4 min read

postcards from wanganui

postcards from wanganui

it’s probably obvious to most of you by now that i’m not particularly good with words. i type a few things, delete them. start again. then delete again. that’s why i write postcardsfrom, not lettersfrom!

my experiences in Whanganui; spending time with family, meeting Anne-Marie, heading out to the Pohangina valley to have lunch with Pete McGregor are all far too fabulous for my limited vocabulary to describe.

so, as usual, i’ll share some photographs with you instead…. and a delicious, and dead easy, recipe for scones (which Pete made us for lunch when we visited)


I went tubing (that’s me at the right-hand end) with nic, three of my brothers, and six of my nieces & nephews down the river for a couple of hours. topped off by a lot of mud sliding into the river by anyone with a wetsuit on. hilarious.

i hadn’t seen a couple of my brothers for about 8 years, so i followed them around a lot; just wanting to hang out with them and do whatever they were doing. one night they went golfing, taking Nic along to play, making up their own rules.

i got to hang out with – and get to know a little – some of my nieces and nephews. some of them were just babies when we left, and don’t remember me all that well. this tears me up just a little bit, knowing i am missing out on so much of their lives. i’m intending not to leave it so long until i see them again.

my brother Vivian has a friend with a farm and horses. we had dinner with them and took a few of the girls horse-riding. it’s been years since i’ve been on a horse and it was the first time for at least one of my nieces.

this is the whanganui river further upstream. we took my parents on a jetboat ride up to the bridge to nowhere. stunning day for it! nic has some more great photos from the day here.

this is a swingbridge, walking the track to the bridge to nowhere. that’s nic and my mother you can see on the left. we had to leave my father back by the river as he’s not well enough to do the walk. he had supplies (homebaking, tea etc) and had made friends with some other travellers by the time we got back!

imagine rounding a corner in the bush to see this! the bridge was built across the mangapurua gorge to provide access to an area where the government was opening up land in 1917 for pioneering farmers, mainly soldiers who had returned from WW1. the intention was to build roads to it later, but the area proved to be so remote and unsuitable for farming that the venture failed and the farms reverted to native bush.

i’m pretty sure both my parents had a great day out!


L&P Scones

Lemon & Paeroa (L&P) is a quintessentially NZ fizzy drink – you can substitute with lemonade/sprite.

4x 250ml cups self-raising flour
1 can (333ml) L&P (or fizzy lemonade)
200ml cream

Mix all ingredients together to form a soft dough.
Shape into scones and bake in a 225 degC oven until risen and golden brown.
Serve warm with jam and whipped cream

Pete says (thanks Pete!):
– I usually leave a bit of L&P in the can until I know how the mixture’s coming together — it’s easier to add the remaining L&P than more flour;
10–15 minutes should be about right, depending on your oven and how closely you’ve spaced the scones (I like to keep them close together so they join but can be easily broken apart — your photo shows it well);
– Scone dough needs to be handled very lightly. Never roll it out; pat it into shape with your fingertips and lightly with the heel of your hand.