What's with these Lions, you are probably wondering. Robin’s brother Gary is President of the Levin Waiopehu Lions Club, and some of the members and spouses were planning a social weekend in National Park. Gary thought we might be interested in joining them too. The idea worked out well, as we were on the way to Hamilton to get a little work done on our Leisureline caravan. A detour through National Park sounded great to us. While the Lions group are staying around a corner or two in motel accommodation, we are at Plateau Lodge Campgrounds.
We met at the Station Cafe for dinner. At an elevation of 806.8 metres (2,647 ft), it is the country's highest station with a scheduled passenger stop. Originally the station and town were called Waimarino (calm waters). In 1926 the New Zealand Railways renamed the railway station as National Park. With the opening of the Main Trunk Line in 1908, 30 saw mills and their small bush railways were soon established in the area. Caterpillar tractors in the 1930s made extracting the timber from the forests so much easier, and the National Park station had one of the greatest through puts of timber in New Zealand. Today only one mill is still operating.
The Station Cafe
We arrived at the Station Cafe well before any of those tardy Lions put in an appearance. But never mind, it gave us a chance to look around, check out the menu, and for Robin to order a glass of red. The large table was all set us waiting for us, and looking rather grand. No paper serviettes here!
Ready for the Lions
They finally wandered in, we took our seats, and the conversation flowed all evening. Menu choices were made, drinks ordered, and we settled back to enjoy ourselves. We both had delicious pork tenderloin for our main, served with blue cheese sauce, rather tasty indeed. And the tirimasu was calling my name from the dessert menu. Robin chose something completely different to his normal ice cream sundae, and ordered sweet spring rolls, packed full of fruit, served with butterscotch sauce, this got a “thumbs up” seal of approval too.
Jenny, Robin, brother Gary and his wife Debbie