The 2nd of November 2019 was our last night in the South Island for this trip. Around about lunch time the next day we packed up the caravan at Rita Tuckerman’s POP and headed off to the 2pm Picton Ferry. The Cook Strait was calm even though a nasty cold strong wind was blowing and we spent most of the time inside gazing out the window and eating some late lunch. Venturing outside as we came into the Wellington Harbour.
That evening we parked in the Plimmerton NZMCA park again and the next day travelled up to the NZMCA Park in Marton. It was the first time either Judy or myself had ever visited Marton and we were quite impressed with the park there.
Tuesday the 5th we drove through Wanganui up to the Kai Iwi Caravan Park on the West Coast. KaI Iwi is about 20 km north of Wanganui, a Camp Saver participant, and a great stop for a good shower etc. We explored Wanganui the next day looking at some of the numerous murals and sculptures in the city area and traveling over to Durie which looks out over Wanganui. Durie has a lift that travels down through the earth to a tunnel at the bottom linking the River area to the Durie area. The lift is over 100 years old and never had a sick day in its entire life. Judy took a trip down and back up and I went up the steps to the top of the lift building where you can look out over Wanganui. When Judy returned we went up the nearby tower. Something like 160 steps up. An amazing view from up there. In the evening we went to see the movie Jojo Rabbit. A must see movie.
The tower in Durie
Looking out over Wanganui from the tower.
One of the many murals in Wanganui.
A sculpture beside the Wanganui River. Note the lift building in Durie can be seen above the pigeon’s back and the tower further up its neck.
All through our trip our travel plans were fairly loosely planned, though there were certain dates where we had to be, like the wedding of Bev and Jimmy in Invercargill, our house sits, and the Molesworth Station Crossing. Last on our list was the Rhododendrum Festival in New Plymouth. It was running for this week so we headed up to Hawea where several gardens were open for viewing. We parked in the NZMCA Park and headed out to see the lovely gardens. A great afternoon was spent admiring the flowers and gardens arriving back to the caravan for a late afternoon tea. Unfortunately I received a phone call to say that my Brother in Law was very ill and in hospital. So we left Hawea that afternoon and travelled up to New Plymouth. We spent a wonderful evening with our son and our lovely Daughter in Law and back to Auckland and home. And the next day to go north to Kawakawa Hospital. The nurses and doctors there are just incredible. So caring and compassionate to my Brother in Law, his family and ourselves.
Mount Taranaki/Egmont from the NZMCA Park in Hawea.
Time to unpack at our garage. Trip over. Our trip south was a wonderful experience and these posts will provide us with a lasting memory. We enjoyed every minute of it and apart from having to replace our vehicle everything went as planned.