Gina and I have visited Cape Palliser and Lake Ferry, a number of times. It takes us just over 2 hours to get there from Woodville. We have visited in all kinds of weather and each time there is a different story, to tell. Like, standing on the rocks in the pouring rain, watching and listening to thundering of the waves, as they crash against the rocks. (Trying to take photos and keep the cameras dry, was a bit of a challenge that day).
The Wairarapa coast has a lot to offer, with it’s stunning scenery, wildlife, amazing sunsets & sunrises, and history.
Cape Palliser is home to largest NZ fur seal colony, in the North Island and the Lighthouse, which has sat on the cliffs, since 1897. On the way to Cape Palliser stop in and visit the local fishing village of Ngawi, with its colourful tractors, which are used to haul the fishing boats in and out of the ocean. Lake Ferry is situated on the shores of Lake Onoke and another place not to be missed.
If you have a limited amount of time or just don’t want to drive and feel like taking a tour with a difference, then I highly recommend, To the coast with the post, tour with Gordon, the local RD2 postie. You get to ride along with Gordon on his daily mail run, which covers a distance of 220kms.
Gina and I visited Riversdale as well as CastlePoint a couple of weeks ago (15/3/17) and seeing as all three places are on the same coastline and not that far from each other, I thought I would add Riversdale to this existing post.
Riversdale has a magic all of its own, as well as a long sandy beach to walk on, the coastal settlement, felt warm and inviting. A great place to stay if you want to get away from it all, for a few days.
The rocky outcrops at one end of the beach add character, besides its always fun to walk on the rocks and explore the weathered formations. while watching the waves crash against them. We also found many species of birds, nesting and living in the dunes.
Gina and I decided to head down to Mataikona Rocks, in the Wairarapa and seeing as Castle Point is only a 15 minute drive away, we though we would visit there again, too.
We left Woodville at 8.30am and stopped in at the Finest Batch Bakery in Pahiatua for, yes you guessed it, a coffee and something to eat. So all up, it took us nearly 2 hours to reach Castle Point, (we decided we would stop there first).
Castle Point, Lovely place but it can be dangerous too, if you don’t have your eyes open. Rogue waves often visit and can take you off the reef in seconds. Gina and I last visited just over a year ago, on September 10th 2014.
We stood on top of the reef and walked up to the lighthouse but not on Wednesday, while the sea was a lot calmer than in 2014 some of the wind gusts were very strong and nearly knocked us, off our feet. Great place to visit though, there are walks you can do, Fur Seals can be seen there occasionally, as well as different bird species, plus the scenery is stunning.
After spending about an hour at Castle Point we headed off to Mataikona Rocks. The road is signed posted so you can’t miss it, (on your right) just as you are leaving Castle Point. By the time we reached Mataikona, the wind had worsened and some of the gusts were very strong.
The rocks can only been seen and walked on at low tide.The rock formations are the result of the constant pounding and compression from the ocean and the movement and and colliding of tectonic plates. They are quite a sight to see, along with the rock pools and Fur Seals.
Unfortunately, the wind made it hard to stay upright some of the time but we both like a challenge and the rocks are something you don’t see everyday.
We stayed at Mataikona for a while, taking photos, exploring the rock pools and watching the waves crash upon the rocks. On the way back, we parked on the roadside, overlooking Castle Point and the views were stunning. All in all another great day out.
Gina and I decided to go local this week, so after a bit of searching on Google I found a reserve neither of us had visited before, so we thought it was worth a visit. The reserve is called Tutukiwi Reserve and is located on Moonshine Valley Road in Aokautere , a 15 minute drive from Palmerston North. and can be found on the Palmerston North, City Council site, under Facilities and Parks, there’s 12 pages of listings, in all.
Tutukiwi reserve is a picturesque reserve, you can go for a walk or have a picnic there. The picnic area , in my opinion, would maybe be suitable for wheelchairs, if the grass were mown short and the barrier gate was opened. As they do have a car parking area.
As you leave the picnic area you have to cross over a bridge and there on the other side, we were greeted by a tree-lined pond/wetland with ducks in the water, water lilies and the sound of Tuis and Kingfishers, which we did manage to see, along with swallows, as we were leaving the reserve.
All in all, a great spot if you want to chill out and take a break.
We then stopped off at the Manawatu River, in Ashhurst we were intending to go for a swim but ended up having a paddle instead. The water was warm but the river level is certainly very low, as you will see from the photos and it is not even the end of January.
All photos on this page are copyright @ Elayne Hand, Brightchic Photography
Day Trips for the uninspired. Things to see and do in and around the Manawatu, Tararua, Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Regions of New Zealand