A wonderful article about our Gisborne adventure. Rosie, thank you for taking the time to write this. Thank you to those who joined in the fun, for us it was the perfect holiday. To those who missed out, you really did miss an amazing tour…
The weatherman played the game and the weather was perfect, lovely clear blue skies and warm. Eight brave souls came to Gisborne on the 12th, 13th and 14th November, Paul and Shirley from New Plymouth, they travelled to Taupo and spent the 1st night with Tim and Deb where they had to consume copious quantities of red wine.
On the trip from Taupo Tim had to ask for directions in Murupara. The person Tim asked looked staunch, he was big and covered in tattoos. But when he saw the two Fraser’s his face broke into a large toothless smile and he offered directions only if he was allowed to video them as they left. Scott and Ida from Auckland (This just goes to prove that an Auckland Fraser can travel south. Ida also proved that you can wear a tea-cosy on your head and providing you are in a Fraser you will still look good) and Keith and Jen from Waihi Beach. Keith and Jen are an inspiring couple. In their seventies and they had just finished a Cape to Bluff tour in their Alfa and even after three weeks on the road they joined this trip.
All but one of the Frasers met in Whakatane then drove on through the amazing Waioeka Gorge to Matawai where Tom was waiting to escort them to Gisborne.
First stop was Bushmere Estate Winery for a refreshing beer after such a long voyage then onto Rosie and Tom’s property in Valley Road for a show and tell and briefing on the events for the next day. We all trooped down to the water front, checked in at the Senator Hotel which has a very secure back yard area and gorgeous water front views from the front balcony for all our guests. Once everyone was organised we walked over the train bridge to the Tatapouri Sports Fishing club for dinner.
Saturday morning saw everyone having breakfast at the cafe round the corner then it was off on the first leg of the trip to Vinoptima Estate winery in Ngakaroa Road. Tom talked to us all about the Vinoptima story (the abridged version) and gave everyone small tastings of a few wines.
After rearranging all the cars several times and taking a multitude of photos we then headed to Eastwoodhill, the National Aboretum, via the Lavenham Road and Ngatapa Valley. An interesting drive with lots of corners and long straights into the Gisborne countryside. We had a few minor mishaps on the way such as Tom’s arm and car being splattered with cow dung that he failed to avoid, and Tim having an encounter with a bee that leapt into his shirt and bit him. Plus at the Eastwoodhill gate there were road works and the road in the driveway was quite raised, Tom asked the roller driver to make the entrance passable for low slung Frasers and he proceeded to roll the road flat.
We were met there by Sally, who conducted us on a tour around a small part of the amazing garden, and who gave us an interesting insight into its founder, Douglas Cook, and his vision for the park. Mr Cook was injured in Europe during WW1, he recuperated in Britain and was inspired by the beautiful gardens he saw there, so that on his return it was his ambition to model a park on those he found in Britain. At the time of his death in 1967 he had sourced and planted over 5 000 different types of trees and shrubs from New Zealand and the northern hemisphere. When gardening, Mr Cook liked to wear only a hat and one gumboot, much to the consternation of visitors! Our time at the Arboretum was limited but Sally inspired us to make plans to return for a longer period.
Before long, we were off again to a wine tasting and nibbles at KEW (Kirkpatrick Estate Winery). Scott a beer drinker was even convinced to try a little wine.
Once again we carried on our trip to Bushmere Estate and enjoyed a gorgeous lunch with a glass of wine (Scott finally had his beer). This is a small boutique winery and one of the few in Gisborne that offers lunch in the vineyard.
At Bushmere Estate we were all together in a very public place so Tim’s battery decided that it would no longer crank the engine. Everyone gave Tim a push, Paul captured the event on video. Tim took it with grace and good humour but we could tell that he was a broken man.
With lunch completed, we drove back through Gisborne and carried on a small distance up the coast to Turihaua. This drive was different again driving along the coastline and stunning views of the sea. We stopped for a time and took in the scenery before we headed back.
Travelling back from beaches around the Gisborne coast we unknowing left Keith stranded with a flat battery. Luckily Tom had noticed that he was having trouble and he was able to push start him. Sadly, Paul did not get this on video.
On our return to Gisborne we showered/had a nap and relaxed after such a gorgeous day. The evening passed with more winning and dinning then we retired early in preparation for the early start on Sunday.
Sunday saw everyone again venturing up Tom and Rosie’s challenging driveway for breakfast then all heading home in various directions, Tim, Deb, Paul and Shirley heading South and Keith, Jen, Scott and Ida heading north.
One the way home Paul noticed that his battery had stopped charging. They stopped at Bayview to find that the alternator bolt had vibrated lose. A quick repair was affected but the battery was too flat to crank the car. Tim gave Paul a push while Shirley and Deborah captured the event on video. Tim could not stop smiling but being the true gentlemen he is, he said nothing. Of course this only made it worse and Paul was left a broken man.
It was a fantastic weekend, fantastic weather and great company with everyone enjoying the great Gisborne roads and a taste of what Gisborne has to offer.