In no particular hurry to rush home from our road trip, we stopped at at a POP in rural Feilding on Friday for the Easter weekend. As we drove along the road to our destination we passed this old Co-op Dairy Co building, established in 1893. It was interesting to note the embossed lettering “Pakeha Brand Butter” on the building. "Pakeha" was one of the brands used by the Cheltenham Co-operative Dairy Company, used exclusively for their premium and export butter.
Old dairy company building along Makino Road
We pulled into our POP and found ourselves a possie on the shingle road behind the house. Across from us was a paddock with several young frisky heifers. Other vans came a little later and parked on the grass. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and we needed our sun awning out for some much needed shade.
This is a lovely property and we were encouraged to have a look around. Climbing over a stile we found a beautifully manicured area, complete with an island surrounded by a moat. This was the scene of a family wedding not so long ago, we were told. Hidden on the island were the remains of an old truck, and farming memorabilia such as old plows were dotted around the lawns.
Our host has a real passion for collecting and the campers were invited to check out his “shed”. Chock full of all sorts of items from the past, it was full to overflowing with all manner of interesting items, including several vintage cars.
An eclectic collection
Our hosts have quite an aviary containing doves, pheasants and a pair of sulphur crested cockatoos, which were particularly noisy when anyone approached their cage.
The farm inhabitants were interesting to see as well. Wonderfully handsome Highland cattle grazed contentedly nearby – just check out those horns. This boy is a family pet, I was told, a real softie who gets a daily grooming.
The pet bull
And then there were the pigs, which certainly needed investigating. The pig man was there feeding out collected left over scraps to his pigs and I wandered over to try and take a few photos. “Come in and see my pigs”, he invited me, opening up the gate and shielding me from the pet bull. The pigs were making short work of their breakfast, and were joined by several sheep who keep trying to take a few bites for themselves. As well as the food scraps there was a pile of fish heads, left over from a fishing competition – the pigs were certainly enjoying chomping through those.
Pigs on the property
The other vans departed and Geoff and Eileen arrived on Saturday to spend the next couple of days with us.
We walked back over to the piggery to check out the younger pigs. The mid sized pigs came running up to the fence, no doubt expecting us to have food for them. And then we saw some even smaller ones, cute little babies peeping through a doorway.
More pigs at the farm
With Easter Sunday being such a beautiful day, we decided to take a trip up to Apiti, (settled in 1886). This was a very quiet little place indeed, with scarcely a soul around. So quiet that you could fire a rifle down the main road and no one would notice. But we did spot some statues of moa behind the pub, along with camping area complete with power points. And there was a nice range of tractors all neatly arranged in the middle of town – someone has a passion for these, it seems. We had intended to stop for a coffee at the local pub, but being Easter Sunday, it was shut up tight.
There were two reasons to stop at Kimbolton on the way back. First was to stop at the Look-Out and admire the glorious view looking out over the rural hills and gullies.
From Kimbolton Look-out
And secondly, I wanted to stop at the fence decorated with bras which I had glimpsed as we drove by on our way to Apiti. It was only a small collection so far, but very colourful – and named “Kimbraton”. With no coffee available we stopped a little further down the road at Cheltenham (named after Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England, the home of one of the pioneer settlers) for an ice-cream.
The Kimbraton Collection
After morning tea on Easter Monday we were packing up for our drive home when we had a scare. One of the young heifers had escaped from the paddock, and even worse - the pig man had left the driveway gate wide open, we didn’t want any of the stock getting onto the road. Robin switched into “cattle wrangler mode” and rushed to shut the gate. And then – how to get that frisky heifer back in the paddock with her friends. With a bit of arm waving and chasing, the heifer was eventually persuaded back to the paddock. Although the electric tape fence was not live, it was a visual barrier to the stock, but was loose down one end where she escaped. With a bit of judicial tightening up the fence was stock proof once again. Thank goodness it all ended well.
Back where they belong