

“That’s the Waikaia spirit.”

Other organisations from further afield would also be involved in the finale.

“It’s not an insurmountable job but there’s just a lot of little things to do and when you’ve got the whole community behind you those little things get done.”

Cavalcaders could take part in one of 11 trails for horses, carriages, walkers and mountain bikes before ending up in Waikaia.

“They will arrive at the domain around noon on Saturday and will take part in the grand parade and stay overnight for a hoedown.”

About 500 people and 250 horses would take part in the nine-day event.

However, by the time family members and members of the public joined in there would be more.

This year the cavalcade finished in Millers Flat.

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