Redwood Forest Treewalk and Ride

This was the main reason why we wanted to come to Rotorua. We moved Rafe to Cozy Cottage Holiday Park as it’s a bit less to bike! We’ve stayed here before some time ago and as they were doing a deal and because I’m a sucker for Hot Pools which they have, yippee, we’re in!

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Walking through Redwood Forest

Its also closer to the Redwood Park area. As it was Easter, the park was chocker but mostly with tents and a few Caravans.

The Tree walk

After checking in, we got the bikes ready and headed off to the Redwoods Forest area. Although we had a brochure with a map on the back of the Trail to get there was as clear as mud and we found ourselves having to stop and get directions a few times but got there and its a great ride just getting there once you know where you’re going 🙂

Fiona checking in

I waited with the bikes and got some pictures around it while Fiona did the walk. It looks great with platforms on the bigger trees with suspension bridges between. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour. There is also a night time walk you can do with the trees all lit up which comes free with the daytime walk.

Into the forest

After Fiona got back, we got on the bikes and opted to do the “Mokopuna” trail which takes you around an easy route through the trees and about 2/3rds of the way around there is an exit chute from the forest where you can head back into town for lunch which is exactly what we did.

Magical

On the way back we rode past the Racecourse where there were 600 odd plus mostly white Motorhomes enjoying the NZMCA Annual AGM. An awesome sight seeing so many parked in one spot.

After the walk and onto the ride.

After lunch we headed back to the Park for a hot swim after our 16 odd K’s ride.

The Ngongotaha Trail

Staying in the Rotorua Family Holiday park, we were very close to the trail into Rotorua..in fact it starts just behind the Ngongotaha shops but we got on from right over the road.

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Fiona on the Trail into town

We set the bikes up and we were off. The Trail starts down the side of a wide bike lane on a road and then turns into the sealed path through bush right next to an old disused Railway line.

On the trail into Rotorua

Eventually it comes out at Lake road which is the main road heading to downtown Rotorua and past Kuirau Park.

The view from the top. Biking into town

We were heading into town for lunch at Eat St. I’ve been here several times but never actually stopped here for a feed so after checking all the shops out, we decided on a shared Pizza from and Italian Restaurant which was fantastic.

Eat st

An hour or so later we rode around to Kuirau park and had a look at some of the Thermal areas there. Amazing to see boiling mud in the middle of a built up area like that.

Plenty of heat
Kuirau Park

After having a good look around here, we headed back down to the trial back to Rafe at the park.

Coming back to the camp

The round trip was about 16k’s according to the bike so not far at all and a good bit of exercise on a well setup and safe Trail.

Down the road from the camp

 

Art Deco by the lake

Fiona and I popped in to this Camp Saver park a few years ago and it is in a magic spot. Right on the end of the Ngongotaha bike trail to Rotorua.

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The Cabins look awesome

The bike trail into town is just over the road and at the end of a very short road is the lake with a public ramp and a jetty.  Ngongotaha shops are an easy walk up the road.

Reece and Dianne have been running this camp for a few years now and although they’re Motorhomers themselves, there hasn’t really been much time for them to get away.

The Childrens play area

Every time I looked outside Rafe, there was Reece chopping a tree back or getting a planned maintenance chore out of the way.

Classic shower block

The newly done up Art Deco shower and Toilet blocks are just the bees knees and the cabins are in the same style.

Down the road from the camp

The last time we were here it was so hot, we spent the best part of an afternoon in their swimming pool. There is also a well appointed play area for the little ones too.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Rotorua Family Holiday Park – Armada GPS

David and Liz’s Cosy Rapido

Fiona and I first met David and Liz at an annual Dethleffs do at Miranda years ago when they had their new A Class Esprit.  They had it for several years until they fell in love with their 2010 Rapido A class Motorhome on Trade me.

It is 7.4 metres long, has a huge payload and is rear wheel drive with a Mercedes 185HP motor which “goes like stink”.

David and Liz both come from a long NZ Army background like us and David knows Fiona’s Dad, Uncle and they have many common friends.. love it when that happens!

We met up with them again at the Covi Rally at Ellerslie Racecourse.

Nicely finished. I love the woodgrain on the dash.

Since they picked it up 8 months ago, they’ve done 20000k’s in it so they really enjoying it.

Galley area

Galley

David’s favorite spot was Mt Cook on a beautiful clear day when they went on the Alpine Track.

Most French beds are tucked up against the wall and hemmed in top and bottom, making it hard work to make the bed.. this is the real thing!  Access to 3 sides !

Corner Bed

What I liked about this Motorhome over their last Motorhome was its nice cosy feel, it looks and feels solid but is still under 4 tons GVM.

A good solid look to it too.

Really nice people enjoying their really nice Motorhome.

The Covi Rally at Ellerslie Racecourse

Having helped park a couple of these Rallies, they are a BIG job for the volunteers who put these together and with this one, Neal and his parking team kept the bar high with their direction and parking skills.

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Chief parker Neal with his 3m stick

This year like last year, the parking costs were covered by Covi organisers along with a free bus service which ran in a cycle every half an hour or so… it worked beautifully. There was also a storage area at the Show where you could securely store any goodies purchased and pick them up on the way back on the bus… a great idea.

Plenty of white Motorhomes

I’m not sure how many people were at the Rally but a general estimate I would say it was at least 500 vehicles on the first day all beautifully parked by Neal and his team from the Waikato group with Counties pitching in too as a joint parking effort.. well done guys.

My little place in the world

The best part for me at these events was catching up with friends I haven’t seen for a while who have come for the show.

A great effort and well done to all those Volunteers.

Rafe’s Tracker map to the show Motorhome parking – Armada GPS

The 2021 Covi Motorhome Show

I always look forward to these mainly for the new gadgets which this year, was the Drones which you can take away and use them for fishing.

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Drones that can fish!

The Star of the show for me though was ACM’s Freedom Platinum Elite. The one in the show is customised for wheelchair access but it is HUGE inside. ACM is owned by a Boatbuilder Chris and the Elite just reeks of a quality build everywhere you look.

Click on the Galley below for a look at the Platinum Elite

The Vivaldi made by Tabbert was the first one of these I’ve seen new having seen one in Tokoroa at the Scottish Games event. Beautifully appointed and well made and really popular in Europe.

Kitchen Dining area in the Vivaldi

Its really nice to see them arriving here.

Click on the Gallery below for the beautiful Vivaldi 

Recently I helped some friends buy a Burstner Lyseo and it was my first opportunity to see one up close if you like.

The Burstner Lyseo

They have an amazing 850kg payload! Some of its competitors in its class, only have half that, and with the Police just getting ready with their in road weigh stations, I’m sure it’ll be a big seller.

Click on the Gallery below to see the Lyseo

It was great to see some of the travel destinations like Awakeri Rail there and also the Top 10 Holiday park team.

A happy man from the Top 10 organisation.

Awakeri Rail Trail

I was there on Friday and it was busy from 10am on and a couple of the dealers I spoke to seemed pretty happy with the way things were going.

Click on the Gallery below for Show Images

Another year another great show.

Plenty of white Motorhomes at Ellerslie Racecourse

 

New Batteries – UPDATE

One of the first things I do after publishing a post is to link it through to several Facebook pages relating to Motorhoming.

I’d only just posted my post on my new Batteries from AA Solar when several people commented on how they were not optimally wired. They weren’t incorrect but I would get more life out of them if they were changed and several made suggestions on how it could be improved.

To be fair, Thorsten the Technician, only rewired what he inherited from the previous setup and increased the wiring size while he did it.

I actually thought it looked much better than how it was but when I posted into the NZMCA facebook forum, the advice came back on improvements that could be made and it was worth giving it another look.

How it was

I called AA Solar and after seeing my photos, they agreed and were more than happy to reset the wiring. What a difference!  Its got a much more obvious flow to it and even tidier than before.. It should perform better too.

Its a Beautiful thing

Thorsten finishing off the changes.

Thanks to all those who pitched in with the advice and thanks to Thorsten and AA Solar for a job well done.

New Batteries ..maybe before time.

Isn’t it funny how as you go through the various upgrades on your Motorhome or Caravan and someone tells you, “buy this, its the best there is” and you say to yourself later “more homework was required!”

In early 2018, I did just that and bought some new batteries which were then the best thing since sliced bread as they had a new fangled silicon plate system.

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Not long after I had them installed, I took Rafe back to get the new batteries load tested as I thought they were dropping their voltage too quickly but they passed with flying colours.

Over the last few years I’ve persisted with them and we’ve found ourselves being plugged in to power more often than we’d probably like to prevent  voltage range anxiety.

A nameless friend and battery advisor has  explained to me that the batteries I had, due to how they’re made were  not  known performers as house batteries for Motorhomes.

So here we are only 3 and a bit years later replacing them with Champion Deep Cycle AGM’s from AA Solar in Silverdale.  With the NZMCA discount, these batteries are known performers as house batteries and are quite a bit less expensive than the 3 yr old ones I’ve replaced.

The empty space under the seat for the new batteries after the old batteries were removed.

Thorsten was the technician on the job and got into taking Rafe’s seat out to get at the batteries underneath.

Thorsten re doing the cables for the terminals.

Out they came and with a quick test, although they had lost a significant amount of power, they were probably ok as low load crank batteries for a year or two. I made the decision to dump them as I could see them sitting in the back of our carport in three years time 🙂

Just about done.

In went the new batteries.. the new Champions were a bit longer but just fitted in under the seat. Thorsten took one look at the wiring for the second battery and declared it to be vastly undersized.. so he replaced this with colour coded heatshrink and new terminal bolts.. very tidy.

I was really pleased with how it went with the wiring and the batteries and am now looking forward to now being able to be off grid a bit more than we have with known performing, Deep Cycle batteries.

All done !

With the new wiring and all cleaned up it really is a big improvement just looking at it and it almost seems a shame to cover it all up with the seat 🙂 Thanks Thorsten for a really tidy job.

Wzzzzz and up it goes

I’d just switched the engine off and was plugging in the power point when Lance and Sophie pulled up alongside in the next door Camp spot. They were huge plots so we had plenty of room.

Click on an Image to Enlarge

It turns out that they has recently just bought it online from Palmerston North and was only 5 weeks old ! This one is a Flagstaff Mac made by the great American RV company Forest River.

Lance and Sophie with their trailer

This is their second one of this type although the first one was no where near as flash as this new one. They leveled it on the ground, plugged in the power cord to the post and flicked a switch and up it went! Quite impressive if you haven’t seen one before. Apparently their last one was a wind up one.

With a slide out dining area and the end bedroom areas that po out, its amazing how much room there is. It has a built in BIG gas heater for those cold nights too. Despite the fact that it is mostly canvas and several layers of blinds etc, it really holds the heat in.

Roomy!

Galley area

Lance was saying they got theirs second hand but they are available here new for around $32k fully kitted out which is an option for families who have a limited budget and don’t want a big Caravan.

Extra bed space

Dining area slideout

This was one of the first trips away they have had in it apart from bring it up from Palmerston North and they seemed very happy with it.

Looking across the slide out

A great couple enjoying their time on the road.

Above the waves at Muriwai

Only 40 odd k’s from the centre of Auckland is the fantastic west coast surf beach called Muriwai and directly behind the dunes is a raised campground.

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The view

Being so close to Auckland it is super handy if you’re not looking at doing any serious miles and it feels like you’re miles away.

I checked in during the week as they have a minimum of $46.00 during the weekend. It was just $23 for 1 during the week. I wondered about the wisdom of doing this as a lot of people in Motorhomes do travel on their own and now there are no international tourists, it is excluding a large section of those travelling.

Cheryll and Denise were very welcoming and gave me a brief guided tour and allocated me a park up on one of the top terraces with a view over the sea.

Before I’d even plugged in I had met my immediate neighbours also both from Auckland !

New Showers

The campground is leased from the council and about 4 years ago, the council demolished the old tin shed toilets and showers etc and built brand new concrete and really upmarket new buildings.

BBQ area

I tried out the shower and all it has is a push button which once pressed, the shower delivers the perfect pressure and temperature and automatically turns off afterwards. You can turn it off earlier I’m told by simply pressing the button again… very smart… and super clean.

Its a simple hop skip and a jump over a small park and over the sand dunes to the beach.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

While I was there, there were dozens of young people catching waves and enjoying the surf.

Great surf

The Gannet Colony

Muriwai goes for miles so if its a walk you’re after, there is plenty of scope for that too!  I was impressed with the camp, its facilities and the friendly hosts.

Looking North

End of the Day

A nice spot and if you like the beach, the perfect place for a long weekend.

Rafe’s Tracker map – Armada GPS

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