We couldn’t have asked for better weather for our weekend away, it was just perfect for camping. Yes, we will admit that the nights and mornings are now getting a little chilly, and the grass is covered by heavy dew in the mornings. But such lovely settled weather during the day was a delight, and it is Autumn now, after all.
The property at Mt Lees Reserve, the homestead block and adjacent area of bush, was gifted to the Crown in 1971 by Ormond Wilson for all to enjoy. Developing Mount Lees was a lifelong project for Ormond Wilson, and the Manawatu District Council have responsibility of it. The homestead is now run as a B & B, there is a large area for camping, a toilet block, children's play area, and a wonderful bush walk.
Mt Lees Reserve
We had six caravans in attendance over the weekend. Other travelers came and went, and we talked to several young couples who are travelling around in New Zealand in cars, and are fit and flexible enough to sleep in the back. These young people seemed to be on working holidays and hailed from Germany, France and England. Being older and wiser, we much prefer our full size beds and other creature comforts in our caravans. But it was interesting to hear where these young people had been, their future travel plans, and they all seemed to really love travelling around our country.
Caravan club members in front of the homestead
Although we had stayed here at Mt Lees Reserve several times, this was the first time we did the bush walk.
We walked through native trees, exotic trees, and groves of bamboo. With the help of a brochure and corresponding numbered posts to we read exactly what to look at in each area. The short climb to the look out had a wonderful vista.
At the look out point
Pretty native birds kept a watchful eye on our group as we passed by. The fantails in particular are always happy to see people, as we stir up the insect life as we walk past the trees and bushes - the fantails then catch them on the wing. One particularly cheeky fantail stopped us in our tracks on the path as he twittered and hopped, flew from this branch to another, then back on the path again.
Fantail on the path
Through the bamboo
At the end of our walk – we took the long track up hill and down dale – we enjoyed afternoon tea prepared by Lorraine. Freshly made pikelets, jam and whipped cream, so tasty. Thanks very much Lorraine.
Lorraine made the pikelets
Most of us cooked on our BBQs on Saturday evening, and then ate together on the picnic tables in front of the Summer House. Sausages and steak was sizzling away and it all smelt wonderful. While the men were slaving over a hot BBQ, the ladies were preparing salads and hot veggies to complete their meals.
Selwyn, Robin, Barry and Dennis looking after their BBQs
It was a lovely peaceful weekend, the weather was glorious, the company was great, what more could we want? Many thanks to Barry and Dianne who shared their surplus apples and pears with everyone again – we all took home a big bag full and appreciate their generosity. Sunday came all too soon and it was time to pack up and go home.
Getting ready to go home, three Leisureline vans in a row