Sunday, April 19, 2009

A holiday in Thames

After spending Wednesday morning filling up our car with gear and kids we set off for Thames.

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DD? Check.

DS? Check.

Kitchen sink? Check.

There was a bit of traffic on the road. We are used to having holidays outside of the school holiday period so there was some muttering about traffic from the driver. ;-)

Still, we made good time and audio-books are an excellent invention for keeping kids (and drivers) amused.

The appearance of clouds as we turned off Highway 2 delighted the Mad Photographer but didn't exactly fill me with joy.

The new tent got set up without getting rained on though. The kids were very excited about it. DS got into his bed as soon as I made it up! We found a leak in our airbed (just what you need to discover) - I'd foolishly lent it to some folks and they'd tried to mend it but not very successfully. So we had to head back into Thames to try and find a replacement. Fortunately the friendly Hammer Hardware folks found me one and even checked to see it had a bung in it ... no. So they opened another one and purloined the bung out of that one.

After the bed acquisition we set off for the Kauaeranga Valley. The autumn colour was lovely in the afternoon light.

We did a couple of short walks around the visitor centre and up further into the valley.

This one included a model dam. The valley was extensively logged for kauri to fuel the booming Thames goldrush in the late 1800's.

We crossed a swing bridge over the Kauaeranga River. DS was very brave - he did stop halfway over and say he didn't want to go any further but after a bit of encouragement he did go on. I hate these bridges. If I hadn't been carrying DD I'd have gone over it with my eye's shut! On the way back we decided to boulder hop over the river instead ;-) Wet feet seemed preferable!

The Billy Goat Falls.
Not the greatest of photos - difficult with the light. The falls are at the top of the picture, in the distance.

When kauri loggers tried to transport kauri over these 180 metre high falls they shattered. Doh. Eventually they built a tramway to transport them.

Another walk we did was to the Wentworth Falls over near Whangamata. You would think with all the stuff we'd brought that I would have put in the back pack for DD, but guess what? I didn't!

So she started off with lots of energy....

but quickly degenerated into lots of "Mummy up" requests...

The falls were nice though.

While Daddy went down to the bottom of the falls to take photos, we stayed at the lookout and amused ourselves with the self-timer and video function on my camera.

We also visited the Broken Hills area which was a thriving goldfield from 1893. By this time DD was over walking.

So the holiday was nice in parts.

On the bad side:
  • DS managed to work himself up into puking after a coughing fit one night... all over the bedding.
  • DD is scared of moreporks and anything that makes a sound in the night. Everytime they called she said, "No like dat sound" and came running into our bed. Most inconvenient. Especially when Mummy and Daddy had ..uh.. other plans.
  • My ankles are a mass of sand fly bites.
On the plus side:
  • I got to see my friend S who has moved to Thames.
  • We did enjoy some family time and walks together.
  • I didn't think of work at all. (Not looking forward to going back tomorrow).
  • We had a swim at Miranda.
  • I had the best sleep back in my own bed when we came home. ;-) For months I've been waking at 3am-4am and staying awake for awhile so it was nice to have a full night's sleep.


  1. That's a beautiful part of the country, Penny, especially this time of year.

    You are really brave tenting with littlies in Autumn I reckon.

    Good that you didn't think about work while you were away. That's a big plus.

    (I hate those swing bridges too. nightmare stuff!)

  2. Anonymous7:39 pm

    Sounds like a nice trip away. LOL at 'other plans'!!!

  3. Looks like lots was seen and done while away. Good looking tent that lol

  4. loved looking at your photos Penny. Looks like you had a wonderful time. I admire you for camping cos my idea of roughing it is staying in a motel with no sky tv. Aww at Miss L though, how cute, what other plans did her parents have?? lol winks.

  5. Other plans ... in a tent? Hmmm, maybe it's all in the quality of the airbed! Looks like a fab tent and a fantastic holiday, beautiful scenery in that part of the world.

  6. Anonymous9:28 pm

    lovely photos, and a gorgeous part of the country too

  7. ROFL Penny ... you had "other plans" whilst tenting with your kids?! Brave! ;-)

    Sounds like overall it was a really lovely holiday. The photos are beautiful, it is such a scenic spot. We love swimming at one of the water holes there in summer, on our way to/from the holiday house in Hahei.

  8. I agree with Sandra def brave taking the young ones out in Autumn I am not sure how I would cope with them in winter...

    It is always so nice to get home.

  9. Looks beautiful. I also hate swing bridges - I would not cross the one at Buller Gorge. And I also would not camp; like Janine, roughing means a motel with no internet connection!

  10. Sounds like a nice holiday, even with the leak in the airbed, puking on the bed and untimely interuption of kids heheeeee ;-)
    Cool pics - like the one of you with the kids ... nice :-)
    I know how much stuff we pack in the car just to go on holiday to a motel/hotel, so packing the car to go tenting would be an enormous task! I see why you packed the kitchen sink heheee

  11. Lovely. lovely.

    And about those other plans... in a tent? Nah. Guess why I hate camping?

  12. Penny, just awesome. Love that part of the country too, so beautiful, specially when the water falls are in full swing. :)

  13. oh what faboulous photos! looks like a great family time together! We missed out on camping this year because of the separation :-(

  14. Man I'm having some tent envy!

  15. Sounds like a cool holiday - except for the bad bits. Kids can really cramp your style :)

    Hey I have been waking up at 3-4am too - weird!