The Hawke Valley Vinyards

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 23, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We made good speed from Kaikoura, across on the ferry, out of Wellington and as far as Masterton where we camped at an unremarkable campsite in an unremarkable town. The highlight was a takeaway fish and chips. we didn't linger....

The next target was Hastings and Napier to "do" a vineyard or two. On the way, we found reference to a fantastic waterfall pool for Neil to swim in. As he has no interest in winetasting, it seemed only right that we should search out this pool and add something to his day. We googled the place, followed the country roads out of Hastings for maybe ten kilometres, headed up this footpath for ten minutes or so to be confronted by maybe 60 or 70 Maori teenagers on an "awayday" from camp, all having a ball jumping from every conceivable high point. It wasn't long before Neil befriended one and was guided up to the highest point on the fall from which to jump. His dad did not join him....

We then headed to Hastings to seek out CJ Pask, a local winery renowned for it's red wines. I was full of the tales from Dave and Lou about their experience of a Kiwi wine tasting and was expecting to crawl along a shed full of wines before feeling obliged to buy a couple of bottles for NZ$10, or maybe NZ$12 at the end. What I didn't expect was to be charged NZ$5 for the right to taste, for there to be only three bottles of red available, for them all to be poor quality and then to be charged a minimum of NZ$25 a bottle to buy them. I tell you the NZ$50 was even worse than the cheaper ones! I came out sadly disappointed and even though Neil searched out another (fine) vineyard for me to explore, I'd got one on me by that time and refused point blank to play again!!

We popped into Napier. I've never liked art deco architecture. I still don't. We left.....

We skirted round Taupo en route to Rotorua and ended up in a campsite called Thermal Springs. We sat in the spring, allegedly at 39 degrees C, for a while. It cured neither of our aches and pains. But we did later share our dinner table with a couple of French girls who were working their way round New Zealand for eight months in a camper they'd bought. They crashed in into a Beamer on day one before they'd bought insurance. Not entirely sure they're going to make it through the full eight months... Their tales lightened the mood.
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Becks on

Definitely the most downbeat entry so far...Move on swiftly!

Jane on

More importantly the Art Deco was ignored! The wine from Majestic & Aldi is fine and we will do plenty of tasting in Iberia I suspect!

Helen on

I agree with Becks! Hope the next one I read is more uplifting!! And we'll have a hunt for a vineyard in Australia Pops to make up for the poor NZ attempt. However I have a feeling you'll still be expected to pay (probably more than $5) to try some wines, so don't get your hopes up!!

cotysmore on

I've concluded that the Kiwi's could still learn abit from the Europeans (and Australins!) about red wine production. The bottles I bought from CJ Pask were horribly overpriced and, basically, cr*p....

cotysmore on

Reckon we just cut our losses Hels and go straight to the supermarket!!!!

I can assure you both that the next entry will be very much more upbeat. The sun's shining and my depression is gone....

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