Kirsty & Nick's New Zealand Adventure travel blog

View from Te Mata

Overlooking the Tukituki River from Te Mata

So we stayed another night in Hastings. It's not the best site we've stayed in, but there's plenty to do here and, we've got a little bit of slack now after all the driving. It was nice not to have to drive today, but we certainly stayed busy.

We woke pretty early again today, but stayed in bed until about 7. Cereal and toast for breakfast and then we set out on our bikes to Te Mata, a scenic climb about 2 miles from the site. We spotted it yesterday on our brief wine tasting tour.

Actually it looked a lot easier than it was – it was a killer!!! The peak itself is only 399m, which is relatively low compared to some of the climbs we will have to do, but we are pretty much at sea level here and it is only 6 miles from here to the summit, so it was pretty intense. By far and away the hardest climb either of us have ever done. The actual climb was a little over 3 miles. I was going 2.7 mph at one point! That's slow, if you don't know! What an achievement though to get to the top. Quite a few cars drove past us, which helps spur me on – the last one was a car full of 'youths' (driven by mum) heading to the downhill mountain bike track which heads from the summit back down to the car park...whimps, couldn't cycle up! We had a chat with a man on a motorbike at the top too, who made a couple of suggestions for places to visit.

A couple of people ran up – it would have been a really challenging walk, let alone a run or bike – and one other man turned up on a racer while we were there. I thought I'd go over for a chat (and find out if there were any good bike shops in the area) and he raced off. He couldn't have been at the top for more than a minute, which was a waste because the views from the top were gorgeous. It was a little bit hazy in the distance, but still amazing. We could even see a few snow capped mountains.

After about half an hour we zoomed back down again (the road, not the mountain bike trail, we didn't have any energy left for that). It took about 10 minutes and made the climb seem hardly worth the while.

It was about midday by then, so we made our way into Havelock North which is a lovely small town just outside Hastings with a lovely shopping centre. We stopped and had fish and chips, which was gorgeous, and then looked around a few shops, before heading back to the camper. We were pretty zonked, so had a cup of tea (how British) and did some route planning before heading out again on another wine tour (to consist of one winery about a block from our site). Actually it was really nice. The company is called Vidal and a lovely lady called Kimber talked us through everything and was very informative without being patronising. Must remember to send a thank you note to her.

After sampling plenty of her wares, and buying a bottle - much to Nick's disgust (and a pinny so he can cook in the camper without ruining all his gear), we zoomed down the hill into Hastings and did a bit of shopping.

Now dinner (curry) is over and we just washed up at the kitchen unit (quicker and it saves our water & waste) and are finishing our wines before bed. It's 21.15 now, so we're really getting into the late nights now (but not waking up any later yet).

Tomorrow our plan is to go to Waimarama Beach, Maraetotara Falls and then back up to Napier and stay just north of Napier in Bay View.

Lovely day! Night, night!!

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