Just a short drive today, from Oamaru and on to Waimate. We crossed over the Waitaki River Bridge which was undergoing bridge strengthening with workmen beavering away down one end of the bridge. The Waitaki River is another example of a braided river, consisting of a network of river channels separated by small and often temporary islands called braid bars.
This part of the country has many dairy herds, and this lot seem quite happy chewing their cud in the sunshine.
Dairy herd in Canterbury
Once we spot the big yellow shed, we know we are almost there. “Hop in for a Visit”, and is that a kangaroo? Believe it or not – but Waimate is famous for wallabies. In 1870, several wallabies were transported from Tasmania to Christchurch, and two females and one male from this stock were later released about Te Waimate, the property of Waimate's first European settler. Freed in the Hunters Hills in 1874, their numbers soon increased dramatically. They are declared an animal pest and land occupiers must contain the wallabies within specified areas. The wallaby is now widely regarded as a symbol of Waimate.
Waimate – hop in for a visit
The town has many interesting old buildings such as this one – the wonderful old Arcadia Theatre. The building that housed the Arcadia Theatre was built around 1906 as a shopping arcade, and then ten years later the arcade was converted into a motion picture theatre and billiard room. On June 29, 1955 a fire destroyed the theatre portion of the building. Plans are underway to restore the building for retail use.
Arcadia Theatre, built in 1906
And the very impressive St Patrick’s Basilica certainly makes a statement. It was built in 1909, with the tower added in 1912.
St Patrick's Basilica
With the temperatures climbing up, we decided to take a trip to visit Butlers Berry Farm to get some fresh fruit, and maybe an ice-cream. This must be the right place, just look at the size of those berries!
We purchased a punnet of raspberries, another of strawberries, and a pot of jam. The jam was a little different, we chose blackcurrant and raspberry. And then we settled down to a gorgeous mixed berry sundae each – yummy indeed.
Berry ice-cream sundaes
Back at camp (Waimate NZMCA Park) we joined our neighbours for Happy Hour, sitting under the shade of a Weeping Willow tree to get some protection from the hot sun. Then it was time for Robin to get the Weber BBQ out and cook some tasty beef, pepper and thyme flavoured sausages, while I made a salad. After our meal we sat outside in the cool of the evening and contemplated just how lucky we are to live in our little piece of paradise.