Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Lumsden, via Nightcaps

We woke to a covering of mist hanging low over the Riverton Racing Club early this morning at 6.00am.  I just had to put my dressing gown and shoes on, and grab my camera and snap a few photos before the mist lifted.  Luckily everyone else was tucked up tight in their vans so no one else was around to see me.

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Misty morning in Riverton

Our plan today was to travel on the the NZMCA Park at Lumsden, but we had to go the long way round, as the name “Nightcaps” jumped out of the map at me.  With such an interesting name, there was no way I wanted to miss it, I informed the driver.  So he set the Garmin Sat Nav to take us to Lumsden, via Nightcaps.

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Welcome to Nightcaps

Nightcaps was formerly another coal town and had a very interesting Heritage Corner which told of the history of the town.  Captain John Howell, of Riverton fame was one of the first European settlers in the area.  The Maori people introduced the settlers to the black rock they used for fires – coal.  The settlement developed from 1880 to exploit the massive coal field and the Nightcaps Coal Company built its own railway and produced some 1.8 million tonnes of coal, mostly low-grade lignite, operating for 40 years.

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Heritage Corner at Nightcaps

There has to be a story behind the name Nightcaps.  It is reported that Captain John Howell was riding with several companions up the river flat when one of them remarked on the thin covering of fog on the hills known as the Nobbles. Howell replied, 'Oh, they have their nightcaps on' - and so the name was given.

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Early coal mining in Nightcaps

It was a nice little interlude to stop and find out about this interesting little place, and then we carried on up SH6 to the NZMCA Park in Lumsden.  This was our first time staying at this park, and it was such a pretty entrance through a stand of totara trees.

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The park itself is a large graveled area and the custodians have been busy planting  many native trees and bushes around the perimeter.  There are only a few vans here, with plenty of room for many more.  There are no facilities available, and no water supply.  Just as well we always travel with our water tank full.

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NZMCA Park at Lumsden

After lunch we went to check out the town.  Lumsden also used to be a major railway junction with lines departing to all four points of the compass.  The  station seems to still be the focal point in town with two old engines on display. 

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Lumsden Railway Station

The town is also very “Motorhome Friendly” with plenty of overnight parking for freedom campers around the station.  A notice in the ladies toilet block requests that dishes and clothes should not be washed in the basins, although I did see a tourist exiting with dishes.  Instead there is a sink set  up especially for this purpose in the station.  We had never come across this before

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Dish washing facilities available at the station

We returned to camp and had a very pleasant afternoon relaxing under the shady awning.  And we were delighted to see a whole family of little quails came cheeping out of the bushes later in the afternoon.  There were so many of them, it must have been a great breeding season for quails.

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Lots of baby quails looking for some dinner

2 comments:

Derek and Dot said...

Facilities are available over the fence next door for a price. Looks like you've had more rain than us. Guess what had a 10 minute rainfall yesterday. Filled the water barrel. ☺

Jenny said...

Yes that's right. The motor camp over the fence has obviously decided to offer showers, water, and laundry facilties (at a price) if NZMCA people were interested. Seemed a good idea and the motor camp could well pick up some extra dollars.