Hoorah! The sun came out of hiding! It was announced that it has been the worst summer in thirty years, with fewer ‘beach days’ than normal. Still, this weekend, summer appeared, and perfect for our road trip up to Stratford in the Taranaki region (west coast of the North Island). We had been invited to a birthday party that was going to take place at the Huinga Homebrew Festival, which was taking place over the Saturday and Sunday of the Waitangi weekend. We could only go for one day, so missed the actual competition and tasting event on the Sunday, but nevertheless had a totally relaxed time despite the long (4.5 hours) drive there (and of course back again…)
The drive itself was pleasant and with clear blue skies, we got a great view of Mount Taranaki, which is such a perfect volcano shape (see picture at the top of the post*). Anyway, we arrived in Stratford, checked into the motel, and headed over for a birthday barbeque, of excellent sausages and of course, home brew beer.
From there we were driven out to the venue for both the festival and the rest of the party. The buildings form part of an old school, that the owner purchased and turned into his home and workshop.
By early evening, the field above had turned into a campsite and car park. There was a good crowd of both birthday party guests and festival regulars, all enjoying the good, summer weather.
A hog roast was cooking all afternoon, in an ingenious home-built contraption, that turned the meat and produced a succulent and moist product. As well as this, there was an absolutely delicious goat curry, different types of potato salad, green salads, coleslaw, bread, corn on the cob and a carrot and apple and raisin salad that I was delegated to put together, helped by a good team of people grating carrots!
There was live music, a toss the horseshoe competition, beer, wine and lots of conversation. A highly enjoyable day and evening. It was a pity we couldn’t stay for the main event on the Sunday, but our fingers were crossed for our friends’ beers, chutneys and other produce. There’s always next year…
*On some mobile phones, you can’t see the featured image, but you can if you look at the home page.