Wairarapa weekend

It’s the start of autumn, and it certainly felt like it on Friday morning when the heavens opened and the rain pelted down. Of course, it was the day we had booked to drive over the Remutaka Hills for a short weekend stay over in Greytown. The drive over the hills was…not the most pleasant, so it was good to get to our destination. We stayed at the same place we did two years ago, where it rained a good deal of the time too! Quite odd as if we visit Greytown normally, it is to see bright blue skies and sunshine. Anyway, we we fortified ourselves with tea, good books, a curry at Aroma, and the film Swallows and Amazons (with additional storyline to the Arthur Ransome book).

Welcome to Westwood Pool House

Luckily, Saturday proved to be a lovely, sunny day, with bright blue skies, so we headed over to Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre, which we had try to visit two years ago, but had to limit what we saw due to rain. This time we were able to complete the one hour walk around the centre. The conservation project here is mostly focussed on birds, but they do have tuatara and are about to open ‘something with wetas’ judging by what we saw. Unlike Zealandia, where you might spot things if you are lucky, there are fenced off areas where certain birds can be seen, as well as a ‘free fly’ area.

We of course had to go and see Manukura the white kiwi, the only known white kiwi to hatch in captivity.  She was born in 2011 and can be seen in the special nocturnal kiwi house, which she shares this with another North Island Brown Kiwi, a male called Turua, who wasn’t around on this visit.

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre
View from the centre, over the hills

We didn’t make it to Castlepoint this year due to the Castlepoint Beach Races (you can read about the event here), but did go back to Tinui.  Tinui is the first place to hold an Anzac Day service in 1916 in the Church of the Good Shepherd.  A wooden cross was erected at the top of  Mount Maunsell, replaced with an aluminium one in 1965. 

The Police Station

The village was founded in the 1860s, and was a once thriving community. The population is now about 20, in contrast to the start of World War I, when Tinui had more than 1000 men who were able to form their own troop. Many of them died at Gallipoli.

The War Memorial Hall, and a signpost pointing to Gallipoli, 17,472 km away.

Last week, the Good Shepherd church in the village was moved about 300m to the centre of Tinui, away from its current flood-prone location. The new church location is next to the World War I memorial (you can see it in the picture above). Apparently, discussions are still ongoing about where the lychgate – the roofed gateway at the entrance to the church – is going to be placed. Anyway, we were lucky to see the move and restoration in progress as you can see.

The steeple
The Good Shepherd in its new location

On getting back to Greytown, we were met by this vociferous black and white cat, who did at least let me tickle him under the chin. We ate dinner at The White Swan, and headed back for that evening’s movie, The Post.

Where we stayed

Sunday saw wet and misty weather, so we headed back over the hills to home, the sofa, tea and a good book. Autumn is here.

I missed The Propagator’s Six on Saturday this week…this was why.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


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