Ticking off the Bucket List – part 1

For the longest time, we are talking around 10 years, I have wanted to stay at Wharekauhau. A residents special made this possible so I booked this back in May and have been patiently waiting ever since.

Today a big tick is going on the bucket list. The day is finally here. We are heading to Wharekauhau, at Cape Palliser in the Wairarapa.

We have been here a couple of times for lunch, it’s where Daniel proposed and holds a special place in my heart.

It’s a beautiful still day so we decide to travel up on our Motorbike. I kinda like the idea that we are traveling to a luxury lodge on our rough looking, beaten up, but much loved Fireblade.

We arrive. She is such a grand old house. We are greeted with the warm, friendly hospitality we have always experience here. Our bags are taken to our room on a little golf cart and we start our night away with a cool drink on the front porch, looking out across green pastures and the rugged, but very charming Cape Palliser.

Jackie then gives a tour of the property. There is so much attention to details. The artwork, the decor, it’s a feast for the eyes. We go to the games rooms, the dining room, my heart flutters a little when I spot the room where Daniel got down on one knee. We then head outside to the courtyard and are shown where to find the petanque set, croquet clubs, tennis court and swimming pool.

We arrive at our cottage, it’s very private, set among trees and decorated to the highest standard. Yes, I think this will do quite nicely.

We are booked in for clay target shooting (first time for both of us) so we change out of our motorbike gear and head back up to the lodge where our guide, Dougal is waiting for us. We jump into the 4wheel drive and head out into the country side.

We arrive at our first stop, the station is nestled into the bush. We get some instructions on how to hold the gun, what to expect and how to stand.

Daniel is up first.

Pull. The bright orange target soars through the air.


He hits it first time. And then again and again and again.

He is a natural and I am desperately hoping that I also manage to hit some.

Its my turn now. There are 2 shotguns. I start with the smaller one, a Buretta 4/10. I take my time getting used to holding it, it’s weight, and making sure I am tucking it into my shoulder.

Then it gets loaded.

Pull. I spot the disk and follow it with my eyes. Then it starts dropping.

Bang. But I have left it too late. A clear miss. But now I have taken the first shot, experienced the kick back and know what to expect, I am feeling a little more relaxed about it.

I fire a few more misses, but then, contact. Yay!

Now I have the hang of things I move onto the bigger shotgun, a 12 guage German Beretta semi automatic. This one is so much heavier and I struggle to hold the gun up for more than a few seconds, but this holds 2 shots which increases my chance of hitting the targets. Which I do.

We then move 2 a second site. The machine at this site can fire out 2 targets. So now we are firing at 2 targets. I could hit the first one but then I was so quick looking for the second one that I had to keep asking if I hit anything. Surprisingly I am quite good at hitting the first target, not so much the second.

Daniel is doing quite well so he is then challenged to start with the gun to the ground and to then pull it up into position after the target is released. This helps even up the scores between us.

We are now at the last station. What a beautiful place. Trees, birds and a milky blue river flowing below us. Again, 2 targets are sent out at once, but the difference here is that instead of being sent straight out in front of me, they are coming around to the left and dropping quite quickly. These ones are rather challenging. I think it was more luck than skill, but I am pleased to report that as I got better, Daniel got worse and we ended the experience with the same amount of hits.

Pretty darn proud of myself.

As Dougal said, ‘for a city girl who works at a bank, you did pretty good!’

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