Blogs from Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa January 17th 2019

The wedding we have been waiting for, that of Leanne and Jasper, took place on Saturday the 29th December at Brackenridge Winery, just outside Martinbourgh, with the weather playing it's part well, sunshine and enough breeze to keep the temperature hot, but not too hot. Over 180 people enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the laid back ceremony out on the lawn, while the evening celebrations were enjoyed with a great meal, magic speeches and quite a few tears shed in amongst the huge smiles with some exciting announcements being made. Dancing was of the usual high standard and by the end of the evening everyone was happy and exhausted. A beautiful couple enjoying their big day together with family and friends. Magic. For the families of Leanne and Jasper this was a terrific chance to catch ... read more
Husband and Wife.
Chris and Amy.
Amy, Hege and Diane.

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa March 16th 2018

Not a great start to the day; I’m up at 4 am to answer a barrage of increasingly stressed texts from daughter no 1 who is offloaded from a flight at Bucharest airport for ‘acting suspiciously’. It’s our last day visiting friends who suggest an outing to Greytown - claim to fame NZ small town of the year 2017. It’s a beautiful little town with many traditional wooden Victorian buildings (the fire brigade is very centrally located). We wander along the high street admiring the architecture and Greytown’s other pride, its abundance of mature trees. Most notably the Historic Tree, an enormous eucalyptus planted, having been stolen off a wheelbarrow while its owner was in the pub, in 1856. On the outskirts is the Cobblestone Museum. This isn’t as I first suspected a museum decided to ... read more
Historic Tree Greytown
Greytown house

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa March 15th 2018

Today, for a nice change, I’m not responsible for the itinerary so no need to pore over guide books and maps selecting destinations and planning routes. Before going out, a tour of the property which starts with paddocks running down to a creek, then turns to woodland and ends at a river. Plus a chance to meet the resident sheep and alpacas. Our hosts’ plan for the day; a trip to Martinborough, part of the NZ Wine Trail. It seems fitting that my namesake town is renowned for its abundance of wineries. Our first winery is Haythornthwaite where we buy a bottle of rose and have a lunch platter. The platter is huge and contains a significant amount of various cheeses. Wine and cheese with friends in the sunshine - does life get any better than ... read more
Rupert the sheep
Martinborough wine trail
Hawthornthwsite rose

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa March 14th 2018

We have a 5 hour drive ahead of us today so I start with a lovely scenic run round Lake Taupo. It’s a pleasant way to start the day and sets me up for the huge cooked breakfast our host has prepared. We set off, breaking our journey at the coastal town of Napier. The area was decimated by an earthquake in 1931, hence a large rebuilding programme in the 1930s. So it’s an Art Deco extravaganza with many of the public buildings, hotels and shops built in that style. We purchase a self guide tour map for $10. The old man mutters about the cost. A lot. Then we spend an hour wandering round the city centre taking pictures of the Art Deco buildings. We return through the pristine seafront gardens, have a picnic lunch ... read more
Morning run round Lake Taupo

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa March 7th 2018

Day 10: Whanganui to Hunterville, 60km. Wet, wetter, wettest The Donkey only managed to get to Hunterville on day 10. He had planned to go twice the distance but when he woke up that morning it was raining cats and dogs. The Donkey liked using that expression as he did not really like cats and dogs, they messed with his head. Of course he did not really want it to rain cats and dogs as it would be dangerous to go outside, but the thought that cats and dogs could splash down en masse pleased him. The Donkey decided to wait a while and catch up with some administration. He was resigned to the fact that he was never totally going to catch up with his administration, which was not in his nature; it was always ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa October 1st 2017

It’s nice to go away but it’s also nice to come home so we enjoyed seeing our own hills and the New Zealand light which is so different from that in Europe and Asia, even though it was overcast and began to rain later. We passed through the formalities without difficulty, caught the shuttle bus to the train station and only had to wait 10 minutes for a train, all free as it was Sunday. Dave bought a few essentials at the New World Metro which was very convenient. Tamara had texted Chelle so Graeme came to meet us at Waterloo station which we really appreciated after all the travelling. It was about kids’ tea time so we didn’t stay long, though we had to jump start the car after it had been sitting for a ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa September 30th 2017

The early start worked really well and we had an easy drive to the airport, only taking about half an hour along the main roads. The driver let us out at the high speed drop off point but we had his tip all ready in an envelope which we gave him before he rushed off. It was a bit difficult to work out which gate we should go through initially, but they directed us to the correct one, and then we could sit down and relax and eat out packed breakfast from the hotel. It was not very inspired, but much easier than trying to find something that early in the morning. We had no problems checking in with Singapore Airlines and took the opportunity to rest and I think snooze on the way to Singapore ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa April 23rd 2016

It’s going to be a rest day (or travelling day) today as we board the Bluebridge Ferry early this morning and head back to the North Island. A cool breeze kept us inside on the journey, so sorry no photos today. Arriving in Wellington and off we head over the Rimutaka Hill to the Wairarapa Region. This is a fairly slow windy climb to about 555m in our motorhome. The highest point of the Rimutaka Range is Mount Matthews at 940m. At the top is a lookout that gives you spectacular views over the ranges and down to Featherston and the Wairarapa Region. The Rimutaka Hill Road was opened in 1856 for Wagon traffic and was the start of the great shipments of Wairarapa’s primary produce. The road has steadily been improved since then, but still ... read more
Rimutaka Hill
Rimutaka Crossing Memorial
Hansells Jetty - Lake Wairarapa

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa February 28th 2015

Well today we have been on a walking tour around the city of Wellington and our guide was actually a Glaswegian! She has lived in NZ for over 40 years but has still kept her accent and was a bit of a feminist to say the least! Very knowledgable and very fast paced. We nearly ran round the city but it was very informative and interesting. Saw all the government buildings, theatres, harbour and lots about the history etc. New Zealand is such a new country that none of the buildings really date back much before the 1890's but there are some really beautiful ones's although a lot of them are closed now due to earthquake damage from the Christchurch earthquake and they have to go to the expense of making all the old building earthquake ... read more
Wellington harbour
At the cricket, before the match!
No mistaking his team

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wairarapa January 2nd 2015

A day at the horse races in my mind is summed up by the scene in My Fair Lady. I picture women flaunting long elegant dresses, pearl necklaces and fluttering feathers, lace parasols, and gliding through the crowds with crystal champagne glasses. And those hats! They looked like the four most exquisite hats on Easter Sunday all piled onto one head. However, only once in the ten-minute-scene do they even looked at the race track. Binoculars raised as the horse speed by just feet in front of them. If these races were anything like that, I was ready. My stomach swirled with excitement as Jhene and I drove onto the property. The one lane road brought us past neon vests ushering us to the carpark, which the day before was just a field of grazing sheep. ... read more
Shameless Racey Selfie.
Camping out

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