New Zealand
Ruby Bay

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10 travelers at this place

  • Day79

    Mapua Harbour and Orcas

    February 27 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We are staying in an Air BnB house on a high hill with incredible layered views of rolling hills with trees, the ocean and then mountains with clouds in the distance.

    The lady who owns this wonderful house rents out the two inside bedrooms and a bach (granny flat). She sleeps in a large trailer that is parked outside when the rooms are all taken. The guests have complete run of her house, inside and out. When we arrived there was another couple from Estonia and a woman from England, who were travelling around NZ.

    Usually, we like to prepare our own meals from items we carry in our cooler or shopping basket. Today, our larder looked a little low so we popped into Mapua Harbour, the little town nearby to do some food shopping.

    We didn’t expect to find such a cute little place with its pretty views. We left the food shopping until the end of our visit.

    The first sign that we saw was advertising the Serious Straws hat and cap store. It looked interesting so we went in. They specialize in making “fine quality straw, raffia, paper and palm hats that are both durable and provide good sun protection”. They have hundreds of colourful sun hats of all different shapes and sizes, but how many hats can one have? Fun looking around the store though.

    We walked further into the tiny village and saw visitors eating breakfast and drinking coffee in cafes close to the Mapua Wharf. Such a peaceful scene.

    At one time though, this was the location of a wharf that was used as an exporting point for apples, strawberries, and flax and it shaped the development of the town. The old sheds have been fixed up and transformed into little specialty shops. The wharf, that now has a reputation for family fun, is still busy but in a very different way.

    We went into a small Marine Museum filled with old photos and found it hard to imagine that this area had been such a busy commercial centre.

    On exiting the museum, we noticed 2 dark fins in the water close to the dock we were on. Orcas! A mom and her baby! Such an exciting moment, followed by many more moments as the orcas surfaced and disappeared. Then two more killer whales appeared right at the edge of where we were standing. Two meters away. Yikes! Apparently they were hunting for stingrays which is like a bit of a chocolate treat for them.

    Well, our food shopping excursion turned into something a lot more fun. Once the adrenaline rush dissipated, it didn’t take much thought to just stay where we were in the sun and eat a fresh fish and chips lunch at the Smokehouse. Food shopping came later...
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  • Day81

    Taking it Easy

    February 29 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Today is Saturday. As we had some catching up to do, some bookings to arrange and just wanted to chill a bit, we started the day by going back to Nelson to visit it’s Saturday Market. It is well-known as a showcase for the arts, crafts and produce of the Nelson region. As we wandered around we saw pottery, woodware, jewellery, homewares, clothing and foods. On top of those things, the market had a wide variety of food carts, making it a wonderful place for locals to meet friends and share brunch or lunch before or after a visit to the market. There were a lot of tourists there also.

    At 2 p.m., we returned to our BnB and had a little walkabout around Dawn’s ‘farm’. Dawn is quite the lady. She can do and does do everything around the farm. It is in a lovely location overlooking mountains and the Tasman Bay. The farmlet (4 acres) with its gardens, ponds, native bush and birds is on top of a high hill and is filled with quite a menagerie of animals - sweet rag doll cats, alpacas, chickens and ducks.

    Dawn jumped on her digger and started pulling out a tree that is too close to her henhouse. Chris went to help her take away some of the brush. I would imagine that there is no end to the projects that Dawn wants to do! A garden here, a cleaning there, a path here and a sitting area over there. She has the energy and loves sharing her beautiful place with others. We would not hesitate to stay at Tumbleweed Downs in Mapua if we ever return to New Zealand.
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  • Day83

    Dawn’s Homemade Sourdough Bread Recipe

    March 2 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Michelle, a sweet lady from the U.K., Chris and I loved Dawn’s sourdough bread so here is the recipe that she kindly shared:


    1/2 c sourdough starter
    2 c (unchlorinated) water
    3 1/2 c whole meal or stoneground flour
    1 tsp natural sea salt (not iodized)
    1/4 c sesame seeds
    1/4 c pumpkin seeds
    1/4 c sunflower seeds
    1 tsp molasses


    Pour 1 c water in large mixing bowl
    Add 1/2 c sourdough starter
    Add 1 tsp molasses. Whisk together.
    Add 3 1/2 c whole meal flour
    1 tsp salt
    !/4 c each of seeds. Mix.
    Then 1 more c of water. Mix into a dough and placed in a greased loaf tin.
    Leave to rise overnight. Cover with tea towel.
    Bake in oven 180C. For 50 to 55 minutes.
    Cool on rack. Wrap in tin foil.
    Can slice and freeze.

    Add raisins, dates, fruits, etc.

    Care of Sourdough Starter

    Once a day add equal parts of flour and water (+mix 1/3 c each)
    Cover and leave on counter.
    Use excess for pancakes, waffles and muffins.
    If not needed, place in fridge and feed once a week. When needed put on counter to ‘wake up’ and feed. Use 8 hours later.
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  • Day176

    Ruby Bay, Neuseeland

    February 19, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Der sagenumwobene Ruby gab diesem Strandabschnitt seinen Namen und so ist es für uns natürlich Ehrensache mit dem namensgebenden Wagen der Jungs hier her zu fahren.
    Wir verweilen hier kurze Zeit, ziehen unsere Kreise und genießen die weniger spektakuläre Aussicht.Read more

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Ruby Bay

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