The Great Southern Rally 2010

By Ivan And Mary Cutcheon

We left Dannevirke about 6.30 am on the 10th march to catch the 10.30 am, Cook Strait ferry.

We went via the Wairarapa over the Rimutuka ranges to get to Wellington. Just out of Carterton we had a fuel problem, blocked needle valve, fixed that, then dash pots started to stick, sorted that, and made it on time to the ferry.

We were meeting Dolphy Mathis and his daughter Johanna at ferry and they were a bit worried as they hadn’t seen us, gave us ring on the bat phone just as we were going up the ramp onto the ship.  We had a perfect crossing, didn’t even feel any turbulence at Karori point it was sooo calm. I let the side down, I am a lousy sailor.

Off the ferry at Picton, and on to Blenheim, there we stayed over night. We met a couple from the Australian contingent when we were out having tea. Very dry going over the hills just out of Blenheim. Saw a couple of seals on the rocks going down the Kaikoura coast. The sea started to get quite choppy and we drove into grey weather at Oaro.

Stopped at Cheviot for lunch, and when it was time to leave a certain Wolseley Messenger decided it wanted to stay put. Out with the Jumper leads and we were on the way again.

Dolphy got a new battery at Ch-ch.

Stayed a few days in Ch-ch with family, nice to catch up and meet the new additions.

Next day we went out to the parts shed at Burwood and met up with some of the wolseley people and have a look through the parts available to members.

What a lot they have tucked into that shed.

That evening we met up with most of the Wolseley lot at the Redwood Hotel Ch-ch and had a lovely meal, what an amazing selection of food. Little did we know that it was the beginning of lots of good food.

14th. Light cloud and mild, snow gone, thank goodness. Picked up with the Wolseley s at Bernham south of Ch-ch and wended our way down to Tinwald south of Ashburton. There we stopped for a cuppa and a look at the Rogers K class steam train all steamed and ready to go, some had a look at the vintage cars. Before heading off we met Neil Kruze who makes audio travel guides to nz. He recommended we visit Hayes hardware in Invercargill. Went over the longest bridge crossing the Rakia river.

Further down the way we took a photo of the 6/80 outside the Wolseley Hotel. How many did that? Had some lunch at Oamaru then carried on to Dunedin, booked into our motel then met the others at the Forbury Sports Centre where we were having tea. We picked up our rally packs, bought some raffle tickets, met Mike and Carol Davies (Manawatu) who were in the area and were having the meal with us. In the car park there was a 1900 Wolseley on display, Dolphy managed to have a ride on it, and later in the evening we were given the history of the little car, I am so pleased it didn’t get buried. The car has been in the family since 1953 and when they couldn’t sell or give it away it was decided to bury it. Fate stepped in and there it was 110 years later pleasing everyone who sees it.

15th. Jolly glad I put some warm clothes in my bag as it was very cold. Left Bayview Dunedin and went over the hill to Brighton beach, beautiful sea, grey green with the spume blowing backwards and grey/white sandy beaches. We missed some photo shots of the sea rolling past an island to the shore. I hope someone else took a photo of this scene as it was spectacular.

Great spread for morning tea at Balclutha there was enough to feed us all for lunch as well.

But that was at Owaka. We missed the turn off to Kaka point and the Nugget point light house which is well worth going to visit. At the light house there is a variety of native penguins and seals to see and, to me, some of the best scenery in N.Z. At Owaka we visited a museum, then went around to the local Hall for our BBQ lunch, which we were meant to have outside but the wind was a bit too lazy for that. I felt sorry for the folk tucked in behind the building cooking the food, which they did to perfection.

After lunch we continued on our way down through the Catlins conservation area, with native bush right down to the shore line and fine golden beaches.

We went for a walk into the Purakaunui, Matai and Horseshoe Falls, though not much water going over, they are still pretty. We had a very welcome cuppa at the Whistling Frog Café. I asked if they had the Whistling frogs there and was told they do, but they prefer to sing when the weather is not so dry.

Mclean falls are a pleasant walk through native bush to three tiers of falls, the top falls drop over a small canyon into a pool then burble down the lesser falls to where they are going.

We didn’t stop at Curio Bay to see the Petrified Forest as we thought the tide would have been too high to walk out to see the trees. And I wasn’t brave enough to brave the sand flies. Missed the turnoff to Waipapa Lighthouse so we decided to do the sealed route to the Ascot Hotel where we were staying in Invercargill. The unit was roomy, warm and quiet. Before tea, the menfolk washed the cars at the fire hydrant and I did some much needed washing. The once again it was a great meal.

Last Updated June, 2020