Waking up to expectations
It's been a cold and dreary month here in little ole New Zealand. So we decided to take advantage of the recent snowfall around the country and go for a wee drive out to Apiti for the greatly promised Snow Hunt. We woke up with great expectations that this was the day we were going to Find Snow, looked outside only to find the sun shining brightly and bold blue skies taunting us.
Nevertheless, we dug out our gloves, hats and jackets, jumped in Agatha (my faithful wee car) and set out for the day filled with anticipation. We stopped off in Feilding to pick up some friends then headed towards the general direction of the Ruahine Ranges where our chance of finding snow was greatly increased.
I was starting to lose hope as we drove further out. Everything was too green and not nearly white enough. After about 20 minutes we arrived in Kimbolton, a small rural town that boasts a pub AND a cafe. Practically a metropolis. We saw little pockets of snow dotted along the road so our hopes lifted slightly as the temperature dropped. After a quick stop for a mini snow fight, we determinedly set off again.
Off to Apiti
As we wound around and down into the rolling hills we saw snow more and more frequently. By the time we hit Apiti the ground was like a Christmas postcard (not a New Zealand Christmas postcard, as New Zealand has Christmas in summer), delight filled the car. I haven't been to the snow in years so I was like a kid on their birthday. Mildly excited...
Apiti is another rural town, this one nestled amongst the hills and is a gateway to the Ruahine Ranges. If you like hiking (or tramping as we call it here), the Ruahine Ranges is a must. There are many different tracks to walk ranging from shorter ones to multi-day ones all in untamed wild New Zealand bush. I've been up a couple of times since I arrived back home in March, I have posts planned for those in the coming months. You can check out my latest post of Rangiwahia Hut here.
We parked down a side street and made a beeline for the snow. Miss 9 had never felt snow before, she was surprised at how crunchy and wet it felt and Mr 11 hasn't been to the snow since he was a wee babby so he was racing back and forwards skidding into the ground and hurling snowballs at everyone.
We settled down to make snowmen but I quickly lost interest and went for a wander while my friends stayed on snowmen building duties. The little town looked very picturesque with the snow covered rolling hills in the background and gardens snuggled in a blanket of white. It was very peaceful walking around the deserted streets with just the occasional farm animal looking out from behind a fence. Possibly wondering where all the grass had gone.
When I said Apiti was a rural town, I mean, it is very rural! The town is filled with paddocks nestled amongst the occasional house and the main street consists of farms and a pub. It would be called a village if it were anywhere else in the world. But for some reason, we don't really call small towns villages here.
A stroll around town
Once the fun of the snowman building and snow fight wore off there was only one thing left to do. Snow Angels. Obviously. After our slightly lopsided angels were in full flight we went for a stroll around the deserted roads. Apiti is a proud farming town and the theme is carried throughout the streets with bits of rusting machinery resting in retirement between the houses and sheds. I would say shops but the only places we saw was an information centre, a school and a pub. At least the people of Apiti have their priorities right.
All adventured out
On the way back home after we were all snowed out, we stopped off again in Kimbolton at Hansen's Cafe. They have the best-tasting pizza this side of Italy and lovely steaming hot chocolates to warm our bellies. We had planned on going up Mount Ruapehu to visit the snow. However, the bad weather meant the roads were all closed. Apiti was a fantastic Plan B with some wonderful memories to take away and treasure.
Sometimes it's not about the big, exciting places. It's the little ones with good company, lots of laughs, car music (with enthusiastically loud off key singing) and anticipation. These make for valuable experiences to deposit into the memory bank, in my humble opinion, the most important bank.