Exploring Geraldine

Today is a pretty chilled day; a sleep in and then we take Daniels grandma out for lunch. We head to a place called The Stables. A lovely café set in a pretty garden, it was a great setting to enjoy a meal together and catch up, sharing stories over some good food.

Our trip today is short, only about half an hour, so we are in no rush, we take our time and meander up to Geraldine, Daniel’s hometown. It’s a pretty little town, I always enjoy coming to visit.

The next day, Daniel is keen to forge a knife with his uncle, so that leaves me free to do some exploring. I start at the information centre. I want to do a bush walk, but need something local as I don’t have a vehicle. (I don’t ride a motorbike myself)

There are lots of walks you can do in Geraldine, forests walks, heritage trails and if you have a vehicle, consider checking out Peel Forest. The Geraldine Visitor Information Centre is a good place to start for maps and information on the different tracks.

I choose one that starts down by the river. It is an easy walk, it winds its way alongside the river bank and through forest.

The next part isn’t so scenic as it’s right next to the road, the traffic sounds are quite loud, but it doesn’t seem to stop the birds. They are pretty noisy too.

I then reach Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve and walk the Matai Track. Small birds are rummaging around in the leaf litter looking for grubs and the pigeons are cooing. As I get further into the forest, the traffic noises die away and are replaced by the sounds of the forest. One particular sound I always enjoy is the heavy whooshing sound of the berry gorged Kereru flying overhead. I have no idea how they can fly, they are so fat! (but beautiful)

The Matai trees I pass on the walk have an amazing hammered texture to the bark. I don’t recall seeing anything like this before.

My walk then takes me to the Kahikatea track, also in Talbot Forest. I am so captivated by New Zealand. The more I see of it, the hungrier I become to see more. There have been so many wow moments on this trip.

I then head down the main shopping street looking for some lunch. I decide on Verde Cafe, I have been there before and I really like the garden setting. There are shady trees, manicured hedges and roses. Alfresco dining, always so good.

Next on my list is the new Barkers Food Store, recently opened, just a few months ago. Barkers are famous in New Zealand for their jams, preserves and cordial. I am so impressed with this shop, so many different things to taste. I try the Seville Orange fruit spread – a tangy orange taste, the Dulce de Leche – rich, decadent and oh so good, along with a few more delectable treats.

My favourite part though is the drink station. I have grown up with Barkers Blackcurrant cordial, but had no idea they made so many different flavours, and not just berry flavours, how about redcurrent, rhubarb and rosehip or lemon, lime, cucumber and mint or dry cola. You grab a glass, choose your syrup then add either still or sparking water. I really enjoyed trying these.

There is also a café here and I couldn’t resist trying one of their sweet treats. It took me a long time to decide what I wanted though, it all looked so good. I loved how each item showcased one of their products. In the end, I settled on the mango and vanilla bean fruit silk Danish pastry.

There is also a condiment bar with a huge selection that you can help yourself too. And of course, all the items are available to purchase.

I then make my way back to check out the progress of the knife forging. It’s fascinating to watch. An intricate process that requires a lot of skill, patience and knowledge. Stabilized Wood makes beautiful, hand crafted, knives.

Tonight we are heading out to the local Geraldine Cinema 1917 is playing. Built in 1924 it still oozes charms from the past. There are couches and blankets and orchestra music is playing as we enter the theatre. Step back in time and enjoy the flicks in this gorgeous little cinema.

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