The ship came and then went again …

28 12 2011

Cruise Ship in NP - the first for over a decade

The weather had been fantastic – Christmas Day just awesome, the best in years. But because we were going to be doing a market for the Cruise Ship that was coming in on the 27th, the rain made its appearance. Thankfully it was only in the morning while we were setting up. Not that many people were around, because they didn’t know there were market stalls on that day. The one benefit we did have however, was that we were setup next to the lovely foreshore walkway. Many people in their running, biking or skating gear came to have a nosey at the stalls. As for the Cruise Ship passengers – we saw a few and they were interesting to talk with. The most common thing we heard from them was that they were glad to be on solid ground so they could get a decent coffee!! Other comments we heard were from people who had been to NZ several times before but never to New Plymouth …



A big disappointment for them all was that the mountain stayed behind the cloud  all day.

Travel and sports betting

22 12 2011

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Today is "Falls" day.

22 12 2011

The Matai, McLean and Purakaunui Falls are all on our agenda.  Wow – they are all well worth the short, and sometimes trying walk, to see them.  Cathedral Caves was also on our list but the gates to these weren’t opening until about 5.30pm.  We figured by the time we had seen the falls, and visited the “Lost Gypsy” it would be the right time to go to the caves. Only one little hitch here – the “Lost Gypsy” is closed on a Wednesday!!

So, we did some more fourwheel driving – lots of gravel roads and along the beach.  The walk to the caves should be said that it takes 10mins to the beach and almost 40mins back from the beach.  The elevation on our GPS at the carpark where we started the descent said we were at 90m.  It’s a steep track down to the beach.  However, the caves are well worth the visit as well.  I had fun taking photos of various shells, sea vegetation and the caves of course!

We are now in the Naki …

20 12 2011

We drove from Nelson to Picton on the night of the 19th and parked at the RSA.  This was great because it’s free and very close to the Ferry terminal as we needed to be there at 7am.

The crossing was a little rougher than previously, but the vehicles seemed to have come through unscathed.  We stopped at a rest area just out of Wellington for a couple of hours, during which time my eldest son Kane came to visit us and check out our new house.

Back on the road again, and we thought we’d find a spot at Waverley/Waitotara to stay for the night.  We looked around but didn’t feel comfortable so we decided as we were only a little over an hour from where we had arranged to stay in New Plymouth that we may as well keep going.  We got to our spot around 8.30pm that night.  A very long day but rapt that we did do it that way.

And, it’s a lovely spot!  We have a tennis court …

The plan now is to get through the Christmas break, hopefully I’ll get some relief milking to do and Amanda will go to some markets in New Plymouth. The first one of these is on the 27th when a cruise ship comes into Port Taranaki for the very first time.  The local Council want to make it worth while for cruise ship passengers and so suggested that there be a market day held specially for them.  Fingers and toes crossed it works for everyone.

We’ve arrived in Cromwell …

17 12 2011

We arrived at Amanda’s sister’s place last night and have managed to park on her road frontage.  Talk about being the talk of the neighbourhood!!  One of Rachel’s neighbours had to come in and have a good look and even took photos!  The other neighbours all seemed ok with us being parked in their street as well – one of them asking if we were going to be there all summer??!


We walked to Old Cromwell – this always fascinates us.  They are rebuilding various buildings to look how they did before they flooded this part of town.  Looking great what they have done so far.  Still can’t help taking pics of the old ruins though.

On our way to Cromwell …

17 12 2011

Waitaki Dam - web

We hadnt’t been this way to Cromwell from Christchurch before and going past the Waitaki Dam we had to stop to take pics and have a cuppa!  Wonderful trip – thoroughly enjoyed it.  Even the Lindis Pass was easier than I was expecting.



Have to say our setup of the Holden Colorado and fifth wheel is working very nicely.  Towing is not a problem – so far!!  Even backing out of tight corners can be done …

Rain, rain and more rain …

14 12 2011

Don’t you hate it when the weather forecast is right specially when it’s yukky weather being forecast!!  Since we’ve arrived in Richmond – back at our usual place – it’s poured with rain. I’m sitting here at 12.30pm and it’s still pouring.  The puddles around us are getting bigger and bigger – I can see a moat forming! We need to catch up on our mail, pay some bills and get some groceries but we don’t want to move.







We’ve just seen the news and there is terrible flooding and devastation from the flooding in Nelson.  Just looking at the road outside the grounds where we are staying and it’s flooded really badly.  The Camp Manager is really worried and has suggested to several campers that it would be a good idea for them to shift to higher ground.  Where we are parked, we are extremely lucky.

On our way back to Richmond, Nelson

12 12 2011

Now we’re heading from Waimate to Kaikoura.  But, we must stop at Jo Seagar’s cafe in Oxford for a cuppa and piece of cake.  It was lovely.  Quite a neat little place is Oxford.

We parked at Kaikoura Trotting Club.  Straight across from the beach.  Plenty of space, even with half a dozen vans and motorhomes parked there.

We met up with a couple from the Waikato – dairyfarmers who built their trailer home (took them 7 years).  Wow – it was lovely.  Walked into their “lounge” and here was her 250cc cruiser motorbike parked there!!  I’m so jealous …

They gave us a name and contact number of a place we could park our rig up in Te Awamutu if we wanted.  The people we are meeting are all really lovely and friendly – and very sharing.

We watched the weather forecast last night and it was saying that Nelson was getting heavy rain …  but how could that be?  It was absolutely fantastic in Kaikoura.  The colours of the sea were so vivid. I took so many photos of seals, old wharf, beaches etc.

We stopped at the waterfall where seal pups play.  Unfortunately at this time of the year they are only just being born and we only saw one mum feeding her pup.  The photos didn’t turn out well at all – I’m gutted.  However, across the road at the river mouth – the seals there were posing!!  And they were everywhere, enjoying the sun I’m guessing.

This is my best side, or is it this one, or maybe it's this one!!

Backtracking to Oamaru …

11 12 2011

So we’ve now left the Memorial Hall park in Waimate and moved a couple of k’s along the road to the NZMCA park.  The plan here is to park overnight but during the day backtrack to Oamaru to catch up with steampunk guys and gals.  We’d been asked to do up a brochure that was going to be presented to the tourism team in Oamaru.  Helen and Darling wanted there to be a map showing a trail of steampunk items for people visiting the area to follow.  Turns out that the tourism team have already got this happening and will be sending out their version of this brochure in the next week or so.  However, I’ll still send my version to Helen for her to upload to websites, etc.

During the Fair yesterday, Donna Demente visited Amanda’s stall and was raving about her images, jewellery etc.  She asked that Amanda visit asap and please could Donna have some of Amanda’s jewellery in her gallery.  Donna’s gallery in the old Grainstore is very popular – it’s in the old part of Oamaru.

When we did get to see Donna she was so enthusiastic and just kept raving about Amanda’s stuff.  Very very encouraging to say the least.  And then Amanda showed her the cards that she’s made – well, that really got Donna excited even more.  So, fingers crossed that Donna’s Grainstore Gallery will be a good outlet for selling Amanda’s stuff.

Visiting the Lost Gypsy.

8 12 2011

Packed up our rig, to be “on the road again”, and backtracked to visit the “Lost Gypsy”.  Also well worth the visit. This is right up Amanda’s alley with all the knick knacks, rusty items etc everywhere.  This guy is clever.  All his items are interactive. You push buttons and/or crank handles on almost every single thing.  It’s all inside a bus!  There’s even a train track around the inside of the bus.  As it goes past various points it will toot its horn.  All very well done.  Easy to lose an hour or two here.