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The Website of Paul and Pam -
My fathers 'Trail Notes book.
These notes are copied from the handwritten hard covered note book that my father (Lester Ronald Greig) kept of his and my mothers (Mary (Molly) Greig (Nee Butler) travels around the South Island of New Zealand..the notes commence mid February1967 and finish up at Easter 1973....whilst my father possessed excellent handwriting there are a number of instances where, perhaps due to his writing under poor lighting conditions on the road, the text is difficult to read and therefore difficult to interpret verbatim, every effort has been made to ensure an exact representation has occurred however .words or parts of words that cannot be deciphered are show as xxxx or followed by a question mark. Note. In many cases my father has applied underlining for no apparent reason, for example out to see Fire-works . , in situations where I believe the underlining is warranted, ie, for exclamation, I have done so and ignored others for expediency.
Christchurch, approx Mid Feb 1967.
Nelson to Goose Bay Short stop Blenhiem & Kaikouria. Arrived Goose Bay around 4/30pm.Fair cabin (15/6 night), cold night calm seas slept cold man Cray fishing seal sick on beach up early tomorrow morning.
Start 7/30am good run Bypass to Ashley Beach for morning tea beautiful beach though stoney Hot dry day good run thro to ChCh very dry and burnt countryside booked in and had a rest very good cabin (4 bed 18/- night) but no sink Early bed after TV show people talking, could not follow progress tried.
Early start for Akaroa most spectacular scenery took Summit road (24 mls) lovely view (i.e. aeroplanes) Did the town old associations French street names took plenty photos (alas too dark). Hot as H!!!. back late to Ch ch struck 5pm traffic wind up but no troubles just follow lights Long as you know where you are going!!!. TV and early bed.
Early start and to Woolston visit to Sunny Wells* morning tea has marvellous garden does it all herself. Bonney baby.
*I think one of Wells family, old Nelson neighbours.
On to Sumner, beautiful coastal drive back to Heathcote and thro tunnel to Lyttleton - Governors Bay and up very steep hill to Summit hot and hazy of the city - down the drive and out to airport after getting bushed several times, most stupendous airport deep freeze plane just arrived Yanks in all directions. Back thro heavy traffic to Brighton had a few pots lovely!! Home TV and bed baut day.
Last Day!!!! Into city shopping all over town heat terrific (88 91 deg in Square) Lakes Tunnel home at 5pm had cool shower and early bed.
Off at 7/45 good run to Puketa (Kaikoura Sth) lousy cabin (10/-) Boss away at Kaikoura show went up had a look (hot and dry) early bed all sorts of noises at night-
Up at 6/30 hot uncomfortable night Kaikoura Mass at 10am. Quaint little church, changed into shorts pronto after. Turned hot and windy tank showing empty sitting on eggs to Seddon just caught garage man leaving gassed up and on to Woodburn had lunch at airport cadets cross country running - poor blokes!!! Very heavy wind thro Pass. Car seemed to be flooding good run home good holiday Jim had cold beer for us house nice and clean.
Meter on start 55299
Miles done 776
Consumption 34 9/11mpg
Car Humber 80 1967.
X-MAS Holidays 1968
West Coast 10 2 - 68
Fine but cold good run to Murchison camping on limited scale toilets poor nice spot stayed Onight (50c Honesty box). Mother and I had look at Buller brown and mudrky had been rain previous week early bed slept well in van.
Mass at 10am met PC formerly of Nelson look around shops lunch on road about 1pm through Upper Buller rough roading views if time to view. Stopped at Lyell, (pub no beer) Old fella and toilets!! Shot thro I Junction before knew we were there camped at Blackwater on riverbank hot no skeeters. Of all places, cyclists had to stop just above us and have a conversation for an hour 20 miles of gorge and thye had to stop just there 10/30pm!!!. Rained during night everything got wet.
Breakfast in hot still morning. Off to Westport. Come to Carters Beach in drizzle of rain. AA camp good clean - facilities excellent.
Met a Mr McRae Anderson writer- Coastal History interesting to talk to, stayed in van as raining steadily all day.
Beautiful morning windy down to Westport shopping, surprised at size of town good shops tidy housing buildings fairly modern the upper part of town better than lower (oldest). Had lunch and on road to Waimarie (North) Graxxxx & Dennxxxxx. Camping grounds very nice good utility block 70c stayed night only ones there did not bother tent throw gear in dining hall windy.
Up early had a look at the beach stony qxxxx xxxks morning tea up to see Mr Mumm? (Sen) gave us great welcome - left painting house & took us for a run in his car to Seddonville (timber pub) then up to Karamea Bluff (1495ft) enjoyable morning, back to camp then away to Punekaikai (blow holes) Coast road very scenic had to watch road as windy and gravel hold up south of Charleston bull dozers taking off face of bluff usual impatient travellers arrived at Punekaikai such beautiful place going to stay couple of nights. Spelt well talked to itinerant family.
Up around 9am. Aired bedding did some chores up road to see Blow Holes Spectacular sights & views out over coastal sweeps well worth the trip!!. Down to beach in PM to sit in sun lovely & warm 7 or 8 parties arrive mum cleaning van windows me reading cool night no mozzies.
Up fairly late going to Hokitika good run morning tea at bonny spot sweep of coast Nth & South for miles. Picnic tables cast in concrete. At Hokitika find camp nearly empty good night facilities xxx. Down town to shop and have a beer xxis & xips in van for tea walk around town old dame gave us all local history and suggested places to see (1 hour talk) walked around streets near camp & to bed.
Mostly foggy morning up to Lake Kaneri Dorothy Falls beautiful scenery home for afternoon tea out to see Lake Mahinapua fantastic setting beautiful afternoon kids swimming on lake back to camp via Forest road beautiful bush & remarkable trimmed verges. Early night cold
Up to mass in church built like cathedral ancient history home to lunch & away on road to Greymouth xuzzling fog camp good & facilities fair up to town for run, watched tennis for a while home to tea early to bed staying two nights bad back must be cold from Lake Kaneri. Rained during night stayed in bed until 9am.
Down town to shop. Sun came out very muggy & hot Greymouth not very impressive, - scattered shop area sat around in community room at camp had walk round and about (cemetery vandals). Tea & early bed.
On the road to Reefton good 50 m. drive beaut day arrived at best camp of the lot so far. Lovely surroundings & scenery trees on steep hills beaut stony river facilities very good.
Did town - had several beers talked to old timers used to be 29 pubs here only 3 now. Went up to lookout - magnificent views of valley and town slept very well.
Up early beautiful day mild lovely bush road up to Springs Junction temp over 80 deg had lunch and on down the Shanandoah road Fair cow of road pot holes gravel flying - dust thick 25 miles arrived at Maruia Falls hot & boy! So dusty. Camped below falls and straight down for a dip in river, oh joy, how nice . Temperatures must be up around 80s. Had a walk in evening looking for blackberries no luck. Plenty sandflies hot night plenty traffic on road over top falls.
Heavy foggy mist during night and early morning cleared up after breakfast promise of another hot day. On the road to Sullivans Bridge on good road again!!. Arrived at Murchison had same camp site lovely here!. Man building new toilet block (3000 pounds according to AA man) Met Jack Guthrie county oseer, had a cup and down for a glorious swim in the Buller down to town for supplies and a beer!!
Away early very hot picked up blackberries at Gowan Bridge over Hope Saddle to Quinneys Bush very hot and oppressive took mum on to the pub at Motupiku cooled slightly came back to the Bush set in and down for swim in very shallow stream early bed, hot night.
On the road on over Spooners Range see dense pall of smoke from fires on Wangamoas not feeling too well back crook home and to bed for 3 weeks disa? trouble!! Very enjoyable & successful holiday must do again but avoid Shanandoah Route!!!
Milage done 634 miles
Petrol used 21gs (approx $8.40)
Camp costs $6.40
Van no trouble
Milage 30.2 mpg
1968 Queens Birthday
Long weekend Sandy Bay
1968 Labour Weekend
Collingwood and Takaka.
Stayed at Collingwood Motor Camp. Whitebait running well caught a few people from Brightwater mother & daughter on to Porara 2 days glorious weather on to Wainui Bay back over Takaka Hill van no troubles.
Mass at 7/30 Tahuna on to Tadmore Hill and Wongapeka River. Nice weather- xmas dinner outside good taste slight rain but soon over cool night very hungry sandflies up early and forded Dart ? to see old gold mining days camp no sign of old sites Chandlers pub still stands mother and I do some gold prospecting no fun xxrry Arnos? Has nice bach. Good trip.
1969 New Year
Over to Motueka and Riwaka. Stayed New Year at Grandmas Wells place she away- next morning up to mass just across the road. Out to Riwaka River, find beaut spot only a couple of other campers, lovely weather One camp has 57 bottles and 5 or 6 flagons just lazing in the sun very nice. Home to grandmas for afternoon tea and away home.
Xmas holidays 1st Feb South Island tour
Away at 6/25am for Blenheim. Threatening day?, had breakfast on outskirts on to Seddon & Ward (showers) on Waipapa day fine but cold. Had lunch on to Cheviot in evening clear night stay in Rec grounds sheep droppings good night.
Up 8/30 mass fixed exhaust leak on after breakfast to Woodend. Down to beach (2 miles) large crowd - picnic parties no much of a beach heavy wind had lunch away back to Woodlands & on through Rangiora to Oxford. Nice places quite night stayed at Pearsons Domain next morning Caretaker opened up camp rooms hot water Zips for tea good wash. On the road to Staveley via flat uninteresting country Rakaia Gorge Bridge, tremendous river gravel road millions sheep Staveley brought tucker - up 5 miles to bush camp quiet spot mossies Sun out at last Sharplin Falls? wont go over swing bridge to Ice rinks great set up marvellous how they settled in this spot in such an isolated place for rinks, nice quiet night.
Up early and find heavy dew, everything wet but lovely day blue sky, finest day yet. On to Geraldine beautiful little town had lunch in main street did shops onm after rest through uninteresting country (sheep sheep sheep) to Fairley.
Stopped in Domain beautiful setting up to see shops cold blustery home early brought some fish patties early bed old so & so collects 70c ground fees thought free area. Never mind.
Up to find cold blustery wind breakfast and away to Burkes Pass through tussocky country very high wind but climbed over Pass quite easily. Down to Tekapo marvellous sight from hill new road works deviation dusty.
Sun comes out. Had lunch by intake dam, down to visit church Of Good Shepard, must be lovely sight through window overlooking lake. State of collies dog in bronze, memorial to dogs of McKenzie Country sheperds. Sun on lake glorious sight. On to Lake Pukakai. Small town down to huge M.O.W. camp for lunch not very nice camp had lunch - decided not to stay here so on up the lake in beautiful sunshine. Road dusty bumpy & decide to camp at first suitable spot Find old gravel pit out of the wind (very high wind blowing). Water supply low down to lake side get bucket full lime taste. Early bed see moon rise glorious sight across lake. Plenty passing traffic.
Awake to see sun rise across lake bonny morning Mum pleased with sight lake deep green with blue centre -. Breakfast on towards Hermitage. Bloody awful road - pick up to climbers give them lift to hostel. Road suddenly turns to tar seal thank the Lord.
Catch full view of Mt Cook and Sefton marvellous almost cloudless day. Mt Cook as clear as a bell see every crevice and & mark in bright sunlight. Have a good look around the chalets guest houses mobile ? P.O. post some cards to the boys. Souvenir shops bxxx for home planes flying over glaciers look back Mt Cook has cloud collar (drawing of mountain peak with collar near top, PFG) will never regret coming up here.
On down dusty roads by lake through Pukakai on through undulating country (good oh roads) to Omarama . Beaut day very cool breeze. Small town (pub, garage, 2 shops) Small peaceful camp by stream (no charge) emptied van and cleaned out 2 hundred weight of Pukakai dust up to shops & then a few beers. Met Mr & Mrs Ted Harris motor van club. Had yarn, early bed. Still sunny but high wind.
Beaut day. Yarn to Harris pack up and away to Benmore H.E.. Most thrilling sight yet, clombed up to top (gift shop) Stupendous undertaking view out over lake & beyond to haze filled countryside. Stayed one hour on top, Dinner in van down to cross causeway over dam. Stopped on other side. Go down railed walk to view slipway 3 men size of mice down in raceway. On the road again to Avicmore? huge construction job. Nearly finished - on to Waitake dam not so huge but very impressive. Country fairly rugged lovely day still. Stopped Kurow? Dinner fish and chips (good). On to Oamaru, country flattening out. Beaut camp AA at Oamaru, not many parties. Proprietor has seen us up at Oamaru, Small world. Late shopping night cold freezing wind home to hot spaghetti & toast & off to bed. Mother had hot shower ($1 night at this camp).
Away latish Stopped to inspect Cathedral. Marvellous stations of X. Embossed marble. On straight long road branch off 5 miles to Waimate beautiful setting in Rec. grounds. Cold wind. Do some washing down for walk to town- too cold, home tea and bed.
Up to 10am mass, hugh church full- had breakfast on road to late to Timaru . Decide to stay at showgrounds good facilities gone to pot. Huge kitchen block only one stove working too far form town. Should have camped nearer in. However had run down to seaside sound shell wharves & sea front must be great in full camping time, rain started back to camp for tea, had short walk up to see lights (faxx) but too far away from them. Very cold wind back to supper and bed. traffic - Sheep trucks trains busses and cars all night (meat works just behind camp).
Up late and after breakfast & washing caught local bus to town big place- huge shops split level departmental stores tired on way back took mother in for a couple of beers. Back to camp, lunch, pack up, on way to Temuka. Hot fine day did some shopping couple of beers had look at camping grounds very nice on through interesting country to Winchester camp for cuppa nice quiet place would be good camp area. On to Rakaia Bridge, no way to get down to river, so on to Hinds, find quiet spot down on stream tea and walk misty rain in night.
Up fairly early (workmen doing electrical job p stream). Brekka & on to Ashbutron, thro miles of pine plantations (very boring)!!. Found nice river spot to camp up town outlaying parts shops big library very nice fine misty rain. Back to camp ?, noise all night trucks of sheep, wheat - ? night. Slept in late.
Beaut day. On road late to Rakaia. Shopped then down long 14 miles to Rakaia mouth. Famous fishing spot, quite a settlement of huts & cottages, mostly vacant now. Very hot day so for walk over to shingle mouth, numerous parties out on bank fishing not catching much. Have no bait dash it all!!
Back to camp have a sunbake on grass too hot several cars kept arriving and departing early tea after locating water supply. Early bed.
Slept very warm very cool NE wind starts to blow.
Fine day. Had late Brekka, away back up to Rakaia to return bad meat (pressed corned beef), get refund.
On to second arm of Rakaia river longest bridge here (1 1/10th am?). Mroning tea at Picnic Pull off on thro Sockburn? 1 hours Chch no trouble traffic and lights - to Aranui find good place close to kitchen did some much needed washing had rest in pm TV & news Blast!!. Have seen Fugitive episode. Eraly bed. Heavy dew.
Up & had lovely shower & shave tons hot water. Decide to stay one more day here.
Down to Brighton. Shop fish & chips & soft drink on Esplanade quite good - lovely day but high wind. Back to camp mother off to shop I wash dust from van then rig clothes line to dry towels. Over to TV seen the programs!!. Early bed remarkable that there have been very few midges and insects - up early cold N.E. away to see Paul and Mary at Marskland? Paul at work long wait morning tea and away to Kaipoi River mouth. Go thro motor camp, hight congested beaut caravans plenty money here!!. Over to pine plantation cold wind many fishing spinners not catching any salmon!.
On to township down to stopbank nice quiet stream high winds had afternoon tea.
Surprise!, surprise! Sea plane comes chugging down stream most surprising!!. Away up to town and find where church is. Decide to camp behind garage man very kind. Raining but quite warm.
Up at 8am. Mass down pretty stretch of river for breakfast back to town for shopping. Door of van comes off rack. One hell of a job to get it back no soap Check it in back attendant not much help. Get on road through lovely rolling country branch off at Cheviot to Gore Bay. 5 miles very pretty winding road. Beautiful setting for camp overlooking wide bay.
Some swimming several under canvas no shops getting low in smokes Salt sea mist late walk down beach beautiful summer evening clouds coming up. Thunder storm and EARTHQUAKE no less!! Rough night.
Up latish & away to Cheviot get door replaced On to Conway for morning tea threatening weather thunder in hills on thro Hundxxxs no traffic out to coast decide to shop at beach at Oaro hot and dry have sunbath. Mother hasd snore off in van. Southerly change during night hight wind rocks van no sleep bugger comes around to collect 60c camping fees!!
Up early away to South Bay, camping ground spacious cold southerly making conditions unpleasant. Had walk around rocks. Going to do some fishing but cold wind spoiling. Rain sets in all afternoon stay in van.
Try cooking in van works ok.Thunder and lightning and snow and hail Ye gods, have had everything weatherwise now!!!!. Sleep early
Up and away to coast road, nice day beautiful trip along sea coast. To Ward. Lunch at Deadmans Creek. Camp at Ward Domain nice quiet spot. Xx go of course hard to find water rusty in tap find creek ok. One other caravan, nice people have talk they tell us to see Marfells Beach at all costs. Have a sun bath very quiet sleep late find frosty morning Ye gods have had everything bar flood and fire!!!
On road, branch off and out 5m to Marfells Beach. Glorious spot. NOTE WELL for future visit. Had lunch and on to Seddon, short and on to Dashwood? & Blenhiem. Very hot day camp at show grounds. Windy. Good facilities did washing good drying day had good rest. Walk in evening around block.
Up early yarn to caretaker Down town to shop. HOT!!. Had lunch in quiet spot of town. Go to pictures in afternoon. Freezing in show, had to get out and buy fish and chips and back to camp to sit in sun still wind blowing. Early bed to keep warm.
Away to Picton out to Blue Anchor camp, very hot down to waterfront Ferry in - huge crowd on lawns some swimming couple of beers mum not keen on pub. Quiet night, TV and early bed.
9:30 mass, on road to Momarangi Bay had lunch on to Havelock through Grove Track, rough going last 5 miles. Beautiful day slight cloud. On to Canvastown and 5 miles up Taumarina River to camp, very good facilities Lions. Picnic, gold prospecting. Hart (prop) has yarn to us, only ones in camp. Skeeters very hngry, sleep very well.
Up early and away to Wangamoa Saddle, have afternoon tea at foot on Nelson side. Last fling (?) on home. Great trip.
Mileage 1139 mls Camp fees 8.95
Gallons 51 Petrol approx 10
MPG 22 approx. Total outlay approx $32.55.
Easter 1969 Riwaka.
Very wet day, stayed in bed most of day, plans to travel go west, cleared up later.
Beautiful day, up early load van and away to McKees Domain. Did bush track, lovely evening.- calm sea- bright moonlight.
Away to mass in Mot (?). Get some milk and up to Riwaka Source (?). Nice quiet camp, cold wind so up to beginning of river comes out under hill steps made of marble. Numerous parties come and go. Cold evening had short walk and back to camp and early bed.
Up late away to McKees Apple Shed big bag of apples 25c. On to Grossies Point for dinner lazy afternoon watching party of fishermen and sons. Home late afternoon.
Anzac 1969 Picton
Away straight after work- Rain and cold weather at Rai feet frozen clears towards Picton cabin 19. Glad we brought heater (el.) early bed.
Had god breakfast down to foreshore, many boats in stream. Attend ANZAC service at shops home for dinner. Away to Waikawa Bay (?). Lovely day. TESTERS from our street park near us Home early, too cold for TV early bed.
Up 8ish away to Blenheim beaut day do shops. Do all surrounding countryside. Something on at showgrounds going to see but gatekeepers want 50c each and 20c for van. NUTS Out to Raran.gi Bay (?). Lunch in pine forest cool winds tho sunny day. Not many people around. Plenty cars coming round the Port Underwood trail. There was some beautiful sections along the foreshore. Some already built on only 10 min from Blenheim. Back to buy some apples on back road and on to foreshore for lazy afternoon. Stopped for a couple of beers and home for tea, lovely day but cold.
Heavy frost (8deg) too frosted up to use van walk up- find mass not til later, walk home have breakfast, Mass & on home, nice weekend.
Queens birthday 1969
Labour Day 1969
No trip Painted House.
Packed up and away over to Ruby Bay on 22nd. Had two beautiful hot days. Swim in small backwater on first day. Lazed in afternoon, short walk. Saw lights on Nelson from distance.
Up early had glorious swim lazed around. Decided to have long walk around promontory towards Keena (?).
Hot as all get out. Had beaut sunburn on feet (Roman sandles). Had beer and tea.
Had swim, boisterous wind arose tearing tent around decided to pack up and go up town (Mot) for Xmas eve & after bit of shopping and few beers, up Riwaka Valley and No 1 campsite only ones there - - man fly fishing high wind Rain and storm in night. Branch of Manuka breaks off 1am jumping around like heck.
Man on radio says in for wet weekend so decide to pack up Go to mass at Motueka and come on home.
Of course weather starts to clear up although All North and South Island has severe lashing storms and floods Good break.
30th 1st. New Year.
Quiet night. Decided not to go to town owning to rough element woke mother up 11:45pm to shout her a noggin saw in New Year few rowdy parties few rowdy parties off to sleep 12:45.
Up to glorious day, down early to see River Boat Race. 10/30. Hot day very colourful, good fun, walk that night.
Out to see fire works display at Richmond race Course in evening took out picnic tea & sat in van to eat. Great display huge car jam coming home but managed to survive any collusions great night.
Up early and down to Monaco for Ski Show, very hot and humid thousands of cars, very interesting but too hot. Van playing up a bit. Stopped at Botanical View (Rocks Road) had spot of tea & home. Very nice.
Packed p after mass and out to Appleby Camp parked next to Cyril Wells and family (their house is let for 4 weeks @ $20 a week) They not there so we go down for a swim in river.good tho cool, talked to chap on bank- Molly gets cold in back Wells come home mid evening- late time in their camp bed.
Up late- Wells into town to look for her brother. Supposed to be camping somewhere. We have quiet tho very hot day down for swim with Debbie water lovely. Good fun Cyril and I go down for a beer & get some cigs. Bring back flagon have session that night- Mollies back crook so is Cyrils???.
Swim in morning cool Debbie has barbed wire cut in leg not too happy- Go up to shop for milk and ice cream late dinners pack up and have tea 6:30 rain coming so set out for home beat weather by short leg. Rain and blew that night good finish to a wonderful Xmas holidays.
1970 Anniversary Day
Stayed home and prepared for South Island touring. Fine hot (extremely)
Deep South Tour. (Feb 10/2/70).
Mileage meter 58986.
Gallons in tank 5
I gallon in spare tin.
Up early beautiful day ( 1 deg frost). Finish packing van have cuppa & wait for 9am (to collect pension book).
Talk to Bill Newsome (longtime blast him!). Collect pension on the road (cool wind). Good trip to Hope Saddle stop for cuppa orange drinks on to Murchison for lunch.
Down to Buller for swim cold but refreshing.
Lazed rest of day extremely hot- hot meal (stew) & short walk. To bed radio aerial seems to work. Still beautiful evening, very warm till late then cold frost?.
Awake early quite cool, up and shave breakfast, beaut day. Escape pay of fees. On to see Glen and Ian at Inangahua. Morning tea see new baby. Get [5 gallons].
On through Buller see results of quake- country very knocked about MOW doing great restoration job on to tar seal to Reefton country not very interesting (new route to us). Decide to stay the night, good facilities meet 2 nice couples So down town fish & chips 3 beers. Back to camp for tea & have walk down to see swimming pool. In to bunk early, promise of rain seems to be bad guess, nice sun set no midges so far.
Up 6/30 wash & breakfast. Pack up and away down to Greymouth. Took photos at Ngahere rest area. Shopped on in beaut weather hot and clear to Hokitika motor camp for lunch. Use free hot water and dining room. Hours rest and on South to Lake Iamthe. Beautiful lake with sun and shadows, decide to use motor camp but didnt find it. Push on to Hari-Hari through the birch forests lovely and cool. Stop at hari-Hari to enquire about camp.
Apparently none so push on to little Wanganui. River camp down by bank. Plenty midges, mother picks blackberries. Tired tonight, big mileage for me (120 miles). Ross camp looked to bare and hot. Evening overcast heavy black clouds in the east, but dont think will rain clear in west. Bulldozer working at side of river, hell of a noise. [3 gals]
Beautiful day tho cloudy in alps. Away through flat bush land to Whateroa. Stopped had look around town in brilliant sunshine. Groceries and on thro bushland (lovely) to Lake Wakapo beautiful in doppled sunshine (keen breeze) cuppa and on through beautiful Birch forests to Lake Mapowrika (?). Nice little rest area away again over steep mountains (ruddy gravel roads now) to Franz Joseph. Up to Terminal Face (?).
Glorious sight, took photos. Away again to Fox. Rough going. Dusty, up long very narrow road to view face from distance Should have taken another road to get closer no matter great sight. Cuppa and decide to carry on to Bruce Bay. Heavy going tired DUSTY. Lovely bush scenery. Camp at river bank unoccupied houses (?white baiters). Clean out van, have tea & long walk to ocean beach, driftwood midges murder spray van and then duck in and close windows beautiful night no wind or cloud. [3 gall].
Slept late. Beautiful morning. Away to Lake Peringa. Lovely views road skirting tall Birch Forests all along route. Lake Moreaki, a nice view huge lake. Over Knights Point (?) & Epitatph Cutting, long steep climb stupendous views of coast and river
Down to flats & on to Haast township see garage about oil light to fix on Monday. Down dusty damnable road (7miles) to find motor camp. After several vain searches finally find at end of bridge.
Beautiful day but clouds coming up from east ranges. Good forecast do some washing and have a rest. Camp quite good but mysterious about lighting and cooking may come clear this evening. Walk down road, dusty but beaut evening. Midges bad. Early bed after talk with friendly crowd good advise about oil light must check tomorrow.
Slept late had breakfast lovely day again. Camp had quite a few new tenants all very friendly. Long yarn with Aussie couple touring NZ.
Get stuck into repairs, think I have found trouble. Lazy morning in large lounge room, have a shower meet new campers built own caravan remarkable job for $350??.
Take afternoon tea down to river very hot midges perspiring come home and read in lounge long talk with neighbours very friendly people turning in early as on road early for Haast Pass and Wanaka?
Up early to beautiful cloudless day. Away early to Haast Valley. Glorious run, scenery river flats tall mountain peaks Imp Grotto (?) stiff climb to Gates then down thru plains to Makaiora (?) motor camp, chalet type motels. Good hot wash after bloody dusty road. Walk down to main road in evening quiet and calm & hardly any midges. [3 gals, $1.40 Haast camp fees, 70c Reefton] and so to bed.
Up early (6.30) to dodge camp fees (no facilities) away down by high road above Lake Wanaka. Too early to see best effects of sun on water. Gravel road over Neck (?) to Lake Hawea into sun. Lovely view of both lakes. Down to bottom and along lake side. Pulled in for breakfast, not much traffic. Glorious sight. Boat coming up far side. On to Hawea Dam. Clear day, on to Wanaka.
XXXX camp 2 miles from town on lake. Had dinner and down for walk to lake. Had paddle, water luke warm. No togs with us. Temperature very high. TV at night, slept well. VERY hot.
Up early on road to Cromwell through interesting country (orchards) along to Kawarau (?) Gorge. Good road into Cromwell. Did shopping, hot day. Gold diggings. Roaring Meg rest area (?). Hot as heck, had lunch and a-xxx-ed the power Dam (?).
On thro undulating valley road to Lake Hayes.
Had a prang on Arrow Town road. Towed to Arrowtown. Lady (Mr & Mrs Jenkins) very kind, wash and whiskey, & breakfast veges- very kind good people, offered bed. Had a couple down in beautiful town museum did not sleep very well shock.
Up 6 oclock, got gear packed up for quick removal when van towed to Alexandra for repairs. Booked into Alexandra camp. Very nice owner finds us commodious cabin have for a week at least slept for an hour toured camp very charming setting. Camp canteen well stocked. Milk delivery mornings. TV in evening, see news and Coronation Street seen the rest (?) bed early slightly raining, very warm.
Late rising rang up and find van repairs coming along get ride to town do shops walk home (very hot), tho cloudy find catholic church for Sunday have sleep and mother does washing & ironing and has shower TV & walk. Fair wid blowing but very warm evening.
Rain during night heavy at times continues during day do a fair amount sleeping. Clears up late afternoon go for walk around camp 30 acres. Xxxx xxx plus $20 xxx camp fees nice river tea & TV. Camp canteen man brings me couple bottles grog. Cooler evening. Long read & sleep nice and cool.
Up early and off to mass 8am. Beaut church short walk home to brekka. Lazed about all day. TV. In 2 oclock session, poor picture/ cool wind tho sunny after tea early bed to get warm.
Up 7.30 made mum some brekka. Did some washing hair and so on- lazed in sun all shops opened. Had short walk down road waiting for call from garage cant go too far. Lazed in afternoon put new 3 pin plug on jug cord. TV in evening cold cloudy day no rain.
Up later, walked around a bit had generally lazy day. Man from garage brought out insurance claim form to be completed and posted. Very depressing cold wind. TV and early bed.
Fine day tho cool, into town to shop and have a word with garage should be ready on Friday. Had lazy snooze in afternoon TV & bed. Beautiful day very sharp wind, Autumn must be well along down here alas.
Beautiful morning, up fairly late go for walk towards Ranfurly to see about some fresh fruit, come to market get some peaches and apples coming back find residue of spilled case of apricots, pick up enough to stew for two meals , good oh.
Have yarn to local cockey, ex chemist very interesting guy get some fresh eggs and back to camp, have rest and tea and TV, weather good.
I stay around camp await news from garage, mother goes to mass 11.15 & on to town to shop. I read and doze. After dinner have a snooze weather is clouding up. Van arrives about 4/30 good as new thank goodness done a great job painting and panel beating. Sleep well tonight, raing very heavily all night.
Beautiful day, decide to drive down to Roxburgh to see dam & township, very good road (undulating). Have dinner along road, very warm. See town thunder storm comes up. Wait it out and drive home Fruitland.
Come out of rain and go down to river side. Jet boats. Lovely green lawn, sun overbearing. Get a couple of beers & back to camp for snore off. Showery afternoon. Dam at Roxbourgh not as impressive as Benmore. TV tonight and bed.
Up early for mass, cold wind, snow on hills.
Back to brekka pack and clean van ready for road. Sunshine comes out, fine and cloudy had sleep in afternoon & then down for walk to fruit stalls (tomato and windfall pears) tea then TV. Pay fees so can get on road early to Queenstown.
Away 7/30 back to Cromwell via Cromwell Gorge, then thro Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown through undulating country, beautiful day. Arrive in the town in glorious weather - breathtaking sight Remarkables bare of snow but impressive, did shopping then up to very good camp, up in skyline gondola to top of hill glorious view, worth the trip alone, couldnt leave. Down to earth again and walked around bay to gardens up to see church, some climb!! very hot- must have covered miles feet sore and hot back to camp had beer loverly!!. Early tea and shower, beaut water have rest poor old dogs mum has bath. Must stay another day!!. TV & bed. Best day of tour so far!!!!!.
Up to glorious day, do some washing and lounging. 2pm, take boat trip (Earnslaw) up west (?) end of lake hardly a ripple good old steamer, xx head of lake (Mt Nicholus) unload 2 slings of wheat or barley view down to west towards Mt Earnslaw breath taking. Snow on mtns and brilliant sunshine + misty haze = unforgettable sight. Back past Walter Peak Station (30000 sheep and cattle) to bearth at 4/30. A not to be forgotten day weather is at best home and tea & a beer TV. A walk to see lights of Queenstown bonny, slept like log [4 gal].
Up 6am. Pack up and away on road along Lake Wakatipu road, miles under heavy misty cloud cleared around Gaston & then flat land grazing sheep tussock country then cattle to Lumsden. Had light lunch (sheep sale alongside) & on through uninteresting country to Te Anau. Camp at caravan park on lakeside, nice. Very gusty wind blowing. Place on inspection- slightly disappointing dirty unformed roads no good prospects of lake- except down on beaches tea and TV upstairs in small very nicely appointed room bed and cold night (frost?).
Awake to beautiful cool morning decide to go towards carry on to Caskade and pitch camp Midges again Sun very hot few clouds about could be cold night [3 gals]. Walk along road after tea in warm night to Lake Gun. Ruffled by wind & black no color (?) back to bed, mum squirts out van and kills 3,000,000 sandflies, is warm night.
Up very early, breakfast and away back to Te Anau to shop and short run to Lake Manopouri much better then last nights camp walked (1/2 mile ??) to Peral Harbour to book trip to West Arm Power Project . Lovely upholstered seats in Fiordlander Launch, accompanied by about 100 tourists, mostly women gaggle gaggle gaggle !!!. Slightly overcast but flat calm stupendous sights- distant and very near mountains some right above boat and 5000 feet up. Waterfalls, good conductor told us everything got off at project & had a look at power intake & information centre back via eastern side of lake, most confusing passages but he found his way home, most enjoyable. Home to tea hear about other camp nearer township stinks apparently good job we picked this one. Rain came down at teatime but has cleared back. May go into TV tired and full, good day.
Rained all night cold too stopped this morning. Up early to get good start but find petrol stations not open 9.00- have yarn to caretaker and take off for Lumsden. Run out of gas just short of the Key - lucky have gallon on hand wait for service at Key find she opens later on this morning. Get [5 galls] and on to Lumsden. Have lunch think will push on to Winton to get mass on Sunday. No motor camp there but ask and obtain permission to park in school tennis courts, Father very kind use of facilities. Winton (1800) is surrounded by large pastoral country flat and millions of sheep, very pretty wind cold but hight cloud no rain, chops for tea and have shave ready for mass, early bed.
Sleep til 8.30 after very noisy night (traffic sheep trucks) have brekka and leisurely walk before mass. Pack up and away in beautiful sunshine thro flat lush sheep country to Invercargill, lovely country beaut brick homes and hedgerows. Find m.camp out about 5 miles good possy good facilities walk miles down to see speed boat races at Orati River (?)- back to rest tea and bed No TV, getting mended, calm clear night.
Beautiful morning though had cloud cover & warmer. Off after breakfast to Bluff huge Phosphate works long good road. Camp thro township quite adequate though rough. Have lunch and decide to take photos of extreme south of island before weather changes. Have rest and go for walk to town visit tavern and buy a jug & have good view in sitting lounge (?).
Back at camp meet some nice people - one group gives me two dozen fresh oysters for breakfast lovely. Have tea and go for walk - see construction work over on Tiwhai Point (?) (Aluminium smelter) oyster boats coming in Stewart Is ferry (Mon Wed Fri) bad luck) large ship comes in during night very dark and threatening some rain during night, good sleep.
Wake early, dull heavy fog have brekka and away to Incargill and on to Matura & Gore rain in Incargill cleans up hot and sultry. Arrive at Gore AA camp, nice spot do some shopping and lunch rest and walk up town (1/2 mile?) [4 galls].
Have a beer in tavern back to camp tired footed good feed and bed - local AA patrol officer is caretaker, snow at Christmas he said, one year. Heavy rain during night.
Up 6/30 brekka, yank no like NZ tea (?) on the road to Balclutha, stopped and shopped., nice town, on again to Tuapeka mouth (one horse whistle stop had dinner in domain, (mushrooms!!)). Punt ferry (lunch time, not working). Cluther (?) River, huge volume of water Glorious rolling downs country rise and fall, good road to Lawrence motor camp. Super spot, (slot machine for hot water phoeee!!) use our own camp in nice wooded area oaks, silver beech, acorns. Sun shining put out damp washing to dry. Have rest. Tea xxx to old duck walk down town small but clean old c church on hill good night.
Slept late up and brekka yap to old girl husband does a bit around camp cutting grass heavy fog and wet grass frost (?).pack up and away to Gabriells Gully for gold panning not much luck only 500000 people befor us very hot blackberries back on the road to Milton thro lovely country lush and green sheep sheep and sheep trucks. Pull into Domain camp not much as to facilities but beautiful spot. Green and tree lined boil billy & have cuppa baths just behind kids getting around in bathing trunks shows how hot the weather. Short walk and bed.
Up early 5/15 (no less). And on road to Mosgeil arrive to find no facilities at all at caravan park decide to travel on to Dunedin beautiful morning high cloud gravel road arrive promptly to get lost maps not adequate and trying to avoit Friday 13th traffic After various false starts & ending in outskirts ask road menders and then the butcher find way to camp very exclusive and good facilities meet Mrs Pretty (?) from our street next caravan!!. Have cuppa and long rest. Get cleaned up and catch bus to town do shops cuppa haircut (6/-) do a bus trip to the tops outlandish grades twists and turns back to town shower of rain very muggy home to good feed. TV and short walk.
Rain and wind all night sleep late no use getting up camp is full have brekka at about 11;00. Get up and go for run down to St Clair nice but cold rainy wind blowing. Have pie in van, on to find church do so (christening) back to run along St Kilda sand dunes to see very rough seas sand blowing over murderous road. Great view home afternoon tea with Prettys good caravan - make tea night turns very cold and stormy wrap up extra blankets early bed no TV.
Up for mass cloudy but no rain. Big crowd at church, missions priest. sun shining - back home to brekka catch bus to town. Cold wind. Take observation tour of Dunedin 2 ½ hours of glorious sightseeing right thro and around and above city good commentator afternoon tea at Glenfallock (1 scone and tea) back to town and home very cold wind frozen hot soup over to two hours of TV Hotties and bed. Good nights sleep.
Odd showers. Do some housework (washing etc) following lunch. Go walking up to St Kilda shopping area then catch bus to town. Locate our exit streets for leaving town - then on to old colonial museum very interesting come out to find rain set in get taxi back to camp (6/-) not bad for three miles have cuppa and xxx in til tea time. Very cold and wet [4 gal].
Up very early brekka and away thro misty rain. Get lost in city once but ask milkman & got thru no traffic. Stiff climb out of Dunedin thru hills and then down to coast. Very pretty run to Seacliff & Palmerston have a hot pie and on thru to Oamaru. Mushrooms. Have a good sleep & then down to town have a good look around cold wind back to camp (good one) not many in tea and TV. Sleep well. [2 gal].
Cheers!! Bright sun and almost cloudless sky!!!. After breakfast, on the road along coast. Stop outside Studholme, sandwich for lunch on thru Timaru to Temuka. Decide to stay the day perhaps next one. Get cracking on overdue wash have lunch and a rest. Showers and clean up, good oh. TV & retire good day.
Rain during night. Misty morning very quiet, no wind. Warm. Salmon fishermen getting away early to catch tide. Funny crowd, wont give away much information one joker preserving salmon in big Agee (?) preserving vat (5 hours cooking). Did hear from another bloke that these fishermen are using illegal fishing gear and are very close mouthed to any stranger. Up to town to do shopping small place back to camp have rest sun comes out tea and TV and walk thru park, flowers, new swim pool good night. [3 gals].
Dull promise of drizzle. Away to Ashburton. Long flat straights. Not so interesting as the west. Decide to break monotony & turn off for Longbeach (90 Mile Beach) 10 or 12 miles out on the coast. Apparently good salmon fishing spot cabins park in cliff shelter have walk out to shingle beach lovely & man in distance man lands fish about 2 ½ ft long, must be a salmon, too far to see.. Back to camp and inside for afternoon as blasted cold and windy (no rain so far), early tea and bed, no TV.
Gusty wind and rain all night, van rocking and swaying not much sleep. Heavy misty rain and cold wind in morning. In spite of this 3 cars of fishermen down to beach stupid Bs must be frozen. Mum and I stay in van & have long read til 11 oclock cook meal inside (manage all right) & away thru rain to Ashburton. Book in cuppa shave and wash weather easing slightly. Paths in shocking condition puddles and slush. Rain intermittent, cook tea and dine in cookhouse, turn in and sleep heavy showers all night.
Up early and away to church weather improved away after mass, through drizzle to Rakaia get hot pie & cuppa on to Ch Ch [3 gal] thru light drizzle. Sockburn (?) and sun comes out!!. Find camp. Aranui via Sth Brighton took wrong road pick sight (?) and hang out things to dry, walk over to shopping area then have rest til tea time. Sun still shining!!! Over to TV, very cold night, frost?.
Up late fine day frost?. Mum over to get hair do I do some washing have shower dry out tents and camp gear wet from the week of rainy weather. Repack gear on carrier then after lunch off to city have abrowse around back to tea cold night - turn in early after good feed of mushrooms & savs(?). Still clear and fine.
Fine day after a clear cool night up late brekka and away to Cheviot. Country looks fine under bright tho cloudy sky.
Good run to camp in sportsground. Have lunch and pick big basin of mushrooms, very clean and bright day. Have rest in afternoon. Cuppa and walk up to town. Have a jug (beer foul) back to huge tea (mushrooms vegies and egg). Full as tick lovely calm night. Bright moonlight very warm throw off blankets. Quiet, sleep vey well.
Awake early to very bright day calm high cloud.
Clean up brekka and away to Kaikoura. Corker run thro Hunderlees (?) to coast bright sun, sea calm & beautiful travel (?) thro to South Beach talk to Maori chap from Geraldine get the gen on fishing sports have a walk up to rocks with rods too much fish kelp (?) dont wet rods back to have rest, after cuppa take rods down to lower beach & have a cast snarl mine first thing. Throw out mums and spend Ύ hour unravelling mine no bites but good fun home to tea and bed night quiet but gloomy.
The End (My words here)
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Their marriage certificate....due to its size this image is of two parts, stitched together.
My fathers 'Trail Notes book.
When Mum died in 1998 brother Jim and I traveled to NZ and carried out the necessary arrangements and disposed of Mum and Dads lifetime of collections....among those items I found an old notebook, Dad had recorded many of the trips he and Mum had enjoyed around the South Island before Dads eyesight failed. In a letter, not long before she died mum described these days are 'pure bliss'.
The notebook makes fascinating reading....and keeping a travel log like this is something I have done too, for many years....I would imagine my dad would have loved Google Maps and Wikicamps.
It took some doing but I have copied all dads notes and present them here for others to read.
One major regret I have in compiling this memorium is that I have not been able to find any of the photos I took at either dad's or mum's funerals, I'm sure they will turn up eventually and I will upload them....Dad passed on April 3 1992 and Mum May 18 1998....RIP. A copy of each requiem announcment is below...a click will enlargen.