January 2, 2024 Tapawera (Day 97)

A cool cloudy day today, lots to do on the computer to arrange the next major step in our travels in 3 months, so we stayed in for half a day. We ventured out to the nearest grocery store, over the gravel road through a pine forest to Tapawera, a small town with a convenience store. It’s also a stop on the Great Taste Trail so we checked out the signposts about the trail and noticed a small museum across from the store.

The small museum is in the old Kiwi town railroad station.

The Nelson railway was a lifeline for the area, taking goods from the farms to the port in Nelson from the late 1880’s until 1955. This is about all that is left of the line. A protest against the demolition of the line was staged by women who sat on the tracks, resulting in 9 women being accused of communism and arrested! Inside the small building to the left are signboards about the impact of WW1 on the area, with many men leaving for the war.The larger building holds information about the Paheka history of the area, the miners, farmers, loggers and trainmen. We didn’t get much time to look at it as a gentleman came to lock up the buildings, but a few things caught our eye!

The area where we drive over the gravel road, past the old Stanley Brook school, circa late 1880’s? The school doesn’t look like the one we pass, maybe modified over the years?

The hills are covered with pine trees, obviously not native, and planted in rows; forest plantations. Started way back in the 1920’s when the native forest had been logged off or burned to make pastureland, which subsequently proved poor for that use and began eroding. Forest plantations were thought to be the answer.

No wonder we sometimes get Oregon vibes, Doug firs!

Back over the gravel road to the peace of the B&B garden!

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