We stayed an extra day at Waihi as we’ve always said we should spend a day looking around the town, not to mention we retained our prime position camper spot and the weather has been great. We had every intention of doing the local mine tour, however we learned the tour was simply a drive round to the various lookouts which we could do ourselves. As we already know about the gold mining business, we wouldn’t have learnt anything new, but for those who know nothing about it, the tour would be very beneficial.
Instead of the tour we decided to visit the visitor centre and see the gold heritage display which has recently been refurbished to the tune of $4 million. And for all that effort they won best visitor experience in NZ last year and we could see why! We got talking to the person who runs the visitors centre and during conversation let him know I worked at Boddington – this worked in our favour as we got a 20% discount off the fee. Many thanks for the recognition, we didn’t catch your name but it was a pleasure chatting with you.
After spending a few hours at the centre we wandered down the main street looking at all the shops. Harrison made a beeline for Toyworld, which just happened to be a shared shop with the book store. These New Zealanders really do have some great ideas – fancy combining a toy store with a book store. All they need to do now is add a coffee shop and it would be the perfect combination (a bar would be asking too much and possibly inappropriate). After Harrison chose a Lego set I had to get a book as it’s only fair we both get a present – Julie got a bottle of wine. Mine was a book on a lost gold reef near Nelson in the South Island which is a similar story to Lasseter’s Reef in Australia. (Book review to follow one day).
Lunch was at the Sterling Tavern – the miner’s choice since 1897 – where we had a good pub meal with drinks. We’ve eaten there before and enjoyed the meal so it was familiar surroundings.
We then decided to head back to the camper park to enjoy the pool and beach. As the sun was out we decided to do a few loads of washing, but as is typical with these situations, the clouds came over just as we hung it out on our makeshift rope washing line from the campervan, and a few hours later we had showers. Off to the dryer went the clothes.
Post washing, we decided to have a swim – yes, that’s right there is a heated pool with waterslide. Julie thought she’d be the ‘Cool Mum’ and down the slide she went, several times in fact. Following this, she had a go at the jumping pillow and decided to turn it into a workout – anything to counteract the brie cheese she’ll have in about 2 hours’ times.
Harrison and I went down the beach late afternoon and looked around at the shells and rocks, and I introduced him to floating rocks (pumicestone). The weather is now passing showers and the temperature is about 17 degrees – I know this because the ugg boots have come out as I prepare the evening meal of chicken korma. As we sit in the campervan looking out our window we can see the rain coming in from offshore. We’re up early in the morning as we head off to Matamata for our next stay and visit Hobbiton on Thursday morning. (Jason)