2017 PARKSIDE MEDIA CHRISTMAS PICNIC TOUR
Words: Trevor Stanley-joblin Paul Stanley-joblin
On December 3, 2017, the North Canterbury Classic Tour headed out from the Woodlands Café in Leithfield, which was an ideal venue for the start of a tour/ picnic like this. With sponsorship from Parkside Media we were able to give every entrant a New Zealand Classic Car magazine. Our first visit was to the beautiful Breedenbroek Gardens in Ashley. Breedenbroek is a stylish family property, pleasantly situated in the rolling Ashley Downs. The owners, Kay and Rudi, are passionate about their North Canterbury country grounds, having worked together to turn half of this two-hectare property into a flourishing English-style garden. This oh-sopleasant relaxing garden includes massed herbaceous borders sheltered by hornbeam hedges, and a 16m long water-lily pond beside six formal box-hedge rose beds. A meandering creek flows into a large, informal pond, surrounded by a boardwalk that leads through a New Zealand natives area, providing several secluded relaxation spots. With over 200 people picnicking in the grounds on a day with a temperature of around 28°C, it was a wonderful sight to behold, the scene being probably the best in 43 years of tour organizing. For photos of Breedenbroek Gardens, look up breedenbroek.com.
The afternoon run included a visit to a farm at which the fourth-generation family farmer had accumulated many decades of memorabilia from the immediate area, plus his late wife’s collection of vintage full-size and doll prams, including life-size dolls and baby mannequins.
The final destination was back at our start venue, the Woodlands Café. A draw was carried out by the Waimakariri District Mayor, David Ayres — he and his wife, Marilyn, are regular participants in our North Canterbury classic runs in either their 1967 Ford Corsair or an MX-5 — the day being such perfect weather, naturally they chose to take the open car. The nine prizes were for dining vouchers, accompanied by a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates, from the Woodlands Café and the amazing new Charles Upham Retirement Village in Rangiora — part of the morning route included a drive-through of this new retirement complex.
More photos from the day can be viewed on our Facebook page, under North Canterbury Classic Tour.
The next tour outing will be on Sunday, March 25, 2018, again to start from the Woodland’s Café, corner State Highway 1 and Ashworths Beach Road, Leithfield, with registration from 9.15am to 11am.