Yesterday we spotted a sole golfer playing in the rain, joined by another who was practising his putting. Luckily, between them, they fixed the water problem, so we went to bed knowing that we could take advantage of the hot showers in the club room next morning. After a night of torrential rain, we awoke to blue skies, sunshine, and the lovely fresh smell that comes after a down pour. The golf club grounds seem very well maintained, with lots of tall mature trees.
We travelled along SH49 and joined SHI at Waiouru, which meant we missed out all the windy bits of the Desert Road further north.
Our overnight stop was The Coach House Museum in Feilding, where we parked up in a very large car park. Water was available, and the use of toilet facilities while the museum is open. a large bus parked next to us, and the owners turned out to be John and his wife from our village – what a coincidence.
The cost for overnight parking is either a donation, or as we chose, paid entry in to the museum. The Museum tells of the local Maori and how European settlement brought dramatic changes into the local area, such as the wholesale felling of native forest for timber and clearing the area for farming.
There was a wide range of horse drawn carriages on display, such as this restored Dog Cart, built in 1882, and were a very popular family vehicle. These vehicles were typically built with slat sides in the under seat area, providing ventilation for the gun dogs carried on shooting expeditions.
Block Drays are heavy duty carts with board sides, with the body mounted directly onto the axle without springs. These could carry large heavy loads.
The Governess Cart was designed to carry young children and made popular by Queen Victoria who loved taking her family on outings. The high sides made it safe for youngsters, and a very quiet pony was chosen to pull the cart along at a sedate pace.
The Phaeton were light, fast, elegant coaches,representing the highest level of coach building skills, and could carry up to four people.
And here we are sitting in the Feilding and Kimbolton Royal Mail coach. Climb aboard at own risk, the sign said, but we didn’t let that put us off! The tinsel was left over from the coach taking part in the Christmas Parade.
There was so much to see here, including Otaki farmer Ferg Crawshaw’s outstanding collection of historic John Deere tractors and machinery. This is certainly a museum to return to.