Wow what a Park.

As we drove Rafe down from Awakino, I was quietly hoping that we would be able to squeeze in to the new NZMCA park in Bell Block, just outside New Plymouth.

A panorama from the top

I needn’t have worried as when we arrived there were only about 4 vehicles there and as the day went on, more popped in.

Its a HUGE park and really nicely set out with the 3 metre spacers in the ground so no room for arguments. There is one of the best Double sided Dump Stations there with Fresh water dotted all around the outside perimeter of the park. With nicely smoothed out Gravel all over the park, there is no worries if the heavens open up. It just couldn’t get any better.

The view from the top

We rode into the City via the Coastal Walkway and it is a 20k round trip and was easy on our Huff’n’Puff bikes!!

Checking out the seat
Mt Egmont at Dusk

Another nice spot and the seat on the top of the bank is a nice touch too 🙂

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Rafe’s map to the NZMCA park

Fulltimers finally land – Motorhome for Sale

Here’s from October last year

After 3 years or so off full time Motorhoming, Gary and Chris  are back in their Ruakaka bach after having it rented out while they were away. They’re still in their Motorhome outside though while they do a virtual rebuild along with huge changes and additions for their retirement.

Click on the images for Hi Res

Outside

Gary and Chris were old boatie mates and we used to spend most weekends and Christmas holidays in the Hauraki Gulf when we had our old Whalechaser Rorqual. They had a lovely old classic sedan called Nau Mai. There were many happy moments and we had a lot of fun.

After selling up in Devonport and spending 5 years or so in Ranfurly, for a change of scene and direction running a B&B, they then bought their first Motorhome, an ex CI Munro renter on a Mitzi Canter base. They later upgraded this to a newer Mitzi Fuso which is what they have now and now they’ve finished their Ruakaka rebuild, it is on the market!

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow of the House

The house is looking fantastic and is very different to how it was.

And from now…

So .. the Mitzi Motorhome.. here’s some facts and figures that Gary has sent me.

The kitchen area

Its a 2008 Mitsi Fuso Canter with a 3.9 Litre Turbo with a Manual 5 speed box.

It has Rego till December and a New COF and its  never failed a COF
There are 3000 RUC remaining.
The Speedo has 95088 km on it, and the Hubometer has 91220.
It is officially a  CI MUNRO ULTIMA 4 berth. Gary put 6.5 metres on it but I’ve parked next to it and its at least 7 metres long.
Rear wheel drive on duals.  Stove / oven / Dometic 3 way fridge freezer and a Diesel Heater. It has also had Netspeed installed and the Aerials are on the roof.

Here’s some piccies when he first bought it….

Click on the Gallery for  Slideshow

Thats about all I can add or remember so call Gary for more info on 027 778 8557.

All I can add is that Gary being an engineer, he has looked after it and it is in really good Nick.. Someone is going to be buying  a really nice Motorhome.

The Coastal Walkway

It was going to be a scorcher so we got the bikes sorted and headed from the Bell Block park down towards the Waterfront to join up to the Walkway.

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Fiona screaming down the hill to the walkway.

From the Bell Block park to the Wind Wand is about 20k’s round trip so its a good ride and you know you’ve used some muscles when you return 🙂

Coming up to the Te Rewa Rewa bridge
The Te Rewarewa ridge

The trip is mostly downhill to the Te Rewa Rewa bridge but its a fantastic pathway. Some of its boardwalk but most of it is a wide concrete path which eventually goes through the side of the Fitzroy Holiday Park. We stopped at the Kiosk for a cuppa and something to eat and then rode on to the Wind Wand. Great fun.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

There we left the waterfront to have a quick look at some shops and then headed back along one of the shopping streets and back down to rejoin the Waterfront.

Fitzroy beach

Just fantastic. A great outlook and apart from the uphill bit at the end going up through the houses was pretty easy. .. Well worth doing!!

Heading home

A couple of glasses of wine later with some neighbours in the park and that was us for the day 🙂

Down by the Riverside

As we pulled in to this newish NZMCA park, we could see why some would be confused and miss it. It has an really interesting entrance which curls around to the left and down a hill by the entrance to the Otorohanga College but it is pretty clearly marked.

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The Entrance to the park

We arrived mid afternoon just before one of the 4 local Park Custodians Rob popped in to check all was ship shape. A nice guy and he gave us some good information of the park and where everything was.

Nice and Shady

The neighbours are interesting.. all cows but there are quite a few of them and the location right by the river is lovely. It seems that Otorohanga has had some issues over the years with flooding and there have been some big stop banks built but this area seems to be ok.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

There were quite a few Motorhomes and a couple of Caravans but  plenty of room for more.

A peep of the river behind

The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze.. another top spot to stay and only 800 metres into the shops. (15 minutes on a bike!)

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Rafe’s Tracker map

Origin at Otorohanga

We were staying in the reasonably newish Otorohanga NZMCA park which is only 800 metres to the Town centre.

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Otorohanga’s main street

One of the first shops we popped into was an Art Deco shop which had all sorts of stuff in it including quite a bit section on Steam Punk as well. Lots of Cloche hats and neat things.

Fiona with the poles outside the I site

A walk across the road and down through the Ed Hillary lane was a huge display of Kiwiana including a neatly displayed board of Kiwi slang and its American or English equivalent. Also there were old ads for wringer washing machines and reminders of the half pint of Milk at School. I was a milk monitor at the school I was at in Central Wellington so remember it well. Nice cold milk in winter for morning tea, Yum!

The Railway Station built in 1923 after the original burnt down

As you come out of the arcade at the other end is the railway station. We parked the bikes and went in for a couple of Latees. There we met Roger who owns the Origin coffee company that imports Coffee from their own farm in Malawi and brews it in the Railway Station. The coffee is fantastic. One of the best I’ve had for a while.

Fiona ordering coffees

Roger started Origin in 1999 and has gone from strength to strength since then. When you’re in the Station, don’t expect a big selection of food apart from Toasted Sammies and Cakes. The good news is, you’re welcome to bring you’re own food. Roger is keen to concentrate on the coffee 🙂

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

After half an hour or so of chatting to Roger and enjoying the Coffee, as we were leaving, the Auckland to Wellington Train pulled in… this is a trip I want to do as well.. looks great !

The Railway station with the North Island train in.

We biked back to Rafe at the park to think about when we can do that Train trip 🙂

In sight of the mountain

We’ll be heading here again soon.. a lovely spot!

Friends in New Plymouth suggested I should have a look at Opunake but on the way from Hawera, I read about a small campsite at Kaupokonui Beach which is not far on the Opunake side of Manaia, about 4ks so I thought I’d give it a shot.
KaupokonuiThe campsite itself was down in a valley next to a river entrance to the sea with huge sandhills opposite. It looked the business but before I went down the valley, I stopped at the top to see if there was any internet around.. There was, so off I went.

Click on the images to see Hi res or a slideshow

Campground with view
Campground with view

I met Jim in the office who was very a happy friendly guy who said that if I stayed for three days, it would be $15 per night.  I still had another week of unsupervised travel before Fiona came down so it sounded like a good plan 🙂
I parked up and almost immediately met my neighbours who were in their new Carado, which is made in the Hymer factory and is identical to the Dethleffs Sunlight. Dot and Ron were cruising in their new van and were originally from  Wellington. They have just sold their house and looking at what to do next.

Whitebaiters enjoying the river
Whitebaiters enjoying the river
Looking across from the Dunes
Looking across from the Dunes

The campground is great as it sits on a plateau above the river entrance. The level below is a favourite spot for whitebaiters and there is a footbridge which makes the Sandhills opposite, easily accessible.

I went for a couple of walks around and the first thing you notice is the quiet, the clean air and for the time I was here, it was non stop sunshine and no wind.
I also met three caravan/bus loads of people from Wanganui here for the weekend.

Our friends from Wanganui enjoying the sun.
Our friends from Wanganui enjoying the sun.

With the first Bledisloe test looming that night, he was having trouble with his sky card which I tested in our tv as well for him but I suspect it needs resetting by sky for not having had power for a few weeks.

Nice pic of Rafe with the mountain
Nice pic of Rafe with the mountain

I went to sleep ignoring the rugby but happened to wake up at midnight anyway and watched it then on Prime.. Great game.
For its money, it’s a nice camp in a great location and it’s not surprising it gets really busy in summer.

Cricket on the mudflats

Another nice contender for Summer 2018

Fiona had left Bland Bay and was heading back to town to do other things .. and work so she suggested that I spend another night out on the way back. We stopped in Waipu and had lunch and then Fiona went on to Auckland.

Click on the images for Hi Res or a Slideshow

The cricket pitch with the campground behind
The cricket pitch with the campground behind

I rang the good folk at one of my favorite spots when the weathers good, Whangateau by Matakana. A great campground run by Auckland City.

In the Grandstand
In the Grandstand

Today was a bit different as when I arrived, the tide was out and there was a friendly game of cricket with two families involved. One was from Whangaparoa and the other from the UK visiting. They were having a ball. I had to get some piccies.

It is a fascinating place to watch as the tide comes in really quickly covering hundreds of metres of exposed mud in just under an hour… Amazing to watch.

The water is coming in
The water is coming in

A nice campground if you’re looking for somewhere not to far from Auckland. See my earlier Whangateau post here.

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Rafes Track to Whangateau Holiday park

Rafes Tracker Map
Rafes Tracker Map

Merry Christmas

Another year flashes by and we’re into Christmas again.. fun times and sunshine.

The last few months have seen us parked up a bit with the house sale going on for longer than we thought. Its a done deal now with settlement in mid February  so we have our last Christmas in this house and then who knows.. 🙂  We haven’t seen anything we like yet so we may be renting or living in Rafe for a wee bit.

Rafe looking Christmasy 

Merry Christmas everyone and Fiona and I hope you have a great New Year.. be careful on the roads and if you see us out there, please come and say hello.

 

A Happy Place

Another nice place to consider for summer!

Fiona’s cousin Iain has been coming here for years, every holiday break and he calls it his “Happy Place” and I heard somone else call it this too… and its all true 🙂

Click on the images for Hi Res

A Happy Place

Kaiteriteri is just a magic place in the world and with an off season deal for NZMCA members at $98 a week, it truly is happy time sitting there amongst other nice NZMCA’rs looking at the beach literally in front of your front bumper!

Long termers in the middle rows

We’d just stopped and parked in front of the reception and I was walking in to check in when I met Selwyn and Lynda. This was before I’d even checked in ! They were off on a walk over to Little Kaiteriteri via a lookout on a track through the bush. They showed me how to get there so we could do it to. What a welcome !

Close to the water

The receptionist was amazing too. She insisted that if we weren’t happy with the site, I could shift which we did later.

Huge

Its a huge campground with muliple ammenties blocks. In winter, they cut costs by closing all but one block. There are more than 400 powered sites and several cottages. They even have their own small supermarket and nearby are several bars and restaurants to suit all tastes . A very well setup campground.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

After checking in on a brilliantly fine day, we went for a walk up to the lookout at one end of the beach and Fiona carried on to Little Kaiteriteri for more exercise. That afternoon, we sat around the beach and checked out the camp.

Fiona at the lookout

Later in the day, we met up again with Selwyn and Lynda who were only parked two away from us so we commandeered an empty barbeque table and enjoyed an hour of laughs and something cold with them. They hadn’t come that far as they lived in Motueka or “Mot” as its known locally. This to me gives you some idea of how good they think it is at Kaiteriteri when they could be anywhere.

Looking down from the lookout

The next day, we took off in Rafe over to the next bay around Marahau. It is a really bendy, twisty road and we averaged probably 30 k all the way there. Interesting though to see and it is another lovely bay. From here you can go right up into the Abel Tasman Park. We headed back on another easier road and stopped for a cup of tea at the charming coffee shop in Riwaka.

Looking across to Little Kaiteriteri

We have been here before a couple of years ago with Gary and Chris with their Fuso. But weren’t here long enough to have a good look around.

Lovely spot and a very Happy Place !

Rafes Track to Kaiteriteri

Its all about that Beach

Part 3 of the 2018 Nice spots to go for Summer

The Bowentown Holiday Park is in one of the best locations with one of the best Beachs !

With a friendly crew and with the NZMCA off season deal of pay for two nights,  and get two thrown in, it was just too tempting! Their normal tariff at $23pp powered I thought was very reasonable anyway, given the facilities provided.

With Tania’s cheery voice on the phone  and confirming there was a space for Rafe, I was underway.

Click on an image for Hi Res

On the way, I stopped off at Karangahake Gorge to do the Windows walk. Well worth doing, and after that, I stopped to check out the new NZMCA park at Waihi Beach.

Another great addition to the parks network.

Nice outlook

The Bowentown Holiday Park is at the end of a long  peninsula right on the beach. It is well setup up with a newish Amenities block with TV room, Games room, huge Kitchen and an amazing space age looking Laundry. There is also a spa pool area there too.
I was offered a park right up against the hill overlooking the beach and the rest of the park. It was a breeze getting in and settling Rafe and I was off for a look around and down to the beach. A magic spot.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

The park has just changed hands after 30 something years, with new owners Mike and Bec settling in and only just 4 weeks in, have already got a plan of attack for new improvements. Two of the cabins are well into a full refurbishment with more to come!

New owners Mike and Bec

The beach here though is the feature of course and being right next to it, it just doesn’t get any better. Even in Winter!

A nice park, nice people and I’ll be back soon.

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