Last weekend we hopped in the car late Friday evening to visit Martinborough in the Wairarapa.
Early(ish!) on Saturday we headed down to Ngawi, near the southernmost tip of the North Island. I had been keeping the reason a surprise for Kate, as the tiny fishing village has quite an appeal to her – bulldozers! They’re a bit like tractors!
In front of the quiet township, the bay is lined with around 20 or so bulldozers of varied vintage, each tethered to enormous fishing launch trailers. They have the most bulldozers per head of population, and the dozers pull the boats in and out as there is no wharf. It’s quite a rugged piece of coastline.
My friend shared a fun story of the Sheriff of Ngawi, a local chap who shot out the tyres of a fleeing burglar’s car (as the Police were 90 minutes away). When the Police finally arrived they found the trio of burglars hiding on the cliff-side, injured from being pelted with rocks by the pissed-off locals. It’s all over wikipedia.
What I quite liked about the town was its welcome of motorhomes! They have a set area on the beach front with all the necessary facilities, and all they ask is a $1 a night donation. Alongside there’s a charming lady who fries up delicious fish and chips; I can see us heading over there with our NZ van, when we finally get one! I read all articles pertaining to motorhoming here and it’s most often negative; it was nice to see a welcome from a community I assumed would find tourists a pain in the arse.
Ngawi is only 5km up the road from Cape Palliser, the southern-most tip of the North Island. We headed there, below stunning chalky cliffs (full of fossils), around windy lanes dodgily perched on this constantly moving cliff-face.
I stole a glance from the road now and then and found some seals lazing about – an unexpected pleasure!
Kate had never seen seals in the wild and found their terra firma talent (or lack thereof) quite amusing!
Heading on we arrived at the Cape Palliser Lighthouse. It’s an iconic landmark perched on a rocky cliffside since 1897. The light is reached by 252 steps – we headed up and enjoyed the views of the headland.
Returning to Martinborough we headed to the Martinborough Brewery to enjoy some lovely pints. We had a great evening catching up with friends and awoke nice and early for the Round the Vines event.
Round the Vines is a fun run involving most of the Martinborough Community, raising money for the local school. It starts in the town square and heads around the town, crossing through many private vineyards on the route. Many folks dressed up and it was just nice to be a part of – though the best bit was the wine at drink stations! Each winery we crossed by had a wine tasting table, complete with watermelon, grapes and live music at many. At 2 hours 10 minutes it wasn’t a very quick 10km, but it was a ‘grape’ one! HA!
A lovely weekend getaway – top stuff Martinborough!