Saturday, 15 October 2011

Takapau, Hawkes Bay.

Now parked at NZMCA Camp Takapau, Hawkes Bay.

Takapau NZMCA's first club camp in New Zealand, purchased in 2005Takapau NZMCA's first club camp in New Zealand, purchased in 2005

Despite the site at the “Tarawera Cafe” being secluded it wasn’t far enough away from the road to lose the traffic noise. With heavy articulated trucks grinding their way up hill working through the gears and using their exhaust brakes coming down the noise never stopped. I think I heard the last truck pass by about 4am and resume again about 6am or 7am. So much for a good nights sleep.

NZ native bush on the Napier - Taupo highway.NZ native bush on the Napier - Taupo Highway.

Yesterday we were unable to run the fridge on gas (the manufacturer claims the fridge won’t operate on gas above 1000M altitude and we were about 1050-1100m) so I had to get the generator out. Luckily we had bought some petrol for it at Taupo. Overnight I had stored the generator away due to inclement weather being forecast.This morning we awoke to heavy showers and I had the problem of how to use the generator again without it getting wet (water and electricity don’t mix). After some thought I found 3 fence posts laying around with which I made a cover using the ladder on the back of the motorhome. One post holding the ladder at 90degs; to the van and the other 2 supporting a tarpaulin across the ladder it made a great little tent in which I could run the generator without it getting wet or overheating. This arrangement was used for a couple of hours to get the fridge down to temperature before we set off again. Kiwi ingenuity.

The view at the top of the Napier Taupo highway.The view at the top of the Napier Taupo Highway.

After about 25km we started the descent into Hawkes Bay and with improving weather the view was magnificent, all the way from the Kaweka Forest Park out to the coast. By the time we reached Napier there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and this was the status quo until we reached Waipukurau when cloud started to roll in off the Ruahine ranges where there is still a lot of snow on the peaks. Since arriving at the NZMCA camp at Takapau we have had a few showers but the weather is slowly improving.

The view at the top of the Napier Taupo highway.

This camp was originally one of 2 factories owned and operated by Norsewear Woollens, this one producing socks and gloves and all other garments at the Norsewood plant. Norsewear was the brain child of Norwegian Ola Rian who started the business with his wife as a cottage industry in his own home. In 1960 he opened a small factory in Johnsonville, Wellington. In 1968 he expanded the business by buying the old Ruahine dairy factory at Norsewood and later building on his own property here at Takapau. Due to his early demise at the age of 58 the company was restructured and in1985 the Takapau branch was closed. The property changed hands twice over the next 20 years until in 2005 the NZMCA purchased it as a club camp site.

View out to the front boundaryView out to the front boundary

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