Manaia Farm Girls

A few of Ali's cows
A few of Ali’s cows

Auckland to Taranaki

Our Auckland rendezvous was successful and after a good catch up on all the latest gossip, Miranda and I caught a few winks before our early departure. I tried my hardest to figure out how the heck to get to Manaia from Auckland by bus, but it seems that the rural bus service is only once a week! So, we took the bus to New Plymouth and Ali was kind enough to come pick us up from there.

The bus ride from Auckland to New Plymouth is a curvy one!  The first bit was the usual small towns and pasture, but then we got into a beautiful native forest area that took us up over a mountain and down onto the west coast. It was a grey and rainy day, but it added to the rugged beauty of the coastline. Our bus driver was a character. He shared a proverb with us about the Taranaki region.:

“If you can see the mountain then it is going to rain, and if you cannot see the mountain then it is raining”

We couldn’t see the mountain.

A Day on the Farm

Putting on our blue coveralls and gum boots, we set out for the farm with Ali – Miranda on the front of the four wheeler, and me and the dogs on the back.

A ride on the four wheeler

A ride on the four wheeler

Cows cows everywhere!  (I like cows, so this was a very exciting moment!)

Cow! ... and coveralls

Cow! ... and coveralls

It’s calving season, and just as we pulled up we spotted a new born! Still black and icky, we watched him take his first wobbly steps towards his mama. We’ve since named this little guy Boots, and he’s doing very well.

Baby Boots! He's all black except for his little white legs.

Baby Boots! He's all black except for his little white legs.

Boots' first steps!

Boots' first steps!

After seeing this little guy we were primed and ready for more calf action. Off we go then – to the calf shed!

Fake feeding - these little guys were ready for a drink, and mis took my finger for a teat.

Fake feeding - these little guys were ready for a drink, and mis took my finger for a teat.

The calveteria

The calfeteria

Now it’s time to get to work! Milking shed ho!

First the cows are rounded up from the field and given a little snack in this shed. Then you have to do a little dance to get them out of the shed and into the milking shed.

First the cows are rounded up from the field and given a little snack in this shed. Then you have to do a little dance to get them out of the shed and into the milking shed.

Round and round the cows go! Once they get to the end of the circle, the milking cups automatically come off and then it's my turn to spray their teats to keep them moisturized.

Round and round the cows go! Once they get to the end of the circle, the milking cups automatically come off and then it's my turn to spray their teats to keep them moisturized.

Mnt Taranaki

Mnt Taranaki or Mnt Egmont is a stunning volcano at the centre of the province. From Ali’s farm the land is flat as far as you can see in any direction, except for Mnt Taranaki…

Mnt Taranaki

Mnt Taranaki

We’ve been around the mountain on a day trip out to New Plymouth, and up the mountain to the look out point. We’re hoping to come back in the summer time and do the hike up to the summit once the snow has melted.

Mnt T summit

Mnt T summit

Although Mnt Taranaki hasn’t erupted in 400 years, it is only dormant and not extinct. While we were in New Plymouth we visited a museum that had great diagrams of Mnt Taranaki’s explosions over time, and the resulting creation of the Taranaki region.

Mir, Ali, and Me at the view point on Mnt Taranaki

Mir, Ali, and Me at the view point on Mnt Taranaki

Fun on the Farm

From left to right - Keith, Me, and Gary

From left to right - Keith, Me, and Gary

Our little guest house - luxery!

Our little guest house - luxery!

My favourite Red Tractor

My favourite Red Tractor

Me with Boots - he's a few days old here

Me with Boots - he's a few days old here

Miranda and Boots

Miranda and Boots

A silly moment

A silly moment

Who's silly now!

Who's silly now!

There we go - all smiles!

There we go - all smiles!

Meet Munchin, the family pig! She's adorable and very talkative

Meet Munchin, the family pig! She's adorable and very talkative

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Travel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s