Last one night stand – Wednesday 11th April 2012


One week to go!!
Next Wednesday we take the plane back to London and its the end of 6 months travel.
Today is also, thankfully the last pit-stop we make on our drive from Adelaide to Sydney: our last one night stand!

There’s a change in energy within us: less narrowness in vision. We are no longer just pushing on, we allow ourselves to enjoy it all again.

Tilba Tilba attracts us with a signpost offering a “National Trust Village” and a cheese factory. We love cheese. Cheese therefore becomes our lunch, a cheese platter of various flavours: olive, chilli, cracked pepper. Then we explore the village around the corner. Nearly every residence has turned itself into a shop with cafe. Offering leather good, jewelry, clothes, it makes an interesting stop. We buy some glass rings for our daughters.

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Mosquito Bay did not draw us with its name! However I had heard about the Jervis Bay Marine Park and I did notice that sign. Where we stopped was clearly a favourite fishing beach, with houses overlooking the bay.
“That’s the kind of house we need to buy in England,” we agree. Whether we could ever find the like, I have no idea.

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Our cabin in Clyde View Holiday Park is slightly more modern than last night, but still has a spartan air. The best thing about it is the location: absolute beach front! It’s a strange sand, fine silt pretending to be golden sand, but the firm quality makes it very good to walk along. We walk its length, and return via the town of Batehaven: a simple row of shops, several caravan parks and a feature of a rather run down looking bird and wildlife park.

Steam punk and sculpture – Monday 27th February 2012


I slept well and woke feeling much better. I ate a tentative breakfast and got up. All good so far.

Oamaru has a brilliant Victorian centre by the harbour. The buildings, unusual for New Zealand, are elaborate white limestone. For a large section of the town, Corinthian columns adorn the facade of banks and civic buildings, while down by the harbour, solid limestone blocks form warehouses, which today, are use for artistic creation.

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Seem store wool bails, whilst others house potters, limestone scullers and a wonderful array of costumiers. We saw a warehouse dedicated to operatic and theatrical costumiers, which had no access irritatingly.
Oamaru has its own cheese factory, “Whitestone”. It’s cheese has won loads of awards and you can enter a viewing gallery to watch them go about their every day work. We were lucky enough to be there when they were straining the curds from the whey. For lunch we just had to have a cheese platter with an assortment of 6 cheeses. Despite my recent recovery, I found it delicious.

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It’s definitely a town with artisans. The Steam Punk HQ has graced the town with it’s metal sculpture. All has humour, all is larger than life, all is metal.

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There are several outlets for limestone sculpture. None too keen for photographs, presumably industrial espionage is a factor! One is very animal inspired and I am not drawn to it. One is set alongside clothes and jewelry and I like some pieces a lot. The last is an artisan who is currrently at work, tapping away, costs the most of all and has some large pieces, none of which quite fit with us. For ages we discuss the merits of shipping some home, and which piece we both like, and how much we are prepared to spend. Eventually we return to the shop which had the mix of clothes etc only to find it closed for ‘sickness’ reasons. Damn! Be more decisive in future!
Oamaru also has a passion for penny farthing bikes. At least three places offer static bike to try out and the children’s playground is being built around this theme.

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Near the harbour, we find Fleur’s other place but it is closed every Monday. So no meal out today!
Just when I feel well enough too! We settle for a drink in the lovely Victorian pub, which is nearly deserted.

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I am so pleased we stopped here. It’s a lovely, charming town and the Highway Mews is one of the nicest motels we have seen.

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They loan us two of the three DVDs for Lord of the Rings and we have film night, curled up together. I’m beginning to miss those ‘do nothing’ times.

Beautiful countryside – Tuesday 17th January 2012


It is just so lovely, staying with friends! Not only is there lots to chat over, to catch up on and to remember, but theyknow good places to visit.

We have not seen Lianne since our tour of Egypt in 2003! This is another example of how Facebook brings people together. Once Lianne realized we were on our way on this momentous trip, she was quick to insist we stayed with her for a while. And it is bliss!

One of Lianne’s best characteristics is her organizational ability and we happily let her loose on planning our time around Aukland.

Her husband is a brilliant chauffeur. He has incredible knowledge of the flora and fauna as well as adding to our understanding of the history of the place. The four of us set off for a walk round Wenderholm Park. Originally the grounds of Couldrey House, this is just off the Hibiscus Coast Highway.

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Our first path is a gentle, well made one among beautiful ferns and forest. The path takes us down to the estuary before changing into a ‘tramping’ path, basically muddy and uneven!

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We climb steadily up hill to the top of the cliff. As always I go slowly but the view is awesome, and well worth the effort. Couldrey House has a typical colonial feel and is a pretty blue.

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Next stop, the Puhoi Cheese factory. We taste about 4 or 6 of their range and buy two pieces each. This will become our evening meal. Cheese…mmm!
We eat lunch at Puhoi – very nice- and then come home for a couple of hours.
Yesterday we have been diverted from our walk by rain. Today we are determined this will not happen again, and set off with the dogs for a circuit of some 9 km.
Sure enough it rained, but we carried on. At one point the dogs chose to peek into someone’s house- which was not so popular! But I think we all felt better for the exercise!

We certainly slept well!

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There was a quest to take the best bee picture and this is our entry, Lianne!

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