Each year on the Saturday before Labour Day weekend, the small town of Ngatea (pronounced NAH-tee-ah) holds a huge garage sale. Actually, the town simply opens public areas to people to set up the items they want to sell. There is no fee, either to sellers or to buyers. In addition to the public areas, many people have actual garage sales at their own homes. Ngatea is small enough that you can drive through all its streets during the five hours scheduled for the event (9 am to 2 pm).
Andrew and I arrived in Ngatea early for the garage sale, as we often do when any garage sale is scheduled. We’ve learned that most garage sales will begin selling their items half an hour or even much earlier than the time they advertise.
As we approached the town, there were about a dozen homes along the street that were selling things. We bought a few magazines and books at a church garage sale. When we arrived on the main street of Ngatea, we parked behind a petrol station and began walking along the street, perusing the merchandise. Almost anything you can imagine was being sold at one spot or another. It took us about two hours just to walk along main street, and then we drove along more streets off the highway, to see what others were selling. We bought a few items for our home and gardens and just for fun.
There were plenty of food booths, as well. Andrew bought a whitebait fritter, and I had a sausage. It has been 2 1/2 years since Andrew had his last whitebait fritter, while we were on our New Zealand holiday (vacation) back in January 2009, before we moved to Mexico. For dessert, we shared some fudge.
Ngatea’s annual garage sale is indeed huge. We spent over three hours wandering the main street and side streets, and we still didn’t get to everything. We simply got worn out. But it was huge fun, too.