Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Holiday Pics - January 2014

Our holiday photos - January 2014

On holiday at our 'other' home. We have bought the land in Central Hawkes Bay, now all we need to do is build a house there. 
I have been calling it our Mountain Retreat, but as it is not actually in the mountains I think I'd better rename it "Mountain View".

Breakfast and/or dinners under the walnut tree on our building plot.

A bit of an unusual sight - a large plum tree has grown out of an old stump and up through a coil of fencing wire. 

The plum tree (yellow Christmas plums) is laden with fruit at the moment. 

A spectacular weather front heading our way as the sun sets over the mountains. 

The view from our back yard. 

Our beloved caravan has been with us for 30 years. Not only has it traveled all over England, Scotland and Wales, we got it sent out to New Zealand with us when we left England 13 years ago, and it has since journeyed from Cape Reinga at the top of North Island NZ, to Innvercargil at the bottom of South Island NZ, and many places in between. 
It's a rather unique caravan.

And the awning gives us double living space. 

Part of the forest that our land is adjacent to. 

The forest on the left is the one next to our property, and this road leads to the Ruahine Mountain Forest Park.

This gully is where a dam is going to be built over the next 5-10 years. 

You can just see the river at the bottom of the ravine. All this will eventually be under water. 

Most of this will be lost under water too. Such a shame. It's so beautiful here. 

And this is a better view of the actual river which will become the lake bottom. 

All this area will be lost too. So sad. 

Tony and friends on a search for a good fly-fishing spot. 

Had a day trip out to Dannevirke and took the Saddle road back which went over the mountain tracks to the wind farm.
On top of the world. 

This one was whirring away (video to follow soon). 

The (old) information board there said there were 56 wind turbines here, but I counted more than that in just this one area, and there was another 2 hills absolutely full with turbines further over too.
And, YES, it was very windy up there. 

Another day out, and we were sat outside the village shop enjoying a Magnum while waiting for the pub to open, haha.
Onga Onga is a lovely little village with historical buildings that attract the tourists (yes, like us), and the pub was recommended to us for it's fish and chip dinners.  

The village has a park area of these old Settler's buildings (shacks?). 

How twee is that..... but I would not like to live in it. 

And the dunney (long-drop). 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Tukituki Motel at Waipukurau

State Highway 2 heading South from Napier took us past Hastings and on down to the Central Hawkes Bay area.

A pleasant drive.

At Waipukurau we stopped at the first Motel we saw.
The Tuki Tuki Motel.
Named after the Tukituki River.

The first pic is from the Motel carpark across the road to distant hills.

The kitchen, dining and lounge area was quite cosy and adequate for our needs.

And the bedroom was lovely.

And we even had our own patio dining area.

Tony was happy that his Prado was undercover. 

That's 'our' Motel room on the left.
And the obligatory Peanut Prado photos follow.


We stayed at the Tuki Tuki Motel most of the week. 
Very clean and tidy place and the owners were very helpful.

There was one problem, but it wasn't the Motel itself that was at fault.
There was a new petrol station being built on the side road by the Motel, and the workers started work rather early in the morning. Lorries and trucks carrying all manor of equipment were being unloaded. Cement mixer lorries tipping their load at 6 or 7am is not funny when you are on holiday.

We are not used to traffic noise either, so that also disturbed our sleep a bit, even though the road was not a main road or a busy road, it still had some cars on it.

Monday, 29 April 2013

The Thermal Explorer Route

From Tirau to Taupo on State Highway (SH) 1, then uphill on the scenic 
Thermal Explorer Route on SH5 where we see steam escaping from crevices in the hills. This is the area for lots of underground thermal activity. 

Up into the clouds once more.

We have a rest stop at the Opepe Memorial, Iwitahi, and had a quick look at the Opepe Bush Walk. As this bush is quite high in the hills it is rather damp and sub-tropical, especially as the clouds are lying low right now.

Back in the car again and on route to Napier, we head higher and higher into the mountain range and through Tarawera, Te Haroto, and Glengarry.

We now seem to have driven right into the clouds. Rather a lot of rain up here. An occasional break in the clouds give us a glimpse of beautiful scenery, but it's not light enough to take photos, and there is no way I'm getting out of the car in this weather.

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Hawkes Bay - Let The Fun Begin

Heading down the Southern motorway (SH1) from Auckland, then, just before Pokeno we turned onto SH2 until we reached Paeroa (famous for L&P - which is a lemon & paeroa fizzy drink that mixes exceptionally well with Martini or Whisky instead of lemonade). 
From Paeroa we turned onto SH26 which took us through Te Aroha, and then onto SH27 through Matamata and eventually ending at Tirau.

The road between Paeroa and Tirau usually has a great view of the Kaimai mountain range, but the day we took our journey the clouds were piling up against the mountains and obliterated the tops from our view. 
It was a bit on the dull side for taking photos, but here they are anyway. 
Taken from the moving car, so I apologize for the blurred parts.

The clouds were caught by the mountains and were too heavy to climb over the mountains, so they sort of 'tumbled down'. It was quite a weird sight. Almost as though heaven and earth were about to collide. Eerie!

When we arrived at Tirau we were ready for lunch.
We tried the Alley Cat Cafe on this visit. Tony had a toasted ham and cheese sandwich that came with a lovely home made chunky tomato sauce, and I had a vegetarian quiche (spinach and  brie) that came with a home made sweet Thai chilli sauce. 
We had our usual drinks, mocha for Tony, and a Chai Latte tea for me. And all this came to only $23.
Then, replenished, we went for a little stroll around the town.

Tirau is well known for it's corrugated iron (or is it steel) structures, sculptures and decorations all over the town. It is a big tourist attraction.

These Dog and Sheep building sculptures are the main crowd pullers. The Dog building houses the Tourist Information Centre, and the Sheep Building has a craft and clothing shop in it as well as a cafe area.

The Tirau Co-operating Church has joined in the corrugated sculpture fun as well. This church is next door to the Dog building. 

In their front garden, next to their signage, they have erected a huge corrugated shepherd, which is rather apt for the sheep-dog theme.

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