20 November 2014

Looking seaward from the Mill Road bridge along the Tukituki River


Once a year in November, Haumoana School organises the biggest Market Day in the Hawkes Bay, held at the Memorial Park.

We hadn't been in the fifteen years we've lived here, so it was about time we did it for the first time!

Where we'd usually turn down towards the little township and stony beach, we were instead shepherded into a field to park our car, and informed that we'd be ferried the 2.4km by bus or mini-van to the fair.  Cows had previously grazed therein as evidenced by the incredibly uneven terrain and clumping of grass.  A 4WD would have been nice, and advice to wear flat sports shoes perhaps.  Across the road was a chicken farm so each time the wind blew we caught wafts of feed that added to our wainting-in-line experience.


Waited and waited we did.  It was probably a good 20-30 minutes before we were boarding one of the 4 buses (and 6 mini-vans) - a first for Kita.  Many passengers struggled wedging their prams into the aisles which made me thankful that we'd left ours at home.

There was a voluntary gold coin donation to enter the grounds in exchange for a raffle ticket.

The gala was a combination of specifically school-supporting stalls, food stands, and other vendors the like of which attend the Night and Farmer's Markets; others came from further afield.

There were people everywhere that made it challenging to take in what you were passing especially with children in tow, or should that be leading us on a merry goose chase.

Near the entertainment stage was a free sun block station which I thought very responsible of the organisers.


Part-way through we sat down to the morning tea we'd brought (quite out of the way) behind the food caravans, which gave us a break from the crowds.

Two hours later we were leaving with a few books in hand; and a couple of bags of homemade russian fudge.  I was so excited to pick up a good paperback copy of "The Non-designers Design Book" by Robyn Williams that I'd previously borrowed from the library.  It was one that I had intended to get out and review again so as to keep the ideas in the forefront of my mind and put into practise.

I do wonder how those who bought more fared, returning via bus to the paddock?  Apparently the Market Day draws in more than 10,000 visitors, and with 100 stall-holders it would seem a sure thing that the school reaches their fund-raising targets each year.


It was an enjoyable outing even if only to say we have been there done that, and had a bus ride in the process.  It made us appreciate the sense of community that a smaller place like Haumoana has; and the richness that it contributes to the greater Hawkes Bay. 


The website isn't kept that up-to-date but they have a Facebook page, and the photos were put up on the school's Facebook page


View to Te Mata Peak from Mill Road

Hawke's Bay
30 October 2014

On our trip half-way across the North Island this week to check out a house bus we took an unexpected back-road detour ending up meadering up and down narrow windy roads and navigating rock falls spanning both directions.

As the driver I didn't get to take my eyes off the road, but Atlas managed to capture a couple of photos to show me afterward.  I reckon they are pretty spectacular.



09 October 2014

Main play pool with lap pool in the background


Life has been rushing by so fast lately that we needed to check-out from our daily life and re-connect.

Atlas decided that meant a once-in-a-blue-moon visit to Ocean Spa on Marine Parade in Napier; and thankfully the day was warm enough not to think we were totally crazy.


Toddler pool


One of the pools and the 2 spas are heated but the toddler pool, play pool and lap pools are not.  Slightly unfortunate about the toddler pool, because small children feel the cold really fast and could do with a warm pool whatever the weather.

Needless to say we stuck mainly to the heated lounging pool and the spas.


Lounging pool with low pressure water spouts


Castor and Pollux relished the opportunity to learn to swim a bit more, and there was no holding Kita back.  He is a natural-born water baby.  At one stage a life-guard offered the boys flutter boards to practise with, which they appreciated. 

Vega on the other hand got tired of mooching around in the water and prefered to stretch out on a deck chair soaking up the mild sun.


Spa pools


Your admission fee gets you access to all the above pools, as well as the steam and the sauna.  There are a few bbq tables, pool-side chairs, and grassed areas to use.  They do have private spas and a gym on site at an extra charge.

The changing facilities are spartan but clean and sufficient; and they have 2 family rooms as well.

Parking is a bit of a problem with most being 2 hours and the carpark (hidden) behind the facility on the beach side just 3 hours.  You can get a 20-minute pass out to move your vehicle but it is a bit of a pain keeping an eye on the time with only a small clock visible outside in the whole complex.



For the record this activity did not meet our usual budget of $5 per head and falls into the special treats category.

Hawke's Bay