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West Melton Combined's Trip to North Island

West Melton Combined's Trip to North Island.

After many weeks of organising, the Club trip came into fruition on 6th March 2019 where 7 couples and 4 singles left Christchurch and flew to Wellington. 

Members indulged in the culture - Te Papa where they were lucky enough to see the Terracotta Warriors, The Maritime Museum, eating out, shopping and, ofcourse, the wild wet and windy weather!

After this, members boarded on a train to Auckland with a stopover at Otorohanga, to stay at Waitomo. The train journey was excellent, even if the weather didn’t comply (wet all the way!). Arriving at Otorohanga, it was still overcast but the school bus that picked up the members had a very friendly driver leaving them to laugh. 

Vice President Margaret Holding says "the wow factor was definitely when we saw our lodgings ’The Waitomo Hotel’. It is a very grand old hotel with majestic rooms and staircases and the staff were amazing." Upon arrival in the afternoon, members decided to treat themselves to some drinks and food at the hotel. 

The next day and a half, members explored different avenues where some went to Waitomo Caves, some browsed the museum, some visited the cofee and eating places and others went walking. 

Once back on the train to Auckland, The Club gathered in their coach with driver/guide Allan Johnston. Luckly the weather cleared up and was warm for the remainder of the trip. 

The guide drove the members from Auckland to Northland, up the east coast and down the west coast, staying at Kerikeri, Kaitaia and Warkworth. Enroute they visited Puhoi, many of the stunning bays of the Bay of Islands, Paihia, Russell and its history, the Old Stone Store, Kauri forests, the famous Mangonui Fish shop, Matakohe Kauri museum, markets and avineyard.

They also took the car ferry across from Kohukohu to Rawene both fascinating little towns. Vice President Margaret says "In fact Kohukohu is really tiny but has a great coffee shop!" 

Throughout the travel, Allan regaled the members with stories of his family and the local history. One of the highlights was travelling up to Cape Reinga with “Harrisons”. This guide, Selwyn, also regaledus with his family history and tales from the area.

Margaret says "we came to the conclusion that everyone up northwas related either to our guide, Alan or to the Harrisons guide, Selwyn!!! Climbing up the sand duneswas the hardest and slowest – coming down on the sand boards was definitely quicker – but greatfun! The leader (me) was the only intrepid one for this activity." 

There was a fairwell dinner at the Bridgehouse Lodge Warkworth on the last evening. 

Overall, the attending couples and singles enjoyed the whole trip embracing friendship and fun! 

Margaret is excited to organise the next one!