Tuesday, 5 April 2011

5# Napier - Hawkes Bay. Tamatea Schools and Bayiew.

Leaving Wellington we set off on the long drive up north towards Hawkes Bay.

There are wineries all around the area and we were to meet up with some friends at the Craggy Range winery for lunch.

Sitting outside in the beautiful countryside with stunning views of the 'craggy' mountains and delicious food and good company it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

The area has many wineries and the weekend we were there the Mission winery was holding the annual concert which is a huge event, sold out well in advance and is known for hosting top stars such as Rod Stewart.  This year it was Sting who was playing to the sell out crowd.  This caused a slight problem for us because we had not known about it beforehand and had hoped to stay in the area for a couple of days but after the first night, and my schools visits the following day there was no chance of finding any accommodation in the area.

But due to some incredibly generous people, we were offered a beautiful house to stay in, by a lovely couple we had met at the wedding, a week previously, family friends of the bride's parents.

 Their house was situated in Bayview, just around the bay from Napier and was amazing, with the added delight of  exquisite views.

Now that the accommodation was sorted there was a chance to have a look around the art deco city of Napier.... 
  In 1931 a devastating earthquake demolished much of the city but it was rebuilt in art deco style.

Every February they hold a weekend art deco festival.

On the Friday I was to visit two schools in Napier.  In the morning it was Tamatea High School, where I was taking a couple of classes, to do some creative writing.

I had a lovely morning there and there were some really interesting writers with great ideas!

In the afternoon when we arrived at Tamatea Primary School  we were met by a piper in full highland dress who started to play and walked ahead of me, leading me in a procession to where the children were all sitting beside a veranda, waiting for me.

I felt like royalty as I sat on the bench seat and listened to their kapa haka group who sang a Maori welcome -  a powhiri.  It was lovely. 

The head teacher welcomed me and told me they were having a Scottish week in honour of my coming to the school. One teacher, originally from Scotland was even wearing a white dress and tartan sash and the Head Teacher had a tartan cap on, too.

After the welcome I went to speak to two classes Yr 5/6 and told them all about Hamish McHaggis and friends.  It was a delightful afternoon.

All too soon we were heading off again, this time back to Auckland for the last three schools.


  1. You obviously experienced the very best of the wonderful Kiwi hospitality!

  2. We certainly did. Everywhere we went people were so helpful and kind.