Day 264 on the Road
Hawke’s Bay’s Awesome Little Town
Today we are exploring Wairoa and some great things to do there. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then jump on over to our epic YouTube Channel!
So today we are visiting a town, a museum, a lighthouse, a gallery, we’re eating in a cafe and we’re getting some fish & chips. Woah, let’s get started.
After a week in Napier, we are now heading into the Northern Hawke’s Bay region, more specifically to a little riverside town on the coast called Wairoa.
The drive from Napier to Wairoa takes us along the Tutira Lake and passing river gorges and beautiful farmland. It is seriously a stunning drive and this weather is making it even more mystical and stunning.
Once we arrive in Wairoa, we are going straight to the i-site which is chain of information centres here in New Zealand and getting some tips from the locals.
So we just arrived in Wairoa. It is a lovely charming little town by the river. There is plants there is a lot of friendly locals, and there is a lot of little shops but right now we’re heading for the Wairoa Museum.
Luckily there’s a rainy weather activity waiting for us in Wairoa which is the Wairoa Museum. And entry is by donation through a really entertaining donation box. But actually the Wairoa Museum is lot bigger than you seem it think it is when you first enter it. There’s loads of different rooms going into different exhibitions and there’s a lot of focus on the Maori culture which is really awesome.
We learn a lot about significant figures of the Wairoa area in the Maori culture as well as seeing loads of artifacts like wooden sculptures, weapons, paddles and weaved clothing as well there’s a small room filled with loads of different portraits and then we go into another room which seems to be more leaning on the natural history side of things.
For a small town museum we’re really surprised that actually how much is packed into this museum. There’s so many different things to see and learn about different cultures from our own. There’s also aspects of the European culture though as the Europeans did arrive in New Zealand a while after the Maori.
But back to the natural history room, we see lots of fossils taken from around the Wairoa area even some seashell fossils that were found in the mountains because New Zealand actually used to be underwater.
In fact, there’s even a fossil of the plesiosaurus that was found in the area.
The Wairoa Museum building itself is a feat. It is actually a grand heritage building of the Wairoa town and it looks absolutely stunning. One of the things that Iike the most about the exhibition is the exhibition called A Day in a Life. It is really amazing the amount of artifacts that they successfully accumulated here. There is heaps of Maori artifacts and tonnes of artifact from early settlers of New Zealand. It’s absolutely amazing. It would be totally impossible for Laura and I to actually have a look at every single item on display but we actually look at the items that catches our eyes and we find a bit of a story about them on each of the displays explanation sheets. it’s quite an amazing museum and there is tonne to see. And I’m pretty sure that everybody who would go there would actually have a different experience.
But we have a lot to explore in the Wairoa town so we are heading out of the museum and we stumble upon a lighthouse right in the middle of town. It doesn’t make much sense but it has a story.
Yes, when the Wairoa lighthouse was no longer in use a group of enthusiasts brought it into the town to be put onto display for everyone to see.
Now we are moving onto the Eastend Cafe which is really cool and vibrant cafe it’s super quirky, very decorative and we are getting ourselves a delicious lunch.
The cafe culture is huge in New Zealand and you’ll find some of the best cafes in small towns like this one. And for Robin and I, we are getting ourselves some pretty delicious lunch. Robin is having a mushroom hash while we’re having pancakes with berry compote, curd and cream and a side of fries and aioli which aioli is actually garlic mayonnaise in New Zealand.
Both of the dishes are so good that we have to share half and half with each other.
Alright so we just had a delicious lunch and now it’s time for us to make our way to the art gallery, I think it’s called the Little River Art Gallery.
So by Little River Gallery he means Long River Gallery. Anyway, the Long River Gallery is a small community gallery on the riverbanks of Wairoa and it has a lot of art reflecting the Wairoa environment. For instance, there’s driftwood that’s been taken from beaches around the area, two skulls that have been taken from game from animals hunted in the mountains.
After spending a little bit of time discovering local art we are heading toward our accommodation of the day. it’s the riverside motor camp right in the heart of the town of Wairoa.
Wairoa apparently has some awesome fish & chips and also…
… I can see it.
I have been a bit of a idiot and I forgot to plane some time for us to do food shopping.
If we haven’t stuffed ourselves enough today we are heading toward Tui Takeaways which apparently has one of the best fish & chips in New Zealand but at first we meet the dog.
However, it doesn’t really take long until we get our food. We get amazing fish and chips and we are getting their specialty which is kind of an awesome mix including raw tarakiha which is a fish in coconut yogurt, capsicum and spring onion. That’s this white stuff that you see on the table between Laura and I. It’s absolutely amazing it tastes so fresh and so different from anything I’ve eaten before.
And even the cute dog approves. But on top of that the fish & chips itself is absolutely amazing. I’m actually destroying it in only minutes. It’s super fresh, super good, oh my God best fish & chips I’ve eaten so for on this trip.
Because we have’t been really good diet wise today we are actually walking back toward our accommodation a little bit bloated but we take the time to check out the beautiful lighthouse under the sunset. It reflects the sunlight so beautifully. it’s absolutely amazing.
Tomorrow we’re waking up early with hopefully some better weather because we have a horse ride on the beach planned. Fingers crossed.