Just a little sight seeing today, the temperatures were to reach 30C we were told, so we didn’t want to be out and about all day in the hot car. On our way out we stopped to take a photo of an interesting old brick building down our end of town. Now part of the grain storage facility, this building, completed in 1928, was the former Ashburton Glassworks This venture was not successful, and the directors closed down the factory in 1931. The building remained empty until 1940 when it was used as a military training facility. The high ceilinged, partially partitioned building was warmed with coke braziers in an attempt to bring some warmth to the cold interior. Soldiers called it “Crystal Palace’ and were reported to have written their names in chalk on the walls. Over the years, the building has mainly been used for storage.
The former Ashburton Glassworks
Also, not too far away, is a sight to gladden the heart of any John Deere enthusiast. A whole range of those green and yellow machines sitting outside, waiting to be taken home to live on the farm.
John Deere machines galore
Our trip today was to the Rakaia Huts down by the coast – just because we had never been there before. Down dusty dirt roads we went, finally spotting the Welcome sign.
Welcome to Rakaia Huts
I’m not sure what we expected to find, probably a collecton of ramshackle fishing huts on the coast, but we were quite wrong. The little village was full of permanent homes, most of them very modern, with some older ones quite well maintained. We drove to the end of the road to look out over the water. We couldn't actually see the coast as there was a large shingle bank between the road end and the sea, but we could certainly hear the waves crashing onto the shore.
End of the road at Rakaia Huts
One of the neighbours obviously enjoys fishing and has a sense of humour. The sign on his boat propped up on rocks in front of home declares: “To board you must bring 3 doz Corona, 2 kilos whitebait, 3 salmon, 2 trout, 2 flounders and some ducks”.
Driving back down the dirt road to Rakaia Robin quickly stopped the car, reversed back as he couldn’t believe his eyes. Just what was that bare bottom doing in the front paddock? Seems that the larger than life sculptor was of a mother with her baby on her back. Goodness knows why, but it certainly makes a statement.
Sculpture in a rural garden
It’s all go out in the country, and we had to stop as a herd of cows crossed the road – it must be milking time.
Hello cows – be careful crossing the road
And then we saw the dust being kicked up in the distance, getting ever closer. Quick, shut all the windows tight till the truck goes past.
Here comes a truck
We made it safely back to Rakaia township, and stopped to admire the large fibreglass salmon which marks the entrance to the town. The river from which the town takes its name is known for its salmon fishing and jet boating.
Symbol of Rakaia – the leaping salmon
We finished our day out at the adjacent café with a cool drink – we were just about melting. And the chilled bottles of water freely available to customers went down a treat too – we certainly needed rehydrating on such a hot day. Then it was back to our camp site in Ashburton to sit, relax, and cool off in the shade.