The Big Ride to the Horeke Pub

After a great night of catching up with Helen, Chloe and Jessica along with Dianne and Gary, it was time to get some sleep for the big 30k ride the next day.

Click on any Image for Hi Res

Getting the bikes ready

The next morning, Helen and the the girls set off to check out the Bay of Islands and we got organised and set off towards Horeke.

The top part of the Trail

We simply crossed the road and headed off down the trail. The first part of the trail is downhill..some of it so steep that you are advised to walk it! The first third is pretty much downhill but then it flattens out and its up and down the rest of the way through to Horeke but the trail is pretty easy and nicely set out.

Riding beside the stream

The middle part of the ride go’s through Snows Farm and past a Lily pond and the track is set in some really nice easy bush and along side a river. The scenery and countryside is amazing.

Dianne and Fiona

Eventually the track comes out to a road and then cross’s over to a huge wooden track built up over the Mangroves on the upper reaches of the Hokianga. From there it is only a few K’s to the pub.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

We were well and truly ready for a G&T and a sit down lunch and the lunch didn’t disappoint!ย  The Seafood Chowder was recommended to us by Noeline at the Rail Stay so 4 Seafood Chowders later, everyone was happy.

Peter the Publican came over to say Hi and it was interesting talking to him. He has owned the Horeke Tavern for more than 25 years so has seen some big changes.

Horeke Pub

Peter runs a shuttle for bikes and gave a us a ride back to the Rail Stay. Gary being a bit of sucker for some more punishment, decided to ride back on his electric bike and did it in really good time too, despite it being mostly uphill on the way back.

Back for a cold one with Rafe later.. Dianne, Jessica, Helen and Gary.

Old Rail Freight Wagons for a Snooze

Motorhome friends Helen and two of her daughters, Chloe and Jessica were heading up to Okaihau to stay at the Okaihau Rail Stay. We were also catching up with Gary and Dianne and cycling part of the Rail trail to Horeke which is about 30 k’s to the coast.

Nice layout

Arriving later in the afternoon, we checked in at the Office and met Noeline who set it up and she helped us with power and getting ourselves organised.

First Class

Noeline has been collecting and doing up old Railway Wagons for about 4 years and now has 4 of them set up for accomodation. There is also a Kitchen, Shower and Toilet all looking like a stattion and railway station side buildings. The whole place is immaculatly tidy and clean quite cleverly set out.

Neoline with Maeo the welcome committee ๐Ÿ™‚

The Motorhome parking is over a fence on a big paddock. Beyond that on another section is Noeline’s husbands trucking business.

The Rail Trail from Opua to Horeke is right opposite and so its just case of crossing the road to do the trail.

Us all settled in.

We were charged $30 a night for two including power.

Sorry no map as the GPS tracker has spat the dummy but Okaihau is about 15ks’ north of Kaikohe.

The Hundertwasser Town

Kawakawa is famous for its loos and the artwork of Frederich Hundertwasser. Some of the shops have now taken to this unique look as well and it looks great. We were on route to places North but stopped here for lunch.

Click on any Image for Hi Res

One of the shops

We parked down by the Railway Station at the other end of the town and as we walked through, we found that the Cafe’s were a bit light on the food.

The entrance to the Hundertwasser toilets

What we didn’t know was that there were a couple of cruise ships in at the bay of Islands just around the corner and they had bussed in passengers and literally cleaned out the Cafe’s of food!

The main street

We eventually found one at the other end that the busloads seem to miss so all was good.

Sharing the road

Kawakawa is one of the few places in NZ where the Train goes right through the centre of the main street in town but the locals take it all in their stride. It is a real sight.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Although most of us know Frederich Hundertwasser as the designer of the Kawakawa loos, he has also designed Railway Stations, Grain Silo’s and other well known buildings all over the world.

Like a Tooth Missing

We were heading up North for the weekend to catch up with Helen, Chloe and Jessica and also meet Gary and Dianne from Taupo. The plan was to meet Gary and Dianne at the Caledonian Park at Waipu for a night and then go on up North after that.

Click on any Image for Hi Res

The Neissmann and Rafe

We pulled into the park early in the afternoon and it was good to see a few others in there enjoying the park. There were several Caravans and a couple of Buses there. What wasn’t so good to see was the missing buidings from the recent fire.

You can the back of Rafe in the park next door

As Gary said later, it was like a Tooth was missing. The fire happened in late September and burnt 3 shops to the ground including Fiona’s favorite cafe which is temporarily trading in a building over the road. Having something like this happen in a small town like Waipu would be devastating and I’m sure was a real shock to the town.

Neat Town
That Gap from across the road.

The town rallied around to help those businesses and many worked through their Christmas Holidays to help get some temprorary accomodation for the Cafe.

Cafe Deli’s temporary accommodation.
Cafe Deli at the back

The next morning we went for a look through the town and had a coffee at the Cafe Deli over the road in their temporary building.

Good to see some others here.

Its good to see they’re rebuilding but what a huge hole.

A new life for the Chevron

Shortly after we arrived at Kaupokonui, there was a knock at the door with two smiley chaps wanting to have a quick look at Rafe’s interior.

Click on the Images for Hi Res

Aimee and Brenton outside the Awning

It turned out that one of them was Brenton whoย  was a long way through the restoration of a Caravan. Brenton with his wife Aimee and two kids were from Wanganui and were staying right next door.

Comfy Bed
Looking across to the Galley

I later wandered over to have a look see. It was a 1974 Chevron lightweight which Brenton andย  Aimee started on about a year ago. When they first got it it was full of dark stained cupboards, the roof leaked in several places and it was generally a bit of a mess.

The new Awning

This is not what I saw when I went over.. Its looking great and doing the work themselves, has kept the lid on the cost. The biggest job was reroofing with a bitumen roll on product and then completely repainting the exterior and then redoing the interior.

A Bed at the other end too.

Along with a new Awning, its was great to see them away with other friends and family with their own two kids, enjoying their Caravan.

Looking good

Catching up with Terry and Lisa

My old neighbours Terry and Lisa moved to Wangavegas (Wanganui) as he calls it, about 15 years ago and they love it. They’re really settled here with new friends and are currently building a new house out by the Golf course which is perfect for Terry as he loves his Golf.

Carolines Outback Bar and Restaurant

We arrived early in the day and checked in at Carolines Outback Holiday Park where I’ve stayed before. Its a great park and it is right behind Carolines Outback Bar and Restaurant which was perfect for us to have a meal with Terry and Lisa.

No Holes left

They popped in about 5pm and we had a couple of drinks in Rafe before checking in to the Restaurant at 6:30.

A fabulous meal as always and it was great to catch up and hear all about their new house and their family.

Terry with Lisa, Archie and Fiona

In the morning they popped around and we walked around the river across the bridges with their Dog Archie before checking out at 10am and heading North towards Auckland.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Caroline’s Outback Holiday park is a great spot to stay and Bruce is always happy to help. Unfortunately it was a bit overcast and gloomy this time but check out the images from the last time I we were here and also see Bruces Truck.

The Tracker has popped its clogs so until its fixed or replaced there are no maps.. The Park is by the river about 1 k inland from the city on the Somme Parade.

Bliss at Kaupokonui

Arriving here in the middle of the day, I was amazed at how busy it was and it was all Tents and some Caravans. Motorhomes again were the exception.

Click on an Image for Hi Res

The park

I’ve been here before a couple of years ago and although not much has changed, it is a great spot and the old style campground where its all about having fun.

Busy

The new Managers Sue and Laurence managed to fit us in right on the front row in a prime spot overlooking the Beach.

That Mountain ๐Ÿ™‚

This really is a lovely spot down in a valley just along from Manaia on the South Taranaki Coast. It wouldn’t be more than 6 k’s or so from Manaia where the Yarrow Bread factory is so make sure you stop on the way!

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

After plugging in and opening some vents, we were off for a look around. There are two levels to the valley, the upper level where the campground is and the lower level where there is a public park and a footbridge connecting with the Sand hills and the beach beyond.

Between the two levels are two massive slides. Lots of fun for the wee ones.

The Slide

After crossing the bridge and walking down to the beach, Fiona decided to do one her long walks almost the length off the beach.

It was New Years Eve and there were Fireworks on the beach and everyone came out to watch.

A lovely spot.

Amazing Museum

After leaving New Plymouth, we stopped in Stratford Countdown for some Milk and a few essentials and after breakfast and a look around, cruised on to the famous Tawhiti Museum.

Click on an Image for Hi Res

The Handsome Cab man

Started by a local very clever Artist, Nigel Ogle with his wife Teresa, they built this up using local friends and aquaintances to make their lifesized models faces and they look amazing. I love the expressions too.ย  In 1975, they bought the old Cheese factory where Nigel worked as a boy and this was the start of the Museum.

Looks like some I know ๐Ÿ™‚

It is split into three Museums being the local history, the Traders and Whalers and the Bush railway.

The Accountant

Fiona and I elected to check out the Local History which took several hours. This could easily take the whole day if you elected to do all three.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

The parking opposite is fantastic with plenty of room for Motorhome parking with separate parking for the cars on the sides.

Great Parking

There is also a well stocked Cafe on site with great Coffee too. A neat spot.

Lovely spot

We’ve decided already we will have to revisit and check out the other bits we missed but an awesome display that really is a must see.

Muller park

We went from here to the Muller NZMCA park in Hawera where we recognised several other Motorhomers who were parked next to us at the Museum! Isn’t it funny how great minds think alike ๐Ÿ™‚

Rafe’s Track to Tawhiti Museum and onto Muller Park. The Museum is the Green Dot on the right!

Perched overlooking the Harbour

After a couple of great days at the NZMCA Bell Block park and our 20k bike ride into town and back, it was time to kick back and blob out. We also needed to catch up with a washing machine too so we thought we’d try the Belt Road Holiday Park.

Click on an Image for Hi Res

Port Taranaki

We were lucky to get in after getting someones cancellation so I dropped Fiona off at the Gardens and checked in on my own.

Great Views

After getting rid of the livestock on the windscreen and all around the front of Rafe (Dead insects) I backed into this amazing little park. It was surrounded on three sides by a high hedge giving us quite a bit of privacy so out came the deck chairs and we enjoyed the moment.. as you do.

Rafe with the Hedges

Later after getting our clean washing, we went for a look around the park. There are quite few cabins and lots of people out in their tents. Lots of caravans and not so many Motorhomes.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

A great spot overlooking the harbour and for this time of the year, it was reasonably priced for a prime spot.

How is this view ?

For the two of us on a powered site it was $50.00

The Netspeed Speedtest
Download: 32.34 mbs
Upload: 14.79 mbs
Ping: 58 ms

Rafe’s Track to Belt Rd

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

The Netspeed Speedtest
Download: 16.55mbs
Upload: 23.48mbs
Ping: 49ms

Rafe’s map to the NZMCA park

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

Random Bits of Trial and Error

THE JOYS OF FULL-TIME RV LIFE - Random, moody, and quirky--but always straight from the heart.

Bruvtravels

Retired Military, Living the Dream, Workamping and Playing

Our Tour

Touring Europe by Motorhome

MOTORHOMENEWS

A personal take by Christopher Macgowan on tourism, travel and motorhomes.

Our Bumble

Travels around Europe & Beyond in a motorhome.

Diverting Journeys

A travelogue of museums, historic homes, and other curious destinations.

%d bloggers like this: