Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Napier to Martinborough

After settling into the Edgewater Motel on Marine Parade and viewing the documentary about the momentous 1931 earthquake at the Napier Art Deco Centre we went for a walk around the town centre of NZ's famous "Art Deco" town.....

But by 5.30pm it was starting to look like a heavy downfall was imminent - and we were starting to realise that the Art Deco heart of Napier was actually pretty quiet during the week (I think the fun part of town was where we were at lunchtime at the old Port Ahuriri), so with rain threatening we took refuge at the Turkish Kilim Restaurant which was very close to our Motel....a great choice as it turned out as the food was great - very fresh and very light and flavoursome.  Afterwards, we got soaked on the short walk back to Edgewater!
We left Napier this morning in steady rain about 9.30am with an almost 4 hour drive ahead of us to Martinborough, the gourmet wine district of the North Island. Under clearing skies we had a short stop in Woodville on the A2 for a great coffee and an early lunch (making a point to avoid Woodville's famous "gourmet" cheese cakes) and then a much longer stop at Pukaha Mount Bruce, a wildlife restoration centre in a protected forest area administered by the NZ Wildlife service.  The main objective of Pukaha is to help restore native wildlife (especially birds) through breeding and incubation programs...but for us it was just as interesting to see an area where the great native NZ forests are being restored.

During our visit we were lucky enough to see a very rare Manukura, little white kiwi (under very low light because they are nocturnal animals), .....
 and a Kereru, the largest pigeon in NZ as well as a Tui, in the free flight aviary, along with a Korimako (bellbird) and a pair of native ducks (whio). Pukaha is a low key "tourist experience" but we really appreciated its authentic conservation credentials.
It was close to 5.00pm by the time we pulled into Martinborough, the so called gourmet wine capital of the North Island. We love our room at the beautiful old Martinborough Hotel, on the town's main square.

We enjoyed a glass of Pinot Gris (and Rob a Pinot Noir) from the local Ata Rangi vineyard (superb) before dinner at "Cool Change", a very cool little bar/restaurant opposite our hotel. we both enjoyed pan fried local fish (caught this morning) with prawns, a veggie ragout and bean salad - beautiful! especially with a glass of  Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling (excellent match!!). We are loving Martinborough!
Cool Change is such a cool, groovy local - this is our view of it from our room at the Martinborough Hotel.


rossie l said...

I had obviously missed that you were off to NZ along with just about everyone. 3 couples from here are either there or going soon. As well as Erin & John. Looks such a beautiful place. How amazing meeting Erin and Joel.
Great pics always enjoy reading about your adventures. Have fun. Lots of Love Ros xx

judy l said...

Hey guys. That pigeon looks like all of us after the lobster lunch! Loving your trip. We might have to do it. Judy xx