Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Camping trip to Herbert

Last Monday we set off with tents, sleeping bags etc to Herbert for a week.  After 10 days of rain the weather was finally back to being summery.  Herbert is only about 1.5 hrs north of Dunedin so we didn't have to spend as much time in the van as usual and the tents were up and organised well before teatime.  There were very few other campers at Herbert Forest Campground.  Three German couples would show up in the evening and leave in the morning, and the next evening there would be 3 more. 

There was a swimming hole in the river which the kids had a few swims in, and plenty of rabbits which they tried (unsuccessfully) to catch.

On Tuesday, we looked around the Oamaru op-shops because of (as usual) not bringing adequate bedding.  Oamaru also has a tip shop where we got a bike each for Renee and Eva and a stack of art books and picture books, all for less than $20. We had a nice picnic lunch at the Oamaru Public Gardens.
That evening Hannah, heading down the track to the river, came off her bike and hurt her wrist badly.   The next morning we took her to Oamaru Hospital where it took only about an hour to get it looked at, x-rayed and plastered, fracture of the distal radius. 

While Hannah and I were at the hospital, David took the kids for a walk around the Victorian section of Oamaru where the boys got to try on some chain mail made by a guy who worked on The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

That evening we headed down to Moeraki to see the yellow-eyed penguins.

On Thursday we went to Duntroon to check out the Vanished World Trail and Museum.  The museum was interesting and they had lumps of limestone which the kids were allowed to chip away at to find embedded shells.  We had lunch at the Elephant Rocks, which were pretty spectacular, then looked at other interesting rock formations on the way home.  Some of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was filmed up there.

We also saw some buildings which looked like part of a movie set.

Friday was a grotty day, with gentle drizzle and grey skies.  Having planned to go to the Palmerston/Waihemo A&P Show the next day, we decided to head home for the night to pick up raincoats and gumboots for those of us who forgot to pack them.  I also needed to do some washing and get a good night's sleep, as the tuis started singing (loudly) every morning at around 5:15am.  Beautiful noise, bad timing.

Saturday was the A&P Show. 

Water heater/oven fueled by waste oil
 We watched horse jumping and looked at machinery and had pony rides.  When we got back to camp it was a lot more densely populated than when we had left.  A lot of people had come up from Dunedin or down from Oamaru for the weekend.  We met some nice people but next time we'll probably time our holiday to avoid the crowds.

On Sunday we went to the Oamaru Market for the morning.  We had lunch by the Waitaki Bridge and scavenged some firewood, which we took back to camp to cook sausages and marshmallows on.

Petra learnt to ride her bike
We went to see the Moeraki Boulders in the evening.

We had a "new" tent this time which we brought down from New Plymouth.  I got it off Freecycle but it didn't come with instructions so setting it up was a bit of a deductive process.  Luckily the previous owners had colour-coded the poles, which helped.  The boys slept in it and were very happy to have so much room to themselves.

 Monday was pack-up day.  We took the scenic route home to avoid the traffic, following the old northern motorway and got home around 3pm.

 A pretty good holiday all round

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