It was hello and goodbye to the resident chook at the camp this morning as we got ready to continue on our trip. There could well be more than one, but if there was, they kept themselves well hidden.
First stop on leaving Hamner was the very necessary visit to the dump station, just a few kms from the camp. A posse of very interested cows were peeping through the trees from across the road. They were keeping an eye on Robin as he got on with the job of emptying the waste water and topping up the fresh water tank. No, I don’t help with that, it is a designated “Blue Job”.
We drove along the very quaintly named “Mouse Point Road”. There has to be a story behind a name like that, but even Mr Google couldn’t help me – maybe someone knows the tale? Our trip then took us down SH7 past the little town of Waikari. We have fond memories of this place as we boarded here for a trip on the Weka Pass Railway in 2012 when we were touring the South Island with a group of four vans. What a fun trip that was, even though we remember that the rain was pouring down. And look – here’s Frog Rock, visible from both the train track and the road as we travel through Weka Pass.
Frog Rock at Weka pass
Turning on to SH1 the traffic got more and more busy as we headed towards the city of Christchurch. “Look at that”, I said to Robin as we drove along, catching a glimpse of a huge globe glinting in the sun. Fanfare, designed by Neil Dawson, is a 25m tall sphere covered in 360 spinning metal pinwheels and is one of the largest public artworks in New Zealand. You could almost liken the sculpture to the return of a relation who moved overseas for a while. Neil Dawson was first commissioned to create Fanfare for the 2004 New Year celebrations in Sydney, where it was suspended from the harbour bridge. The sculpture was gifted to Christchurch from Sydney in 2007, and the $1.3 million upgrade and installation costs covered by crowd funding, corporate donations, and grants. Mayor Lianne Dalziel said "Fanfare will always be a symbol of the regeneration of our city (after the earthquake) and the rebirth of our arts scene. It has been on quite a journey, having started life in Sydney 10 years ago. It feels like we are welcoming it home."
Fanfare, by Neil Dawson
We are staying at Weedons NZMCA Park in Christchurch for the next few days. This is a huge park and can take up to 50 vans, and also has a large area where members can store their vans. Water, rubbish bins, toilets and a large meeting room are available. There used to be a washing machine too – but sadly that is out being repaired at the moment, so it will be a trip to the local launderette for me tomorrow.
Our little corner of the camp
Our trip so far has been a bit of a rush, travelling down the Island to where we need to be so that we can meet up with family and friends. Not much time for much sight seeing so far, but things will get a bit more relaxed soon. Tomorrow we are meeting up with son Michael – he is a whizz on his coffee machine so we are looking forward to that!