They’ll be bringing updates from the road on Mahurangi Matters over Easter as they join 60 other mini drivers in the charity rally.
From Kaitaia to Invercargill, they will stop at many of the spots in the movie including National Park, Whanganui, Kaikoura and Greymouth, and will do a lap of the Invercargill Cemetery where the final shoot out took place. The trip will take six days and cover more than 2500kms.
While Sam lives at Kaipara Flats, his younger brother Willie has come from Australia for the rally. The ute the two brothers are driving is a modified Mini Clubman Estate that started life as a station wagon.
Keep coming back for updates. To donate, go to www.givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/foowhataye
Day 7: Wednesday April 9 – Alexandra to Invercargill
Well the home leg started in foggy conditions as we left Alexandra and headed towards Palmerston. After a quick stop it was on towards Dunedin where The Otago Mini Owners group led us over the hills past Port Chalmers and into the Octagon where we disrupted the lunchtime crowds.
Onwards to Gore for a quick refuel before we gathered outside the Invercargill Cemetery for our 5pm drive through town. There were handshakes all round as teams congratulated each other on the previous six days where 57 minis had travelled the length of the country. After several laps around town and the clock tower and a big smile from Tim Shadbolt, the Mayor of Invercargill, and we were back to our hotel to prepare for the end of the runs prize giving.
A very formal black tie dinner meant we had to do a quick mercy dash into Farmers to buy some new clothes. It was some surprise to ourselves to discover that we had won the peoples choice award for the car and our efforts!
KidsCan updated us on where we were with our fundraising – a massive $183,000 dollars has been raised! This fiqure is set to rise in the next day or so as the money in the collection tins is counted.
A huge thank you has to go to our team sponsors, and all our supporters.
Day 6: Tuesday April 8 – Greymouth to Alexandra
We started our day in the pouring rain at Greymouth.
Following the coast down we had to stop at the Pukeko Cafe, which is where the blondie gang stopped and served the family in the mini, then bolted out the back door in the movie.
The rain started to clear and we even got a glimpse of Mount Cook between the clouds.
The boys went down to the waterfront at Wanaka and then continued to Highland Park Raceway where a number of minis got to race around the track for three laps.
Then on to Alexandra for the night.
There's a bit of maintenance going on at the moment in preparation for the final stretch tomorrow, a new accelerator cable went in a couple of hours ago and they are currently putting in a slave cylinder for the clutch. Bring on the last day!
Day 5: Monday April 7 – Kaikoura to Christchurch to Greymouth
In what was supposed to be a short day turned into a large one for our team. We were given the choice of either Arthur and Lewis Pass and we decided to choose Arthurs, hoping to catch our first glimpse of snow.
After leaving a picturesque Kaikoura, we were convinced to go to Hagley Park in Christchurch for a photoshot and from here, somehow because of the one way streets, we ended up in the emergency road to Christchurch hospital – personally I blame the navigator.
After this we headed towards Greymouth, only to stop just out of Springfield with some mechanical issue. With Crescent in hand I was about to blindly attempt to fix the situation when members of the Christchurch Mini Owners Club turned up to sort the problem for us. Up over Arthurs Pass we met our first bit of bad weather for our trip, and it looks like the rain might stay with us.
A big day ahead on Tuesday as we head towards Alexandra for the night where we will meet up with a few familiar faces.
Day 4: Sunday April 5 – Wellington to Picton
An easy day today with only having to catch the Interislander and a quick nosy down the coast to Kaikoura. Easy that is, if you don't have to replace balljoints, a windscreen, or even a fuel pump in your mini! Luckily for us in Team Foo-What-Aye we haven't had to do any roadside repairs as yet – touch wood!
All the minis are still on the road, one team worked most of the night in Wellington to ensure they made the 8am ferry crossing and staying with the group. Thanks to our team of supporters back in Warkworth that did the hard yards working on the mini before the run!
Our arrival in Picton was greeted with hundreds and hundreds of Pork Pie fans as we all met outside the Oxley Tavern which featured in the movie. From here we went out to the coast and saw hundreds of seals before arriving in Kaikoura. Unfortunately our large group has had to be split into four different motels for this nights stay, but I'm sure we will make the most of it by all gathering at the local Irish Pub for dinner! Tomorrow we have to make the decision on weather to cross to Greymouth via either Arthurs or Lewis Passes.
Don't forget to support us at www.givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/foowhataye
Day 3: Saturday April 4 – Taupo to Wellington
We left Taupo nice and early, to make our way towards National Park to fill up with gas at the same station used in the movie.
On the way the convoy suffered their third smashed windscreen of the trip, so a quick change of glass in the forecourt ensured that we were all on our way to Horopito to visit Smash Palace. Several cars utilised the workshop here, and many others bought spare parts.
We gathered outside Wanganui so we could all arrive into the city as a group. It was amazing seeing all the people lining the streets to welcome us.
The last of the afternoon saw us heading to Wellington to complete our North Island section of the trip. Sadly just out of Wellington we may have lost our first car of the trip, however many people were working overnight to see if they can repair it to make it further South.
Day 2: Friday April 3 – Kaitaia to Warkworth
The first leg was as large as anticipated, the boys had a good run from Kaitaia to Warkworth, where they were greeted with a great local turnout – cheers guys. Then they traveled together over the Harbour Bridge to the Mini Garage in New Market for a nose at some new minis, then they had to face the southern motorway traffic.
Sam and Willie snuck off the motorway and traveled the eastern suburbs, jumping back on the motorway at the Bombays, this gave them a half hour lead on the rest of the pack, first team to Pokeno! It also meant they then had to wait at Pokeno to get their passport stamped.
Next stop was the car museum at Hamilton, to anyone interested in old cars- its well worth a visit.
Finally right on dusk as predicted we made it safely to Taupo!
Family and friends came out to support Sam and Willie at their first stop in Warkworth today. The convoy of minis parked outside a closed Countdown, opposite Chocolate Brown, from 10.30am to 11am, before heading off on the next leg to Taupo.
Willie, who lives in Australia, says the six day trip in the mini together was going to be “great bonding time” with his brother Sam. They are both Goodbye Pork Pie fans and were quoting quips from the movie on their charity ride.
Day 1: Thursday April 2
The first ‘unofficial’ day of the 2015 Pork Pie Run has seen us travel north from Warkworth, via the west coast up to Kaitaia where we have caught up with all the other teams. We left Warkworth slightly later than planned after we inadvertently pulled a line from the movie when “none of us paid for the gas” at Z station at Warkworth – sorry guys!
From here we went north via State highway 12 to Matakohe, where we met up with several other teams before stopping in Dargaville. A quick march around Tane Mahuta, and we were off to Rawene to catch the ferry to continue our trip north. The Mangamuka hills gave the mini a good workout before we met up with the teams at the motel in Kaitaia. Unfortunately time wasn’t on our side to head all the way up to North Cape.
Friday sees the official start of the trip with us departing Kaitaia at 7am to try and reach Warkworth by 10:30 before hitting the holiday traffic heading south on our way to reaching Taupo. Special thanks to our sponsors and supporters who have donated via www.givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/foowhataye.