We took a wrong turn trying to get out of Martinborough and went well out of our way before deciding to turn around. The good news is that it was beautiful and we got to see New Zealand’s first windmill farm! Silver lining, anyone?!
Once we were on the right path, we headed towards Hastings. We made a pit stop at Tui Brewery thinking that we’d “taste” a few beers. However, Tui’s tastings are 1/2 beers. So, we ordered the “6 beer tasting,” which was 3 full beers if combined. Needless to say, we were there much longer than expected! Both of us took full advantage of the free WiFi and we ordered a small pizza. We were sure to charge our devices, too. At the end of the tasting, we got free mugs and were super excited about it!
We were on the road again and made it to Hastings with time to hit up a few vineyards. Yay!! The first one we stopped at, Hawkes Ridge Wine Estate, was owned be the couple serving us and they were so great! They told us all about how the winery came to be and how their son went back to school so he could produce the wines. They were able to retire, return to New Zealand after many years, and operate a lovely vineyard because of their kids. Mark and I hope that our children are as amazing when we’re old. The other two wineries didn’t leave us feeling nearly as cozy as Hawkes Ridge and we both wished we had bought more wine off of the lovely couple there. Lesson learned!
After the tastings, we went to a farmer’s market to stock up on some fruits for the remainder of the trip. Mark couldn’t resist the big bag of apples and the firewood was super enticing, too. A fire sounded all kinds of delightful to me and I’d seen quite a few “fire-friendly” signs for campgrounds. Of course, when we went back to find those places, I couldn’t find anything that I’d seen before! Just my luck….
Instead, we drove to the local Holiday Park with hopes of snagging a cheap parking spot, but that didn’t happen. They charged $36 for no electricity and $38 for electricity. What?! No thanks! As an alternative, I found Clifton Beach Reserve, and it looked promising!
We got there after dark, but stopped at the grocery store for dinner items: cheese and summer sausage. Random side note: Mark went over a speed bump at race car speed and I think we may have been airborne. It was incredibly hilarious. So, so funny!
Trying out our feijoa chutney from Martinborough!
It was a little chilly and I needed to be cozy!
Once at the reserve, we parked practically in the ocean, had our “dinner” with some wine and listened as the waves broke on the shore. This place was free!! Pure bliss.
The next morning, we took in the view and basked in the glory that is New Zealand.