Palliser Bay, New Zealand

  • Date
  • 19 June 2001
  • Lodging
  • Wharekauhau
  • Distance
  • 502 KM
  • Total
  • 177381 KM

Several people e-mailed suggestions on where we should visit in New Zealand and Wharekauhau Country Estate, remodeled and expanded in 1998, kept getting mentioned with high praise. Plus, I’ve fallen mad over sheep and the estate is a 5000-plus, working sheep farm with a newly opened, albeit small, top-rate gym and lap pool. Sign us up, we said.

From Wellington, we traveled about 10 minutes to reach Wharekauhau crossing Mount Matthews before descending onto the sheep farm grounds. The fly-over offered a simply spectacular view of the ebony-black sand coastline fronting the estate, with lawns and fields so green they looked to be painted.

In the afternoon, we took to mountain bikes exploring the vast property and ended up riding through sheep pasture. The little critters didn’t know what to think of Jim and me traveling on two wheels through their territory. These furry, white, although sometimes – muddy beige, rams turned and eyed Jim as he cycled directly across the field, as opposed to unobtrusively cycling along the fence line as we’d done prior. I really found all of this to be quite a hoot and much fun. Plus, from a steep cliff on the other side of the pasture, we had a superb view of the dark, fine sand beach, which looked to be untouched by human feet, and the grand, curvaceous McDonnell Range.

What a brilliant day we shared.