Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to stay with friends in their lovely home in Whanganui. What a great weekend it was. A friend picked me up early from work on Friday so we could avoid the Auckland traffic and enjoy a couple of beers at the airport before jumping on the plane. After possibly one too many beers we boarded the plane and very quickly made friends with the guys in the row in front of us and kept most of the passengers very amused the whole way (it was an intimate little plane). Something about buying houses, finding a good bar to drink in with lots of homeowners had us in stitches for a long time.
One of our kind hosts picked us up from the airport and took us straight to the supermarket so we could purchase more alcohol. Whanganui New World had the jackpot of wine selections – they sold BOTH of my faves. These days it’s getting harder to find one or the other depending on the supermarket and the last supermarket I went in to with the biggest selection of wine ever had neither!
We had dinner and a few drinks at a lovely neighbours house before settling in for many many laughs and quite a few drinks at the friends’ home.
The next day we drove round Whanganui looking at houses for sale, eating lunch at the Citadel – a very groovy café, walked through an amazing succulent garden many residents had got together and planted. After dinner we did the real “Netflix and Chill” – I don’t have Netflix so it was cool to see what all the fuss is about.
For a treat on our last day we got taken out to an amazing garden in the countryside. On the way we stopped at the recycling centre – you have to do your own recycling in Whanganui. There was an impressive mural on the fence made out of recycled bottle tops.
Last stop before the garden was for a coffee from a funky coffee shop called Article, which sold groovy second hand stuff. I really wanted to stay for a while and soak it all in, plus wander around the glass blowing gallery next door, but we had no time for such luxuries – we were on a mission to get out to the gardens and have a wee picnic.
The Paloma Gardens were awesome – fascinating, clever, unusual and beautiful. There is a large glasshouse with many types of cacti.
There’s even a Garden of Death, not my favourite thing but I have to admit it was a very clever concept and well done.
There is an unusual conservatory type area with chandeliers and a peacock.
Unusual art, beautiful flowers and pottery is everywhere – you could walk for hours to try and see everything but we did a short walk.
Then… just when I thought I’d seen everything the garden had to offer, we crossed to the other side of the driveway and found a fabulous setting for a wedding.
The fence near the entrance has lots of cool phrases painted on it, so even the driveway is fun.
On the way back to town we stopped at a local pub for a beer and a bite to eat. Then we went to the Wintergarden and lake to feed the ducks rice – because apparently bread is bad for them, but the ducks don’t know that and didn’t seem all that excited about the rice.
Then it was time to go home. The flight home was very quiet and subdued compared to the flight down. But it was on a really old plane which I’m sure had been borrowed from an aircraft museum, it was very cool though and quite spacious.