New Zealand road trips

It’s A Road Trip: Day Nine

Completing our Loop the Loop of the Central North Island

It was a cracker day for the last of our holiday. A slight frost, steam rising from the hillsides as the sun warmed the paddocks, not a breath of wind – Joni Mitchell on the playlist, the road to ourselves.  Life is good we tell each other.  We stopped for an early lunch at Mangakino. The town is slightly off the highway, we wanted to check out the hydro lake. Fog lay over the place like a damp blanket. It took the edge off things a bit. So instead of heading straight to the lake we stopped for an early lunch at  The Hui Hut – brilliant name for a café. And I’m happy to report that the rolls were ultra fresh, the coffee good, the decor appealing. There was a Dr Seuss poster on display:  “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” Perfect for a blogger who worries sometimes about the consequences of putting things out there. For any creative types reading this there’s an interesting article here about this very issue.

In the cafe the large flat screen TV was tuned to Waka Huia. We didn’t budge from our seats. Those of you who saw the programme  will know that the episode was the third of four commemorating the Land Wars. This episode told the story of the battle of Orakau, in the Waikato, not that far from where we’ve spent a good portion of the last week.  The Maori warriors were out manned and out gunned, but they fought to the end, firing peach pits and pieces of wood when the bullets were gone. It was a stark reminder that it hasn’t always been peaceful here, that colonisation is violent and unjust. That where-ever they occur wars are about power, greed, and fear. It’s difficult to put my finger on how I felt watching it. Ashamed, I think. And sorry. And ripped off – there were a lot of false promises made to the early settlers to get them to come here and, once here, for most of them there was no way back.  It’s all very complicated.  I do agree with the commentator who put the case for a national day to commemorate the Land Wars. It’s long overdue.

By the time the programme ended the fog had gone. Down at the lake, the sun was out and we could only be grateful that, for us, our times are relatively peaceful.

Lake Maraetai

Lake Maraetai


A wander along the shore, a chat on the telephone to son Number One, and it was time to head towards home.



This map shows, more or less accurately, where we’ve been. Side trips aren’t included.

I’ve got a lot to learn about Google Maps and how to create custom maps. There must be a way to get more control over the content. Can you hear me laughing? Control over Google? That’d be an exercise in futility!





7 replies »

  1. Pioneers and colonizers certainly have a lot to answer for but I guess in a way, as you say, they were also misled. And once here they had no options but to survive as best they could. I’ve enjoyed the trip with you and hubby Jill. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.


    • Thanks Pommepal! I’m glad you enjoyed it. the It was a fun learning experience to try blogging as we went along. It made me realise how limited the cellphone and wifi coverage is outside the main centres in NZ.

      There’s an interesting article on Wikipedia about the New Zealand Company. As I understand it they actively misled early settlers. Basically, I think they preyed on simple folk, who were caught by the industrial revolution and who hoped for a better life for their children. They thought they were coming to an England without the class system. That’s my take on it anyway; albeit overly simplified.


      • Interesting article Jill. I have come across that view before in both novels and documentary articles. Especially appealing back then to get away from the class system and own your own land


  2. I can really relate to what you have said about colonizing and what it did to indigenous people. Look what happened to the Native Americans. Talk about Genocide. It makes me ashamed to think I had ancestors that may have been involved as it seems my ancestors came to America fairly early in settling the country. So many broken promises. I pray that someday we stop all of this insanity. Your trip has been so beautiful.


    • Thanks, Pavanneh. In 1975 while I was at High School in Minnesota I read Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. It broke my heart. Maybe from looking back we can figure out how to move forward – in a way I think that was the message of the TV programme.


      • To move forward you cannot stay stuck on the past and that happens too much. Too many people keep looking back instead of looking forward. We need to know the past so we can learn from it and then move on and try to be better, to try and not make the same mistakes again.


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