Back at the boat

Monday 17th March 2014

 

We are now back at the boat after driving over 6,000 kilometres since leaving it some six weeks ago.  After crossing the Strait, and spending a night on the outskirts of Wellington, we slowly made our way north.  We passed through Wanganui where we hoped to have a trip on the restored river paddlesteamer Waimarie, built in 1899 in Poplar, London, but were disappointed to find it only makes trips at weekends.  We enjoyed a wander along Wanganui’s pretty main street instead, before moving on to Ohakune at the foot of Mount Ruapehu.  Here we stayed in a neat little cabin that had sloping sides, just like a gipsy caravan.

 

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The message on this tanker made us chuckle as we drove north.                               River paddlesteamer ‘Waimarie’ tied up, going nowhere today.

 

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Wanganui’s main street, Victoria Avenue.                                                            Wanganui’s Art Deco cinema.

 

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Our ‘Gipsy’ cabin at Ohakune.                                                                                   Mount Ruapehu from Ohukane.

 

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Makatote viaduct, built 1903-8 and still carrying the main North line.

 

The next couple of days we holed up in Hamilton, New Zealand’s fourth largest city, which is located fairly centrally on the North Island.  We chose to stop there because tropical storm Lusi was sweeping across the North Island bringing high winds from the east and torrential rain, and Hamilton was quite sheltered.  It was very wet and windy for a couple of days, but we were snug and dry in a cabin fairly near the town centre.  On one day we stayed dry by going to the cinema at lunchtime, came out late afternoon, had a bite to eat and then went to see another film early evening. 

 

Once the weather had calmed down, we set off again for home.  Just north of Auckland we took a detour to Gulf Harbour to see Sue & Bob on Mawari.  They had sailed down to Auckland and had holed up in Gulf Harbour Marina waiting for the weather to settle down before sailing back up to Whangarei.  After lunch and a catch-up, we set off again, arriving back at the boat after dark.  We decided the car would wait to be unloaded till the next morning and headed off for a good night’s sleep in our own bed.