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Old 03-05-2010, 07:53 PM   #46
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06/03 - Day 13 - Wakefield

Today's photo's: http://kiwipeet.smugmug.com/Other/20...06841755_Qwnsn

We've had a great day hanging around the Higgins park steam museum.

The Museum is in Pidgeon Valley 2k's out of Wakefield.

Last night it hosed down. We had a moat around our tent, but fortunately the tent stayed pretty dry inside.

Today the boys (and girls) with thier toys decided to line them up in the sand pit.

We had.... The blue team (Fords & Fordsons.)




Outnumbered by the Red team (+ token..) Massey Fergussons.



We had the "Brown" team. (David Brown's)



And the Red and cream team. (Farmalls)



And no.. this is not the "Alternative life choice" team... this is the 'also rans'. A Zetor, Massey-Harris, Nuffield, Chamberlain, John Deere, Leyland and a Allis Chalmers.




After the big kids had excercised thier OCD muscles... we got on with a few repairs.



Those with time to kill got to look aorund the various club's sheds. Apart from tractors and farms implements there was also a shed full of trucks.



A "rough knock up" dinner was put together by the local vintage club. it was the best feed we've had yet!!! Thanks guys!


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Old 03-05-2010, 07:54 PM   #47
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07/03 - Day 14 - Wakefield to Murchison.

Tommorrow we're heading to Murchison via St Arnaud.

After seeing the loggin display we were on the road again.




The climb up to St Arnaud




We couldn't stop at the main lake front park because there was a vintage boat show on. But I managed to sneak a peak at West bay a bit further around.



One fella was steaming up his vintage boat to join the regatta.

I thought, that water look great... would love a swim... until I saw the Eels under the jetty...




We ended up parking in town and stopped for lunch at the community centre, who generously offered to open their building so we could use the facilities.

after lunch the convoy moved off and we headed for Murchison. I drove ahead and got a cabin at the camp site. They have these weird little cabins, which are smaller than our tent... but at least we don't have to put them up and take them down. We'll take 2 thanks...



The camp site is great... it has a perfect spot on the river for Kayaking and swimming


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Old 03-05-2010, 07:57 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NordieBoy
You'll be dropping in to the Pigeon Valley Steam Museum in Wakefield?
Yep. We're camping there. Stayed there last night and will be again tonight. They have an open day tommorrow including some logging competitons. They'll also have a steam powered log lift in action.

We'll be off pretty early though. They kinda need us out of the way before the majority of the public get there.

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Old 03-08-2010, 01:02 AM   #49
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08/03 - Day 15 - Murchison to Greymouth.

Todays photo's: http://kiwipeet.smugmug.com/Other/20...74_6U3vv-L.jpg

I got to drive again today to give Dad a break. I think he planned it pretty well... because the weather was rubbish and I froze my butt off.

The convoy had a few mishaps along the way this morning. Grandad Ron got a flat tyre, another had injector problems, and Loraine had a rear wheel try to escape. Fortunately all relatively minor problems which our industrious fixit people managed to sort out.

By the time we got to our lunch stop at Reefton the weather had lifted and things were warming up.



Reefton must had thought the world had gone mad. Not only did 50 tractors arrive... but the Ferrari owners club appeared with half a dozen go-fast cars.



Ok... 5 go-fast cars and one no-so-fast car.



Ohh look at me.. i'm red...

And then the variety bash turned up... a dozen or so wacky cars and no less than 4 fire engines!!... which then proceeded to have water and foam fights in the main street...



Imagine two fire engines sizing each other up and coming along side each other like galleons... and then cutting loose at point blank range with foam cannons... I saw them do this in a Petrol staion forecourt. The attendants didn't know what to do...



Jess and Ma 'n' Pa carried on ahead to Greymouth, but stopped to get a few snaps of a rare (and kinda ingenious train relic).



Apparently it could tow loads up gradients no other loco could manage (for it's size), due to having reduction gears.



Just before they left... this cheeky little fella made an appearance and was just about eating out of Jess's hands.



For non-NZers reading this... Weka's are an native NZ bird about the size of a chicken. (No Uncle Chuan. You're not allowed to eat them. )

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Old 03-08-2010, 09:57 PM   #50
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Talking 09/03 - Day 16 - Greymouth to Whateroa

Today's photo's: http://kiwipeet.smugmug.com/Other/20...06782359_rGy2V

Another 7:00am start...



Heading to Hokitika for morning tea. A few locals met us to escort us into town. There where 2 immaculate Massey Fergussons, including a behemoth V8 powered 1155... Take my word for it. This is a BIG tractor..



and two not-so-immaculate tractors... (Massey 165 and a David Brown cropmaster). Car wash and polish is not a big seller in these parts...



Do you know how fast you where going back there?

Yes... About 20 kph.... for the last 3 weeks.



So... we had a police escort into town... and it seemed like damn near the whole town came out to see us.



This is Gary, from the UK, who flew here just for the Tractor Trek. Within days, he's mastered the art of driving a tractor one handed... so he can hang onto his hat.



We where directed down to the foreshore, where dozens of school kids came down to kick tyres.



The kids were completely divided on which was better... the Red ones... or the blue ones...



But who cares about red vs blue when there are free balloons..




I'm taller than you... ner ner na ner ner...



After lunch we headed south again passing through Ross. The locals were on the roadside waiting for us.



For our lunch stop we visited the Local mining company where the owner let us look over his equipment.

Ok... the 1155 aint so big...



The mining company has a dozen or so dumptrucks, half of which are currently mothballed while he's opening a new mine.



In addition to his work machines, he has a few other intersting bits an pices parked in the sheds.



He takes his security seriously...



After lunch we got cracking and headed for Whataroa, along the way we passed the xxx river. It looked kinda busy... (Hoy!! Aussies.. this is what water in a rier should look like. Blue!!)




The convoy rolled into Whataroa where we camped at the pub. Some behind the pub, and others in a grassy lot by the road.



Time for few brews.



Grubs up!!!



Another great day.

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Old 03-09-2010, 11:40 AM   #51
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Great stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwipeet
For non-NZers reading this... Weka's are an native NZ bird about the size of a chicken. (No Uncle Chuan. You're not allowed to eat them. )
Actually, if you are in the Chatham Islands you are allowed to eat them as they have a surplus But not on the Mainland & definitely not in the North Is where they are quite rare.

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Old 03-09-2010, 09:41 PM   #52
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10/03 - Day 17 - Whateroa to Lake Paringa

Well... i'm sitting in a disused restuarant watching the rain outside...

I have power, internet, no tv to interupt me and wads of spare time... so I will defintely get some photo's up tonight.

Today's photo's: http://kiwipeet.smugmug.com/Other/20...06838355_PFyoj

The day started with a drives meeting in Whateroa. The general plan meant that "today we will mostly be driving tractors". Not a surprise really... It was a bit cold, a bit damp, but at least it wasn't raining...

I was driving the tractor again today. I don't know quite how.. but I seem to get the cold mornings...

Not long after we set off it started drizzling.. and about that time I started to think about where my wet weather gear was... which was... in the car... The temperature started dropping pretty quick, and I had just about resinged myself to long coak soaking.. when I saw our car with Jess holding up my wet weather suit

All suited up I got back on the road and we all headed for Franz Josef, and Jess headed off again in the car. They got there well ahead of us and managed to get a few snaps of the glacier between the clouds


I stopped long enough to grab a sausage roll and get going again, heading for our official lunch stop at Fox Glacier.



By the time we got to Fox the cload had burned off, and Jess amanged to get a few snaps of Fox Glacier too.



The tractors rolled into town and as usual we made ourselve at home.




The locals didn't seem to mind.. in fact a few were keen to get in on the action



Others weren't interested at all..



Remeber the bikes from Molesworth? well I bumped to on of them again at Fox. By the sounds of things (and judgin by the mud on his bike) they'd been doing some serious trails.



The were camping up the calrence river, and got caught in a downpour. DOC rangers came through and told everyone to get out..and these guys had do do 16 river crossings, with water up to the seats...

After lunch we hit the road again, heading for Lake Paringa. We all stopped at Bruce Bay on the coast for a regroup.

You know you're on the west caost when you start seeing trees like this..




For some reason people have started stacking rocks along the beach...



Jess drove ahead to the Lake and managed to get the only accomodation left at the Motel... which turned out to be a disused restuarant that had some matresses on the floor... Not the classiest, but definately welcome when you could see the clouds closing in...

The view from the kitchen window wasn't bad either



The view across the lake to where the tractors were camped at the DOC campsite.


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Old 03-10-2010, 12:22 PM   #53
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Awesome stuff! I didn't realise that Higgins Steam museum had so much stuff. Will definitely have to check it out one day.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:06 PM   #54
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Thumb 11/03 - Day 18 - Lake Paringa to Makaroa

Today's photos: http://kiwipeet.smugmug.com/Other/20...94_w5xEA-L.jpg

A cloudy but otherwise fine start to the morning.



Somoooooke on the waaaater...



Tragic attempt at an arty shot.



We all got cracking and headed off for Haast for monring tea. Just down the road from Lake Paringa is Lake Moeraki. It was perfectly calm and tranquil... until 50 tractors came steaming past.



Just as you come into Haast you cross the Haast river. The river bed is huuuuge.... in some places over a kilometre wide.



They're not short of gravel around here...



We pulled into Haast and set about ordering coffee and whitebait fritters. Where else would you find a corrugated iron mobil cafe towed by a Fluro camo landy? Very cool.



After morning tea in Haast we all set off for the DOC reserve at pleasant flat for our lunch stop. I worked my way through the convoy and past the Dennis truck at the front. We were admiring the view driving along, and got a bit of a surprise as we came around the corner. Right in front of us was 3 tractors... Out in front of the convoy... going flat out.

John, Bryan and Julian... had got "sidetracked" before Haast. (I strongly suspect it had something to do with another whitebait fritters stall...) When they tried to catch up, bypassed us all sitting in Haast. They where going flat out trying to catch the convoy... not realising the convoy was 15 minutes behind them. I told them if they wanted to catch up they'd have to do a whole lap of the south island...

I got a snap to record thier guilty silly grins for posterity. And of course to show the world...



After Pleasant flat you start climbing the Haast pass. I took a photo of this cute little creek.. It was just a trickle really...

It wasn't until later I noticed the little pixies standing on the rocks to the left.



I didn't get to see it but to give the poor old Dennis a helping hand, Noel in the County towed her up the pass. With 600+ horses on tap... he hardly noticed the extra weight.

Not far beyond the pass is Makaroa, where we stopped for the night. The cafe put on a buffet dinner and we all had a good tuck in, and then had a bit of a chinwag in the bar.

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Old 03-11-2010, 10:08 PM   #55
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12/03 - Day 19 - Makaroa to Cromwell

Todays' photos: http://kiwipeet.smugmug.com/Other/20...09203051_AGzSH

We started the day with a drivers breif and a few farewells, as a small group of trekkers from Canterbury were leaving us.

Before they dissappeared we got a group shot.



After our goodbyes, we set off for Cromwell. As we headed south we came around the Norht end of Lake Wanaka



And then just around the corner is Lake Hawea. With the cloud and morning light the view was stunning.



After Hawea it's not far to Wanaka... where we had a bit of drama. I had driven ahead in the car, and had the wet weatehr gear in the car. Jess suggested we turn around and go back and give dad the wet weather gear... I looking at the weather and thought they'll be fine, maybe a little shower but nothing major. Boy was I wrong...

We were sitting in Wanaka in a cafe while Mum did the banking when the heavens opened up... and it fair hosed down with a howling driving wind. I started feeling pretty dumb. Poor Dad would be getting a soaking on the tractor with no windshield or wet weather gear.

When we found Dad he was soaked through and frozen. He was shaking so bad he could hardly stand up. Another half hour and he would have been hypothermic...

We got him stripped and into dry clothes and in the car with the heater... And I drove the tractor the reaming way into Wanaka... A nasty lesson learned.. from here on, the wet weather gear stays with the tractor...

Luckily the weather lifted and we pulled into Wanaka and stopped at Lions park next to the A&P show. We had 2 hours at the show, where we chatted to people, did some collecting and looked longingly at campervans and new tractors with cabs with windshields and heaters...



After Wanaka, we headed off for Cromwell. I stayed on the tractor and left Dad in the car with the heater. He seemed ok with that...

Along the way we stopped before Cromwell to regroup. Mostly uneventful... except for a small episode involving a tractor and a tree. As far as I know the tractor was stationary... and the tree swerved into it... (Must find a photo...)

As we entered Cromwell, we stopped at Mitre10... where Gary got crash tackled by a homeless person... (The beggars are tough down here...)



After our stop at Mitre10, we all headed to the camping ground, where everyone got setteld in and cleaned up. Most of us when to the Country club for dinner. (great nosh!!)

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Old 03-11-2010, 10:10 PM   #56
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13/03 - Day 20 - Cromwell to Garston

What a day!!!

We drove from Cromwell to Garston via the Nevis pass. So far the Nevis pass and Nevis valley have been the highlight for me.

Todays photos: http://kiwipeet.smugmug.com/Other/20...09410648_A3GDP

After yesterday hosing, Dad started the day rugged up and fully wrapped.



I was about an hour behind the convoy. I thought i'd have a clear run up the hill, but no such luck. Just as we started the steep stuff we came across several tractors. Grandad Ron's Farmall had sheared an axle housing bolt. The stub axle slipped out and wheel basically fell off. You know it's serious when the fixit guys are carrying sledgehammers... We caught them just as they had it sorted. The wheel was back on, but the housing was cracked. We didn't know if Ron would make it over the pass.

This where we have come from. In the distance you can see Cromwell and Lake Dunstan. The dirt road is the climb up from the valley floor. This photo is taken about 1/3rd of the way to the summit.





Doug, half way up the climb.



Doug waiting for Ron. You can just see Ron rounding the corner.



The rocks and plants where beautiful.



The hill sides are covered in alpine tussocks and grasses.



Handy road sign...



The climb just keeps going and going



Eventually you make Duffers Saddle. We were glad to be at the top. The waether was closing in, and the wind was howling. It was close to snowing.

I can't help but think the warning "affected by adverse weather" would have been more useful if they'd put it at the bottom of the hill.



Now we just needed to get down the other side into the Nevis Valley.



Max cresting another rise.



Stan Bulling descending into the Nevis.



Once down into the valley, we stopped at someones holiday home. A little shack in the middle of no-where.



He had the fires cranked up and invited us all in for a cuppa and to warm up around the fires.


Standing around having a chinwag




Some of us had enough timefor a bath.



After lunch we started South again. it was hard leaving the fire.




Had to stop for directions...




Sign says it all




There where pleanty of fords and steep pinches to get through.



The road follows the river and valley as it climbs south



A couple of places it was steep and narrow and it slowed to a crawl.



No Ron... you can't overtake...



The road drops back down to the river,




and the valley opens out and becomes a wide plain.



The road zig zags in front of you... and all we could see where tractors gogin left and right, line a giant slow motion benny hill chase.



Along the flats there where more creek crossings.. This one held us up a bit.



This one caught a few people out. A choice of a deep flat crossing, or a shallow crossing, but steep bank on the exit.






After 40 odd tractors had been through... it was a bit greasy.






Russel needed a hand.




and Doug came to the rescue.









There are ruins everywhere.



During the gold rush, more than 2000 people lived in this valley.








More fords.




As we approached the head of the valley the climb gets steeper.



And we started up over the top...




You could see right down into the valley below



Edelweiss.... edelweisss...



Over the top...



And down towards Garston









After the descent to the valley floor it was a short trip to Garston. Where we stayed at the Gartson school.

Some needed a hand to get there...



There were a few repairs...



And a few beers...



Later that night we where treated to some entertainment by the school caretaker... who just happens to be very talented guitar player and singer. .

It was a great finish to a great day.

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Old 03-13-2010, 12:29 PM   #57
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14/03 - Day 21 - Garston to Te Anau

Today's photos: http://kiwipeet.smugmug.com/Other/20...09679345_hHM2z

Getting rolling in tthe morning past the Garston hotel..








We left the tractors and headed away to Mossburn. Plenty of time to take photo's as we go. This is south of Garston looking south towards Lumsden.




We had time for a coffee and for me to update the website. Funnily enough the best cellphone signal I had on the whole trip... was in Mossburn. A tiny town in the middle of nowhere.



After a coffee and venison pie the tractors had caught up. It was time to go again. We where heading to Max's place near Mavora lakes. We went ahead to mark the corner.

While we where waiting this guy walk out of his house and wanders over... it's toddy!



A convoy came round the corner... but it was too fast to be the tractors..



A line of restored army vehicles? I wonder where they're off to?




Hey.. here's the tractors.... Might as well get a few more snaps..




Hoy! in here!!!



Anyways, after everyone was present and accounted for, we headed up the road to Max's place.

Toddy came for a ride to say gidday and see the tractors clsoe up.




Another lineup.



Maurice and Trish's tractors.



After lunch I headed straight to Te Anau. while the tractors headed around a back road. Apparently we had something waiting for us in Te Anau...

Whne the tractors caught up and we headed to the park... we where greeted by this.




There where hunders of people there, The locals had arranged a Gala, with Classic cars, a bike show, Vintage army vehicles, fire engines, speed boats and more...





Pfft... You'd be lucky to get 2 haybales in there...



Just to show.... boxer twins don't have to be 3 feet wide...





Is that a McIntosh frame?



Immaculate Mk1 Zephyr convertable.







Ahh... you again...



A willys with every conceivable extra on display..



Old.



Not so old.





The old tricycle wheel front might have been a bit of a handful doing the trek.



After the meeting in the park, we headed off and setup camp.

We had another drivers meeting and caught up with the days events and discussed the plan for tommorrow.

Bikers... take note. you aint got a chance... Tractor drivers get all the girls...



A relatively straight forward day but still good fun.

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Old 03-13-2010, 12:30 PM   #58
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15/03 - Day 22 - Te Anau to Thornbury

Today's photo's: http://kiwipeet.smugmug.com/Other/20...10692072_2765J

The downhill run... We can just about smell the finsih line from here. Just 2 days to go.

The convoy packed up and got ready to go, waiting for sun up. I managed to crank up the exposure on my camera so it looks light here... but it was actually still pretty dark.



While I wandered around I bumped into Davey Crockett.



Question: How do you get 40 tractors out of a camping ground without waking up everyone?



Answer... you don't



The tractors set off south again while we stayed in town to do the banking. Lake Manaouri looked beutiful but a bit choppy..



When we caught them, they'd just left a rurual school where they had stopped for morning tea.



A bit further down the road we stopped at a historic bridge and waited for the convoy.




The river was dammed and diverted as part of the Manapouri Hydro project. In it's original state it was NZ's fastest flowing river. The limestone banks are all eroded in all sorts of weird shapes.



We stopped for lucnh in Tuatapere, and our friends from RD1 put on a another BBQ for us.. (we've missed you guys!)



Staff travelled all the way from Balclutha, Invercargill and Winton to cook for us.



The weather wasn't too nice... as we set off. People travelling in the other direction were warning us of high wonds along the coast.

When we got out to the coast it was pretty rough. The wind was howling in off the Tasman.




But... judging by the trees... this might not be a rare occurence around here.




Looks like a good place for a wind farm huh?



Soon we came to Colac bay where the locals seem to enjoy painting things. Like the local bus stop.



A sad wee house for sale... Check out the sign.



A bit further and we got to Riverton. As we where staying in a paddock that night, and the weather looked iffy, we wimped out and got a B&B for the night.



Another 10 k's down the road and we where in Thornbury, where the convoy camped the night with the local vintage club.

Jess got a driving lesson on a tractor.



We got to look around the musuem. They have an interesting collection. Trucks, 4x4's, fireengines... and the odd tractor or 2...

An early Fordson Super Major 4x4. The fore runner to the Counties.




Another Lanz Bulldog. It's so ugly I love it.



Early John Deere.





And after our meeting and daily catchup, the vintage club put on a fantastic dinner. (thanks guys!!!)


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Old 03-14-2010, 12:54 AM   #59
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I met up with the trekers today , they have been having a great time, keep up the good work Kiwi pete
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:13 AM   #60
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Quote:
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I met up with the trekers today , they have been having a great time.
Hey Toddy

Great meeting you. It was kinda funny that after driving around the whole island.. we randomly stopped in front of your house.

Sorry I missed you again later at Te Anau, I was running about the place and didn't hear you'd turned up until after we'd all gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hondav2
keep up the good work Kiwi pete
My apologies to the people following this. I've been getting a bit behind doing the write-ups. But I promise I will fill it all in over the next few days.

Tommorow is going to be a big day!!!

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