Annual Long Runs
Each year the Club organises an annual long run of approximately 14 days in February/March. Members can complete the entire run or a part of the run. Any make of car is welcome. The runs travel through some of the most scenic countryside with stops along the way to visit points of interest, something for everyone.
Wellington to North Cape
Taupo, Te Awamutu, Pirongia, Auckland motorway, Kaipara Harbour, Helensville, Wellsford, Matakohe, Waimamaku, Rawene, Hokianga, Ahipara, Kaitaia, Cape Reinga, Monganui, Kerikeri, Russell, Whangarei and more. This was the first of the annual long runs.
11 members attending. Taupo, Te Aroha, Coromandel, Papa Aroha camp, Colville, Driving Creek Railway, Whitianga, whangamata, Katikati, Tauranga, Rotorua. “After breakfast as we were packing up to leave Tom announced the existence of a nice old car in a shed next to the motor camp. Six very interested enthusiasts immediately climbed over the fence and sought the owner. A beautifully presented 1928 Chevrolet coupe was reclining under the covers in this fellow’s garage, needless to say the owner was only too willing to show us his car. Restored to the highest order it was for sale for $25,000.” “Wherever we stopped the Morris vehicles and the 1950 Mark V Jaguar created heaps of interest and we found people very interested in sharing their Morris stories with us. Given the old cars covered over a 1000 miles
Taranaki, Rotorua, Waikaremoana, Napier.
12 members attending. Opunake, New Plymouth, Whangamomona, Te Kuiti, Waitomo Caves, Reporoa, Murupara, Waikaremoana, Gisborne, Mahia, Napier. “Tom tried his trout rod at 4.30am, but the trout were sleeping late. Later in the day Jan, Noel and John decided to walk up to one of the other lakes and just happened to come home with a seven pound trout! A real team effort; they used Tom’s rod, John hooked it, Noel landed it, Jan carried it home, Bryan bbqed it and we all ate it.”
Marlborough, Nelson, Westcoast
18 members attended. Overnight ferry to Picton, Blenheim via the Port Underwood route (a shocker in the dark), St Arnaud via Lake Rotoiti, Motueka, Kaiteriteri, Takaka, Tukurua, Farewell Spit, Nelson, Westport, Punakaiki Rocks, Karamea, Murchison, Queen Charlotte Drive. “Today we decided to explore the Mapua/Ruby Bay Area. After stopping at several craft shops we proceeded towards the famous Smoke House Café when low and behold ‘Dringo’ the Minor decided to stop. After much discussion, with heads under the bonnet, the problem was diagnosed as rotor failure. Where to acquire one? After much searching a young man with a pottery shop and back yard full of old cars produced something that would do.”
24 members attended. Kuratau, Awakeri hot springs, White Island tour, Te Araroa, East Cape lighthouse, Tolaga Bay, Tauwhareparae Ridge, Gisborne, Morere Springs, Napier. “White Island – visitors to the island are required to wear hard hats and respirators. You can imagine 40 odd people in bright yellow hard hats with respirators hanging around their necks, walking in single file around this place with steam and sulphur hissing out of the ground and not a bush or blade of grass to be seen …. A bit like those astronauts on the moon.”
Bluff, beyond and back
10 members attended. Picton, Hanmer Springs, Christchurch, Lyttleton, Dunedin, Invercargill, Bluff, Stewart Island, Catlins, Oamaru, Geraldine, Akaroa, Blenheim. A lesson was learnt on this trip. We must book accommodation ahead. “At Lyttleton we climbed up to the historic Time Ball Station where we were met by one of the custodians who explained what a time ball was and how it worked.” “Up early in order to be in Bluff to catch the 9.30am ferry to Stewart Island. What a trip. It rained, hailed, the
waves were 3 metres high, and it seemed to come in all directions.” “That night we slept at Stewart Island’s backpackers, which were comfortable and well heated. During the night we even heard a Kiwi calling.” “Dringo” (MM) had to experience the indignity of being winched onto the back of the AA truck and the trailer on the trucks tow bar, and with Bryan in the passenger seat they disappeared down the road to the nearest garage. Consequently we had an unscheduled stay in Oamaru.”
Taupo, New Plymouth, Lower Hutt, Hawkes Bay
17 members attended. This was the planned route but a weather event cut short the long run. After leaving Kurutau the group headed to Taumarunui and onto Whangamomana. “When we reached
Whangamomana the approach to the bridge was half washed away and it was pouring with rain. Having negotiated the bridge successfully we decided the hotel looked very inviting for lunch.” Everyone arrived in New Plymouth that evening very wet and tired. A visit to Puke Ariki Museum, the Fun Ho Toy Museum and the VCC clubrooms and parts shed filled in the next day. “During the course of the day we were becoming aware of the flooding problems manifesting in the middle of the Island and at this point we were unable to move out of Taranaki.” A couple of days later the weather was easing and some roads were clearing. Several members headed for home and businesses to start mopping up. After another couple of days the remainder of the members headed for home.
12 members attended. Taupo, Manakau, Orewa, Warkworth, Pahia, Cream run around Bay of Islands, Kerikeri, Waipapakauri, Cape Reinga, Omapere, Dargaville, Kawau Island, Raglan, New Plymouth. “Bus trip to Cape Reinga, the driver was a local who had been doing his job for 28 years, so needless to say he was a mine of information. When things got a bit quiet coming down the beach he sang us a couple of songs. The day was memorable and one I shall never forget.”
West Coast Pub Crawl and Scenic Tour
16 pub crawlers attended. Blenheim, Murchison, Westport, Karamea, Denniston, Greymouth, Blackball, Lake Brunner, Hokitika, Ross, Fox Glacier, Haast, Wanaka. To set your mind at rest our accommodation was at old hotels, complete with sloping floors and dodgey plumbing. “At Denniston the first thing of impact was the awesome view along the coast as we climbed the hill to the old coal mining village of Burnett face. The mine was underground and pit ponies were used to bring out the skip of coal, which was then railed down to the bottom. The gradient of the hill was amazing and looked very dangerous.” “At the Revington Hotel, Greymouth 3 club members took the motor out of Dallas’s MM and
dismantled the clutch. Two of the men ran around Greymouth to get replacement clutch parts. With the replacement parts fitted and the motor lifted back in the car and everything reconnected we set off to Hokitika to meet the rest of our group.”
Cape to Cape
32 members attended. Feilding, Opunake, Stratford, Taumarunui, Putaruru, Whakatane, Ohope, Te Kaha, Te Araroa, Tolaga Bay, Gisborne. Cape Egmont lighthouse to the East Cape lighthouse. “Called into see friends of the Lesters, what an interesting visit. Joshua is a book binder and he showed us his skills at this also he was a pig dog trainer. He showed us how he called the pigs down from the bush, all shapes and sizes down to the tiniest piglets. We were then entertained with jokes and songs etc, all this and a wonderful view.”. “BBQ and pikelets for lunch at Tokomaru Bay. John tried his luck at fishing, but nothing biting.”
South Island Middle Earth Long Run
31 members attended. The start of the trip was Te Anau with some members travelling in convoy down the West Coast to Te Anau. Kokatahi Hotel – “spent the night dreaming of Leap Year day. Shotgun proposals, of all things, to a tall gun toting cowboy, Tom (wooden variety). Or should I say Dallas held the shotgun to his heart. What a shock at breakfast when Dallas grabbed my food throwover,
for a veil, and proceeded to marry said cowboy.” Te Anau, Manapouri, Doubtful Sound, Milford Sound, Alexandra, St Bathans, Naseby, Omarama, Geraldine, Rangiora, Hanmer Springs, Molesworth, Blenheim. In Alexandra two cars 50th birthdays were celebrated – Dallas; 1958 MM that was
previously owned by her mother and is very special to her. Syd and Sherryll; 1958 Morris
Oxford Station Wagon lovingly restored and painted just in time for this run. The visit to the curling rink at Naseby was great fun for those watching or playing. “Arriving at Pleasant Point we visited the rail museum. We all boarded the train. The carriages were beautifully restored with the basic wooden slat seats (2nd class) and in the luxury compartments deep buttoned seats. Then it was over to the Legends Café for a Denbeath custard square. Also over the road was a taxidermist shop, the owner being happy to talk to us about his work.” “Rangiora saw two cars in the garage, one had an electrical problem,
the other requiring 4 new tyres after a blowout in Geraldine. They were impressed that the $25 tyres bought from the clubrooms had got them over the Gentle Annie and nearly all the way around the South Island.”
Bays and Beaches
19 members attended. Levin, Rotorua, Te Aroha, Coromandel, Driving Creek Railway, Whitianga, Hahei, Waihi Beach, Awakeri, White Island, Waikaremoana, Havelock North, British Car Day at Windsor Park. “In Rotorua we visited a private tractor and caterpillar collection plus a big range of historical logging equipment some “as used” set in typical situations and some restored in pristine condition. A true walk
down memory lane.” “At Whitianga some members went out on a glass bottom boat. We came close to some dolphins. When the platform was lifted it revealed the glass bottom of the boat and all the fish swimming under the boat. In the afternoon we went to Hahei beach. The boys dug holes in the sand and formed hot pools which they then sat in.”
Top of the South Tour
17 members attended. Picton, Blenheim, Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs, Murchison, Lake Rotoiti, Takaka, Pohara Beach, Ngarua Caves, Farewell Spit, Richmond, Picton. We were joined on this trip by our long distance club member, Joe from USA. Four hardy kayakers set off to Tata beach, all keen to get their sea legs and learn a new skill. The first wildlife to be seen was a seal hunting octopus. A great experience for all paddlers. Takaka Hill proved to be a challenge to two MM’s but a little tow up the hill made
all the difference. The Saturday market in Nelson is a must see with a huge selection of crafts and food. Also the Wearable Art Museum and Classic Cars a must do.
Merry-Go-Round Long Run For Fun.
32 members joined or left along the way. Wanganui, Awakino/Mokau, Waitomo, Raglan, Matamata, Papamoa, Rotorua. The unique thing about this run was that club members living in the area visited organised tours and adventures for the group. In Waitomo we viewed Peter’s collection of vintage cars. Later Peter guided a cave tour to see the glow worms and limestone formations. “ Went in a rubber raft and it was magnificent.” Papamoa – another day in paradise 26 degrees. Spending 2 or 3 days in a location is an opportunity to catch up on washing, visiting friends or just lazing about.
East Cape Safari, organised by the Austin Club.
Taihape, Ngongotaha, Awakeri, Te Kaha, Hicks Bay, Gisborne, Hastings. “Got up early for a swim in the hot pool. Rain overnight had revealed a few leaks in the Morris.”
South Island Grand Tour.
18 members attended. Kaikoura, Ashburton, Oamaru, Owaka, Invercargill, Cromwell, Twizel, Danseys Pass, Lake Tekapo, Mt Cook, Darfield, Greymouth, St Arnand, Picton. This proved a good run for those looking for parts for current restorations. The M8 Tourer Club parts shed and the Hinds All day Garage. “ Brian was dirtier, happy and with extra luggage, stuff for the E.”. In Oamaru some of the group did an
early morning penguin tour that included a tour of the town’s historic precinct. At the Oamaru stone quarry it was hard to drag the lads away from all the large machinery. “So far the cars are generally running very well with just the odd holdup now and again. Am hopeful that our 75 year old M8 will not let us down.” Four nights in Owaka in the Caitlin’s allowed plenty of time to explore this wonderful coastline with its lighthouses, water falls and golden sand beaches. While at the Top Ten Holiday Park in Invercargill CUE TV came to film the cars and their owners. “At Bendigo some drove the 3km up to the old gold mining towns of Jollytown and Welchtown. Both these locations are rich with old stone buildings, mine shafts, stamping battery’s and other artefacts. It was well worth the steep drive over
unsealed tracks to get there.” At Lake Tekapo camp grounds car repairs were carried out. A team effort was involved in replacing a gearbox in Pop’s MM and an M8 had its rear axle fixed. To pass the time while driving we were asked to compose limericks and this is the winning one – Three travellers named James, Ken & John, thought the MECCNZ was a con, joined the long run, and had so much fun, with Dallas to guide them what could go wrong.
Hot Springs North Island
18 members attended. Feilding, Stratford, Taumarunui, Raglan, Waiuku, Miranda hot springs, Coromandel township, Katikati, Awakeri hot springs, Opotiki, Gisborne, Napier. “At Otorohanga we met the Otorohanga Morris 8 contingent. We all headed to the Classic Car Museum at Dinsdale, Hamilton. Also a club member from Waitomo joined us.”. At Waiuku Cosmopolitian Club car park the M8 Series 1 Sports had repairs carried out, the owner thinking it was a diff problem but discovered a split pin was
all that was needed. For some of us a return visit to the Driving Creek Railway built by Barry Brickell, found an extended railway line to the lookout “Eyeful Tower” with fabulous views overlooking the bay. A fishing trip on a mussel barge by some members provided tea for all. A visit to Brayshaw’s MG restoration garage was a chance for old friends to meet again and view the work being carried out here. The Classic Flyers NZ Museum at Tauranga was another place of great interest. After leaving Gisborne our mid morning stop was at the Morere Hot Springs, where we had a choice of pool temperatures. The pools are in a natural bush area. A great way to wind down our hot springs tour.
South Island Passes and Peninsulas Tour.
17 members attended. Wellington, St Arnand, Hanmer Springs, Fairlie, Livingstone, Dunedin, Oamaru, Ashburton, Akaroa, Kaikoura, Blenheim, Picton. The first “pass” of the trip, the Rainbow Road, was impassable due to heavy rain. We did however venture forth to see how far we could get along. We
traversed all of the fords (9) as far as Six Mile Creek. Some were quite deep but no one required assistance from our support crew. The Lewis Pass was very scenic and hardly anyone else traveling this route. Only 2 cars chose not to travel with the main group over the Hakataramea Pass. Metal roads about one car width and 7 fords but very little water in them. From Livingstone we crossed the Danseys Pass. We couldn’t see much as we were in the clouds but cleared towards the end. Stopped at the Danseys Pass Hotel for a much needed coffee. Six nights in Dunedin allowed time to explore the peninsula, take the Taieri Gorge train to Middlemarch and check out Cadburys and Speights. Four nights at Akaroa , Banks Peninsula, was a great place to explore and venture along the steep coastal roads.
Cape to Cape North Island or The Lighthouses Tour.
12 members attended. Lake Ferry, Martinborough, Castlepoint, Waipukarau, Hastings, Mahia Peninsula, Gisborne via Fraser Town, Te Araroa, East Cape, Opotiki. “Castlepoint is famous for the lighthouse and
wind. We certainly got that overnight. I was tenting and there were times I thought the tent might blow down and to make matters worse my air bed had a leak!” At Hastings members left from Clifton beach on the tractors at low tide to travel out to the Gannet colony. Next stop was Mahia then on to Gisborne for two nights. A visit to the vintage steam engine workshop and VCC club rooms were highlights. Visits to Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay to see the histoic wharves and freezing works were more higlights. The locals at Te Araroa RSA gave our group a warm welcome. A large number of them came to talk to us and made us feel at home. An excursion to the east Cape lighthouse completed our tour of Est Coast lighthouses. The trip around the coast for a night at Opotiki before breaking up for our return was a lovely drive. Some returned via Tauranga and Rotorua and others via the Waioeka Gorge to Gisborne and back down the Eas Coast.
Top Of The West.
The started at the Picton Ferry in Wellington on Friday 17 February with the crossingbto Picton. The next day the group travelled to Motueka via Queen Charlotte Drive. Staying at Moteuka for three nights allowed time for the Sunday market and day trips to Takaka.
From Motueka we travelled SH6 through Woodstock, Tapawera, Kohatu, and Kawatiri then followed the stunning Buller Gorge to Westport for three nights. The drive up to the 600m high Denniston Plateu to see the famous 45 degree incline. provided fantastic views of the region but we were dissapointed that the planned attraction, the Denniston Experience was closed because of the lack of a mine inspector!!! The excursion by minibus to Karamea and Oparara to walk the short bush track to the limestone caverns and arches was a treat. Some went out see the sunset at sunset at Carter’s Beach.
Leaving Westport we visited Charleston, the site of a major goldrush in 1886 to see the original stamping battery at Mitchells Gully gold mine. The road to Greymouth is one of the most scenic routes in the country and provided the opportunity to see the famous Punakaiki rock formations. Finally we arrived in Hokitika for the third of our three night stays.
At Hokitika there was time to visit a greenstone factory and kiwi and tuatara house. An excursion to the the beautiful Hokitika Gorge and swing bridge, and Lake Kaniere was a highlight. On the way back we stopped at the famous Kokatahi pub where Dallas “married” her cowboy in 2008!! Just south of Hokitika is the exhilarating Tree Top Walk which located in the canopy of mature rimu and kamahi trees. This was another highlight of the tour. We also had time to catch up with local member Hemi Te Rakau and view his magnificent building project high above the coastline.
After Hokitika we returned north backtracking to Greymouth and then turning right to take the Taylorville-Blackball road via the Brunner Coal mine to view the memorial and suspension bridge, then on to visit the Blackball Hotel and salami factory. Arriving at Reefton in the afternoon there was time to visit the gold mine tunnel in the visitor centre and the Blacks Point museum just outside town on SH7. Accomodation here was in the old nurses home, now functioning as a fantastic packbacker hostel.
From Reefton we continued north to St Arnaud via Inangahua Junction , the site of the 1968 earthquake. Leaving Murchison Brian and Dierdre had a windscreen view of a truck rear ending a camper both travelling in the opposite direction. Apart from being showered with glass they had a lucky escape,
On the way down the Wairau Valley to Blenheim we were surprised to find a roadside coffee establishment operating just North of the Branch River. This was a welcome stop and and entertaining one hosted by the Filipino proprietor. In Blenhiem members chose to visit the Aviation Heritage Centre at Omaka and Brayshaw Park close by.
It was another beautiful crossing back to Wellington to complete our Top Of The West tour.
Thanks to our organisers, Brian and Dierdre.