Botannical Motorhome parking

When we’re in Napier, this is our go to spot to stay. Lots of room, nice and flat, never any hassle and an easy bike ride into town.

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Very Nice!

As we generally only get to Napier once every 18 months or so, there is always plenty of changes to see but this visit completely bowled me over. The extra bunds and planting for parking is amazing and I’m sure they haven’t finished. Like Ngongotaha, they’ve build a Happy Hour Hall and function centre.

Rafe hiding amongst the Shrubs

The first time I came here not long after it opened, the whole left hand side of the field was leased out to a local farmer for growing something so to see it like this is fantastic. We also came here a bit later when there was an earthquake !

Out exposed so we could get the wind!.. and it was lovely.

We arrived here with a 35C heat and decided after looking at Clifton Beach that there was not enough Westerly winds getting in to cool us down..  Then the penny dropped..  winds off the vineyards at Ericksen and so off we went.

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We hadn’t long been there when we took the bikes down and headed into our favorite Art Deco pub, the Masonic for a Cold G&T and Chardy.  With plenty of wind about, it was very pleasant.

Fiona on the bike trail to into Town

After an hour or so, we made our way back to Ericksen flying back with the wind behind us 🙂

Rafe’s Track to Ericksen

Wakerley Motorhomes

These classy Motorhomes are now no longer made which is such a shame.

Looking towards the front. Look at all that space.

I’m not sure but I was lead to believe that they boatbuilders or ex boaties so the interior was built to perfection using boatbuilding techniques and having a boat look.

Graham and Linda

Graham and Linda were parked just in front of me at Ericksen NZMCA park and were happy to show me through their pride and joy during their break from their Matamata farm.

This is their 8th Motorhome over 25 years so they knew what they were looking for when they bought this beast.

Looking towards the front. Look at all that space.

With the slideout, and being 8.3 metres long, there is room for a football match inside 🙂

Galley in the slideout.
Bedroom at the back

It is built on a 2006 Isuzu base and has a 5.2 litres under the bonnet so there is plenty of getup and go too.

From the front showing the slideout.

It was nice to see all the wood and finding some owners who really appreciate the kiwi craftmanship.

From behind with their Toad.

How that Motorhome park has grown.

There was a time a few years ago when some big trees were felled at the Ngongotaha NZMCA park and some of us were a bit worried. The trees came down and the world didn’t end, we got our TV signals back and all was well 🙂

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Down on the lower Terrace

Fiona and I stopped off recently to check the park out and it is looking fantastic.

The New grassed area at the back

Where we all parked on the concrete in the middle, now the primo parking seems to be right at the back on a nice grassy area. The parking in the middle is still there, an addition to the check in shed / which now includes a covered happy hour area too.

Looking out to the lake over the two terraced areas

Up the front by the road are two grassed terraced levels for parking with the view out to Lake Rotorua.

Rafe parked down on the front terraced area.

For some history images.. before the trees were cut downand after!

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It would be hard to imagine this park ever getting full it is so big but having been here a few times, its a great place to park and the on site Dump Station is a real bonus.

Well done to those involved in putting this all together.

Elton’s Farewell

We were on a mission to see the last tour of Elton John and almost all of his original Musicians that he started out with 50 odd years ago. They’re all in their 70’s now and looking and sounding really good too.

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The afternoon view

We were staying at the Taradale Club as we did last year for the Phil Collins concert which worked out really well being just a 15 minute walk from the Mission Estate Concert venue. Just over the road, The NZMCA had a Motorhome parking area for members so that was handy too. They did this for the Phil Collins concert too.

The Niessman and Rafe.

Friends Gary and Dianne had bought the tickets for us and arranged the Taradale Club for us, so all we had to do was front up and enjoy it 🙂

The NZMCA park over the road.

The Club put on a BBQ tea for the first night and a Breakfast the next morning (Extra !) which made life easy. We basically loafed about in the sun until it was time to gather our stuff together and head off round the corner to the venue.

The Neissman and Rafe

There were hundreds of people but it was all very organised and we easily found a spot on the bank to settle down and watch the show.

Gary, Dianne and Fiona at the concert.

There were a few very inebriated people there which annoyed a few but the concert was fantastic. The sound was great and given that they’re all in their 70’s, I thought it was great. I have to admit to not really being a concert person but I’m pleased I went to this one. Unlike the Phil Collins concert the weather behaved itself and was fantastic.

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We set off down the hill when it all finished back to Rafe and Gary and Diannes Neissman for a quite Pinot to finish off with 🙂

Great Crowd
Eletons original Drummer Nigel Ohlsson in his suit.
Elton..

A lot of fun and I’m pleased I went and we didn’t get wet in the process either 🙂

Rafe’s track

Down on the Beach

Having finished with the house pretty much with the landscaping, Laundry and Kitchen bits, it was time to get back in Rafe and head south.

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A primo spot in the corner

With the 32C degree temperatures plus, we figured a beach park would be the name of the game so we picked Waihi Beach NZMCA park.

Its a busy park now and its easy to see why being so handy to the Beach and easy rides to cafe’s. There’s even a nice Cafe right next door.

Look at those plants go!

Having done some piccies of the opening, I was really pleased to see how the plants had grown and how established it all looks. Its nice too to see the 3 metre parking marks. I reckon that makes it much easier to line yourself up keep everyone a resonable distance apart.

Nice planting and they’re off

When we first arrived there was a good westerley breeze blowing across the park so the sensible place to park was on the upwind side of the park and with the 30 plus degree temporatures, it was nice to have the breeze blowing through Rafe to keep us cool.

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We spent the first afternoon down in the township being only a 10 minute bike ride away and then headed down the bike trail down to Bowentown about 7ks’ south. Its a great ride and although we didn’t go right down to Anzac Bay its a great run.

The Bike trail heading back to the park

The next day we walked down to the beach. A nice spot to stop over and good to see the park is so popular.

Waihi Beach Pod

Waihi Beach NZMCA park is an easy 10 minute bike ride away from the centre of Waihi Beach shops.

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Easy parking for our bikes

We rode in for a look around the shops and to check out somewhere for lunch.

The Courtyard

Fiona found a setup called the Pod which is a group of Bure like buildings amongst a very pacific inspired garden which serves fantastic food and coffee. It also has a few shops in there too in separate buildings. Its on the left as you ride into the shops.

Fiona in the Bure

Quite a setup and it seemed to be very popular with the locals.
There is also easy secure parking for bikes (bring a bike lock).

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A lovely spot and quite different from your normal cafe.

One of the shops

The Tug Boat race – lots of photos!

Auckland Anniversary always starts with the famous Tug Race which starts off Westhaven. They then head down towards Orakei to round a buoy and then back down to the bridge for the finish.

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One of the faster Classics Jeneusse

A few years ago when I was involved with the Classic Yacht Association Committee, I helped organise a few of the Launch races and for me it was really nice to see some of the old Launches in this race still going for it.

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Sterling always used to do well and it was nice to see Ronaki, Te Hauraki and Jeneusse out there too.

Sterling flying along
Sierra

Enjoy the images

Smoke from the William C Daldy

 

 

Whitianga Waterways for Motorhomes

This has to be one of the nicer places to park a Motorhome and it is the NZMCA’s park in Whitianga.

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Great Motorhome parking

After arriving around lunch time, we set off on the bikes to check out the town and eventually stopped in a cafe in town for lunch. After that, we biked around the waterfront to check out the Marina and a general nosey around.

Plenty of room

I was expecting it to be chocker block but it was just pleasant with smiles in the sunshine.

We headed back to the camp to meet our neighbours Andrew and Annette and see their very new Autotrail Scout Motorhome. Interesting layout and bags of room too. It turns out that Andrew was at the same primary school with Fiona in Waiouru when they were in the primers.. small world 🙂

paddleboarding

A nice night there and in the morning all the locals were in the canal, swimming, radio controlled yachts, paddle boarding.. a great place.

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Andrew was telling me that the site is apparently going to be a future Hotel.. lovely spot!

Rafe’s tracker map to the Waterways

Planes and Sunshine

The Pauanui Club parking is just the best. Even when its busy.

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The park

Our Grandchildren’s other Grandparents have had a bach down here for a long time so Alex and Sarah head here with the kids when they can. Its a lovely spot too just up from the beach and easy bike riding from the Pauanui Club for us.

Lots to do

We also caught up with an old school friend of Fiona’s who have a house down here too. Evan and Janette bring their family down here too and it was nice to spend an eveing with them as well.

Parked in Pauanui

The parking area was as busy as it has ever been with several regulars commenting on how busy it was. At one stage there were 3 vans who couldn’t get near a power plug, and for those that did have power, the main circuit breaker popped in the mornings when all the toasters and jugs went on. All in all though it is fantastic value and theyre just the best to deal with.

One of the old timers
up up and away

Next door all the holiday makers with vintage planes had bought them over from Auckland for the Whitianga air show so it was neat to see them doing their thing.

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We went for a walk into the shops which are only minutes away via a tunnel and it was amazing to bump into so many people we knew… a bit scary 🙂

The Township

A great few days in a nice place and the nice thing is you can bike everywhere !

Rafe’s track to Pauanui

Happy New Year 2020

I hope everyone had a great New Year and enjoyed the sunshine. There was plenty of it !

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Cooks Beach

We spent the New Year with our Family (Sons and Daughters in law and Grandchildren) on the Coromandel Peninsula and it was fun. We also caught up with our Motorhome friends Bruce and Judy who have Rafes twin at their home near Whitianga.

Flaxmill bay
Interesting cliffs

We headed up the windy road to Cooks Beach and had a quick look around before heading to Bruce and Judy’s place. They had their friends Graham and Shirley coming for tea as well with their new Roller Team A class. We would be parked together on an empty section across the road which was really handy.

Rorqual (right) with Whitianga behind

Earlier while we were on Cooks beach, we spotted Rorqual now being looked after our son Andrew and Jenna. They were on another friends boat down an Cathedral Cove but would catch up later.

Looking down on Rorqual left and out to Cooks Beach.

We headed up the Shakespeare Hill reserve at the end of the beach to the lookout up the top and could see from Cooks Beach, all the way around to Simpsons Beach and beyond on the other side.

Looking across to Whitianga from the lookout

The track is pretty steep in parts but an easy walk to the top and well worth it for the view in all directions. Looking down from the lookout we could also see Rorqual anchored in Lonely Bay by Cooks Beach.

Rorqual

Back on the beach there were some amazing Rock formations.. very typical of this area..

Amazing rock formations

Andrew and Jenna were dropped off back to their boat and headed in to the beach in their tender and we met them on the beach and then walked back to Rafe.

Bruce and Judy’s Motorhome.. same as Rafe

It was neat catching up with Bruce and Judy again and meeting their friends. Shirley is a really amazing painter shirleycresswell.com so it was really interesting talking to her and Graham about where they’d been and what they had done.

Rafe in the spare section

Later Andrew and Jenna headed back to Rorqual before dark and we later headed back to Rafe. Nice to catch up with them too.

A fantastic warm up for New Years Eve !

Just a bit of housekeeping …
Now that we’re permanently in our new house in Devonport and I’m doing a bit more photographic work for clients, I’m finding it much harder getting content to publish posts as often as I was.
So this year, the posts will be mainly photos with captions and when there is something to publish

Happy New Year.

Fiona & Chris, two empty nesters put their dreams of doing something different into reality… Living in their Motorhome, come along for the ride.

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