We awoke to another “blue dome” day – and it promised to be another scorcher. Not that we are complaining, holidays always seem so much better in good weather. After a leisurely breakfast and morning tea we said our goodbyes to those at the Drop-In Rally, leaving D & D behind. They planned to stay in Foxton for a couple more days before travelling on. Our first priority was a visit to the dump station, then we were on the way, a short 62km drive, arriving in time for a late lunch.
Ashhurst Domain is one of those pretty little camping areas, surrounded with lovely old totara trees, and very reasonably priced too. But we weren’t sure if there would be room for us over the busy Christmas period. Luckily there were just a couple of power sites available, and we soon claimed one for ourselves.
Parked up at Ashhurst Domain
There were family groups in tents, young girls travelling together and sleeping in their car, and a couple of cyclists camping overnight in a pup tent. We noticed that they were off and away extra early, so do hope they had not departed without paying their camp fees.Camping right next to us were a group of campers who had been coming here over the holiday season for quite a few years. They had a good set up, some were in caravans, and some in tents, and they had joined two gazebos together to provide a nice roomy area to relax and eat meals together. We joined them under their shady gazebos for 4zees, and I was kindly offered a glass of bubbly. (I just had to accept – after all, it is the only type of wine which doesn’t leave me with a headache). Camping stories were bouncing around the table, good places to stay discussed, the merits of various NZMCA camps debated, South Island trips relayed, and a good time was had by all. It was a very pleasant hour or so indeed.
Just through the trees from the camping area is a grave yard – the very quiet neighbours, Robin calls them. I went for a walk though the lovely old head stones, and there on the hill caught a glimpse of the wind turbines slowly turning.
The old and the new – old head stones looked over by new technology
The Domain was full of family groups enjoying picnic lunches, and cooking up huge quantities of sausages on the BBQs. Youngsters were hooping and hollering as they climbed up the steps to the Flying Fox and seemingly launched themselves into space as they were carried speedily along to the end of the ride. It is great to see the Domain so well used with families and groups of friends. A couple of pohutukawa trees were in bloom. Fondly known as the “New Zealand Christmas Tree”, it is said that the red blooms signify a long, hot summer.
It was a lovely relaxing day staying at this great little camp, then we are heading up SH2 towards Hawkes Bay. Where shall we stop next? There are a couple of possibilities we have in mind, we shall just have to wait and see what the Christmas crowds are like, and if there is room for us too.