At Wallingford with Wonderwoman

Wonderwoman being Jen. She’s the one in the photo with Alfie, her dog. She’s absolutely amazing. She pretty much runs Wallingford Homestead on her own with the help of  Charlotte the chef and her helper Sue,  but it’s really all about Jen.

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Jen outside Wallingford Homestead
Jen outside Wallingford Homestead

We had all driven down during the day from Clifton beach and we’re staying the night in the carpark after spending the evening there. Wallingford house is a special place and we were all looking forward to it.

The Tracher, Rafe and Rosie outside Wallingford
The Tracker, Rafe and Rosie outside Wallingford

Wallingford Homestead was built in 1831 by Jen’s late husbands great great great great(not sure how many generations) grandfather JD Ormond.

Rosie, Rafe and the Tracker outside Wallingford
Rosie, Rafe and the Tracker outside Wallingford

Jen and her late husband John moved to what was pretty much a derelict and rundown homestead 15 years or so ago and gave it some real love and turned it into what it is today. She showed us a picture of it with trees growing out it.
On 1800 acres with a full sheep farm and Truffles too, it is now 1400 square feet and comes with 14 bedrooms and numerous bathrooms.

It is used as one of the local meeting places for the locals in the area on a regular basis, the local hunt club and others too.

We arrived early (too early) and parked out of the way until a 70th birthday wrapped up with its 50 visitors. Around 4pm, all 7 of us were sitting in Rafe in pouring rain, having cups of tea when Jen knocked on the door and popped in to say she had prepared the poolhouse for a few drinks. The fire was going, some nice piped classical music, the pool was warm and Alfie the dog wanted to play. A great start to the day. Gary spent half an our or so entertaining Alfie with a ball before pouring some bubbly.

WallingfordAn hour or so later, Jen popped over and we got to enjoy this huge fire in the lounge and then into the dining room. It was just like we’d stepped into a history book with Trophy Cups and old pictures and family collectables all around us.

Helen, Fiona and Dianne enjoying the ambience and fire
Helen, Fiona and Dianne enjoying the ambience and fire

Charlotte came out to carve a beast and with Jen, they presented a beautiful country home cooked meal for all of us. It was out of this world.

Us tucking in.. L to R, Helen, Fiona, Rob, Chloe, Dianne and Gary
Us tucking in.. L to R, Helen, Fiona, Rob, Chloe, Dianne and Gary

After tea, Jen gave us a tour around this huge house. It was really something special and I felt very lucky to be invited into their home. Just a wonderful experience and Jen was just the perfect hostess.

Wallingford is about 29k’s south of Waipukarau in the central Hawkes Bay.

Rafe's Track to Wallingford
Rafe’s Track to Wallingford

There was no internet or cell phone reception but you can get wifi from Jen if you’re staying there.

At one with the Elephant

The first night had gone well at Clifton Beach and it was time to go and play.  After walks down the road and along the beach, it was time to get ready for a lunch that we’d booked at Elephant Hill Vineyard which is just across the road.

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Looking out towards Cape Kidnappers
Looking out towards Cape Kidnappers

We were perfectly positioned to take advantage of our primo parking place at Clifton.  There was half an hour to go before our pre booked check in time so that was well spent checking out some really nice wines.

Dianne, Helen and Fiona walking to the vineyard.
Dianne, Helen and Fiona walking to the vineyard.
Elephant Hill Vineyard
Elephant Hill Vineyard

The weather was prefect, the food beautiful, the wine fantastic, great company so what more good you ask for 🙂

A cell phone pic.. L to R, Rob, Helen, Chloe, Dianne, Me, Gary and Fiona
A cell phone pic.. L to R, Rob, Helen, Chloe, Dianne, Me, Gary and Fiona

It is also Motorhome friendly for those who want to park there for a couple of hours while you have lunch.

Gary taking photos of the vineyard
Gary taking photos of the vineyard

The combination of Clifton Beach parking and Elephant Hill Vineyard.. A perfect match for when you’re in Napier.

Happy New Year

Fiona and I arrived in Rafe at 3pm and set off up the hill to find our park. We couldn’t believe the park we’d been given for the next two nights but it would have to go down as one of the best parking spots ever.  The image above shows Gary and Dianne enjoying the view from right in front of Rosie.

Our wee spot in the world Rafe, Rosie and the Tracker
Our wee spot in the world. Rafe, Rosie and the Tracker

The view looked right out over the Castlepoint Beach and lighthouse. After meeting our immediate neighbours who very kindly gave us a some freshly caught Groper and a crayfish, Gary and Dianne arrived  in Rosie and then Rob, Helen and Chloe not long after. They were thrilled with the park too.

Nice fish bites from our neighbour cooked on the induction cooker.
Nice fish bites from our neighbour cooked on the induction cooker.
Ready for New Year
Ready for New Year

As it was blowing quite hard, we decided to  set up the induction cooker like you would a BBQ as there were no flames to blow around.. It did the trick nicely with the fish and later Fiona’s curry for our tea.

A great night watching the fireworks over the beach.

Diane, Gary, Fiona, Helen and Rob
Diane, Gary, Fiona, Helen and Rob

Thanks you all for supporting us here and we hope you have a great year for 2017.