Oneriri, NZ 14th - 17th December 2007
Trip Start Jun 11, 2007
94Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Waipu is a "Scottish Highlander Settlement" but we didn't meet many Scotts. It's a lovely town and everyone we met was really friendly. We had a nosey at the estate agents and got chatting to them about the types of property available. Then we had a coffee and slice of cake, then went to the hardware store and got a tarpaulin sheet to use underneath the tent.
We then drove down the coastal road which took us through Langs Beach; which was stunningly beautiful with great surfing waves and spaced out individually styled houses all through the hillside overlooking the beach and in a loop South that came out where we needed to be at Kaiwaka.
It was 21km from Kaiwaka to Oneriri most of it on tarmac, the rest on gravel road. The scenery down here is totally stunning, it did help that the sun was shining. We passed the sheep/cattle station first then got to the house drive. The house is massive and lovely. Meryl and Wayne were in and invited us to join them for lunch for which Tony (their son) and Carl and Pest Control Official joined us too. They were having a meeting with other local farmers about pest control and organic methods available. It was really interesting to listen in.
When the meeting was done and all the guests had gone Meryl and Wayne told us that the first jobs they wanted us to do were all at the holiday cottage. They had it booked out for Christmas and the garage needed painting, the nettles and thistles chipping out, the lawns mowing the outside of the house washing and the inside cleaning. As the cottage 'Nga Motu' is 4 km away they thought it would be easier for us to stay there whilst we do the work. After we'll move in to the sheep shearers quarters.
Meryl packed up boxes with loads of food for us and we followed her down to the cottage. Oh My Goodness! This place is gorgeous! They're going to have a job getting us to move out and in to the shearers quarters I can tell you! The house is in massive gardens and is really old but refurbished to a really high level. It has sundecks and it's very own beach and hill that becomes an island at high tide. I'm in heaven.
Even though Meryl says it needs cleaning, it's more a case of evicting the spiders that have settled in and there aren't many of them. Meryl gave us the tour and asked us to have dinner with them at about 7pm.
We got all giddy after she left and I think I grinned the whole time we unpacked our backpacks. We just got all our gear sorted and settled in then it was time to go unto the house for dinner. What a lovely, civilised environment. We were offered wine / beer as soon as we got there and this was replenished all evening without asking. Whilst waiting for dinner we munched on cheese and crackers with Meryl's fab homemade tomato Chuckey. Dinner was a family favourite Chinese chicken salad, yum yum. We had a nice chat about the farm and jobs to do and where we'd been travelling. We arranged to have Tuesday and Wednesday off so that we could go diving and Tuesday being Roberts birthday we didn't want to work that day.
By 9pm I was yawning and eager to get back to the cottage to sleep in a proper bed again. On the way back, Robert had to keep a vigilant eye out for animals of all sorts on the road, but he absolutely shit himself when a huge black bull was right on the side of the road as we rounded a corner.
On Friday night we'd had a lovely nights sleep in the comfiest bed ever. It was a real shame to get up, however, when I pulled back the curtains the view from our bedroom window made it worthwhile, I even grabbed the camera. The tide was out and the sun, already high at 7:30am was throwing a silvery light across the wet sand. It made me feel glad!
We had breakfast and set about our tasks. Over the next 3 days we shared the tasks of painting the garage, chipping thistles and nettles and cutting the grass (no mean feet as the lawn area is massive). A lot of the lawn had to be done with a push mower which was hard work but Robert was well excited at driving a small tractor with a mower attachment for the bigger sections. At the end of every day we were shattered but in a really good, satisfied way. Meryl and Wayne had gone into Auckland till Thursday and Tony was busy with his daily running of the farm so we were left to get on with things. We made our meals in the cottage on an evening and chilled out. Because we were aware that guests were arriving at the end of the week we worked a bit longer hours than we'd planned as we wanted to ensure that everything was ready in time, so unfortunately we didn't have the energy or the time to swim from the private beach or walk around the island, but we didn't mind too much.
Today we finished work and rushed about getting changed and packed to go up to Russell (again, we really like it here). We met Alan (our friend from Auckland) and he treated us to a meal out for Roberts birthday. We went back to "The Pub" and had a couple drinks before going back to the camp site and getting a good nights sleep.