Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Beach Hop South- Castlepoint

Catch-up- Well, we're now back on the Mainland after a very smooth crossing Monday morning. I know how to pick 'em! We'll be catching up with friends and doing a few errands around Picton and Blenheim before heading out into the wild blue yonder again. To check out new places, revisit a few of our favourite haunts, do some fishing and most importantly, catch up with our Southland family again. Although that won't be until we're closer to Christmas but at least we're on the right island and heading in their direction.

Now, back to the beach hop blogs-

From Pongaroa we headed into Masterton to fill up with diesel and groceries before carrying on to our next beach destination Castlepoint, 65kms away.  And wow, what a fantastic camp site we ended up with. Right on the beach with stunning views around the bay and of the lighthouse that is synonymous with Castlepoint. And as it turned out this was going to be our view for the next 7 days.

But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself again. Just before we reached Masterton I took a photo of this small church which so far, I have been unable to locate any information on. This is very unusual as normally I'll find at least one photo on the internet, even if there's no written information. I uploaded it to my Flickr 'Country Churches of NZ' group in the hope that someone there could fill in a gap or two. I also sent a few emails to various organisations but have yet to hear back from them. 

And then, the unexpected happened. The photo above got *Explored* by Flickr. For those that don't know, Flickr is a photo sharing site and I use it to upload, store & share my photos. Flickr receives around 6,000 uploads every minute - that's about 8.6 million photos a day. From this huge group of images, Flickr choose only 500 images to showcase as *Explored* for each 24-hour period. That's only one image in every 17,000. So now thousands of people worldwide will see my church photo but still nobody will be able to help me. Talk about ironic!

And while we're on churches here's another beauty just out of Masterton, this one is St Albans Anglican Church (1905) at Taueru, a 'blink & you'll miss it' settlement on the road to Castlepoint.

What I loved about this very well looked after church were the flowering trees framing the church and the mass of daffodils and jonquils blooming throughout the paddock behind it. 

We stopped 20kms from Castlepoint at Tinui, a small picturesque village with a ton of history attached. Tinui's claim to fame is that the first ANZAC memorial service in the world was held there at the Church of the Good Shepherd. It was great to be able to add this church to my collection. And no, this isn't a blog on churches (although looking at the photos so far you'd be forgiven for thinking so), I shall move on to the beach soon!

There's a memorial cross up on the hill behind the church (the bare hilltop to the left above), but I couldn't spot it against the gloomy skyline. I failed to see it the next time we passed by too.

The significance of holding the very first ANZAC service here in Tinui is shown in the size of the War Memorial Hall. It's huge for such a tiny settlement. The hall was built in 1954, and until 1960 the Memorial Room could only be used for public meetings if a lady was present. Wise people who put that particular rule in place. The Gallipoli sign post is a poignant touch.

While I took photos David parked outside the fire 'station'- I like the sign directing trucks to the toilets! I think they mean truckies.he 

They were asked not to park on the new tarseal outside the public toilets or use the lovely clean loos (dirty boots probably, not dirty habits). The toilets were located inside the old Tinui School porch. That's kinda weird; having loos inside a school porch. The porch looked kinda weird standing there all by itself too.

Beside the 'Porch' were the old Police Station, the jail, random farm equipment and plenty of historic information about the village. All very well looked after by some very dedicated residents.

Across the road from the hall is the old General Store (1868) which is now a craft shop...

...and on the opposite corner the former Post Office (1902).

Once I'd finished exploring, I waved out (half a dozen times- I think he was snoozing) to my ever patient husband who came cruising up the road to collect me and we carried onto Castlepoint.

There is a freedom camping area at Castlepoint, in the carpark at the end of the road but we've heard that it can be very exposed when (not if) the wind gets up and includes a free sandblasting for any vehicles parked there. We were going to stop for a few days so we decided to stay at the lovely Castlepoint Holiday Park. 

And being the only ones in camp the obvious choice of site was right at the front! What was that about wind? No worries. Not a breath of wind and a calm sea for the first two days at least. And there weren't any noticeable sand dunes nearby, so we should be ok, right?

Our only visitors were these escapees from Castlepoint Station. Every time I walked around the campground I'd find them lurking behind a building or munching in a garden. 

The very well looked after Castlepoint Holiday Park overlooks the beach and of course that ever present lighthouse. The campground rises five levels up the hill behind and stretches back quite a distance from the beach. There are many permanent caravans with built-in decks and sheds but no full-time residents. I can imagine every available space of this camp would be filled with people over the summer holidays. 

The view from the top level is spectacular...

...and especially from this deck beside one of the permanent caravans.

I went for a walk along the waterfront while we had a blue sky. You never know when that's going to change at this time of the year.

"Hear ye, hear ye" 

How many photos can one take of a lighthouse? I think I might have broken the record. Just be pleased I'm not posting them all on here!

The Castlepoint Store, a necessity with Masterton being so far away although only recently re-opened. 

An assortment of typical Kiwi baches all with waterviews except that bottom right bach. What do you do when you want to check out the surf before leaving the house? You build a deck on your roof of course.

The remnants of the Castlepoint early settler cemetery were just outside the camping ground.

Given the amount of names on the board there are very few grave sites left.

The family of this guy certainly didn't want anyone to forget him. A pity a few more graves weren't marked like this, it would certainly help historians track people down.

And here's another lighthouse photo to finish the blog with, this one taken at sunset.

More to come...

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