Picture this – camping area on one side, with a cemetery just through the trees. That’s what we found at Ashurst Domain, so make sure the caravan doors are locked at night in case the ghosties and ghoulies are wandering about. That’s certainly camping with a different outlook. Leaving Carterton after an early lunch our three caravans travelled up country to Woodville, and through the Manawatu Gorge. 111 kms later we arrived at Ashurst Domain to find Geoff and Eileen waiting for us. This is Day One of our Safari Holiday.
The Domain is covered with large Totara trees so there is plenty of shady areas to relax in. Just across the way we could see the large local cemetery through the trees. The guys wandered around looking at headstones and came back with a new word. What does “relict” mean?, they came back and asked us. Nobody knew so we looked it up in our trusty dictionary. The word means “widow”. So that is something new we all learnt today.
Walking around the Domain we came across a very strongly constructed viewing platform (maybe a result of the “Cave Creek” disaster), looking down over a wet land area. This area was originally a lake, which has silted up, and a restoration project is planned to restore it. The group Ducks Unlimited is also involved and they breed and release water birds to areas such as this.
Not far away we found a cafe which has a very imaginative solution to the question – what to do with the dog when you want to enjoy a cup of coffee? The answer is to leave them here, in this dog parking area. And ask inside for a free dog biscuit to keep the dog happy!
On nearby Whariti Peak hundreds of windmills keep turning to add electricity into the National Grid. They look almost hypnotic as they slowly spin around and around. The Manawatu area is known as the Windfarm Capital of New Zealand.
We were unsure where to pay our camp fees as the office was shut up tight. This was solved however, when the camp commandant turned up on his tractorised mower to collect our fees. Presumably he was off to cut the grass once he had the office work out of the way.
We enjoyed a very relaxing time in this camp site. The adjoining public areas are well utilised and the whole area is a credit to the small town of Ashhurst.