After a week relaxing at James parents bach and then another week camping with friends in Northland at Treasure Island we decided that for our last week of Summer holidays with the kids we would take on an epic central North Island road trip – first stop, Tirau.
For me making it from Auckland to Tirau without a toilet stop has always been the yard stick of a successful start to a holiday. Piled in the car early in the morning to avoid the traffic the tummies start rumbling and the bladders start fulling as we draw near with James and I in the front saying we’re almost in Tirau.
As they pile from the car they stop to quickly admire the giant corrugated iron sheep and dog in the main street before piling into Alley Cats for a quick bite to eat. I’ve been going to Alley Cats for 17 years and it’s been the first stop for me on many a long drive down to Wellington and it’s still just as good as it’s always been. $50 for all 5 of us for breakfast and drinks it was good value as well as being a great meal.
After Alley Cats we headed up the hill to The Castle Pamela.
The Castle Pamela was built by Kelvin for his wife Pamela to house her extensive collection of toys and it is well worth a visit.
Set in a truly castle worthy location on the hill above Tirau this castle comes complete with a moat and suits of armour.
Entry into the castle is free and once inside you can buy food, drinks and ice blocks and even little fairy bags. Entry into the toy museum does cost and is $15 for adults and $10 for children. We were short on time this trip so didn’t go through the toy in but the girls still remember their last trip there 3 years ago so it must have made a good impression.
So next time you’re road tripping through Tirau plan to make a stop for an hour or two – there really is loads to explore.