Daffodils and Disasters in the Wairarapa

Wairarapa is a fertile and rural area of the North Island, to the east of Wellington
across the Rimutaka Hills. Last Sunday was the Daffodil Festival in Carterton,
a little town in the Wairarapa. We drove along the steep winding road across
the Rimutakas to spend the weekend over there, including visiting the festival.
The weather was glorious, definitely spring at last, with blue sky and hardly a
cloud except over the hills. The festival itself was fun, and the town was
crowded with people and stalls. We looked round the stalls and visited an art
exhibition and a flower show, but the main attraction was catching a bus out of
town to the farm where the daffodils grow. We joined the families wandering
about picking bunches of daffodils of all kinds, and then paid on the way out
for what we’d picked. The proceeds go to charity, and it was altogether an
enjoyable event, helped by the great spring weather. One thing about Carterton
is that everything, including the public conveniences, seems to be

disasters, not to us, marked the weekend. One was on Saturday, driving on a
back road from Martinborough to Carterton. We rounded a corner to find a car
upside down in the middle of the road! There were people already stopped, and
apparently no-one was hurt, but it was a fairly startling encounter. On Sunday,
just leaving Carterton on the bus, we noticed a column of flames and smoke from
the town centre. Apparently a house had caught fire, while the occupants were
at the festival. No-one was hurt, but the police suspect arson.

over at the Wairarapa we paid two visits to the Tararua Forest Park, which
includes the range of snow-capped mountains which separates that region from
the west coast. On Saturday we climbed a ‘moderate’ hiking trail to get a view
over to Mount Holdsworth. This involved scrambling up a steep hillside, with
only a vestigial track, but we made it (just about) to the top and enjoyed the
view and a well-earned cup of tea. On Sunday, daffodilled-out, we drove along a
narrow gravel road to reach Waiohine Gorge. We were going to do some walking
there, but this involved crossing a long narrow swingbridge high above the
gorge, and Ian chickened out. In the end we walked into the gorge to the
riverbank and back again.

Let’s Talk Kiwi!


occasional glossary of New Zealand terms:

Moderate (of paths): incredibly steep

Awesome: jolly good

Morning tea: piles of cakes, muffins etc. to
give an excuse to stop work for a bit

Manchester: soft furnishings

Farewell (verb, transitive): to say goodbye to


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