23 January 20
Posted at 8:57
We have spent the last three days exploring Hawkes bay from our base in Clive. On Monday evening we ended up driving to Napier, the art deco capital of the world. First impressions was that Napier also closes Monday evenings but we did find a few places open and had an enjoyable evening. Having visited Napier, albeit briefly (we will return) on Tuesday Morning we went South to Hastings, also art deco but not the worlds capital. It is a pleasant enough little town (calls itself a city centre but don’t be fooled. In the centre of town we found ourselves in the information centre or SITE. We didn’t know that’s what it was, we had gone in to buy a hoody as I only brought tees with me and the evenings are sometimes a little cool. Well they were up until I bought a hoody!! Whilst paying the cashier I asked her a couple of things about the town. She proceeded to give loads of information, maps and goodness knows what, it was then it dawned on us the prime purpose of the place. I must say the SITE information places are really helpful.
Our cottage backs onto the Clive River which has a cycle path running alongside it. After lunch in Hastings we returned home and set out to walk along the cycle track. We followed the river east along its south bank, after about a kilometre the river Clive joins the mouth of the Ngaruroro river where they spill into the Pacific ocean. The path follows the river’s inlet running parallel with the ocean front and its black beaches of volcanic. It was a lovely walk, lots of wild birds and wonderful scenery. From the information gathered in Hastings we knew eventually the series of cycle tracks lead to the wineries of Te Awanga. They were a fair lick so far too far to walk that day. Tomorrow we could perhaps cycle there? That evening we practiced being Kiwis and fired up the BBQ for a steak supper.Mouth of the Clive River
Cycle Path Clive River Pacific Ocean
Next day we borrowed mountain bikes from our hosts and set off down the same path. We decided to head for Elephant Hill winery if we could find it. The cycle paths are excellent, well sighed and not at all hilly. The views of the ocean are magnificent. We stopped at a small hamlet for a coffee, the quality of coffee in NZ is great whatever the establishment may look like. We then arrived at Elephant Hill. It has a grand entrance with a long drive with palm trees on either side. First impressions of the rather magnificent turquoise steel and glass building were that is was up market and perhaps not for a couple of sweaty Brits in tees and shorts on mountain bikes. There were one or two cars in the car park and some folk wandering towards the building. They look more suitably dressed for the place than we did. Never the less there were some bicycle stands so we locked the bikes up and proceeded to the restaurant. It had only opened about 15 minutes before hence not many people. We got a table on a grand terrace next to a vast turquoise water feature. Although it all felt a bit posh we were made to feel welcome, our attire obviously not an issue. We were provided with large sun hats and lotion should we require it. We had decided not to do the winery tour but just sample some with lunch. We’ve done quite a few before and I usually ending losing a day or two as a result. The lunch was delish as was the wine. After lunch we sat on posh sofas in the sun looking out over the vineyards. A lot more people had arrived now, quite a few on bikes so that was comforting. Most of those on bikes were doing the wine tasting. We went to settle our bill and said we would probably come back and buy some wine later in the week. Paul, the maître d over heard and said “you have lunched here therefore I invite you to return at your leisure for a free wine tasting” he then wrote out a personal invite on a card and signed it. Just have to decide which day to lose now! The ride home felt a lot easier!
Elephant Hill Winery
That evening I returned along the path with my drone to try to capture some shots of the river/ocean.
Black Swans on Clive River (Drone Shot)
On Thursday after a late start we went south to Te Mata Peak. Te Mata rises 399m above sea level near Havelock North. At the top it offers fantastic 360 degree views for miles. The hills and those around are made up of erosion proof limestone formed up by being pushed by the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. They are steeped in Maori history and folklore. On a roll from using my drone the day before I took so shots here. Later in the day I flew it again at a place called Ocean Beach which is a paradise of a beach the sand there more traditional sandy colour not the volcanic black just a few miles north.
Te Mata Peak
Te Mata Peak (Drone)
You are now no doubt thinking he’s not mentioned the sat nav! I thought I’d keep it till last. On our drive into Hastings I noticed a large Holden dealership so on our way out I popped in. My objective to prove for diagnostic purposes if the map SD card was corrupted. The first guy I spoke to, obviously sales, (highlighted hair and a collar and tie,) was really helpful, I learnt from him, the model I have is an Arcadia and that is the only model with a SD card. He passed me on and sent me to pull into a bay outside ‘service and spares where they would help. I pulled up and went in. I told the story to the receptionist who also pleasant and polite but wanting to get on with her nails passed me on to a man sitting at the services and spares desk. Service and spare man, quite old, glasses no tie but a striped white shirt sat there with an expression that said I’ve been here longer than anyone can remember, I know it all but I’m not moving for anyone. He listened to my story, sighed, and phoned someone he could pass me on to. I was beginning to feel like a parcel at an 8 year olds birthday party. Hopefully the music would stop soon. “Jake will come round to your car he said”.
Jake arrived, black work shirt, black shorts work soiled and massive boots, oily hand and black finger nails. He was about 19 years old chirpy and friendly. I told him the story and my diagnostic theory whilst he fiddled with buttons and resets and factory resets, at each step me saying I’ve already done that. Great he said, let’s get a good SD card and try it then. He seemed convinced it would solve the problem. It didn’t. He was disappointed, I was resigned but pleased with the elimination. Well that’s an odd one said Jake. We said our thanks and goodbyes. Keep trying it Jake said sometimes they just come back although I’ve never seen this before! As we drove away Marilyn said I knew it was an Arcadia without that sales bloke telling you – its written on the back!!
Ocean Beach Hawkes Bay