Wanganui and Elvis

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wanganui » Wanganui
December 13th 2009
Published: September 27th 2010
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This morning we went to Wanganui, but since it was Sunday a lot of the stores and shops were closed. But the weather was nice, so we walked around the downtown area for awhile. The main street has gas lamps, which is pretty cool. I could see how charming it would be to visit at night or during a holiday (when everything would be decorated). We lucked out that the glass blowing studio, Chronicle Glass Studio and Gallery, that we wanted to visit was open (usually they are closed on Sundays). Some artists had rented the place out to make glass trophies. It was a lot of fun to watch the artists work. They studio was down below, so you could watch from the upper level. There were people there who knew the artists and could explain to us the process of what they were doing. Also on the upper level was the gallery, which was beautiful to look at.

After we had walked around a bit more we had lunch at Kai Iwi Beach (which had a sweet looking flying fox, but nothing to ride on!) and then continued to Hawera. The Finnish couple we had met strongly suggested we go visit this guy's (Kevin D. Wasley) private Elvis collection, which has more than 4,000 records and more Elvis stuff than we've ever seen. We called ahead to make sure it was okay to come and visit (he doesn't have open hours, it's by appointment only). We drive to the address he gave us and it's a house. It turns out he houses his collection in the garage. When Kevin comes out to greet us, his hair was styled just like Elvis'. It was awesome. His collection is impressive and cool. He was very friendly and answered all our Elvis questions well. There isn't really a tour, just floor to ceiling Elvis collectables, records, pictures, articles. An Elvis fan could probably spend hours admiring everything. Many tourists who have visited send Kevin Elvis things they have or find, and most impressively he remembers who sent him what! It was a lot of fun.

We are staying in Opunake tonight, and continuing around the Surf Highway tomorrow. We are right by the beach again, which is nice.


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