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Life on the Road – Lower North Island

Every 4 months the Eldernet team visits a different area of New Zealand so we can touch base with local communities and those in the aged care sector. This “on the ground” knowledge is invaluable, and often means we know where the best place to get a good coffee or custard square is in even the most obscure places! We thought that we should share with you all some of the amazing places and people we meet during our travels. We are currently travelling for our Lower North book which means we are hitting Capital and Coast through to Hutt Valley, up through Mid Central, and across to Whanganui, Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay DHBs. We look forward to seeing you all over the coming weeks!

Esther in Whanganui

Whanganui is a place with a bit of a bad reputation for some reason…I recall prior to working for Eldernet I was always worried that it was a bit “wild west” but I discovered that despite my silly ideas that Whanganui is a pretty awesome place.

One of my favourite coffee stops in Whanganui is The Yellow House Café. As you can see from my pics here it’s a super funky wee place and has a good cabinet selection. Now, a wee postscript, don’t judge a coffee by my photo – I have a decaf, single shot, soy (or almond) latte….it’s pretty damned hard to make that look good!

Let me know where else I should stop for my “hot drink” (cos it’s not a coffee!) when I’m on the road!


Sometimes you’re driving to an appointment and you get a wee glimpse of some hidden treasure….

On the road up to Jane Winstone Village in Whanganui you can see an old chapel. It’s a very special site and these pictures do it no justice, I think part of the magic is that you can just get a wee peak and you’re not 100% sure if you’re able to access it. The peace and serenity here in this building is just out of this world. Pop in (via the Ryman village) when you’re passing, the team there are happy for you to spend time in the church and it’s well worth the visit!

Do you know of any other aged care sites with ‘secret’ buildings like this?


Travelling whilst one of my favourite parts of the job, can also be the toughest. Days (and sometimes weeks) out of the office and away from home (and my kitchen!) can really be hard.

Usually I try and make an effort to cook whist I’m away so that I have some sense of “home” but sometimes it’s all just too hard.

So when I’m travelling and I can’t be bothered trying to figure out who make the best takeaways in town or eating out by myself!) I revert to a tried and true….Noodle Canteen. This franchise is pretty wide spread and is often in mid-sized towns across the country.

Now, there’s no denying that this place is a long way from authentic – but they are reliable and as you get to see everything being cooked in front of you, you know it’s fresh! And, the extra bonus – the meals are so large that I usually have some left over for lunch too.


Eleanor in Napier

Napier with Toni Hewett Breathe Hawkes Bay






Lunch Blackbird Cafe – my type of food and service. Lovely fresh flowers on the tables too.






Eleanor in Wairoa

Wairoa is the northernmost in the Hawke’s Bay region, and is located on the northern shore of Hawke Bay at the mouth of the Wairoa River and to the west of Mahia Peninsula.

Glengarry Lifecare now part  of the Heritage Lifecare Group, looking bright with new signage (full occupancy too).





Eleanor with Sarah Paku, General Manager Kahungunu Executive








Wairoa Library. A great place to spend some time – where you’ll also find free copies of our book ‘Where from Here’


About Eve Williams

Eve Williams
Eve Williams is the Content Developer and Social Media Administration for Eldernet. She is currently studying towards her Masters at the University of Canterbury. She has a passion for learning new things.