September 15, 2015 … on the backroads

Yesterday Mary suggested a day in the Wairarapa.


Just North of Masterton, looking West to the Tararuas with a lingering trace of snow

As a province, the Wairarapa lacks a publicly acknowledged focus for tourism. Of course there are the Tararuas, and Castlepoint and  the vineyards, but nothing to bring the crowds like Rotorua or Queenstown. On the one hand, it may be a good thing so that the citizens of the province can continue in the quiet and unspoiled enjoyment of their home. No matter where I look in the Wairarapa there are delightful pastoral views.

Mt Bruce

There was bird song, and allegedly birds in the cages, but the beauty of the bush was some compensation

We went to the Pukaha Mt Bruce nature reserve. In retrospect, doing it the day after a trip to Zealandia was bound to lead to disappointment. Make no mistake, it is a beautiful place with delightful walks on well maintained paths through fantastic bush.


These are female New Zealand Long-fin eels, waiting for the daily feed

Unlike Zealandia, its bird exhibits are in cages whereas those in Wellington fly free. Like a certain branch of alternative medicine, the cages may or may not have contained one of the birds named on the label. Their presence is elusive and of the eight or nine cages you may or may not get to see one of the birds. But, even if you do, shooting through wire is vastly unsatisfactory. The kaka (bush parrot) is an exception, perhaps because they are simply too big to hide.  The stream that flows through the sanctuary is a breeding ground for the New Zealand Long Fin eel. They have spooky blue eyes. The star attraction at Pukaha is the very rare white kiwi named “Manukura”, and since that is in a glass enclosure with night lighting, and we got a good view of her and her mate, “Turua”.


A relic of the dinosaur era, the tuatara. His tail is draped on the other side of the log.

Another interesting display in the centre is the Tuatara. This is New Zealand’s most celebrated reptile which has been on Earth for approximately 200 million years.


A small lake near Mauriceville

We chose to take a scenic route home. The Opaki-Kaiparoro road starts a little North of Mt Bruce and then winds through the hill country to the East. The road runs more or less parallel to SH2 and rejoins it close to Masterton.  It passes through the tiny settlements of Mauriceville and Kopuaranga. At Mauriceville, there is a school, and an agricultural limeworks. At one time there was a dairy factory, but the nearest one now is at Pahiatua. There is nothing there, but it there seem to be twenty or so dwellings in the town. The nearest shopping centre is a half hour drive away, but if you have to live in isolation, this is a pretty place in which to do it.

That’s it for now.


About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Animals, Birds, Lakes, Landscapes, Masterton. Bookmark the permalink.

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