All set for the night
We like to support the clubs which make overnight parking available to NZMCA members so we took ourselves into the restaurant for a meal. Also dining was a very noisy group of Melbourne Cup revelers all dressed in their racing finery – fancy dresses and fascinators perched on their heads. None of them mentioned backing the winner so I’m not sure if they were celebrating or commiserating their losses. I was very fortunate to procure the last of the scallops for my meal, which made the revelers even more vocal.
The weather forecast was not at all good, with heavy winds and rain traveling up the South Island and crossing over to the North Island. We decided to play it safe and have a second night here at Tokoroa where we are nice and comfy on power, and sheltered from the wind. This gave us a chance to have a look downtown. Top of the agenda was to check out the wooden carvings on SH1 which we only glimpse as we usually whizz by. Tokoroa is known as a timber town with forestry being the most important industry to the district. Timber is milled and processed at nearby Kinleith. The “Pine Man of Tokoroa”, clutching his chain saw was made by Peter Dooley and presented to the community in 2004 by the Rotary Club of Tokoroa.
Pine Man of Tokoroa
Tokoroa has many Talking Poles, which proudly showcase the culture of the town. The Tokoroa Talking Poles symposium is convened every two years at the Tokoroa campus of Te Wananga o Aotearoa where invited artists have several weeks to create their own pole to add to the collection. “The Green Man”, an English traditional design representing nature was carved by Andy Hancock (Britain) in 2004, and is also found on SH1 by the Info Centre.
The Green Man
There were many other Talking Poles dotted around the town, and these two took my fancy. “Nga Kete Wahanga” tells the story of Tane-nui-a-Rangi and his journey to gain the three baskets of knowledge. By Josh Manuel and Anna Anderson. And secondly “The Needle”, by Herewini Tamihana, which shows “There is only one way to live, the unwavering good natured way of wholesome kindness”.
Nga Kete Wahanga and the Needle
Driving up to the top of Colson Hill Lookout we saw the whole of Tokoroa laid out before us – covering a much greater area than we imagined.
View from the top
A rather wind-blown selfie shot
Plaque showing Tokoroa, the centre of New Zealand
The expected bad weather did not eventuate, but it was nice to have the chance to have a good look around Tokoroa, instead of driving past as we usually do.