Clan Donald Canterbury’s 2022 Weekend Away 30th Sept – 2nd October

Having enjoyed our stay in the country town of Amberley last year, we decided to use Amberley as a base again this year so we could visit and enjoy some more of the attractions and hospitality in Amberley and the surrounding North Canterbury area.

On Friday 30 September, we commenced our weekend by visiting the Kaiapoi Museum. This excellent museum is run by volunteers and co-located with the library in the Civic Centre.

Kaiapoi is 17 kms north of Christchurch. It is known as the “River Town” after the Kaipoi River, a tributary of the Waimakariri River. Historically the town was an important port for the transport of goods to and from Christchurch. The town has a rich industrial heritage.


Kaiapoi Museum. Clan members view exhibits.


Brent Tomlinson views the display of blankets produced by the well-known
Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Co, at the Kaiapoi Museum.



After lunch drove to the Wairapa Wine District and visited the Georges Road Winery. It is a small vineyard of 8 hectares with stunning scenic views from the winery. We enjoyed their wine tasting accompanied by food which included lots of local products such as cheese and olives.



Georges Road Winery. Ian Bright and Andrew Muskee, dressed for the occasion, sample the wines.



Unfortunately, we did not enjoy the lovely weather we experienced last year. It was too cold and overcast to sit outside and admire the view.



At Georges Road Winery. Back row (left to right) Alan MacDonald, Bob Peirson, Marg Gerken, Andrew Muskee, Valerie Bright, Brent Tomlinson, Ian Bright, Elwyn Martin.

Front row. Ann Smith, Margaret Donald, Raewyn Hinton, Sally Wihone, Jeanette Beatty, Helen Ring, Jill Tomlinson, Christine Martin.



We stayed at the Amberley Motels for two nights. Friday night was our usual takeaway meals and entertainment. Saturday morning was a free morning with Clan members visiting the Amberley Market, local shops, and cafes.

Late Saturday morning we drove 30 kms north to the small village of Greta Valley for lunch at the Greta Valley Tavern. After lunch some members visited a display of ceramics produced by local artist Kim Henderson while others visited nearby Motunau Beach.

To celebrate Brent Tomlinson’s 70th birthday, 1970’s clothing was the dress code for dinner at The Railway Tavern on Saturday night.



Saturday night ‘70’s dinner at the Railway Hotel, Amberley.
(Left to right) Back Row. Brent Tomlinson, Andrew Muskee, Alan MacDonald, Ian Bright, Valerie Bright, Marg Gerken, Elwyn Martin, Bob Peirson. Middle Row. Jill Tomlinson, Jeanette Beatty, Helen Ring, Raewyn Hinton, Ann Smith, Margaret Donald, Christine Martin. Front. Sally Wihone.


Birthday celebrations. Brent and Jill Tomlinson


On Sunday morning we went on the Weka Pass Railway which operates on a 12.8 km length of the former Waiau Branch railway, between Waipara and Waikari. The railway is operated by volunteers who run both vintage steam and diesel locomotives through the unique limestone beauty of the Weka Pass.



Locomotive A428 (1909) ready to depart Glenmark Station at Waipara.


Weka Pass Railway steam locomotive on route to Waikari.


Weka Pass Railway. Passengers are issued a traditional cardboard ticket which is “clipped” by the guard.




After the train trip we headed home to Christchurch, stopping at the historic Old Leithfield Hotel for lunch.

It was another enjoyable Clan weekend away and again highlighted how much there is to see and do in our own backyard. Thank you to Margaret Donald and Ann Smith for their work in arranging the weekend.