Thursday, 1 October 2015

Visiting Government House.

On Tuesday our caravan club was very privileged in having a private tour of the Governor General’s House by the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Government House-003

Up early we were to drive the near one hundred kilometres to be there before 10.15am. We had to consider peak hour traffic but had enough time to check out our lunch venue before arriving.  We were all on time to meet up with our tour guide Owen  and had to wait at the gates for the Police Security Guard to open them for us.

Visitor Centre - originally the garage for the governmental cars.Our entrance to the visitor centre , once the garage to the Governmental cars.

Heretaunga Caravan members in front of Government House.Heretaunga Caravan members in front of Government House.

The house was closed for 3 years in 2008 for major strengthening and refurbishing to bring it up to todays standard at a cost of over $40million.

Enjoying the Conservatory.Relaxing in the Conservatory.

Native Rimu Timbers in the HallwayNative Rimu Timbers in the Hallway

Maori Carving by the staircase.Maori Carving by the staircase.

The Levin ladies behind the Levin Chair.The Levin ladies behind the Levin Chair. From Left, Dot, Jenny and Lorraine.

Ready for dinner? Anyone for dinner?

Beautiful Mosaic table of unknown origin.Beautiful Mosaic table of unknown origin.

Built between 1908 and 1910 the property consisting of nearly 12 hectares bordering Alexandra Park and the town belt below Mt Victoria on land that was previously Mt View Lunatic Asylum.

The remains of the wall to the Lunatic Asylum with early graffiti.The remains of the wall to the Lunatic Asylum with early graffiti.

Early Graffiti.Early Graffiti.

The tours are free of charge and bookings can be made online or by phone. Information at

Tours can only be arranged when the Governor General (the Queens Representative in New Zealand) is not in residence.

We couldn't have picked a better day to visit as the tour had been organised months in advance.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Shakedown Cruise!

Last weekend we took our new baby out on its first outing in our ownership.  Surprisingly enough the layout is the same as our earlier motorhome but 1.4metres shorter.  Believe me that makes a big difference with storage.  But we will adapt, wont we?

IMG_0003(2)Our first view by email!

We had had ‘Gypsy Rover’ for sale for sometime as now we aren't living in her we planned to go smaller.  We received an email from a Blenheim couple as to whether we would be interested in a swap with their motorhome for ours and a cash difference.  Well it was worth looking at we thought, after many emails and phone calls back and forth, we finally agreed to meet in Wellington and view each others vehicles.  They made the trip on the Inter Island Ferry to meet up with us and were so confident they had booked a return trip with ‘our’ van a couple of days later.

IMG_0278Now I know I shouldn't be on the table …….but I do like it here.

But we were the harder to convince, many hours were spent over and under their vehicle until we proceeded with the deal.  I must admit Derek put them through the hoops and large amounts of cash (on their side) were paid to correct several problems.

IMG_0279Peek- a- boo I can see you!

IMG_0283The lounge area the same as before.

IMG_0284‘Watford’ the teddy lives here. (we found him in Derek’s hometown lost on the road while in the UK).

IMG_0286Beautiful upholstery and a lovely picture on the flat panel TV.

IMG_0288The kitchen area is a lot smaller, although the van can sleep 6.

IMG_0289Looking towards the cab.

IMG_0281We even managed to erect the attached awning.

Our first trip away was only 20 kms north to Foxton Boys Brigade Camp with the Heretaunga Caravan Club .  There were many extras supplied with the motorhome, new side walls on the awning, new carpet and a brand new stove.  All in all, not too bad, there are a few things we need to do but in the meantime it has not interrupted our busy travelling schedule too much.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Gypsy Rover is sold!


Don’t think you have seen the last of us though, more exciting times ahead.

IMG_0002This is the replacement. More to come.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Wellington150 years “New Zealand’s Capital City”

Wellington celebrates 150 years as the nation's capital.  On July 26, 1865 parliament sat for the first time in Wellington.   Parliament first sat in Russell in 1840, before moving to Auckland a year later and then moving south to its more central position in 1865.

The Beehive Wellington The Beehive, centre of Parliament Wellington, New Zealand.

Wellington Cablecar.The Cable Car looking out over the harbour.

Wellington celebrated the birthday by a sound and light show projected onto some buildings and a concert by Dave Dobbyn and the Orpheus Choir for 3 days only.

Beautiful lights in WellingtonBeautiful lighting display to mark 150 years.

colourful“Thanks to Stuff”

I must admit despite now living 93kms north of Wellington I always love going back to this wonderful city.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Autotrail Rally at Classic Car Museum.

P1080059Looking rather impressive from the roof.

Recently we joined members of the New Zealand Autotrail Club for a rally at the Classic Car Museum in Hamilton.  The weather was very kind to us when we left home on Thursday afternoon heading for Taupo.  Arriving just before 7pm in torrential rain in Taupo we stopped in the centre of town to get some fish and chips before settling for the night overlooking the lake and Marina.

Up early next morning we topped up with water before heading to Hamilton in lovely sunny weather.  We had a stop to make in Cambridge to pick up some spare covers for our Duvalays.

Spot Gypsy Rover?Spot Gypsy Rover?P1080168Classic Car Museum, Hamilton.P1080095Classic cars galore.P10801081900 school bus.

I don't know how it happened but somehow Derek and I were selected to organise the next National Rally for Labour weekend. We have managed to secure a great site at the Levin AP& I Showground's so guess where we will be at Labour weekend?  We have offers of help so hopefully we will get the numbers that were at Hamilton.  Of the 200 New Zealand members nearly half are from Auckland or north of.  We will have to wait and see. Time will tell, fingers crossed.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Foster and Allen.

Last night we headed for Palmerston North for dinner and a show. This is not something we do too often but we couldn't resist this one

Foster and Allen

The meal at Chinatown with friends Jenny and Robin was a real surprise with a gold card discount for the buffet meals.   Not something we get a lot of use of. We’ll have to go back and try the other side of the buffet next time. There was so much variety but we were unable to sample them all.

Then onto the show, with several buses from Levin, Wanganui and Dannevirke the show was very popular amongst our age group. Singing some of their popular songs such as “Maggie” and the audience joined in with “The Fly.” Unfortunately their version of “Gypsy Rover” was not on the nights programme but never the less a lovely evening was had by all.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Gallipoli the Scale of our War.

Showing at Te Papa Tongarewa (National Museum of New Zealand) One hundred years since the landings on Gallipoli in World War 1 .

The Scale of WarThe Scale of War.

Marking the centenary Te Papa together with Weta Workshops (of Lord of the Kings Fame) taking you back to Gallipoli.

Te Papa National Museum WellingtonTe Papa National Museum Wellington.The Horrors of warThe Horrors of war

New Zealand troops were involved in their first  objective of the First World War during the Allied invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula in April 1915. Hoping to seize control of the  Dardanelles Strait so that the allies had easy access to attack Constantinople (Istanbul), in Turkey. The Turks had sided with Germany in the war.

The Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed at a small bay (now known as Anzac Cove) on the Gallipoli peninsula on 25 April 1915.

So lifelike the characters showing wartimeSo lifelike the characters showing wartime.Bad news of the death of a brotherBad news of the death of a brother.