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.
Cows cows everywhere! (I like cows, so this was a very exciting moment!)
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.
After seeing this little guy we were primed and ready for more calf action. Off we go then – to the calf shed!
Now it’s time to get to work! Milking shed ho!
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…
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.
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.
Fun on the Farm