Part of the reason we scheduled two days/nights here in Wrangerei was to give us plenty of time to get over jet lag, rest and recover. Since our bodies have absolutely no idea what time zone we’re in, we awoke around 6 a.m. and were pretty much wide awake. It being Sunday, we checked out some churches around town and decided to attend a Bible Fellowship service just down the road from our hotel. We were warmly greeted at the door and subsequently got a shout out from the pulpit …. cool. The service was Biblical and vibrant – we enjoyed the Chris Tomlin songs during the song service and were interested to note several congregants jumping to the beat much like attendees at rock concerts do [Gerry and I did not join in that activity — : ) ] . We were sought out by several folks during the greeting time, one being a gal who had attended a Christian conference at Calvin a number of years ago! Seems Calvin has a very long reach ….
We’ve been having some challenges w/our electrical items (We did bring an adapter, but it was left over from our time in Germany and the European fittings are NOT those used in New Zealand.). One of the folks we met at church gave us good advice on where we could find an effective NZ adapter, so that took us to downtown Wangerei. Once there, we strolled the entire length of the Town Basin (actually a large marina filled w/large gorgeous sailboats, many with call signs from the States — we saw one from Sioux Falls, SD, and another from MA.), stopping now and then to enjoy the view(s) and to nose around in the shops.
Gerry’s guidebook extolled Wangerei Falls as the “most picturesque falls in all of NZ”, so that was our next stop (Rest and recovery indeed!). We enjoyed the hike down to and back from the base of the falls (Gerry found the volcanic columnar joints of particular interest.).
One more stop to completely fill our day: near Wangerei (about 20 miles away) is NZ’s only oil refinery. Not surprisingly, this spot doesn’t get many stars in the guidebooks, but we found our visit there to be very informative and totally engrossing. On the drive to the refinery, we passed through serious dairy farm country – as it was early evening on the way back, the dairy cows were all out for their evening grazing. We could not resist a stop to appreciate a Brown Swiss herd – great memories of the milkers I knew and loved while growing up in ND.
Our hotel room’s kitchenette has come in very handy these past two evenings as we’ve cooked our own dinner right here. It’s a much more laid-back way to end the day rather than navigate the restaurant choices, deciding where to go and what to eat. Coming “home” to the option of a nice cool beer followed by a simple meal rounds out our days nicely.