News & Events

23 September 2022

Hawke's Bay branch trip September 2022

Hawke's Bay branch trip September 2022

A “week day trip” wow, this was something very new for Hawke’s Bay members!  As usual, our members know to “expect the unexpected”.  This trip certainly did not disappoint.  A hail shower at lunch time, then “escorted” on our drive home by a Pilot Vehicle, with “Wide Load” sign.

Leaving Taradale, we travelled to the historic country village of Onga Onga to visit the famous 140 year old “Coles Building”.  The restoration of this New Zealand Heritage Category 1 listed building built in 1878 is managed by the Onga Onga Historical Society.  Originally it housed the Coles Brothers’ various businesses including carpentry, surveying, interior decorating, coffin building and the local undertaker business.  It had 17 employees at the time of its opening.  The men on our coach were in their element with all the vintage machinery on display. The general store and tearooms across the road was opened in 1899 and still provides the local community and visitors with groceries, refreshments, postal services and petrol.

Our lunch venue, the Tikokino Sawyers Arms Hotel, or "The Tiko", as it is often referred,  is the "heart" and watering hole of the Tikokino community. It was built in 1864 and has served the district for more than 150 years.   The temperature during the day gradually dropped, so it was not surprising to experience a very cold “hail shower” just as we finished lunch.

The township of Otane founded in 1874,  was our final visit for the day.  This was built on part of run holder Henry Tiffen’s 5140-hectare Homewood estate, which had been subdivided into smaller farms.   We were warmly welcomed by a member of the Otane Progressive Group, a non profit organisation. Members then thoroughly enjoyed following the map on the 2.6km Bi lingual Historic Pavement Walk.  Those with walking difficulties were driven around in the Coach.   An amazing model of Otane Village circa 1900 is on display in the small museum at the Town Hall.   

Two new members were presented with their membership certificates and badges prior to afternoon tea in the Community Hall.

On the drive back home, there was no time to “nap” with hilarity and amusement as members participated in a “sing along”.   More hilarity once more, when a vehicle passed our coach on the road, and stayed in front formany kms  displaying the sign “Pilot vehicle”  “Wide Load”!!  Imagine the thoughts of the oncoming traffic seeing a coach behind that signage!  

A very happy conclusion to our  “day in the country”.


1          Coles Building 

2          Coles historic machinery

3          Onga Onga General Store

4          Otane Village model circa 1900

5          Members relaxing at afternoon tea