Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Muldoon’s Corner

We often travel over the winding Rimutaka Hill Road, on State Highway 2, usually towing the caravan behind us.  It is the only road route over the Rimutaka Ranges, travelling from the Hutt Valley side of the ranges on the western side, to the Wairarapa Plains in the east. At the summit the road is 555m above sea level. Why it is called a “hill” when it is part of a mountain range is beyond me, and I can vividly remember the first time I drove over this road in my young days.  The red “L”for learner driver was affixed to the windows of my old bomb of a car, telling the world I had not long been granted my driving license.  With my two young children in the back seat, I stalled my car driving up the hill in slow traffic.  Try as I  might I just couldn’t get the car started, and with each try the car kept sliding back down the road getting perilously closer and closer to the car behind me.  As you can imagine, the traffic was backing up and I was starting to panic.  Obviously, hill starts were not yet part of my driving skills.  Finally, a kind motorist took pity on me, and offered to help.  Effortlessly, the car started straight away for him.   I jumped back in the drivers seat and continued my journey home, swearing my children to secrecy  so they wouldn’t tell their father what a terrible driver I was.
Muldoon's Corner - the sharpest and tightest corner on Hill Road in Rimutaka, north of Wellington.. Muldoon’s Corner before the work started - Photo courtesy of New Zealand Transport Agency
Muldoon's Corner is the sharpest and tightest corner on Hill Road and is the third to last right-hander heading northward before the summit.  It is notorious for the fact that trucks often had to cross the centre line, and two trucks cannot take the corner in opposite directions at the same time.  Robin used to drive his truck over this road for several years and often came home with tall tales to tell of narrow escapes!  Work has been well underway to realign the road 1km south of the Rimutaka summit on the Wellington side of the hill.
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Our trips over the hill are often slow due to the large amount of trucks carrying fill from one part of the road to another.  This map shows how the road is being altered, by cutting, filling, and bridging.
Muldoon's cornerWairarapa News photo
And just who was the corner named after?  Former National Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, who was also Minister of Finance, that’s who.  The corner has said to got its name in relation to Muldoon's budgets: "tight and [when heading northbound] to the right".
image Prime Minister Robert Muldoon

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wairarapa Wanderings

The 1.5km steep unsealed drive up to Assisi Gardens looked daunting.  We could see the house perched high on the hill up above us, so that was where we were heading.  This was the first stop on our day out with Anne and the SLG on our “Wairarapa Wanderings”.
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We climbed higher and higher, past massed plantings on the hillside and groups of local stone artistically arranged.  All rocks used in the garden came from the property.
DSCF5807 A grove of cabbage trees
The views were stunning as we looked across the valley.  Assisi Gardens cover 11 hectares of steep hillside and are only 10 years old.  The beautiful lake  took shape after 9000 mts of peat was excavated (and used elsewhere in the garden) and the previous swamp filled with water from the natural spring.  The owners gave us a potted history of the property and then we took ourselves off on a self guided garden tour.  Large plantings of native trees and flaxes attract the birds in the Spring.
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There was no wind the day we visited, unusual as we were so high up in the hills, and the hot Wairarapa sun was beating down as we wandered around the garden.  We were delighted to cool down and eat our picnic lunch under the shade of the decking at the back of the house when we completed our garden tour.
P3272071 Lunch time out of the hot sun
The two resident dogs, shiny black Labradors called Venus and Serena were eating their lunch too.  They made short work of a large bone each as they chomped happily away.
DSCF5808 Is this Venus or Serena with her bone?
As we left the gardens at Gladstone to drive to our next stop the heavens opened and a torrential downpour arrived.  It was so difficult to see that we all slowed down to a crawl, our lights were on, and the windscreen wipers were working on high speed.  Luckily by the time we left the country roads and joined the main road the rain had eased considerably, and unbelievably, blue skies appeared as we pulled in to our next destination. We were to see the rural Carterton  workshop of sculpture Nico Thomsen.  Ten years ago Nico packed up all his heavy metal working tools including a forge into a shipping container and left Germany to start a new life in New Zealand.  He turns pieces iron into garden works of art.  Nico explained the long process to create his stunning flax pieces.  He uses all sorts of metal, from flat lengths to rods, as he cuts, shapes, hammers, welds into the shapes he is creating.
DSCF5816 Nico with his flax flowers
We were all taken with this lovely frame covered with flowers and could imagine it in our own gardens.  Nico told us that he paints his garden creations with rust inhibiting oil which gives some protection if applied regularly, but then again, he feels that a little  rust on his outdoor works only enhances the iron works.
P3272078Garden sculptor
Sitting in the driveway was a carriage that looked like it was straight out of a fairy tale.  “Would you mind, Nico”, I asked, “if I sat in your carriage?” Goodness knows what thoughts were going through his mind as he graciously consented.  So here I am, feeling like a princess for a moment!
DSCF5821 All I need is a tiara
We had a great day out with our SLG friends.  It was Anne’s turn to organise the day out, and she came up with two interesting visits to places we had not previously discovered.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stay-at-home Saturday

What has happened to the sunshine?  Today is a soggy, wet Saturday.  The rain is coming down, and our New Zealand flag is hanging limply on the flag pole.  The rain clouds are so low we can’t see the hills at all.  Guess it’s a good day to be staying at home and doing what takes our fancy.  There is rugby on the telly and quilting to be done – no prizes for guessing which one of us is doing what.  Let us hope that the weather clears tomorrow as we are heading back over to the Wairarapa to spend the day with friends.  “Take sturdy shoes”, we were told, so no doubt there will be some exploring to be done.  This is  just a day trip  so both the caravan and the cat will be staying home.
DSCF5787 Home in the rain today

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gasoline Heaven

Our visit to Gasoline Heaven was a trip down memory lane for the men folk of our caravan club over the weekend.   Situated on the main road just north of Carterton, we had driven past many times, often saying to ourselves, “We must go there one day.”  That day had finally arrived and we arrived at the car museum to see what was hidden away inside.  The $5 entrance fee seemed very reasonable to us.
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Bob and Georgie Wilton began collecting automotive memorabilia in 2002, when they bought an old wooden oil box.  The collection grew rapidly, and outgrew their large garage, so they built Gasoline Heaven as a museum to house their treasures, and their own growing collection of cars.  Bob and Georgie have their own English Ford Zephyrs on show, and their dragster, as well as many other interesting vehicles on loan.
DSCF5727 A huge collection of oil containers
Peter drooled over the white and orange 1957 Mark 11 Zephyr.  “I used to have one of those,” he said, “may I sit inside for a moment?”   Yes, if he was careful, was the reply.  Don joined him in the front seat.  Can you see the grins on their faces?
DSCF5722Peter and Don sitting in the Mark 11 Zephyr
The Wilton’s Dragster “The Bullet” looked very impressive.  Painted green and yellow, the 1969 Dragster has a Zephyr 3.0L VG motor.  Off to the side is a collection of old bikes.  Remember the bike with the large front basket that delivered the grocery orders?  There was one of those tucked in the corner, together with several pedal cars.  Wonder how many of our guys had a pedal car when they were children?
DSCF5724 “The Bullet”
I noticed two large green Fords from earlier times.  One was a 1930 Model A Ford, and the other was slightly earlier, a 1928 Model A Ford Sedan.  Cars really made a statement in those days!
DSCF5728 Two green Fords
Petrol pumps displaying brand names long discontinued were a talking point.  This brought back memories of all the different brands of petrol which used to be sold at petrol stations years ago.
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Many other cars were parked outside the museum, including these two in dire need of restoration.  Is that an Elvis plate on that old blue Morris 8?  The yellow Holden ute beside is just as rusty and the pair may well be a lost cause for repair.
DSCF5733 Sadly riddled with rust
There was an interesting mix of cars and memorabilia to see, and Gasoline Heaven is well worth a visit if you are in the vicinity.
P3192040 Who is this masked man?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let’s try Clareville

Deciding to take an extra day tacked on to our rally weekend generated a huge amount of discussion.  We were all in agreement to move on from Greytown and try somewhere different.  Suggestions were made, discussed then discarded.  Shall we try somewhere off power?  We really didn’t want to travel too far, for just an extra night.  Finally the decision was made to try Clareville.  We had checked it out recently and were rather taken with the power sites  away from the main camping area.

DSCF5740 Plenty of room for us at Clareville
Clareville A & P grounds are just north of Carterton, and comprises of 100 acres. This is the home of the local annual Agricultural and Pastoral Show.  All sorts of other organisations use the grounds, some of which include dog shows, horse events, and hockey played on the all weather Astroturf.  Large amounts of the area are leased to a local farmer.The area we chose to park in had a nice rural outlook with sheep grazing behind us, and nice shady trees to give us shelter from the afternoon heat.  Horse lovers were putting their steeds through their paces in an adjacent area.
DSCF5741 Trotting the horses around the rink
There had been a lot of work done recently in the grounds, with a large number of poles installed containing four power points on each pole, a water tap and a night light on top.  The manager told us the cost of each pole was $1500.  The fee per night for our stay was an extremely reasonable at only $15 per caravan.  The toilet facilities were not flash, but clean and tidy, while showers were only available in the main camping area.  Not to worry, we all have showers in our caravans. 
DSCF5738  The newly installed power connection poles
There was a huge open fronted barn across from us, so we just had to go and have a look.  We spotted some hay bales stacked on one side.
DSCF5737 Huge barn complete with hay
Our arrival at the barn set the many resident pigeons into a bit of a panic, as they started fluttering around and around amongst the ceiling joists.  The barn had a large amount of hay bales, rolled hay and bales of straw all neatly stacked.  The sweet smell of hay filled the air and sunlight filtered through the ceiling skylights as pigeon feathers fluttered down.  Peter was measuring the bales with his outstretched arms while trying to determine how many bales of hay it would take to make one rolled bale.
DSCF5748 Bales of hay
Eileen had noticed a road sign for refreshments not far from where we were camping and suggested going out for afternoon tea.  Some of us decided that sounded like a good idea and we drove up the road to Awaiti Cottage Tearooms, which are housed in an 120 year old building.  We all decided that the Spicy Apple cake looked just right and it was delivered to our table with our coffee orders.
 DSCF5744 Jenny, Don, Geoff, Eileen and Pamela ready for afternoon tea
The evening skies brought a special phenomenon into view when we gazed at the full moon.  In fact is was a “Super Moon”, also known as a lunar perigee.  Perigee moons are about 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than lesser moons. This occurs when the Moon is at the closest point in its orbit to Earth.  This last happened 18 years ago, and will occur again in 2016.  
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Picture courtesy BARRY HARCOURT/Southland Times
EYE FULL: A full moon photographed over Te Anau early yesterday. The weekend's full moon is a super 'perigee moon' the biggest in almost 20 years.
With this extra day tacked on to our rally weekend, we finally made our way home late on Monday morning.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Giant Sun sighted in Greytown

Another rally weekend rolled around, the caravan was packed and hooked on, Muffy stowed safely away on the back seat of the car, and we were off.  First stop was at the petrol station to check the tyres.  Robin likes to make sure both the caravan and car tyres are correctly inflated before we take a trip.  We were travelling over the steep Rimutaka Hill to Greytown.
DSCF5687 Checking the tyres
Greytown is a very pretty town in the Wairarapa, with many trendy shops and cafes.   We drove through the handsome stone Memorial Gates topped with a wrought iron archway, and along a tree lined driveway into the camp at the rear of the park.
DSCF5716 Soldiers Memorial Gate at Greytown Park
The Motor Camp was quite full with a lot of people staying the weekend to enjoy the Balloon Festival. (We had previously seen this several times so it was not on our agenda for the weekend.) The camp is very reasonably priced at $20 per night, and four caravans from our club enjoyed warm sunny weekend weather.  Lots of family groups in tents were dotted about the camp, and youngsters were riding their trikes around the grass.  We were horrified to discover a wasp nest under a tree root very close to the camp facilities so made sure both the Camp Manager and the young parents were aware of the danger.
DSCF5711 Our group at Greytown Motor Camp
The Motor Camp is ideally situated at only a short walk from town, or an even shorter drive, if a bit of shopping or a cafe fix is required.  We needed to purchase a few items and I noticed something unusual in the Supermarket car park.  It is not often you find a sheep being taken to town and parked up in the shoppers car park.
DSCF5706 The sheep out shopping
There was quite a bit of excitement on Sunday morning and Elaine came running over to tell us some news.  She banged on the door.  “Are you dressed yet?”, she wanted to know, “come and have a look at this.” We rushed outside to have a look.  As a finale to the balloon weekend, some of the balloonists were out enjoying the calm early morning conditions.  A giant sun balloon was peeping over the trees.
P3202048 Here comes the sun
The little children were thrilled to see the sun with his cheeky face looking down at them.  More balloons soon followed the sun and the children were pointing, the cameras were snapping, and we all enjoyed this unexpected morning show.
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Our weekend in Greytown came to a close, but it wasn’t over yet.  Geoff had arranged to take a day’s leave on Monday so  suggested an extra night away.  Everyone thought that was a great idea - but the question was, where shall we go? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My hero – Neil Diamond

I would be the first to acknowledge that one’s taste is music is very individual, and we all have our favourites.  More often than not, these are from our earlier formative years, shaped by the music we listened to and loved in our teenage years.  So that is why the music of Elvis and The Beatles  is very dear to my heart.   I didn’t really discover the music of Neil Diamond for another decade when I listened in awe to his album “Hot August Night”.  The power of his voice, the skill of his song writing, the hot driving music interspersed with emotional ballads turned me into a Neil Diamond fan there and then.  We were lucky enough to attend his Auckland concert several years ago.

It was great news to hear that he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in acknowledgement of his musical talent over the years.  Neil Diamond got his start as a Brill Building songwriter, writing "I'm A Believer" for the Monkees, among many other hits. His own career launched in 1966 with instant classics "Solitary Man" and "Cherry Cherry." By the early 1970s he was one of the most popular live acts on the road, a role he's maintained for the last four decades. He said of his induction: "I'm glad they did it before I'm dead."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Those bleeding brakes

Our Toyota 4WD has been playing up.  The little red brake light has been coming on, then turning off, while we have been driving around. And even worse, the brake pedal has been feeling “soft”.  Robin was understandably getting rather worried about all this.  As our caravan tow car, the Toyota has to be reliable and in good form to pull the caravan around.  So we had a trip down to the garage last week which revealed that the  brake fluid was getting a little low.  That’s easily fixed, it was topped up.  But nothing is ever simple, and Robin was still concerned about the state of the brakes.  With a caravan club trip over the Rimutaka Hill and on to Greytown planned for this weekend, he wasn’t taking any chances.  Good brakes are essential.
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So it was back to see the mechanics at the garage, and they suggested that there could be air in the system and the brakes should be bled.  Our mechanic was so helpful, and he did the job there on the spot, although the car had not been previously booked in.  How is that for service?   This did the job, and the brakes are now working as they should.  So all bodes well for our weekend trip away, when we climb up the Rimutaka Hill, and come down the other side again. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It makes you think…..

During our visit to Wellington the other day we were walking along Willis Street and Lambton Quay.  Both streets were busy with the office workers scurrying along during their lunch breaks.  I just couldn’t help but look up at all the towering buildings lining the streets and wondering what would happen if an earthquake struck Wellington’s “Golden Mile”.  The Wellington region is well overdue for “The Big One”, we are often reminded.  We had read that when this happens the streets would be impassable with broken glass!  Then Robin announced that he really fancied a Chinese take-away for lunch.  No problem, you would think, except that the Food Court was underground at the BNZ building.  As we travelled down the escalator I announced that we would only eat underground if we were sitting right by the escalator exit – just in case!  Luckily we returned from our trip to the capitol city unscathed.
Then just last evening we watched in horror as the TV showed news of another dreadful earthquake, this time in Japan, and the terrible tsunami waves bringing destruction inland and covering everything in their path.  It certainly makes you think, doesn’t it, and reflect on what is happening in the world.
image Photo courtesy of Katu.com
Our thoughts although still with the victims of the Christchurch Earthquake are now also with those poor souls affected by the massive earthquake in Japan.  One wonders where it will all end.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Crown Lynn in our Kitchens

Crown Lynn pottery has been part of New Zealand kitchens for years.  This home grown, sturdy and reliable pottery has long been part of our lives.    Reasonably cheap, and easily replaceable, a Crown Lynn dinner set was often a wedding present to young married couples of our vintage.  Or maybe they got one of those white Crown Lynn swans instead, (I never fancied those swans at all).  After the boom times of the 50s and 60s, the factory closed in 1989.  We visited the City Gallery in Wellington to see the “Crown Lynn, Crockery of Distinction” exhibition.
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There was a very interesting film running (without sound) from Archives New Zealand, titled “From Potters Wheel to Mass Production”.  We watched as hand thrown pots were made with ease, but it would have taken much practise, I imagine.  We saw blobs of clay placed on wheels, then automatically flattened and stamped out into plates.  It was real mass production as ladies attached one cup handle after another to the cup bodies.  Sadly it was not permitted to take photos inside the exhibition, and the security staff who were watching everyone closely made doubly sure that nobody touched anything, or snapped a few sneaky photos.  The items on display came from private collections, and although we were most familiar with the utilitarian table ware, we were surprised at the variety of other items produced.  In the mid 70s Members of Parliament were eating off Crown Lynn crockery featuring a stylised Maori motif at Bellamys, the Parliamentary restaurant at the Beehive.   The Crown Lynn factory had a military connection too, producing crockery for the Army, the Airforce, and the Navy.  And how many of us remember drinking cups of tea out of the sturdy crockery made especially for New Zealand Railways?  Hefty New Zealand Railways cups are now collectors’ items but were once tossed from the train windows, so the story goes. According to an old joke, only three things would survive a nuclear holocaust: ants, cockroaches and New Zealand Railways cups. And the first two would make it only if they were under the third.
image New Zealand Rail cup and saucer
The factory also produced a line of animal figurines (we did not know that), and I spent some time looking at the tiny birds, animals, and various eggcups.  These were from the collection of Helen Slater.
DSCF5669Postcard of animal figurines
Robin remembered owning an “Autumn Splendour” dinner-set in a previous life, and the remains of this was sold some years ago for a pittance on Trade Me.  Wish we had known that,  it could well be collectable by now.  A look through the kitchen cupboards brought up only two Crown Lynn items.  My white  Beehive mixing bowl was given to me by my sister Kathleen way back in the mid 1960s as I first entered matrimony.  It is quite large and extremely heavy and still has plenty of life in it, although I do tend to use a lighter stainless steel mixing bowl these days.
DSCF5665 My first mixing bowl
Then I found a fluted edge quiche (flan) dish which I use from time to time, complete with the Crown Lynn logo underneath.
DSCF5663 My flan dish
The exhibition was very interesting, and had a lot of items that we had never seen before.  Well worth a visit for a trip down memory lane.  There is an admission charge, but if you  plan your visit  for a Wednesday, admission is free on this day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Travel Facts & Figures

On our recent travels around the wilds of Eastern Wairarapa and Southern Hawkes Bay we accumulated some interesting facts (to me anyway).

We stayed at 10 different locations after leaving the joint rally we hosted with Wairarapa and Wellington Caravan Clubs at Brookfields Scout Camp, Moores Valley Road, Wainuiomata:
Carterton Holiday Park
Alfredton Domain
Pongaroa Domain
Akitio Campground
Herbertville Campground
Porongahau Beach Camp
River Side Holiday Park, Waipawa
Makotuku Domain
Dannevirke Golf Club
Coppermine Camp
We also crossed at least 14 one way bridges in one day and countless two way bridges on leaving Herbertville.

The prices at each of the locations varied between: Free, $8, $10, $15, $18, $20, $24, $25, $30 per night.(not in order of the camps above) and all but one of the camps had power. Of the camps 8 were new camps to all of us.

The vans covered 683 Kilometres. The vehicles of course covered many more kilometres (doing sightseeing or emergency trips for retail therapy) but I did not keep a record of them. Likewise I did not keep a record of the fuel I used, all I know is that it got more expensive as the trip wore on.

The longest journey for us was home from Coppermine Camp at 164 Kilometres.  The others travelled approx 87 kilometres and 104 kilometres to their homes respectively.

The Shortest journey was from Dannevirke Golf Club to Coppermine Camp at 21 Kilometres.

We had Fish & Chips at Akitio, a meal out at the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel in Porongahau (over priced for an out of the way hotel)and a lunch at Purple Haze at Mangatainoka.  Had tour through the TUI Brewery at Mangatainoka

We were away for 17 days and of that time only 1 and bit days of rain, the rest were fine and sunny although a few at the coast also were a little windy, but nothing serious.  So apart from the meals mentioned above the rest were generally BBQ’d.

All our parts that were exposed to the sun are sporting nice tans. We did not frighten any natives by donning our togs or speedos and Bikinis so the brown bits are only the extremities.

A thoroughly enjoyable trip with great company!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shrove Tuesday

Today is Shrove Tuesday – otherwise known as Pancake Day – not a day we usually celebrate in this household.  But we read about it in the local paper and we just happened to have some pancake mix in the pantry, so why not.  We like to do our pancakes a little differently, and make them in our ever so handy waffle maker.  So lunch today was nice warm waffle shaped pancakes, served with whipped cream and canned peaches.  The only thing missing, Robin decided, was some maple syrup to pour over them.  Perhaps next time.
DSCF5647 Our Shrove Tuesday Pancake lunch
So just what is Shrove Tuesday and the connection  to pancakes?  We didn’t really know but Google knows everything and had the answer.  Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, and noted in histories dating back to 1000 AD. In the United Kingdom and many other countries, the day is often known as Pancake Day. Making and eating such foods was considered a last feast with ingredients such as sugar, fat and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The magic of Mangatainoka

The tiny village of Mangatainoka, just a few miles south of Woodville, is a mecca for good keen Kiwi blokes who enjoy a beer or two.  Robin, Peter, and Geoff were over the moon at the prospect of a tour through the Tui Brewery factory with the promise of a tasting or two while we were staying in the area,    We drove in to the world famous (in New Zealand anyway) Tui Headquarters to join in with the afternoon tour.  There is a new sign on the hill looking down on the factory.  We were now in Tuiwood.

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Robin went to purchase our tour tickets while I looked around the gift shop.  There was a good range of branded merchandise for sale, from clothing, beer glasses, tea towels, nick nacks and for the out doorsy people, how about a new pair of gum boots decorated with the Tui beer logo to keep your feet dry?
DSCF5624Robin buying the tour tickets
DSCF5630Now we have the tickets, we were all ready to go.
The afternoon tour group gathered and we were all issued with a bright yellow vest to wear, for safety reasons.  The tour guide gave us all a potted history of how it all started, and how the business has changed over the years.
DSCF5632 Ready for the tour
Henry Wagstaff opened the Tui brewery at Mangatainoka in 1889.  Legend tells that he stopped and made a cup of tea on the banks of the Mangatainoka River, and found that the water made the best cuppa he had ever tasted.  This was the ideal place to start his brewery, he decided.  The aim was to supply export quality brews to beer drinkers around the colony.  In 1903 he sold it to Henry Cowan, who developed the prize-winning East India Pale Ale. As the factory expanded, a seven-storey brew tower was built in 1931, so brewers could use gravity to turn malt into beer. For some reason, the builders forgot to put in any stairs and a lift on the outside later rectified the problem.  This tower is the icon of Tui beer and Mangatainoka.
P3041334 The Tui tower
Our tour guide led the way into the factory and explained each process to us.  Three master brewers work at this busy factory.  Our guide told us that they have the best jobs in the world, as they taste beer all day!  We were not allowed to take photos at the start of the tour, but she gave me permission, before the rest of the group arrived, to take a quick snap of this sign.  Guess I didn’t look too much like an industrial spy, and to tell the truth, I’m not even a beer drinker.
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The Tui car, featuring the distinctive orange paint job, is used for promotional appearances.  There is nothing that says “ a kiwi bloke’s car” more than a station-wagon from this era.
P3041335 The Tui Beer car
Once through into the bottling plant we climbed up onto the walkway over the pasteurising machine.  Cameras were allowed in this part of the factory and the flashlights were going off as we looked over the never ending conveyor belt of bottles.  Peter remarked that the heady smell of hops and warm beer was almost too much for him!
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Cartons of beer were placed on pallets and shrink wrapped, and two forklifts darted quickly about moving stock to the correct places.  Friday was a good day to take the tour, we were told, as this is the day the bottling is done.
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After the tour we assembled in the bar and the men cashed in their tickets for a free glass of beer.  Robin said he would be ashamed to ask at the bar if I could use my ticket for a cup of coffee, so I compromised and had a shandy instead.  The brewery is named after our native tui, and this beautiful painting hangs in the cafe/bar area.
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