The Resurrected Rotorua Run
by Philip Meyer
The story of the name of this run is now irrelevant and adds nothing to the excitement, the adventure, the adrenaline, the fun that was generated.
It started on the Thursday night, the 6th of November, 2014 at the regular meeting of our Auckland Group. There were several decisions made at that meeting, none of which add any spice, innuendo, or serious facts that would affect the event. Which means that our story is now able to start at 10.30 a.m. on Friday 7"‘ November, only half an hour late, so it was only half a lecture that I received from my travelling companion — also known as Judy, also known as Mrs. Meyer.. The executive decision had been made to travel via Tahuna, Matamata; the sub- executive decision had been made to lunch at Tirau, however the executive revelation that the selected route included by-passing that place, to the disbelief of the sub-executive (also known as Judy).
So Tirau was by-passed and we lunched at Okoroire Pub. And with lunch came reinforcement for my argument that the P76 Club should be renamed P76 Diners Club — as you will realize as this story progresses. Having ﬁlled our stomachs there, it was evident that by Mamaku lunch was deﬁcient in that fruit had been omitted from the menu and as Mamaku is home to blueberries, some of which are made into blueberry icecream, so it was necessary to make a stop there. And buy some of the aforementioned product. And consume it. So, my natural curiosity was aroused as to what else might be at Mamaku — and all we found was that there is an alternative route to Ngongotaha, which of course we took and which of course contained one of those brown tourist signs that said “Wingspan”.
Thinking, as you do, of motors, av—gas, ﬁxed wings, air ports and other likely man—made ﬂying objects. Bugger me, it was NZ native falcons that they train to release, after injury, back into the wild. And there is a flying display at 2.00 p.m. every day. The best $20.00 value excitement so far today. So we arrived at the motel early enough to be the ﬁrst of the group to arrive. One of my cousins had recently relocated to Rotorua, so we took the opportunity to pay him a visit. When we arrived back at the motel we were delighted to find that there was already a Red P76 in the carpark. The second of the group had arrived. But, hey, a red P, don’t know many red ones. It didn’t take long to discover that it was Wally and Tanya Reid. They were accompanied by Daisy. And I really think that it was Daisy who wanted to come the most, probably drove the car, as well. Pretty good for a fox terrier eh?
The next to arrive was the Yellow P76 of Alex Reid, along with Robert and Pauline, followed closely by the Blue P76 of Dave and Skippy (Maria) Timms and the Maroon P76 of Mike and Annette King. This made up our party for the night so we adjourned to the RSA for dinner. Now, you are aware that dining is a high priority for this event, nobody went home hungry, let me assure you, and that includes Daisy.
Saturday morning gave us a cloud—free blue sky and the opportunity to launch our day of adventure by 9.30 a.m. And if you think I have overlooked something, you are right. Some of us needed food called breakfast. Of course. Again, nobody missed out, that I know of, anyway.
It started off moving in a clockwise direction around Lake Rotorua — reminding me of the ﬁve (5) times when I jogged/ran/sprinted the same course a few years back. However this day we turned left to stop at Okere Falls, the site of the World’s Highest Falls that are Rafted, and Rafting we did see, some of them became so excited or maybe brassed off, that they threw their paddles away. It certainly gives meaning to the expression “up a creek without a paddle”.
Well, all that physical activity and excitement brought on a surge of hunger — but worry not, dear reader, solace was just around the corner in the form of OFS, as their teatowels (only $10.00) said: Okere Falls and I forget what the S stood for. Morning tea, they called it: muffins, biscuits, sandwiches, pies, tea, coffee, coke — just barely enough to stave off hunger until lunchtime. Right, back on the road to ﬁnd the Redwoods Forest. Another alternative name for the P76 Owners Club could well be P76 Tree Huggers Incorporated. There is photographic evidence that supports this suggestion. So we left all the well—loved trees and headed towards Lake Tarawera, with a short and unscheduled detour to Lake Okareka — caused, I notice, by the Tour Leader who broke the ONLY Rule (which he had made) for the weekend, namely Rule Number One: There Will Be No Talking and No Laughing. Anyway, we arrived at Lake Tarawera where we were just in time to make our lunch-time booking at The Landing. A bit of a change in the menu, Seafood Chowder (which I wondered about, being on a lake), Chicken Curry, Terakihi Fish of the Day (again, I wondered which Day — that’s the Lake thing, again) or Pizza. I wondered if it would be enough to see us through to Afternoon Tea, but I think it did. At this stage there was a minor re—arrangement of plan, resulting in the next 100km stage being cancelled. But I was allowed to have my request for a visit to my friend, who is also my car upholsterer and who has a bit of a batch on the lakefront, with a bit of a shed to hold a couple of his toys. (He is a mad-keen restorer of odd-ball type vehicles, for example, Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper S, Isetta, Fiat Bambina wagon and his two latest acquisitions, a Mini “Woody” and ﬁve Subaru 360’s (yes, that’s the two cylinder two-stroke — in fact he had to buy five to get enough bits to make one driveable one. Probably that’s the whole of NZ’s stock.)
So it was straight past the Buried Village, we did have a stop, by demand of all of our members for a photo opportunity at the Blue and Green Lakes Lookout before continuing on to the Museum and Government Gardens. Followed by Happy Hour at the motel, followed, by, wait for it ......... .. dinner. Which turned out to be a very happy affair and because of all the practice and training that had been going on, we were able to consume everything that was put in front of us.
Sunday morning followed all too quickly and the group split into two, depending on whether you wanted to visit the Car Show at Tauranga or the Hydro Dams on the Waikato River — I didn’t see anybody trying to do both.
The weekend was a credit to our organizer (Alex) and the Members who participated, and Don and Elva and Edward and Annette who attended on Saturday and Sunday.
So goodbye from the Blue and Green lakes and us Leylancl people who have so much fun. L to R we see Jude, Robert, Maria, Dave, Pauline, Annette, Alex and Philip. Looks somewhat like "It ain't half hot Mum”!