Daffodils at Taniwha – A ‘Must Do’ this September.

It’s crazy isn’t it, that we often miss visiting interesting places in the area that we grew up in for various reasons. We may have driven past such places and thought, I must stop in there one day, and it just never happens. Or sometimes you don’t even know something exists until you have children and you see your home area with fresh new eyes. This is something I am finding out with Central Hawkes Bay. I grew up there, but there are so many places I have never visited until now.

For the first time this past Sunday, I visited the Taniwha Daffodils and what a beautiful place it is. Yes, I have driven past many times and thought to myself I must visit, but it wasn’t until last Spring when some friends posted pictures online that I really thought I should visit and I wasn’t disappointed even on a cold cloudy spring day this place is stunning.

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Looking from the car park back towards the front gates.

We arrived early hoping to avoid the crowds, but once we arrived we saw that the place was so big that there is space for everyone. Alex and Frankie immediately headed for the courtyard where there are seats, gravel and Tonka toys. We decided to sit and have a coffee while the kids were quite contented played in this area and the fact we were the only ones using it at the time. There is a cute little coffee counter serving Hawthorne Coffee, Tea, Barkers Juices, Rush Munro’s Ice Cream and a few sweet treats. If you are coming along for the day, make sure you pack a picnic lunch and snacks for the kids though.

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Court yard and seating area.

Once we had finished our coffee we grabbed our buckets and headed off to pick daffodils. There are paths that wind around the park, over bridges, past lakes, swings and tree houses. Make sure you do venture right around because there are so many beautiful hidden spots that you will find.

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Sign posts pointing the way to a Crocodile Infested Lake

There are over a hundred different varieties of daffodils to pick, my favourite being the one pictured below. If anyone knows the actual name of it please let me know, because I would like to plant some bulbs of this variety in my garden. They are so sunny and happy looking.

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My favourite!

Highlights for Alex and Frankie were the beautiful White Swans (feature photo) and the Crocodile infested lake, (we will keep that as a surprise).

Once you have wandered through the park and picked enough daffodils, head back to the administration area where your Daffodils are wrapped in cellophane. 30 flowers for $5.00. Proceeds from these go to the chosen charity – Plunket.

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Wandering through the Daffodils

If you have not ventured down to the Taniwha Daffodils in Central Hawkes Bay, this is a definite must do this September and if you have missed out, write it in your diary for next year or follow Taniwha Daffodils on Facebook to get updates for their 2018 season.

A couple of things to remember if you are heading down to CHB.

  • Pack warm clothing, the Takapau plains can get quite cold with spring winds whistling down from the snow capped Ruahines.
  • Gumboots will make your walk more fun.
  • Take a picnic lunch or snacks
  • Cash is best but they do have EFTPOS available.
  • A camera, I sadly only had my phone camera and very much regret not having my camera.

Check out all other details on Facebook or their Website.

Directions as per link. Taniwha Daffodils

Becks 🌼🌼

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Exploring the Historic Lindsay Limestone Water Race

Exploring in the dark is super exciting for children, and not only is it super exciting it’s also really good for their sensory development.  So be open to adventures which take children into the dark or outside at night time.

Alex and his cousin Meeka were so excited when we told them we were going to be visiting a cave this past weekend.  They quickly rushed off to find their headlamps they were given for Christmas and proceeded to explain to each other what they were going to be doing.    The cave is a historic 200-metre limestone tunnel that was used as a water race for Mt Vernon station near Waipukurau.   The race starts near the river and has been dug right through the hill, where it then would have connected with water channels. There was a number of these across Central Hawkes Bay, with a larger more well known one near Onga Onga which my great, great grandfather helped build.  You can still see these raceways next to the country roads around Onga Onga.

Growing up in Central Hawkes Bay and attending the local high school I can’t ever remember hearing about the Lindsay Tunnel, so this weekend was my first time visiting.

 

Getting there can be a bit confusing, so please bear with me while I write the instructions.

Lindsay Road is off State Highway 2 just before Waipukurau (north of the bridge). Drive along Lindsay road and then turn into Scenic road which takes you to Lindsay Bush. Instead of going into the bush car park continue driving along the stopbank until you get to the end.   We parked on the stopbank, but you can drive down into the small turn around area at the bottom of the stopbank.

From here walk along the river heading west, there is a bit of a track, you will need to go around a makeshift fence and then keep walking until you see a gap between the blackberry.  Walk up the hill to you reach the track then continue on walking West along the track until you find the tunnel.   We found this the easiest way to get through without having to climb fences or scramble through Blackberry.

 

The height of the tunnel would be roughly 1.5 metres at the entrance gradually getting smaller and the far end would be roughly 1 metre.   Because we had not been there before we were not sure how small the entrance way at the other side would be, we had been told that we would need to scramble out the other side.

The thought of this, mixed with me talking about previous caving experiences brought on a bit of a panic attack and I freaked out 3/4 of the way through when the tunnel started to enclose.  Thankfully Grandma and Aunty Jeanie continued on with the kids telling them a story that I was too tall and kept hitting my head, while I practically ran all the way back to the entrance, gasping for air in a dramatic fashion as I found the outside.

(I have been caving in the past, through something they referred to as the birth canal and there was no way I was ever going to be doing something like that again).  As you can see from the photos below it isn’t as bad as that.  I most likely could have gone right through the tunnel, maybe next time.

 

Everyone else made it safely to the other side.  The kids all wanted to come back through the tunnel, so safe to say it must not have been too scary for them and they enjoyed using their head torches.

Next time you are in Central Hawkes Bay this is a really cool off the track place to visit, and if you want a longer walk the Lindsay Bush is just down the road and has a 45-minute loop track.  Next time we are down we hope to have time to walk around this track and I can let you know more about it.

Happy Exploring.

Becks 🌳🔦

** Photos by Jeanie Butler **