Waimate

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Through Timaru and  ever southwards, we stopped in Waimate for a couple of days. The picture above shows the town of Waimate. It was a grueling trek to the top of the mountain to get this shot, but we were lucky that there were no other cars coming the other way. There is a walking track as well to the top.

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A view up the coast over the South Canterbury Plains towards Timaru. The little white patch at the bottom of the photo is a portion of the draft horse silhouette built in 1968 by Norman Hayman and his wife. Sorry no photos but the horse can be seen from Waimate.

We stopped in the NZMCA Park. Nice place half filled. Found a book in their book exchange, ‘Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn’. Second book I’ve read of hers. She has an unique method of writing. Was very hard to put down until I had it finished.

In the late 1800’s Waimate was a sawmill town moving totara logs from here to all over New Zealand and the world. This bushman stature sits just up from town centre. The one on the right is not a stature.

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A flour mill was set up in the 1870’s and the silos were built for extra wheat storage and opened in February 1921. Unfortunately the silos did not work properly and the grain would not keep, and the venture failed. The buildings and silos remain and the murals painted.

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Labour Prime Minister Norman Kirk was born here. He was buried here after his untimely death in 1974. He spent many summer holidays here visiting his parents.

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Chap on the left is Eric Batchelor, one of world war two heros and was awarded the DCM twice for bravery. He died in Waimate in 2010.

The lady is the much loved Doctor Margaret Cruickshank, the first woman GP in NZ. During the 1918 influenza pandemic she worked tirelessly but died during the pandemic. There is also a stature of her in town.

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In the heat of the day we took the one hour walk through Kelceys Bush to the original intake of the Waimate water supply. The track wanders across grassland and native bush with plenty of bird song. There were several stream crossings. The water was ice cold and the bottom covered in slippery stones so getting across quickly was not an option. However that did not stop a family with young children enjoy playing in the stream. After a year down here maybe we will be immune to the cold as well. It’s been super warm so far.

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Another mural on the wall of the garage workshop. In 1959 the young Bruce McLaren won the inaugural street race in Waimate 50. The race was 50 1.3 mile laps round the business area of town. None of the cars are Bruce’s but you’ll probably recognize most of the models. From the front mk3 Zephyr, 39 Chev Coupe, Lotus Cortina, Jaguar, and mk2 Zephyr. Bruce was driving a T45 Cooper Climax.

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