Part 1…Taranaki Pioneer Village..History at it best in this region…Here comes the judge!…And, the witness…

Tom stood on the witness stand in the old courthouse at the Taranaki Pioneer Village, a style that may be seen in more modern-day courthouses throughout the world. See the story and more photos below.
It’s been days since we walked in the neighborhood to visit our favorite cows, bulls, and sheep nor walked the muddy distance to the paddocks where the other alpacas are grazing or where Mont Blanc and his mom are located in hopes of improving his precarious health.


What a wonderful view of Mount Taranaki as we made our way out of town.

Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t bored or annoyed with the much-needed rain. Seeing the mountains, hills and grass grow greener each day only means more nutrition for the grazing animals and growth of fall seasonal vegetables on local farms.

This sign grabbed our attention while we traveled along Highway 3.

Speaking of the fall season, the clocks changed here overnight, “fall back” not  “spring forward” as recently occurred in the US and other parts of the world that observe Daylight Savings Time. 

The entrance to the Taranaki Pioneer Village.

Here in the South Pacific, it’s been awfully dark upon arising each morning. Now, we’ll be able to adapt to brighter mornings and earlier evening darkness. 

It’s still a bit odd to us, these time and entire day differences. In a mere 13 months, we’ll be on our way back to the US and everything will change. Luckily, sailing across the seas makes the transition less noticeable at a one hour change each night. 

It was interesting to read about the historical buildings.

To date, we’ve yet to experience any major “jet lag” after crossing many time zones on cruises and flights. In almost every case, we adjusted within 24 to 48 hours with only our waking times feeling a bit disrupted.

Continuing on with stories and photos of recent sightseeing, today we begin sharing photos from a visit to the Taranaki Pioneer Village. We stumbled upon this unplanned popular tourist location when we spotted a sign as we drove on the highway. 

Many of the antiques ranged over a 100 year period such as this doctor scale, table, and clock in the visitors center.

It was worth checking out the village, as Tom quickly whipped into the parking lot. With few cars in the lot we wondered if it was open, let alone curious as to what a pioneer village has to offer.

World War I nurse’s uniform located in the visitors center with a old scale to the left.

With the intent of preserving the history of New Zealand, the Taranaki Pioneer Village is an ideal sightseeing location for both adults and children. Following is a description from their website:

“Welcome to Taranaki Pioneer Village!

Open every day from 10 am to 4 pm at Stratford South in Central Taranaki. Open at other times by arrangement.

Phone 06 765 5399

Taranaki Pioneer Village on State Highway 3, just south of Stratford in Central Taranaki, offers 10 acres of Taranaki Heritage. Take a nostalgic stroll through yesteryear and experience an outdoor museum presenting the life of Taranaki pioneers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – recall childhood memories and introduce ‘the good old days’ to the younger generation”

A major central Taranaki visitor attraction that appeals to all ages with modern amenities which contrast with a ‘stepping back in time’ experience as visitors enter village main street.”

Most buildings on the site were moved from other locations in the Taranaki Region to preserve them in one central location such as this building from the Opunake Railway Station, more railroad “stuff” to appeal to Tom.  This miniature train is used to transport visitors through the grounds. We preferred to walk on a beautiful day.

Upon entering the visitors center, we were warmly greeted by two staff members who seemed delighted to see us, a woman at the reception desk where we happily paid the senior entrance fee of NZ $10 per person, US $6.90 per person, and a man who was equally a wealth of information about the venue.

We entered this old courthouse. With no one in sight, we took advantage of a few photo ops as shown below.

We could have spent hours talking to them about New Zealand history but after a half-hour or so, we decided to move along to see what the Taranaki Pioneer Village had to offer and take photos while it was still bright and sunny.

During our entire several hour mid-week tour of the village, we never saw any other tourists. It was pleasant having the entire 10-acre site to ourselves. We imagine it would be busy over the weekends and holidays.

Tom teased me when I sat in the judge’s chair behind the big desk.

Over the next few days, we’ll be posting both exterior and interior photos of the interesting historical buildings we visited including businesses, a hospital, and a variety of homes. Also, we had a funny animal encounter for which we took a video we’ll soon post which may appeal to our “animal lovers” readers.

May your day bring you unexpected humor and laughter.

Photo from one year ago today, April 3, 2015:

This was the view as we began our daily walk in the neighborhood in Kauai over a four-month period. For more Kauai photos, please click here.

Part 1…Road trip…Many new photos on a perfect day!

The sign outside the Fonterra Cheese Factory and retail store in Eltham, New Zealand.

With many cloudy days over these past few months, getting out to explore on a sunny day has been limited.  When any particular day started sunny, we’d plan to head out as soon as we finished posting. Invariably, by the time we’ve completed the post around 11:00 am, the clouds would start rolling in and we’d change our plans, hoping for another day.

As I’ve mentioned on many occasions, I don’t like taking photos on cloudy days. I’m just not that good of a photographer to do a great job, nor do I have an interest in spending hours editing dark photos, as more talented photographers may choose to tackle.

There are several refrigerated cases with a wide array of New Zealand made and Fonterra Cheese Factory made cheeses. We only purchased cheese made at the factory when we can easily purchase the others at the local grocery stores.

Based on the fact that we take over 10,000 photos a year, spending time editing photos could take a few more hours each day. When we don’t usually finish posting until around 11:00 am seven days a week, adding a few more hours editing photos each day would definitely cut into the time we prefer to spend doing other things.

Yesterday morning, awakening to a totally clear sky without a single cloud in sight, we knew it was a good day to get out. I hurried through the post using all new photos (most often all of our photos are new unless referencing a past experience), hung a load of laundry on the line and we were out the door before 11:00 am.

We’d never seen these “fruit pastes” which most likely are jam type items.

Over the past few months, we’ve had a few places in mind, we hoped to visit; the Fonterra Cheese Factory in Eltham and also the town of Stratford, fashioned with a Shakespearean theme. As it turned out we saw much more which we’ll share over these next several days.

Small jars of a variety of locally made chutneys, mustards and sauces.  In reviewing the ingredient’ list on these items, most contained sugar or starches.

Actually, over a month ago, we headed out with the same two towns in mind getting sidetracked, which resulted in a visit to Mount Taranaki which took most of the day. We decided we’d visit Eltham and Stratford another time, but only on a sunny day.

It’s a good thing we chose yesterday for the visit to these two towns since this morning, it was again cloudy as shown in this morning’s photo below. We weren’t disappointed when it stayed clear and cool all day, a perfect day for an outing.

We were happy we decided to go on yesterday’s road trip when this morning, it was cloudy and now raining.

The furthest of the two towns is Eltham where the well known cheese factory is located. Keeping in mind that cheese is one of the few treats I can eat, a plan to visit a factory with a wide array of locally made cheeses has been of particular interest in our worldwide travels.

This was only the third such occasion when we visited a cheese factory/specialty store; one in Belize as shown in this post and on another occasion when we visited Rusty’s Market, a huge farmers market and tourist attraction in Cairns, Australia, to find an extensive cheese vendor on site which prompted us to purchase a huge amount of exotic cheeses as shown in this post.

If we had more time before leaving New Plymouth, we’d surely have purchased one of these avocado oils.

Its not as if we can make an outing for food items other travelers may find worth a long drive; a special restaurant, a popular ice cream parlor or a bakery known for its sweets and bread. 

For our way of eating only these specialty venues work for us including a farmer’s market for fresh produce; a grass fed meat market; a fish wholesaler open to the public; a cheese factory or distributor; and a health food store.

Locally made oils.

When there’s an opportunity to visit any of these types of shops we’re as excited to do so as others may be when there’s “food on a stick” at a state fair or visiting a special restaurant known for foods that don’t work for us.

Yesterday, was no exception when we entered the Fonterra Cheese Factory. Although many of their options in the refrigerated displays were New Zealand made cheeses one may find at the local grocery stores, we asked the staff person to point out the cheeses that were made exclusively at their factory. No tours are offered or we’d definitely have participated.

Old newspaper articles about the cheese factory in Eltham.

After spending NZ $41, US $28, we were surprised how much we actually purchased. We didn’t go overboard in our purchase considering we’ll be leaving New Plymouth two weeks from tomorrow. 

Our day consisted of many more surprises delightful experiences as we continued on our day long tour of the exquisite countryside. We even encountered some funny animals during our fun filled day. More on that yet to come.

We purchased five packages of cheese including that huge round of Brie. I ate part of the smoked Havarti in the car while Tom ate this mint ice cream bar.  We were “out and about” when there are no “rules”  or comments from me on what he chooses to eat. He said it wasn’t that good after all.

May you share experiences with others, whether big or small, with enthusiasm and joy in your heart.

Photo from one year ago today, March 31, 2015:

A lazy day sitting under a tree with a cold beverage and good book is all many visitors to Kauai require for a glorious vacation. Not everyone is into adventure hikes and sightseeing. Many tourists come to the islands to get away from a “must do” lifestyle preferring to relax and unwind. Lounging on the beach, dining in a popular restaurants and drinking Mai Tai’s is all some travelers need for the perfect vacation. For more details, please click here.