Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 45, September 2001
PAEROA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - COACH TOUR TO WELLINGTON (TE PAPA MUSEUM)
By Vera Mc Millan
In late 2000, it was suggested that the Society may be able to arrange a coach trip to Wellington, early in 2001. Mr Arthur Reid made contact with Mr Reg Parker, a driver for Greenline Motors Ltd. in Morrinsville, who compiled an itinerary for five days, on an air-conditioned 24-seater coach, to depart Paeroa on Monday 13 February and return Friday 16 February.
On an overcast Monday, we left Paeroa for our first overnight stay, in Fielding. We made a brief stop at Tirau, had a coffee stop at Taupo (raining) and went on to the Waiouru Army Museum for lunch. We were very impressed with all that we saw. Heading south for Fielding, we had our first glimpse of Mt.Ruapehu, still with some snow on top. Our route took us through hills and valleys (not a main highway) to Fielding, to stay at the Denbigh Hotel - a very "olde worlde" building, with a variety of rooms - some not quite as good as others (no handbasin, shower or toilet)! But we had dinner and breakfast there, which were both very nice.
Tuesday was fine, and we went on to Palmerston North, where, for an hour, we had choices of Museum and Art Gallery, NZ Rugby Museum or shopping, if you wished. We journeyed on through Shannon and Otaki to Paraparaumu, where we visited the Southward Car Museum, a very well set-up museum - a super collection of vintage and up-to-date "modern" cars. We had our lunch there. Arriving in Wellington, we checked in to the Trekkers Hotel, a "backpackers", centrally situated on Cuba and Dunlop Streets. Our time was our own for the rest of the day, so we all went our own ways - to the waterfront, cable car, visiting, shopping - whatever!
Our whole party were invited to a barbecue tea at the Khandallah home of Laurence and Bernice Gleadow, ex-Paeroa residents, and what a beautiful meal we all enjoyed. The food was marvellous and the view was fabulous, especially when the lights of the City were switched on. Laurence kindly escorted us from our Hotel and back again, so we couldn't get lost in the hills!
Wednesday was fine again and we went off to see Te Papa (the Museum of New Zealand), the main reason for our coach tour. First impressions were its size, the design and colour. Inside was an endless display of exhibits, both large and small, some interesting, some boring, and so very different from the Auckland Museum, which most of us are so familiar with. Some party members stayed several hours and others went off to sightsee some of Wellington's other attractions. But it was a very worthwhile visit, all the same.
Thursday we headed for New Plymouth, via the Ohakea Air Museum (most interesting), Hawera, and past Whanganui to the Tawhiti Pioneer Village and Pottery - an old, old factory, inside which were displayed homes, farm machinery, etc. of days gone by. A most outstanding Museum of its kind, you could see anywhere in New Zealand. Our overnight stay in New Plymouth was at the Strandon Motel. Before heading for home on Friday morning, we visited the Rainbow Pearl Factory - pearls produced from paua shellfish - very beautiful (blue-green) and very expensive! Our lunch stop was at Mokau (whitebait harbour) and out last stop was a short one at the Otorohanga Kiwi House. The weather was wet for our trip home. We had had a wonderful five days, with a great group of passengers.
Those on the coach were:
Coach Driver Reg Parker
1. Leader Arthur Reid
3. Assistant Leaders Tom and Barbara Carden
4. Dorace Mason (Barbara's sister)
5. Ken Browett (Tom's friend)
7. Ruth & Mike Worthington
9. Joan & Don Phillips
10. Mona Townshend
11. Marian Smith
13. Dale & John Wind
15. Elspeth & Gray Vuglar
16. Pauline Bramble
17. Margaret Hasnip
19. Vera & Norman McMillan
20. Audrey Young (Waihi)
22. Rae & Brick Jordan
23. Ken Firth