Wynyard to Rocky Cape (via Stanley)
Distance Travelled - 157 km
Cloudy overcast skies greeted me this morning and coupled with a heavy dew overnight meant that the tent fly was quite wet with just a little seepage at the very foot of the tent although this was just on the canvas and hadn't entered the inside of the tent yet. I woke at about 6.30 am to the sound of many birds chirping and singing and then dozed on and off until about 8 am.
I had breakfast and then wandered a little trying to take a few photos of dandelions, bees and seagulls that might be reasonable before giving up and settling down to read. By just after nine the sun had still not come out and not a skerrick of wind was about so the tent had not dried at all. I packed up and headed into town.
I spent a while wandering through the streets looking at various shops and then meandered over to the info centre for the 10 am opening. It was a good day to be there as it was their 10 year anniversary. There was free coffee and cake, free entry to the vintage car museum attached to the centre and a bundle of willing helpers on board to assist with any questions.
I had a look through the car museum and was quite impressed. All the cars there are owned by one man and are all restored. The range from the 31st Model A Ford ever made through to an original Cadillac, Model T, K and N Fords. There are at least 18 cars, 3 motorbikes and few penny farthing bikes in the collection. Someone has way too much money.
After leaving the museum and info centre I went to the local library and posted my blog. Strangely, the info centre charges $2.50 per half hour to use the internet but you cannot use a thumb drive whereas the library is free and thumb drives are allowed. The people at the library were also very nice and accommodating.
Having posted the blog I planned on going back up to the tulips near the lighthouse in an attempt to get a decent photo in what I thought would be muted, overcast light but when I exited the library the sun was out and a small breeze was wafting by. I decided to delay the photography and head back to the campsite to dry out the tent. I sat in the sun and read for half an hour while the tent dried out and then headed to the tulips.
Not sure if I got any decent photos but it was enjoyable trying. I left the tulips and went back into town and took a few more tulip photos as they have quite a few sections along paths and in planter boxes with more tulips in them. Having saturated my thirst for tulip photos I finally headed out of town and made for Rocky Cape Lighthouse.
After several detours and wrong turns I eventually found the lighthouse in the 2nd section of Rocky Cape National Park and took a couple of photos of a quite uninspiring lighthouse before heading off to Stanley. The drive was pleasant enough but nothing of huge interest. I found the info centre there and was told that there was no lighthouse on the wharf and the other was on private land an inaccessible. Further discussion, prompting, questioning and chatting eventually gave me the information I was seeking. There is a miniature lighthouse on the wharf I was told but no movement on the private property one.
I went to the wharf and discovered the miniature one is actually the light and lamp room from the original lighthouse - minus the tower is all. Took a few photos and then headed up to where the other lighthouse is near to see if I could sneak a peek. No luck there - just as I got up the hill a huge sea fog came rolling in, surprisingly quickly, covering everything in sight. I moseyed on down to another tourist attraction - the Highfield buildings, and spoke to the people there. They gave me a number for the guy who owns the property the lighthouse is on but warned me that he usually does not let people out there.
I rang him shortly after and his phone was answered by someone else as he was busy with customers. I explained what I was after and was told to ring back a 8 am in the morning and John would sort something for me then. I then headed past the local fire station and found someone to chat to before heading off to find a camp for the night. I ended up back near Rocky Cape where there is a free camp site at the Rocky Cape tavern. I decided to spoil myself and not eat my own cooking tonight, instead choosing to let the tavern kitchen staff do it for me. Rissoles, chips and salad went down very nicely.
After tea I chatted to another camper who is also a keen photographer and then went for a half hour walk before settling down to write the blog, sort pictures and go to bed.
Bee and dandelion at campsite
One of the cars at the vintage car museum at Wynyard Info Centre
Looking back on the field of tulips from the lighthouse car park
Tulips in town at Wynyard
Rocky Cape Lighthouse