Blog Three - Gisborne
17 May 2018
|Blog Three – Gisborne
Friday 18 May 2018
On the road again today. To be honest we are happy to be heading off as the accommodation was a bit dodgy, however we did enjoy the Hawke’s Bay area and were very impressed. It could be quite easy to pull up stumps and be very happy here.
And so we were off with Ju at the wheel and in control – just like home really! The drive was a good distance but quite windy and hilly. Not far out of town the hills kicked in before flattening out somewhat and then becoming windy again. All in all it took about three hours to drive the 200 km from Napier to Gisborne so this is a good indication that it was not 100 km/hr set and forget type driving.
We had a winery on the way into Gisborne lined up and it didn’t disappoint. Bushmere Winery was great. The cellardoor manager spent a great deal of time with us and we went through quite an extensive tasting with some left of centre wines including a Montipuciano and Sangiovese rose and rose sparkling. Both very good. We walked out with a half dozen in preparation for our days ahead in Rotorua and Coromandel where we won’t be tasting (or buying). It was good however to get them from the source and the quality was very good.
From here we headed into town to the local Pak n Save supermarket and then headed to our accommodation in Wainui which is slightly out of town and we are right on the beach in an apartment next to the (not in for our stay) owners. We had both bottles of sparkling (Pinot Gris and the rose) while watching the sun slowly disappear over the ocean with some anti pesto. It doesn’t get much better. We chilled for the rest of evening and got to enjoy a decent bed – it actually looks like it was designed for the 21st century and not the 19th! Another great day and finish in NZ.
Saturday 19 May 2018
After a very good sleep in a good bed we were up and into the city centre to visit the Gisborne Farmers Market. We were very impressed with the quality of fruit and vege and all the other produce as well. The home made pies for brekkie went down a treat! We picked up some supplies and then headed off to visit the Info Centre to get a map and any suggestions of what to do. As we have found, the Kiwi staffers are very good and help as much as they can and then some. We grabbed a couple of maps and other information and then headed out of town on Wharekopae Road to Rere waterfalls. The drive was close to an hour but there are a couple of things to do out this way so the drive is worth the distance and time.
The falls were quite good and in good flow. We spoke to a couple of people and this appears to be most water flowing over the rocks in some time. We also went to the top road and took some photos from there. We didn’t stay a long time and were soon back on the road and heading back towards town for 12 km to visit the Eastwoodhill Arboretum. It is $15 per person to walk the site and we decided to do the yellow path which also provides the option of going on an extended walk to the top with a lookout over the surrounding countryside include the arboretum itself. Things didn’t go exactly to plan with our walk taking us on the yellow path and taking in some good sites and interesting flora but before we knew it we were nearly back at the start and without going on the extended walk! Needless to say we weren’t happy campers and after some deliberation we shortcutted a walk and headed back up the path. We took a lot more care this time work out where the extension route should be and found out why we missed it in the first walk – the signage is appalling. Every other path has their paths marked with coloured markers but the extension has a sign about 30 metres up the track. What a mob of wankers. Anyway with the path found we headed up the slightly slippery and steep path to the top where we were rewarded with great views and what looked like a change in weather with some dark skies in the distance. We also had a few friendly sheep to keep us company however they soon scooted off. No doubt having bad memories of when kiwis used to sneak up on them with Velcro gloves! Gotta get a Kiwi joke in when you can!
The walk back down was uneventful and Ju picked a Chinese Quince to take back and try – they were all over the ground and obviously not being used so there was no harm done. Incidentally it wasn’t the most wonderful thing we have tried but it wasn’t too bad either. Just the sort of thing to make paste out of! We returned back and had a two minute look through the gift shop before stopping for a quick hit of fruit and some purchases from the markets earlier in the day before heading off again to the Matawhero Winery.
This is back on the way into town so it was an easy drive and only a couple of kms off the highway. We did a tasting of five of their wines including a pinot gris, gewutztraimer, chenin blanc, chardonnary and malbec. It wasn’t as good as Bushmere and we ended up buying one pinot gris and hitting the road again. Nice enough but nowhere near the outstanding range and quality of Bushmere.
And so off to the Pak n’ Save for some supplies for dinner and beyond. A quick visit and time to sit outside at our accommodation with the last of our vodka and watch the sun set over the Pacific. Another great end to another day in NZ. Dinner was the usual simple affair of sangers with Wuzz starting on his duty free gin followed by a nightcap of kaluha! Very nice.
Sunday 20 May 2018
Up and brekkie done at home we headed up to Kaiti Hill Titirangi Reserve to have spectacular view of a spectacular area on a spectacular day. The view up top was truly amazing given the place and the fact we had a complete blue sky and not a cloud to be seen. We stopped at three areas where could see slightly different angles of the Poverty Bay, the city and surrounds and none it disappointed. The second lookout we had company of the NZ Rugby League and the five of them were really nice to talk to and we took photos for each other. We have found everyone so far to be very friendly and happy to assist. Auckland is probably very different but we are very pleased with the reception thus far.
After taking a far bit of video and heaps of photos we headed back down to the marina area and had a very pleasant walk along the river front on a great walking, cycling and everything track up to the bay proper where we took some more photos and videos before heading back. There was also some very attractive apartments along the water front and we could see ourselves in one. It would, however, be difficult to beat our current accommodation!
From our stroll along the waterfront we headed up to Grey’s Hill Lookout about a quarter of hour drive out of town. We haven’t been in this area previously and it again showed how picturesque the area is – along with the fact that there are a lot of areas where it would be quite easy to pull up stumps. The area is verdant and well maintained as is the town area. The outlook while nothing fantastic itself provided a great place view the bay area from behind and continued to show how attractive it is. That down we headed back to town for a wander through the strange, half open centre. I don’t think we’ve been to an area where there is a random collective of shops open, seemingly in some odd pattern unfathomable to mere a visitor. As you would expect, this didn’t take long and we were soon back in the Sportage going for a drive and we pulled up at the War Memorial for a quick look at the stunning and large icon that had placed on the Esplande of the river. We drove further afield along the river and then back into town to the Verve Café for a very nice lunch. Ju went for the lamb and haloumi roll washed down by an Moa apple cider while wuzz had the salt and pepper squid.
Lunch down we headed to Countdown (Woolies) and when they didn’t cut it for the stir fry we went back to our fav Pak n’ Save for the ingredients of a lamb stir fry for dinner. Then to the Mobil to fuel up and back to the accommodation where we donned shorts and short sleeves for a stroll along the beach for about an hour. We both put our feet in the water, along Wuzz did the chivalrous thing and carried Ju across a little stream so she didn’t get her feet wet – what a husband! Having cranked up another 13000 steps for the day we pulled up and had the rose we purchased from Bushmere and sat on the back deck and watched the sunset creep over the ocean. A great way to finish our stay in Gisborne.
Dinner was cooked and the Bushmere malbec was consumed in front of the box watching the news and video of the royal wedding. While the malbec didn’t reach the dizzying heights of the rose, it was still very good and left a mellow feeling and possibly added in the early night in the bed which are now very thankful for – especially after Hawke’s Bay!