All of Eriksen

Well .. It just gets better and better here at Eriksen road. The last time I was here during the Napier Art Deco week earlier in the year, two thirds of it was roped off but now it’s huge.. Massive! What a great park.

Eriksen Park
Eriksen Park

I was staying two nights and came here so I could get a really good signal for uploading some piccies for these posts but I love it here as you’re well away from boy racers etc and it feels nice and secure.

There were only a handful of other Motorhomes here so there was room for Africa. I can’t imagine that even in the height of summer, you’d ever fill this park and it’s dead flat too. I understand too that there is a new building coming for people to meet and greet without getting wet  when it rains, which will be great.

Plenty of room
Plenty of room

The first night was good until 4:30 odd in the morning when Rafe started moving all over the place. I thought it was wind but then decided that the movement was everywhere and it turned out to be the earthquake off East Cape. Within minutes, Facebook took off and eventually I got to sleep and woke up around 9 odd.

Click on the images to see them in Hi Res or a slideshow

I went for a bike ride into Napier which is about 20 minutes away by bike. There are great bike trails here and it’s pretty much straight down the waterfront and you’re there. Fiona had been “encouraging” me to get a haircut so I found a barber and when I sat down, out came the electric clippers and he went straight up the back of my head!! .. It sounds worse than it was but needless to say, it’s one of the shortest haircuts I’ve had for a long long time. It must be what they do in Napier🙂

While I was sitting in a cafe in Napier recovering from my short haircut, munching on something, I found that I’d missed a phone call while the barber was attacking me.
It was Chris Nuttall who has recently taken over the admin role of I’ve met him before when we first got Rafe at a Campercare show so it was great to hear from him. Between us, we decided it would be good to catch up for something cold back at Eriksen. I had an hour to get back, have a shower and tidy myself up. There was a chance too that Shellie and David Evans might pop in too so I was looking forward to meeting them.
Chris and then the Evans’s arrived and we had a very happy two or more hours of catching up. A lot of fun.

Chris Nuttall, Shellie and David Evans .. A fun afternoon
Chris Nuttall, Shellie and David Evans .. A fun afternoon
The Sunset outside Rafe when Chris and the Evans's left.
The Sunset outside Rafe when Chris and the Evans’s left.

Ericksen Park. I’m very impressed and what a great spot. I’ll be back again and well done to all those involved in getting it to where it is today.

A bike ride through Wanganui

I was staying at Caroline’s Outback Campground and with a day where it was threatening to rain, I decided to ride into Wanganui town and have a wee look around.Wanganui
I stopped down by where the ferry is kept on the river not far from Moutua Park and the buildings around there were just something else.

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WanganuiQuite a few of them were vacant which gave me reason to think that some of the businesses might be finding it tough but despite that, they’re well maintained and just beautiful buildings. I’m a bit of sucker for things like this, old boats buildings cars.. Just nice to see.

While I was there, a maintainence person came about and started painting the funnel of the river boat. I also came across a lady trying to get a picture of the ball on the waterfront without getting herself in the reflections so I was happy to show her how with the built in cracks on the ball. 😀Wanganui
After an hour of cruising around, I headed back to the camp before the expected rain hit. Great bike tracks and walkways and a neat little city with lovely buildings.

Caroline’s Outback Gem

Caroline had a really popular Celtic cafe and bar in the Whanganui City Centre but tragedy struck and it burnt to the ground. Bouncing back from adversity, she purchased the Arohomo Hotel next to the river which was for sale at the time.

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From the street
From the street

Over the course of the last few years, she has completely rebuilt the Bar and Restaurant and now Caroline’s Boatshed is one of Whanganui’s finest eating out establishments.
Caroline's BoathouseHaving quite a lot of land behind the Restaurant, with her Caretaker, Bruce, they’ve developed this into a well equipped Motorhome park complete with 30 powered sites, a dump station, showers and a washing machine.

At $15 a night for a powered site for 1 or $25 for two, it’s very good value.

The outbuilding at the back.
The outbuilding at the back.

For me, being right next to the river, a flat bike ride to town, it’s a magic discovery

Motorhome Show Rally – Mystery Creek

It was nice to see Chris and Margaret and the others from the forum, many that I’ve never met before. Andrew and Debbie from Tauranga, nice to see you too. Given the weather was pretty naff, it was good to see such a good turnout.

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Motorhomes and Caravans as far as the eye can see. Click on the image to enlarge.
Motorhomes and Caravans as far as the eye can see.
Click on the image to enlarge.
Interesting power setup
Interesting power setup

Hundreds of vans parked everywhere and all shapes and sizes. I went for a bite of a wander to have a look for some of the more unusual looking or big/little Motorhomes.

It was also good to see my friends from Miranda, Marama and Rob and also Karen from the Motorhome Friends Facebook page with their Trailites.  We were also joined by our fulltiming friends Chris and Gary.  Good to see them too.

Many had multi day passes to the show and were in and out every day.

Chris and Margarets Jayco
Chris and Margarets Jayco and the Forum Overnighters

Most were there for the full duration of three days. Nice too that so many recognised Rafe and came up to say hello and we could put names to faces. It’s always nice to meet you and get your feedback.

Campercare Motorhome Show 2016

There were zillions of Motorhomes everywhere you looked for the rally. A great turnout. I was lucky to get a spot in close and chose to get a powered site.

Click on the images for Hi Res 

Rafe all plugged in and cosy
Rafe all plugged in and cosy

It was well organised and the power was nicely laid out for each site.

On with the show .  I was really taken with one of the smaller Dethleffs Caravans called the C Go where there were bunks in the back which folded away for extra storage with outside garage access as well. Very clever. These are 7.7m long overall and are 1220kg tare weight and cost $53000 and perfect for a small family.

On display this year as well were the new Frankias. The one I saw was the T7400 which had two single beds with a pull out section which made one big massive bed.
Nicely appointed with a roomy social area at the front. They’re on a Mercedes base and are $190.000.

It was nice to see two Motorhome Friendly towns with stands for their towns, Whanganui and Kawerau, encouraging Motorhomers and people to visit.


New this year is Vantage Rv’s Ute based, go anywhere fold out camping setup called Ute-Opia Camp Canopy which fit on your ute. They start at $7000 and come with as little or as much as you want. Their new Alden dishes which automatically unravel themselves when you simply turn on your TV.. Very natty. They also sell and install the Netspeed Motorhome Broadband system. You can see more of these products at

The Ute-Opia and the Alden Dishes
The Ute-Opia and the Alden Dishes

I was also impressed with the new Jayco Silverline caravans with the pop outs. I was talking to my friend Chris who has one and apparently the new pop outs with Jayco are now leak proof and dust proof and reliable so that’s great. Heaps of room with high suspension and built for the Aussie rough roads will go anywhere. They seem to be reasonable value too in the late $90k ‘s for the one I looked at.

One of the things which was notable this year was the new Kampa air awning room which clips on to your Motorhome or caravan to create a room outside. This one is inflatable and simply blows up and comes complete with opening windows, blinds and insect screens for $1600 approx. Thule and Fiamma also make similar types of this which clip on to your awning.
My only concern with all these was that in most Motorhomes, the fridge is by the habitation door which is covered by these awnings so how does this work with freedom camping and with the Gas exhaust from the fridge.?  They’re a fantastic idea and a great way to increase useable space but so far when I’ve asked the question from several retailers, no one seems to have an answer.  If you’ve got the Grandkids out in them for the night, you would want to be plugged in somewhere with the gas off or have a big window open. As I say, a fantastic idea but some caution required if people are sleeping in them.

The Pavilion was full with exhibitors which was great and most that I talked to on the first day, we’re having fun and selling plenty so that’s great.

The Campercare stand.
The Campercare stand.

The Pavilion ended with a great Food Hall area with the usual chips, drinks and other food vendors. One vendor there had fried bread with cheese and spring onion with cream cheese which was lovely.

Plenty of Motorhomes
Plenty of Motorhomes

It’s seemed to all run like clockwork and was a well presented show.

More coming on the Rally…..

The Old Tank

Heading for the Countdown supermarket at Kilburnie after a quick trip down from Paekaekareki was easy. There was plenty of parking over two car parks and I got heaps of stuff for us both for a few days. After nearly two weeks of unsupervised travel, I’d spent the previous two days tidying up the van, washing the linen and getting things shipshape for Fiona 🙂

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In Evans Bay
In Evans Bay

It was time to head for the airport and pick her up from the flight from Auckland. I hadn’t been to Wellington airport for a while so I was a bit unsure of how Motorhome friendly it might or might not be!  Wee bit stressful !
After getting a fright at how low the canopy was for the pick up area, I opted for the departure ramp and all was fine !
We made it safely to Evans Bay after that and it was nice to be able to switch off, open the vents and have a cup of tea and work out what we were doing.

WW1 DisplayAfter we’d had lunch in a French Cafe in town by David Jones, we walked to the main War memorial museum to see the Peter Jackson display of World War 1.  It was amazing with the usual high quality displays. The realism was quite something.

Tank tracks above
Tank tracks above

It was interesting as my Grandfather drove one of these old Tanks in the Somme in the First World War. I remember as a 4 year old him telling me stories of how they used to cross the German trenches with these monsters.  I won’t spill all the gory details but it’s interesting that now that I’m nearly 60, I can still remember exactly what he described🙂
I used to love listening to his stories and he loved telling them.  He was a real character.
Apparently he turned up to his own funeral after the war at his home town in Little Downham, Ely. He saw someone in the street and asked where they were.. “Oh Bert, they’re all at your funeral down at the church!”  His mother was so pleased to see him that she scraped the mud of his coat and put it in a little tin. My son Alex has got that tin with the dirt today along with medals and other important family stuff. … Great stuff for a 4 yr old🙂 .. And his peppermints in the old Mark 1 Zephyr were good too !

Back to the show.. I didn’t realise the scale and how big they were compared to infantry soldiers and the crews.

Poignant Memorial
Poignant Memorial

The display was stunning and I reckon it’s a must do if you’re in Wellington. The very last display is quite poignant too of an older chap in a field of poppies with a young boy.. Fantastic display.

Roxy Theatre

In Wellington, I received a message from my old friend (and work colleague and Motorhomer) Grant suggesting that we should go and check out the Roxy Theatre in Miramar.

Click on the images to see Hi Res or a slideshow
RoxyAs it was only a few K’s away from our base at Evans Bay, we set out to check it out and it’s a thing of beauty.

Owned jointly by Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk of Weta Workshop fame, it is simply stunning.
imageThey’ve owned it for quite a long time but due to their work commitments with the movie industry, they had to put the renovation job on hold until a few years ago.
It was once a shopping centre so it has been a big do up job.

There is a really nice cafe on the ground floor but the decor and attention to detail with old movie cameras, the art and a huge ceiling mural is just stunning.

RoxyIn the middle of Miramar shops, it’s something you must check out.
The Weta cave is at the other end of Park ave, which is also worth visiting too. There is easy Motorhome parking in the surrounding streets so easy to get there.  Thanks Grant for telling us about it.

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

Diverting Journeys

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not all who wander are lost.......JRR Tolkien

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