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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 1 December 2022

A garden of fun

 December 1st

Just to show any motorhomers/campervaners where that free camping spot was in the Taumana Reserve Auckland. this is it

Check out how close the highway is!

Gosh our time is going quickly. Already over a month has gone by, loads of places now ticked off our list and loads more adventures to come. Soon we will be travelling to South Island, well not until the 12th, but still so much more to be crammed in before we leave this island.

Another night of torrential rain and high winds, everywhere was sodden including our shoes! It's a right B trying to get them dry! That wind strength also played havoc with Ian's steering. Lots of straight roads with no protection either side, stood to reason the Toy was being a bit 'lively' as she was buffeted by the wind. We were heading away from Auckland, going south to join up on the SH2. 

On the outskirts of Auckland was a garage showing the cheapest diesel we have seen in a while. At $1.27 litre it was worth filling up. Ian also has a Smile card and this gets him another 6 cents off a litre. It was at a 'pay at the pump' where things went a bit pear shaped. Two card slots, one for his debit card and the other for the Smile card. I was sitting waiting in the passenger seat when a load expletive erupted from Ian.  He had only gone and put the Smile card in the wrong slot and couldn't get it out. It was me then that went to see the nice man behind the counter, told him the tale and with a raised eyebrow and a look of resignation, said he would come and sort it.

 Driving through Ngatea I happened to notice a sign saying water gardens. Intrigued I persuaded Ian to stop for a look,

The cost was $14 each, we thought it worth going for a look. Well what we found was not what I expected. First the parking bays. We drove around thinking everyone was for the workers until we looked closely and read the notices. This is just a few.

 We were persuaded to buy duck/fish/sheep food for another 50 cents. Not sure at all what to expect as we entered the grounds, this was the result.


And the ducks!!!! They were a right pain, so very demanding. In fact at one point I felt like the pied piper luring the ducks.

And then came the feeding of the fish.

and swan,

and birds


 and sheep


and still those pesky ducks wouldn't leave us alone.

and all the time the peacock displayed to the ducks.

But the best part of the garden was the humour,

Now this made me howl with laughter. If you could have seen Ian's face!!!



It was a beautifully presented garden, and very well planned and thought out. Behind one of the doors by the sheep pen was this. Amazing collection of drink cans from all over the World.

We left there feeling uplifted. Even the weather turned fine, please go and see this if you ever come to this part of New Zealand, I guarantee you won't regret a bit of it.

At the Karangahake Gorge we stopped. This was where our planned walk was to be. Today though time was getting on. Having spent the best part of two hours in the garden, I felt it would be far more beneficial if we went back tomorrow morning. Did have a walk across the two swing bridges though.

Found a place to stop with electric hookup for $5. It's in the town of Paeroa so could be a tad noisy. Quite a few already there, we arrived at about 4 pm but was lucky enough to get one of the 4 hookup points by the toilets. A walk to the Caltex garage was where we purchased the permit.  


And wildlife


Anonymous said...

Aww, the Ngatea Gardens were such fun, especially when Ian stood on the plaque telling him not to, hahaha!
How lovely to find something peaceful like this to relax in and clear your mind for awwhile.
I've so enjoyed reading about your wonderful adventures so far and especially your grrreat pics.
Thank you bothe, Ann Makemson. xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thank you, Ann, Xxx

nbwakahuia.blogspot.com said...

Fabulous! So looking forward to exploring these places too!

By the way, Paeroa is where our wonderful Prime Minister grew up.


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