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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Muffy the Cat Nip Killer

We have been carefully nurturing the root of cat nip that we acquired at Easter.  Acquired is a very generous term, in reality  the plant was uplifted during a visit to a garden visit over Easter – but don’t tell anyone.  We popped it in a glass of water and it came with us on our caravan travels.  Muffy showed great interest in this plant and we had to rescue it from her amorous advances on several occasions.  In fact, we had to resort to putting it away in the fridge overnight so that she didn’t climb up and over the bench to chew it while we were asleep.

The idea was to pot it up when we returned home.  But that seemed much too difficult to me, so I simply dug a hole in the herb garden and planted it there.  That was a foolish move indeed.  Muffy soon found the plant, pulled it out of the soil, and nibbled at the leaves till she was satisfied.  We found the sorry looking half dead root lying on top of the bark chips, carried it carefully inside and popped it back in a glass of water.  Perhaps it will revive – or perhaps not.

Cat Mint in flower

DSCF5257Our sorry looking specimen.  Will it survive?

Now whenever she goes outside, Muffy approaches the herb garden hoping for the return of her mind altering plant.  She sniffs around carefully, just in case one of her humans has planted another one for her. Perhaps she will take a fancy to parsley or chives instead?

According to Google, catmint is an aromatic herb that produces clusters of lavender-blue flowers amid mounds of gray-green foliage. It is thought to have been first cultivated in the Roman town of Nepeti, where it was used as herbal tea and insect repellent. Perhaps we will have to purchase another plant and care for it properly, planted in a pot well out of cat climbing range.  Then we can pick a sprig for Muffy now and again so she can forget she is an elderly lady and roll about in ecstasy.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dutch Day Out in Foxton

The gusty wind had set the blades of the De Molen windmill turning – swish, swish, swish, around and around they went.  The small town of  Foxton was celebrating the 10th Anniversary of De Molen, the 17th century working replica Dutch windmill in the main street, which attracts 30,000 visitors annually.

DSCF5214 De Molen windmill in Foxton

With fingers flying across the keys, the accordionist continued playing a medley of Dutch music as crowds filed into the ground floor of the windmill.  De Molen was the dream of Jan Langen and Cor Slobbe, two Dutch immigrants, and the dream was realised when the windmill was officially opened in 2003.  The working windmill is equipped with  the latest design in composite millstones as well as two new experimental wind blades.

DSCF5217 Playing to the crowds

For just a gold coin donation we could climb the steep stairs to the upper floors.  We sat for a while and watched the video which told how the windmill was built and how it all works.  Bags of grain were piled in a corner waiting to be milled.

DSCF5219 To be ground into flour

Up another steep staircase, and we found a friendly volunteer who had spent some time working in the windmill as a miller.  He was full of knowledge and very happy to share it with us all as we crowded around in the small space.  He really looked the part too, dressed in his Dutch cap, and wooden clogs on his feet.

DSCF5224 The miller

The large wooden gears mesh together to turn the millstones, which weigh 1000kgs each.  Everything runs smoothly, if a little noisily,  with wooden cogs continually turning with the power of the wind.  The heavy bags of grain are lifted up to the third floor, and the grain is put through the millstones, ground into flour which falls to the floor below through a wooden chute.

DSCF5226
DSCF5229
The ground flour slides down here

The windmill is a charitable trust with a totally volunteer board and staff.  All funds raised are used to keep the windmill in top working order and is a monument to all the Dutch immigrants who travelled to make New Zealand their new home.  After seeing how it all worked, we couldn’t leave without purchasing a bag of stone ground wholemeal flour, and a selection of Dutch biscuits from the ground floor shop.  Then we joined the queue outside to purchase our tasty lunch of Dutch sausages served with mustard and sauerkraut, and Ollie-bollen, similar to a doughnut -  a deep fried pastry filled with raisins and dusted with icing sugar.

DSCF5238 Cooking up Dutch sausages

A beautifully decorated Dutch street organ entertained us while we enjoyed our lunch.  It was built in 1880 as a barrel organ by Alexandre Gasparini in Paris, and was converted to book operation about 1892.  It came to Amsterdam in 1903, and played in the city streets for many years.  All street organs were banned from operating by the German occupying forces in 1942, and this organ was hidden away to keep it safe.  After the war the organ once again played on the streets of Amsterdam, and was then exported to USA in the 1960s.  Sadly, it’s condition deteriorated and it was unable to play. The organ arrived in New Zealand in 2001 and has been completely transformed back to working order and a new life.

DSCF5235 Beautifully decorated organ

A peep around the back was quite a surprise as we watched the “books” fed through the punch card reader, together with a drum on both sides, which received a rat-a-tat-tat when the card decided the time was right.  It was fascinating to watch.

DSCF5248 The back of the organ

We couldn’t leave Foxton without a peep at the horse drawn tram, which takes customers on a circuit of the town. The Foxton Horse Drawn Tram is a replica of 1880′s public transport from that era, and is pulled by two Clydesdale Horses.  It was loaded up, almost ready to go, and the girl in front was waiting impatiently for her Grand-dad to come back with a couple of apples so she could feed the horses.

DSCF5252 Foxton Horse Drawn Tram

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ANZAC Day Memorial

The red poppy has become a symbol of war remembrance the world over. People in many countries wear the poppy to remember those who died in war or who still serve. In many countries, the poppy is worn around Armistice Day (11 November), but in New Zealand it is most commonly seen around Anzac Day, 25 April.
Anzac poppy
The poppy was chosen as it was the first flower to appear on the fields of Flanders after WWI ended and it’s selection was in large because of the following poem by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. “In Flanders Fields”

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

Today both Australia and New Zealand remember those that have served and fallen in all world wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.  ANZAC which stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corp first came about in WWI when Australian and NZ Troops were required to fight at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire (now known as Turkey) in hopelessly uneven battle which was doomed to failure.

This has forged a tight bond between our two countries which still manifests itself today in all manner of ways but mainly in sport. With both countries located here at the bottom of the globe and a long way from anywhere we have developed a closeness that is unprecedented by any two other Countries.
Long may it continue.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.


Lest we forget


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Movie Morning

Our SLG friends joined us at ShoreLine Cinema at Waikanae for a morning at the movies.  It was Robin’s turn to organise our monthly get-together, and after his original idea fell  through, decided instead on a morning at the movies.  We saw the film “Performance”, which told the story of four musicians, a celebrated string quartet who had been playing together for 25 years.  A bombshell stuns the group when Peter announces he has Parkinson's Disease and must retire.  Not only is there the grief of what lies ahead, but also simmering tensions between the other three, Robert and wife Juliette, and first violinist Daniel. This dark and sombre film is nothing like the light hearted “Quartet”  which we had seen and laughed at several months ago.  Instead it explores emotions, human nature, and shows the absolute commitment of musical perfectionists,  all enhanced by the music of Beethoven's String Quartet No 14 in C sharp minor Op. 131.  Although I can’t claim to be a classical music lover, I decided that I rather enjoyed the sound of the violin, which sounds very European to my untutored ear.  It must be calling to my Gypsy  heritage, I commented to Robin.  His reply – Bollocks!

Performance: Movie Review The string quartet of “Performance”

Coming back to our house for a Pot Luck lunch, we had a detour to  RJ’s Licorice on the other side of Levin.  Who could resist those shelves packed with all sorts of tasty licorice?  Our group of big kids in the lolly shop tried a few samples, made up their minds, and happily took their purchases away in black plastic bags.
 
DSCF5189 Now, what shall we buy?

DSCF5198 Our little haul from RJs

Back at our home we shared a tasty Pot Luck lunch of finger food.  Everyone had brought along something tasty to put on the table, so we had a little of this, a bit of that, and one or two of those, with a hot drink to wash it all down.  Some of our guests had not been to our new house before, so they got a grand tour.  Our cat Muffy thought that all these people had come up especially to see her, so did the rounds to check everyone out.  She wasn’t very impressed that Les was sitting in the chair she really wanted to curl up on, so sneaked around behind him, wriggled around, and made herself at home. 

DSCF5192 This is really MY seat, Les!

Les wasn’t really comfortable at all with our cat taking up so much space behind him, so finally gave up and changed seats.  Muffy then changed her allegiance and made herself comfy on Trish's lap.

DSCF5196 Muffy and Trish

It was a very pleasant day out, an interesting film, finishing off with a tasty lunch, and plenty of talk, as we do, catching up with everyone’s news.  It is always good to meet up with our group of friends, and we never seem to run out of things to talk about.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Good Deals for Pensioners

It’s coming up for winter here in our part of the world, so that means it’s time for the annual flu jab.  This entailed a trip back to our old doctor, as we haven’t yet sorted out a new doctor’s practise here in Levin.  For all superannuates, the annual flu injection is free, funded by the Health Department, who of course are funded by the Government.  So that is one plus of being a pensioner!  The vaccination took no time at all, and then we had to sit and wait for a wee while to make sure there we did not have an adverse reactions.  That gave us a chance to read the trashy magazines in the waiting room and catch up with news of the British royals and assorted film stars.

Being the first day of the school holidays today, there were kids galore in the Queensgate Mall in Lower Hutt.  We had a quick lunch in the Food Court, which was full to overflowing with Mums and Grandparents with kids in tow.  Now what shall we chose?  How about Burger King for him, and Thai for her.  Robin went to have his eye examination and while I patiently waited, I called in to Donut King for yet another pensioner (Gold Card) special.  Buy a cup of coffee, and get some cinnamon donuts for free!  The coffee was great, served piping hot and was delivered  in a china mug, and not one of those horrible cardboard cups, so I was well pleased with my bargain.

DSCF5175 Gold Card Special

What’s next on our list?  That’s right, a trip to Burnsco to get a couple of things for the caravan.  While Robin was checking things out, I had a look at a whole lot of serious money bobbing about in the adjacent Seaview Marina.  These expensive boats look very nice, but we are a couple of land lubbers through and through, so  will stick to our caravan.  Robin is a poor sailor, and believe it or not, I have to admit to a bout of sea sickness after my very first night aboard a narrow boat on the Llangollen Canal! 

DSCF5176 Yachts moored in the Seaview Marina

With most of our shopping crossed off the list, it was time for the long drive back.  We had a coffee stop at our previous landlords home with Geoff and Eileen.  Their feijoa trees were fruiting and Geoff kindly gathered me a nice big bag full.  Seems that you don’t pick feijoas, but wait till the ripe fruit drops off the tree. 

DSCF5181 Geoff collecting feijoas

It was dark by the time we finally got back home, our cat Muffy told us in no uncertain terms that she had missed us and she was very, very hungry.  How dare we go out and leave her alone all day!  Suitably chastised, we gave her a cuddle, opened a tin of her favourite food, and peace was finally restored.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A trip to the Lock-up

There are still plenty of items in the lock-up, that haven’t made it to our new home.  In fact, we are are wondering why on earth we packed some of them up to take with us.  You know what it’s like – we decided to take them “just in case”. Yesterday we had a bit of a clean out, and a lucky few items were chosen to make a trip down to the Op Shop where they will no doubt find a new home.  Out went the big cabinet for our previous TV, a heavy metal goose necked lamp, and a pile of storage baskets.  A few other bits and pieces were thrown in the back of the 4WD too, and away we went with our donations, which are always gratefully received.  We are not giving away the water containers though, that’s for our emergency water supply.  It didn’t really make a dent in what is stored in our lock-up, but every bit helps.  Once Robin has his new shed erected in the back yard, all his tools will finally have a home, so that will make a big difference to what we still have in storage. 

DSCF5171 Going down to the Op Shop

The Op Shop was really humming with people dropping donations off, and others looking for a bargain.   All proceeds from the  Levin Hospice Shop support the  Arohanui Hospice in Palmerston North, a very worthy cause. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Landscape Gardener on site

The landscape gardener has been busy, planting out gardens in front of several of the newly occupied villas.  The well established villas already have their own little front gardens, and as we do not have any lawn laid yet, presumed that we would be waiting some time till it was our turn.  Not so – we were on the planting plan too.  This service is provided by the village management to ensure that the communal areas are of the same standard.

A large tree was going in the front lawn – we will finally have lawn sometime when the lawn seed is sowed.  The ground was rock hard under the few inches of top soil and the workman made short work of digging the large hole required with his kango hammer.

DSCF5164 Easier than digging a hole by hand

The Golden Gleditsia was duly planted, securely staked, and watered.  Two carpet roses were added, a white and a red, to complete the picture. 

DSCF5170Golden  Gleditsia specimen tree

Four small shrubs were then planted alongside the driveway.  I recognised the two hebe bushes, as we have grown them before.  Hebes are native to New Zealand, and generally flower very well, which attract plenty of bees.  But goodness knows what the other two shrubs are, my plant knowledge does not stretch that far.

DSCF5165 Landscape gardener watering the front garden

While all this was going on, Robin was busy in the back yard planting out our rhubarb plants.  We had potted up some cuttings from our well established rhubarb from our previous home, and the plants were starting to look a bit worse for wear.  Derek had kindly been looking after our plant pots all these months.  He even donated some sheep manure so it was about time we finally took our plants back and liberated them from the pots.  The manure will give the rhubarb a good boost, so we may well be able to cook up some rhubarb crumble again before too long.

DSCF5167 Rhubarb planted in the back corner

Our new lemon tree is doing very well too, and has produced a few flowers.  Wonder if we will get lemons this year?  Probably not - I imagine the tree is a little too young just yet.

DSCF5137 Lemon tree seems to be thriving

Friday, April 19, 2013

50 Shades of Grey

50 shades of grey covered the heads of the hall full of seniors, from snow white, to silver, to grizzled grey, and everything in between.  It was standing room only for the latecomers as we gathered at the Grey Power Horowhenua meeting to listen to the Rt Hon Winston Peters.  I was lucky to find a seat, and Robin, along with many others, perched on tables around the perimeter of the hall.   An excited buzz filled the hall as we waited for the guest speaker to arrive.

I’ve never been particularly political, but that’s not to say I don’t exercise my democratic right and vote at each election.  After all, women fought long and hard in order to gain the vote.  Winston Peters arrived, and the meeting got underway.  He started by saying that business men do no make good politicians, and democracy is not a business.  He said all the right things, decrying the government for the upcoming asset sales, and for allowing foreign interests to buy our land.  After all, he reasoned, other countries do not sell their land to all comers, so why do we allow it?  Why indeed – he has a good point there.  He commented  that New Zealand manufacturing is at an all time low, and lack of jobs is  one of our country’s biggest problems.  And why,  he asked, is the government issuing temporary work visas for supermarket workers at a time of record high unemployment?

And Winston had the whole audience in the palm of his hand.  He certainly has pulling power, and the oldies loved him.  After his  speech he took questions from the floor, and being the consummate politician that he is, skilfully answered them all.  He left the hall with the words, “Make up your own minds in the upcoming elections, you don’t have to take it anymore”.  In other words, make your vote count.  He took the time to meet with members of the public, shake hands, and gracefully accept their good wishes.

Good on you, Winston.  It was the first time we had seen him “live”, in fact, this was the first political meeting we have attended.    It was a very interesting afternoon, indeed.

DSCF5161 Winston Peters shaking hands after his speech

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oops, no more night time visits

That’s what nearly happened when a tiny little bit of plastic broke off inside our cassette toilet.    Obviously we had been getting up far too many times in the middle of the night, and it finally gave way!  Oh dear, what to do?

Robin wasn’t too sure what the exact nature of the problem was, only that the plastic slide that opens and closes wasn’t working any more.  So the cassette was removed, emptied, and well cleaned, only to find that all those bits and pieces were still intact.  But what about that white plastic tube thing hanging down, something’s not quite there.  A wire hook went through a eye in the plastic mechanism and this is what opened and closed the flap in the toilet cassette. That’s when he noticed that half of the the circular hole had broken away.  Clutching the broken piece in his  hand, he went down to our local caravan yard to find out if a replacement was readily available.  Thank goodness – there was one in stock, and the price seemed ridiculously cheap.  But why argue, we both had visions that we may  have to buy a complete new toilet cassette, perhaps.  (Or, heaven’s forbid, a new caravan)

DSCF5157A tiny bit snapped away and it doesn’t work anymore

P4178011 Hole on the end has broken away

So everything is fixed, the toilet cassette is back in place, all ready for our next trip away.  Thank goodness for that.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It didn’t rain till our holiday was over

That’s quite true, we had days of autumn sunshine, a bit of wind too, but it  didn’t really rain till after we arrived home yesterday.  Then the heavens really opened up last night.  Coming home from this caravan trip away was a bit different, as it is the first time we have returned home to our “new house”.  There is not much room on the circular road around the villas, so we parked the caravan over the adjacent car park, and quickly unloaded our clothes and food.  The caravan was then parked up in it’s position in the non power RV car park around the corner.  Consequently, we didn’t get around to doing any cleaning in the caravan yesterday.

We had even more rain this morning, then the weather decided to play nice and the sun came out.  Around to the caravan we went, with a basin of hot soapy water to wash out the fridge, then the bathroom got a clean too.  To get around the problem of not having any power available to clean the floor, Robin set his generator up.  That way we could plug in the cleaner and vacuum the carpet.  Problem solved.
 
DSCF5151 The red generator earns it’s keep

Friday, April 12, 2013

Duddings Lake and Ratana Pa

The tranquil sounds of birdlife was shattered by the roar of a jet boat being put through it’s paces on the lake.  We were sitting outside enjoying our morning tea when a car and boat trailer drove around to the far side of the lake. The boat engine coughed and spluttered a few times before roaring into life.  Then away it went, racing down the centre of the lake.  The ducks and geese  scattered out of the way in fright.

P4127994 Jet boat on Duddings Lake

And what’s this little creature on Geoff and Eileen’s caravan step?  There he was, waving his feelers in the air, and not scared at all of us all crowding around to get a good look.  It was a large stick insect, probably visiting from the stand of conifer trees on the boundary fence just behind us.  They have evolved to blend in with their surroundings to avoid being caught and eaten by predators such as birds. During the day, they sit still or sway like leaves in the breeze, and by night they feed on leaves.  Our visitor  would have been much safer if it had stayed in the trees, away from the beady eyes of hungry birds.
  
DSCF5124  Look who has come calling
After lunch Geoff suggested we take a “tiki tour” up to Ratana, home of the Ratana Church.  This was founded by Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, who had a spiritual vision at the age of 44.  He became known for his healing powers and toured the country urging Maori to unify under God. He became known as “Te Māngai” (mouthpiece). With his followers  he set up the community at Ratana.  The beautiful white church with room for 2000 people is surrounded by lovely gardens and entrance is through a set of impressive gates.

P4127998
DSCF5132
Ratana Church

Each year on January 24th the politicians flock to Ratana Pa for the annual commemorations of the prophet Tahupotiki Ratana's birthday.  The Ratana followers were traditionally big supporters of the Labour Party, that has changed over the years and now politicians of all the parties arrive at the Pa to pay tribute and meet with members.

Also in  the grounds in the long low building of the Manuao, an accommodation facility and head office of the church, and this building too carries great significance spiritually and physically.  The Manuao carries models of the Seven Canoes which made the journey to New Zealand, along with a model of Captain James Cook’s Endeavour and the Heemskerck, captained by Able Tasman.   Ratana referred to the wakas mounted on the Manuao veranda as spiritual lifeboats.

P4128000 The Manuao with models of wakas on the veranda

Close by was the beautifully carved Whare Maori which contains crutches and wheelchairs from followers who were healed by Ratana in the 1920s and 1930s.

DSCF5133 The Whare Maori

We also stopped off at Turakina to have a look around, and travelled down to the small beach settlement of Koitiata. There is a small motor camp across the road from the beach, and the sites were very reasonably priced.  Not quite sure about the water quality though.  A sign by the camp washing machine states not to wash any white clothing in the machine as the items will discolour!

DSCF5127
DSCF5126 Koitiata Beach

We had a celebration dessert for our last evening in camp.  Geoff and Eileen invited us to share a gourmet chocolate and whisky flavoured Christmas Pudding with them, which was served with hot custard.   Very tasty it was too.  Our Easter holiday is winding down, and tomorrow it is time to pack up and travel back to our respective homes.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Help – trapped by a gaggle of golfers

Help – we were trying to move on - then in came a gaggle of geriatric golfers.  They parked their cars, unloaded their golf trundlers, and left them standing every which way in front of our caravans.  We were trapped.  There was only one thing for it, boil the jug for a cuppa and wait for the golf club captain to sort everyone out.  After some time the golfers had been put into teams of four, and the group slowly started taking their trundlers away and teeing off.  Now we could finally hook the caravans up and start on our way to Duddings Lake.

DSCF5114     Surrounded by golfers at Rangatira

It was an easy 55km trip to Duddings Lake Holiday Park.  The park was gifted to the Marton Borough Council in 1964 by John Dudding and the Lions Club ran it until 1987 when it was leased out.  Sadly, it has been the centre of controversy recently when the council mooted plans to sell the land.  Under the Dudding's trust, the council is allowed to lease the park provided it is accessible to the public, it is kept under council management, or it is sold with restrictions on how it spends the money for the asset.  The camp has been cleaned up considerably since we last visited, and appears to be managed by a group of volunteers.  We certainly hope that it continues as a viable camping ground, as it is such a pretty place.

DSCF5117

Day trippers, campers and boaties alike are catered here, and is centrally situated between Turakina and Bulls, and is 11km from Marton. The centrepiece of this park is the lake, with shady trees, picnic tables and playgrounds scattered around the edge.  There are  24 power sites available and plenty of unpowered sites for tenters.  We have the place virtually to ourselves with just one other large bus on site.

DSCF5120 Camping at Duddings Lake

DSCF5119 Duddings Lake

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Farewell Taupo, Hello Rangatira Golf Club

Taupo Airport Cafe doesn’t do the sort of “big breakfasts with everything” that Geoff loves, but instead offered a moderate sized brekkie for only $8.50.  The four of us decided to have a bit of a treat as we were moving on, and our meal was quite sufficient, and came with hot buttered toast.  The coffee was just how I like it, served piping hot.  Taupo is a small provincial airport, and we had a ring side seat as planes and helicopters came and went about their business.

DSCF5079 Taupo Airport

Travelling along SH1 along the Desert Road the light dusting of snow on Mt Ruapehu glistened in the sunshine. Just a reminder from the weather gods that summer is well over, and winter is not too far away.

P4107972 Mt Ruapehu with a little snow on top

We arranged with Geoff and Eileen to stop for lunch at Waiouru, behind the Army Museum which has plenty of parking for caravans.  It was such a nice day we ate outside at one of the picnic tables dotted around, swatting away the wasps which were very interested in our food.  A group of new recruits marched smartly up to the Army Museum, under the command of their Corporal.  They were not yet in uniform, and we wondered if they were going to make their oath of allegiance inside the building. 

P4107977 Lunch time at Waiouru

DSCF5104 New recruits at Waiouru

Lunch over, we continued down SH1 to Taihape.  While I went to the supermarket to replenish the fridge, Robin keenly watched as two helicopters worked hard to douse a fire at Mt Stewart Native Forest Reserve.  Smoke covered the hillside and the helicopters carried  monsoon buckets full of water to let loose over the flames. 

P4107978 Carrying a monsoon bucket

P4107983 There goes the water

After that excitement, we continued down SH1 to Rangatira Golf Club, a little north of Hunterville.  We have stayed at several golf clubs previously, and they are good value while travelling around.  This club offers power, water, showers and toilets for $10 per night, so we are well provided for.  Goodie – we will be nice and cosy in bed tonight with the our electric blanket warming things up.

DSCF5113 Parked up at Rangatira Golf Club

P4107986Views down the fairway

After all the golfers had left for the day, we went onto the club room deck to check out the views, as suggested when we checked in.  Away in the distance was the Makohine Railway Viaduct and we were thrilled to see a freight train passing over it.  At the time of its construction it was the second highest viaduct in New Zealand, and today is still ranked the seventh highest and fourth longest viaduct on the North Island Main Trunk line.  It was designed by  Peter Seton Hay, who also designed  several other railway viaducts.  The viaduct is one of the best-known of all railway structures adjoining State Highway 1 in the North Island.

P4107987 Makohine Railway Viaduct in the distance

We will just be spending one night here before moving on.  Where to?  Duddings Lake sounds good – we will head there, we decided.