Gentle Annie Explorer
7-9 May 2019Download PDF Itinerary
One of our great little mini-tours, we explore the Central North Island’s lesser travelled interior, showcasing the dramatic landscapes of the Rangitikei region. We follow the Inland Patea Heritage Trail from Taihape to Napier, better known as simply the “Gentle Annie”.
Tuesday 07 May - Travelling to Taihape
With transfers arranged from Wellington, Kapiti, Wairarapa and other surrounding areas,our tour meets for an early lunch together hosted by the Coach House Museum, Feilding. Home to an outstanding collection of NZ heritage, the museum showcases our rural history with farm equipment, many restored historic vehicles, and an extraordinary collection of Horse Drawn transport. Climb aboard the horse-drawn ‘wim’ which activates a water pump and look out for the “gold” buggy – used to transport gold during the Otago gold rush.
We then head quietly over a seldom chosen scenic back road to Mangaweka, allowing impressive views from the Peep-O-Day corner (on a clear day we will see vistas including both Mt Taranaki and Mt Ruapehu). With a comfort stop en route, we explore further magnificent Rangitikei scenery as we make a quick detour stopping at the Utiku Wool Company (time permitting) before making our way back to Taihape - our final destination. Tonight we make a short transfer to a local restaurant before turning in for a well-earned rest in our bed located in “New Zealand’s Gumboot Capital”.
Wednesday 08 May - Travelling the “Gentle Annie”
Today we make the meandering scenic trip over the “Inland Patea Heritage Trail”,with plenty of stops to explore along the way. Our first stop is the tiny village of Moawhango where we are hosted by a friendly local who will provide morning tea and an insight into the area’s history, including a visit to a local church. As we continue on our way we pass several large historic North Island sheep stations including Oruamatua, Windy Point, Erewhon and Kuripapango as we travel over the famous “Gentle Annie” road climbing to some 736m above sea level. We stop along the way for the views and find a scenic spot to enjoy our picnic lunch before making our way into central Napier with its well known Art Deco features. There will be time to relax and freshen up before dining in this evening.
Thursday 09 May - History and Travelling Home
This morning we visit Woolworld at Clifton Station to enjoy morning tea,a visit to the museum and a wool and shearing show. This is a live farming show performed in and around the historic Clifton Station Woolshed. The station of 13,500 acres was bought in 1859 by James Gillespie Gordon. The station now 2000 acres (800 hectares) is owned by Angus and Dinah Gordon, whose children are the 6th generation of Gordons to live at Clifton. The woolshed itself was built in 1886 by Frank Gordon, the owner’s grandfather.
Our lunch (own cost) today is in Waipawa, with time to browse the many antique and collectible shops at our own leisure before we visit the Central Hawkes Bay Settlers Museum (included), housed in the historic Bank of New Zealand building. Finally, we make the journey back to Woodville/Palmerston North, allowing the group to disperse, after fond farewells, to home locations.
The cost of the tour includes
- Good quality motel and hotel accommodation
- 2 course or buffet dinners
- All breakfasts
- Morning teas
- All coach travel
- Picnic lunch Day 2
- Coach House Museum – lunch and guided tour
- Moawhango Village – morning tea and local guide
- Woolworld, Clifton Station, morning tea, museum entry & wool and shearing show
- Central Hawkes Bay Settlers Museum, Waipawa - entry