Thursday, 13 February 2014

Gore & A Surprise Visit

We left the Catlins headed for Gore with the intention of stopping here for two or three days so that David would be able to have a fish in the area which is known as the "Brown Trout Capital of NZ". But as we are fast finding out life on the road has many twists & turns. And no fixed itineraries. 

It was a beautiful day to travel, hot & sunny with stunning scenery. This is rural heartland New Zealand & along the way on both sides of the road & for as far as the eye could see the farming community was in a frenzy of activity as the various harvests were waiting to be or was being cut, mowed, turned & bagged.

Our next camp site is at Dolamore Park, a large scenic reserve located on the lower slopes of the Hokonui Hills just 11kms from Gore. The Park has a basic camp site, $10 pp per night with power and is set in amongst beautiful native bush with many walking tracks. There are two large expanses of grass & a substantial children's playground.

There was just us and a caravan the first night but since then there have been 12 or so other campers due to the fact that the Southern Fieldays are being held just 8kms from us in Waimumu. Camping is allowed anywhere that is not fenced but we've chosen to have power so are near the centre of the park. The lower fields are surrounded with rhododendrons & I would imagine make a magnificent display during spring. It's a wonderful place with just one negative, as you may have gathered, we don't have cellphone reception here so I have been unable to post my blogs; I have had to drive up the road just a kilometre or so and park in a farmers gateway to upload these posts- and it's pouring with rain, the windows have steamed over & I'm wondering what the passing traffic must be thinking! 

The day after we arrived the weather was overcast & threating rain so we decided that as we were now just 55kms from Invercargill we'd drive down there & visit the family! Well in fact as much as we wanted to do that too, we also had a couple of important errands to do in the city. One being that David had miraculously found his long lost "Hunting & Fishing" store gift vouchers that we thought had been packed away deep inside the storage unit back in Tauranga. They were suddenly burning a hole in his pocket and he wanted some gear before we moved onto the lakes.

Errands done we called round to the family for dinner. We also put a wash on, updates computers & filled the drinking water containers while we were there; you grab every opportunity to do chores when you're living on the road. Ollie & Ruby were very excited to see us & wanted to know where our "house" was. After dinner Rachel sent us on our way with a freshly baked loaf of bread, the heavenly aroma teased me all the way home & the two thick slices of buttered bread & raspberry jam that I ate on arrival gave me a hell all night with indigestion! But it was so worth it. Fresh bread is never the same the next day.

So that was one day that David didn't go fishing & the next day he never made it either. We decided that because they were happening just down the road we couldn't miss the opportunity of visiting the fieldays. "Fieldays!" I hear some of you say, "Fieldays!! Haven't you guys been to enough fieldays to last a lifetime?"  Well yes we have, but it's been a few years and this is a big one that's comparable to Mystery Creek & we wanted to see if anything had changed in the rural sector since our days. The Southern Fieldays are only held every two years & this was the first time it's been held over three days as opposed to the usual two.

We were both impressed with the size of the show, with a narrow frontage it stretched  back through three large paddocks and branched out into side areas. And right at the beginning of the show we came across some familiar looking products; we didn't make ourselves known, Devan Plastics is part of our past now but I know David finds it rather satisfying as we travel around the countryside to see how many tanks are actually out there. Long after David has left this world there will be a little bit of him scattered far & wide throughout NZ. 

And in fact the tanks weren't the very first things we saw that reminded us of Devan. Right outside the front gate & parked in a paddock across the road getting free advertising were some colourful Devan drums! It's a small world. Makes us feel a little strange to be seeing such familiar products. "Those were the days......" < that's me, not David, he was ready to move on to the next project. It's probably about here that I should also mention the Wireloks we came across at Jacks Bay, another David Evans legacy.

We only managed to cover about two thirds of the displays before we were getting a little weary & rain threatened (it wouldn't be a Fielday without rain, even in the summer!) so we headed for the carpark & home just as the heavens opened up. We were both of the same opinion, a Fielday is a Fielday is a Fielday. Pleased that we went & pleased when we got home. And of course I must also tell you that while at the Fieldays where we wouldn't expect to see anybody we knew,  David got a tap on the shoulder and there was his nephew James (who has the dairy farm) & two of his children. It is a small world indeed!


  1. Shellie I notice you are not far from Croydon. David may be interested in the aircraft museum and factory at Mandeville. You can tour the factory while they are restoring old aircraft. Something different.

    1. Thanks for that! In fact we called in there on our way fishing one day, David had a look while I took some photos around the area. He thought it was good but I don't think anything can compare with Omaka now......though it better, we're off to Warbirds Over Wanaka during Easter (again)


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