Archive for September, 2010

First trip in the GT car – The Wairarapa

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

I left work at 1630 on Friday and drove to Martinborough where I had booked a b&b for the night. Arrived at 1930 and enjoyed a glass of wine with the host and a couple of friends, very civilised. 5 minutes walk to the town centre and watched some of the rugby league match on the TV over a beer, but too busy and noisy for eating. Settled on ‘Est’ over the road from the hotel and had an excellent meal with a very nice glass or two of local gewurtz.

Martinbourgh main drag, cool old ‘Western’ style wooden buildings.

A nice breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast with a couple of rashers and a great conversation with the host, a retired wildlife documentary maker who had been to the NZ sub-antarctic islands. Went for a drive to look at the wineries around the town and then back to the centre for a wander around. After a coffee I headed South to Lake Ferry – yes, used to be a ferry over a lake.

Looking North from Lake Ferry.

After a nice, if a bit too soggy fish and chips (tip: salt your wet fish to dry and firm it up a bit before rinsing, battering and frying) at the Lake Ferry Hotel I headed down to Palliser Bay, the fishing community of Ngawi and Cape Palliser. Two things of interest at Cape Palliser, the New Zealand fur seal colony and lighthouse.

New Zealand fur seal at Cape Palliser

Cape Palliser lighthouse at the top of more than 250 steps.

Then back to Ngawi, the town with more bulldozers per head than anywhere else on Earth – apparently.

A very few of those on offer with the S4 in the background.

There is also a pink one – called ‘Babe’

A serious bit of hardware, a commercial boat and mobile dock shifted by a massive ‘dozer

The tracks of said outfit down the increasingly steep shingle beach

A fan of the local All Black and Hurricanes star Tana Umaga

After Ngawi I headed back North a bit to Kawakawa Station and my accommodation for the night. I had booked their cottage and dinner with the hosts.

The cottage

5000 acres of seriously steep country run with sheep and Angus cattle, worked mainly on foot and horse with quad bike where possible

Dinner was a delicious Angus beef and venison (wild kill on the station) pie. For breakfast I had home baked bread and eggs from the farm chooks, so scrambled eggs on toast. Very pleasant and relaxing night. On the Sunday I headed back North to Hawkes Bay and home sticking to the back roads until Masterton.

The next trip is likely to be to the ‘naki, Taranaki, over Labour day weekend. After that the East Cape either by bike, or S4 when the Pohutukawas’ are in bloom.