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A meeting with a difference

Central Hawke’s Bay Probus Club recently headed north for and overnight trip to Gisborne. Although the club offers several day trips throughout the year, this was the first over-nighter for many years – and not just for one night, but for two!

There were two main places of particular interest to entice members – a four-hour steam train trip and the Eastwoodhill Arboretum, both venues proving very popular.

Adding to the convenience for everyone was the pre-organising of all lunches for each of the trips.

Leaving Waipukurau at 8:30am, with pick-ups at Waipawa, Otane and Hastings, 35 members plus 10 guests made the trip.

First port-of-call was Café 287, Wairoa, for a pre-arranged plated meal. And talk about fresh; we had a three-minute wait for the muffins to come out of the oven! But we had arrived earlier than expected. The reception we received here, and indeed at all places visited, could not have been more welcoming.

Our accommodation at the Captain Cook Motor Lodge in Gisborne was a top choice. It was on a bed and breakfast basis with a lovely meal supplied on the Friday night preceded by happy hour, giving everyone a chance to mix and mingle.

The following morning saw us board the Gisborne Vintage Railway where everyone enjoyed a step back in time, travelling by steam. A boxed lunch prepared by the Women’s Institute was served at the two-hour break overlooking beautiful coastal views of Poverty Bay. A commentary added to the enjoyment giving historical facts of the area.

They say that all good things come to an end and it seemed no time at all before we were back in Gisborne for a short bus trip to places of interest in the town.

Saturday night was a free night and was the only added expense for the whole trip, giving members the opportunity for catching up with friends or family.

But as many were at a loose end, arrangements were made for this group to dine together at a local restaurant that could cater for a large group at short notice and our bus ferried them to and from this venue.

All too soon it was Sunday and time to check out. But before heading home we were off to the Eastwoodhill Arboretum for a walk around these world-renowned gardens and another boxed lunch before our scheduled leaving time of 2pm.

For other groups planning a trip to Gisborne we would highly recommend our accommodation and all the places visited – Tourism Eastland for the train trip. Check when booking, because in some cases the driver and/or hostess are not charged.

Our sincere thanks go to Nita Monteith for organising such a terrific trip. Not one thing was overlooked.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will be talking about the trip for many months, if not years, to come.