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Previous day see: Day 2 – King Country to Wanganui

Day 3 – Wanganui to Lower Hutt

Today was my birthday – a big one – a change of decade, and half a century (but we don’t say that too loud!). Hubby gave me the compulsory birthday card, and a Valentines card (yes – it’s Valentines day too) but we’ve agreed that he’s going to buy me some Greenstone jewellery somewhere en route. I do have the new numberplate for the car too – ‘MGF WIZ’ with the very snappy slogan ‘We’re Skiing – Spending the Kids Inheritance’.

Bulls

We set off late – about 9:45 – and headed south. The first town was Bulls. As you can imagine, there are a lot of jokes made about the name – even from the locals. So the most interesting thing in Bulls is the signs. The school is ‘Knowledgea-Bull’, the $2 shop is ‘Afforda-Bull’. My favourite was the church – ‘Forgivea-Bull’. Even the serious signs seem to have something to do with bulls – just out of town you can ‘Rent a Bull’ (to cover your cows and produce calves).

Foxton

We didn’t stop though (except for the odd photo), but carried on to Foxton. We liked Foxton. It’s only a little town, but they are obviously very proud of it,and it is well looked after. There are also a few things for us tourists – a windmill, a trolley car, a local art centre and a very nice and reasonably priced cafe. As we were sitting there we had the added bonus of a horse-drawn tram pulling up in front of us, and with the backdrop of the windmill. What a photo opportunity!

Foxton Windmill and Horse drawn Tram

Foxton also has a beach (about 7km away) so we took a trundle down. It was very rough and windy down there so the red flag was out. A few potential surfers were kicking a football round the car park, but I didn’t think they stood much of a chance of surfing that day.

Note – the area around Foxton is known as Manawhatu.

Papaparaumu

Then on through Levin (not very interesting) and into Paraparaumu. A short drive from Paraparaumu is Paraparaumu Beach. We’re on the border of Wellington commuter belt here – you’d certainly commute this far if you worked in London, and generally the traffic here is better. It’s a nice little town and beach resort – and corking ice cream! Unfortunately it was also very windy – it felt just like being in Skegness! Paraparaumu Beach is the closest point to Kapiti island, which rises out of the sea a short distance off-shore. This area is known as the Kapiti Coast.

Back onto the main road, and we hung left onto the Paekakariki Hill Road. This road is very steep, taking you to a viewpoint over Kapiti, before changing to a gentle incline all the way into Lower Hutt.

Paekakariki Hill (scroll across to view)

Lower Hutt

Lower Hutt is a satellite town of Wellington. It is in a valley, so is long and narrow, broadening out slightly as it approaches Wellington Harbour. It is quite industrial. We were staying in the Top 10 Holiday Park in Seaview. This was a bit of a misnomer – you can’t see the sea in Seaview because of the industrial units. I can’t say it’s the best Top 10 we’ve ever stayed in either, for location or facilities, but it was clean, and very convenient for the next days ferry journey.

One thing of interest is the drive down the eastern side of Wellington Harbour (past the industrial units) to Eastbourne. There is a narrow strip of land then steep hills upwards. Many houses are built on the slopes, they park their car at garages at the bottom of the slope, then have their own cable car to take them up to their front doors.

Valentines Day

I refuse to pay the exorbitant prices that are expected for limited menus on Valentines Day, so my birthday dinner was a very pleasant stuffed mushroom followed by a rotisserie chicken and a bottle of bubbly from the local supermarket (I currently have a headache!).

SEE: Day 4 – Wellington to Saint Arnaud (South Island)

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terris_travelogue/south_island/day_03.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/10 09:03 by art
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