69. Wairarapa Safari – 1. Castlepoint and Glenburn

The day after the Airshow and following a lovely lunch with Dave’s cousin Judith and her husband Les we joined 85 other caravans and motorhomes for a 19 day safari around the Wairarapa. Organised by the Wairarapa branch of the NZMCA, these safaris have apparently been very succesful in the past. In order to avoid major traffic disruption on the narrow highways and even narrower minor roads, we do NOT travel in school crocodile formation, but well spread out over a full day. The plan is to stay at 8  different places, some in normal campgrounds and some out in the wilds.

Our first camp was near  Castlepoint or rather in a paddock opposite the Whakataki hotel; we had stayed in the hotel grounds for several days soon after the start of our Circumforaneous ramblings. It was nice to be back!

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There was no sign of Penny’s little friend Ferrari, but there were several other dogs  including a 3-legged ‘Bandit’ and two fox terriers on the safari. Once again we battled strong winds on the climb to the lighthouse, and noted various changes in the lagoon area where the sand has been shifted around especially on the seaward side.

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\The second night at Whakataki a large flock of sheep were kept overnight  in a nearby paddock, and the constant barking of the sheepdogs set Penny off, resulting in a doorknock at about 2 am – could we please keep our dog quiet? This has never happened before, at least as far as we know. Penny is very swift to tell us about strange noises outside, eg our neighbour fiddling with his gas bottle (!) but not about her own barking.

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Next day we all shifted to Glenburn, a station further down the isolated South eastern coast of the north island. Only about 60- km from Masterton and through some very varied country, especially the up-and-down kind. Fortunately all but the last 15 kn of very narrow and occasionally very steep and winding road was surfaced.

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After the interminable steep hills it was amazing to suddenly break out on the coast and see the lovely flat land fringing the coast!

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Here’s some of the mob. We were parked on the far side with a nice view…IMG_8276

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While there we paid a visit to an old Gibb Family bach which Dave remembered with some difficulty as the sea has encroached greatly and even taken over the former long drop (pictured – the little pile of stones). Once again Dave bemoaned our lack of a boat. But I do not think the launching of a lightweight collapsible boat would have been easy or even wise from that shore. Such boats are mainly for lakes and quiet rivers. 

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The rockhounds among us found many good specimens in the bed of a nearby stream, fortunately reduced to a trickle while we were there.

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The climbers among us on the other hand simply went up and up …. Dave and Penny among them. (Two tiny little dots at the top of the hill .. that’s Dave and one of the other men, Penny was with them but invisible at that distance.)

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