Evans Bay Marina being reviewed for Motorhomes

Evans Bay Marina 20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!
Evans Bay Marina
20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!

On Sunday morning a chap from Wellington City popped around in the Evans Bay Marina car park, with his clipboard. He was checking the CSC stickers for parking compliance. For those offshore, this is the self containment with black and grey water.

At Evans Bay
At Evans Bay the day before. Close to houses

Gary had a natter to him and he mentioned that the parking area was being reviewed. They’re thinking of moving it “up the “coast” which to me sounds like ‘out of town’.
One if the nice things about Evans Bay is its location and closeness to Wellington City.

Evans Bay Marina
Evans Bay Marina

There is also a dump station, toilets and water and a fantastic view.
I have to say though, Wellington definitely have more than their share of boy racers and people with sirens.
All in all though, it’s a great spot and it would be a real shame to lose it.

Does anyone know what’s happening ?

I want one šŸ˜ƒ

The Dethleffs XLI
The Dethleffs XLI

NowĀ into their third Motorhome, they’ve really Ā gone for the best and I think it’s safe to say, they’re pretty chuffed with it too.

Happy With their XLI, Dianne and Gary
Happy With their XLI, Dianne and Gary

Their new Dethleffs XLI is just the business. At 8.7 metres and 5 tons, there is plenty of room and a payload for Africa.

The Garage across the back is enormous and the brochures show a scooter standing upright in it, I think you would probably fit two in!

The shower and toilet Ā area is divided from both the main bedroom and dining area by two sets of doors, effectively setting it upas an ensuite and it’s very nicely done.

In the Bedroom
In the Bedroom
Gary and Dianne in the living area
Gary and Dianne in the living area
The shower
The shower

A really nice machine , and I’m pleased that they’re back on the road enjoying their Motorhome.

Yippee. Wearable arts!

Before we left Raglan, we had to check out the famous Raglan beach, then onto Hamilton to get diesel and the to check out a neat wee cafe that Dianne and Gary knew just out of Cambridge called the Red Cherry.

Gary, Dianne and Madam at Red Cherry
Gary, Dianne and Madam at Red Cherry

We decided on an early lunch and then after more goodbyes, set off for Marton. Gary mentioned going down the western side of Lake Taupo, turning off at Tokoroa. Great idea as there was no traffic to queue behind so Madam decided to have a drive. Now that Rafe is run in and everything has settled down, she found it a doddle.

Down the western side of Taupo
Down the western side of Taupo. This pic specially for Alan šŸ˜€

After stopping briefly at Turangi for a cuppa, went went all the way through to Ā Marton. We arrived about 5pm just before dusk and it was nice to see Gary and Chris again.

With Gary and Chris
With Gary and Chris
At the Marton MCA park
At the Marton MCA park

The NZMCA park at Marton is a fantastic facility set up with toilets, showers, water and a library. I think I also saw a kitchen there too.Ā To those set this up, well done, a great place to stay.

The next morning, we were off again to Wellington, stopping briefly for diesel at Levin and Ā cuppa shortly after. Ā Arriving at Evans Bay Marina around 1pm, we had plenty of time to get ready for the show at 5pm.

Arriving in Wellington
Arriving in Wellington

Evans Bay Marina is near the airport and is a well know free camping spot with Potable water, a dump station, toilets and a great view.

The view
The view
Evans Bay Marina
Evans Bay Marina. It’s great watching the planes land.

Evans Bay is about 15 minutes drive from town, it is $7.50 each in a bus, so we got a cab at $25. Also much more convenient.

The show was fantastic, clever people doing clever things. Every Kiwi should see it. This was our third time going and I’d do it again.

Wearable arts before the performance
Wearable arts before the performance

We’re on the ferry to probably Nelson via Blenheim. More tomorrow

My apologies for the strange postings, I’ve been trying out an offline blog program and its been a failure!

Raglan at its best

 

After the rugby
The bridge to Raglan

We were up early to be joined by Dianne and Gary to watch the All Blacks play Namibia.. What a great first half and great that Namibia scored a try. The second half. Well !

Breakfast time

A walk up to Raglan town across the foot bridge was next on the agenda so we crossed the footbridge from the campground to the town and checked in a one of the cafes for breakfast. A tour around the crafty shops and although I’m not a great shopper, I was on my best behaviouršŸ˜œ

The wharf
The perfect house
Repairing a fishing boat

Raglan has an amazing wharf area with a great fish shop. There is also what Madam thinks is the best pottery and jewellery shop around. We stopped for a cup of tea and watched some fishermen repairing their nets.

There is an old silo there which has been turned into flats.

The fish shop
Repairing nets
Fiona and Dianne enjoying the view

We set a course for home and Gary and I had a crack at getting the NZMCA kml tikes into his Gps.

After an anxious hour or so after the Nav software wouldn’t play the game on Gary’s Mac, I remembered where the files went and we managed to set the path and install the files manually… We hadn’t buggered it up after all.šŸ˜€

We celebrated with some great fish and chips in the new XLI with a glass or two of something coldšŸ˜Ž

Back to the vans

Today we’re off to Marton to meet Gary and Chris for the trip to Wellington.

Designer dirt

Rafe on the farm
Rafe on the farm

It’s great to be on the road.. As I suspected might happen… Forgetting something important…, we got as far as the city and had to return to Ā Devonport to send out my September invoices ..šŸ˜—… That set us back half an hour for doing a job on the way for a Wellington customer,…on a farm at Glen Murray. ..it didn’t really matter at the end of the day..we’re on the road and away .. Yay.

Madam reading up on the wind farm
Madam reading up on the wind farm
The wind farm at Te Uku
The wind farm at Te Uku

We arrived 40 minutes later and got some nice images .. Rafes first visit to a farm and getting the designer dirt treatmentšŸ˜€

The Gps then had a moment where it took us the back windy way from there to Raglan where we caught up with our friends from Taupo, Dianne and Gary in their new Dethleffs XLI. Great to see them again.

Raglan Main st
Raglan Main st
Raglan Hotel
Raglan Hotel

Dianne had arranged for us to stay at the Raglan Motorcamp which is on a peninsula virtually surrounded by water with a footbridge into town so we’re looking forward to checking that out later… More on this tomorrow.

Dawn at the camp
Dawn at the camp
Dusk at the camp before the Rugby
Dusk at the camp before the Rugby

 

We’re just about there

As we’re renting the house out, we’re running down the pantry stocks in the house so provisioning the van for the Sth Island trip tomorrow was pretty straight forward… more a case of finding places to put stuff.

Madam in the Supermarket provisioning for the trip.
Madam in the Supermarket provisioning for the trip.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday pulling everything out of the cupboards and resetting where stuff goes in which cupboards… It’s amazing the space that was created for yep! …. more stuff

Under floor storage. There are three ares like this .. Very handy

We use big plastic storage bins for keeping things tidy in the garage and most of that was rejigged as well so it’s all looking good.. Ā I’ve got that feeling we’re going to forget something important..

Wardrobe drawers.. A cheap way for extra storage

On a recent visit to the Plastic Box company, I discovered a neat way of making better use of our wardrobes. They have a hanging draw set that is designed to make a wardrobe into some shelving… To do both wardrobes was about $140 all up and it looks like it should work quite well..

Yippee .. Off tomorrow to meet some Motorhome friends at Raglan for a couple days, then Marton to meet some other Motorhome friends and then we travel in convoy to the South Island via WOW in Wellington.

I’ll try to post daily now we’re on the move. Keep your eyes peeledšŸ˜ƒ

Lunch at Shakespeare

Mike & Wendy with their Rapido
Mike & Wendy with their Rapido, Madam in the backgroundĀ ready forĀ lunch.

After leaving Rob & Helens at Snells Beach after a morning cuppa, we met Mike & Wendy with their new French A class Rapido at Shakespeare Bay, Whangaparoa. I went to school with MikeĀ last centuryĀ and Fiona met Wendy at TechĀ not long after šŸ™‚

The Rapido isĀ based on a Fiat Ducato, with a centre island bed with a HUGE garage across the back. Very comfortable and very similar to the Dethleffs EspritĀ 
Mike likes his knick knacks soĀ its greatĀ for himĀ to have this amazing amount of storage šŸ™‚

We’ve been trying to get together with them for some time so it was nice to finally have lunch together. They had spent the night at Shakespeare Park and ready to toodle back to Devonport.

The Girls whipped up some Lunch
The Girls whipped up some Lunch
Rafe & the Rapido at Shakespeare Park
Rafe & the Rapido at Shakespeare Park

After a nice lunch and swapping notes, it wasĀ great for each of us to come away having learnt something about our vans. Mike being a Certified Gasfitter and Plumber, has done some really clever things with both the gas and the water. .. Auto changing gas bottles and outside shower and other things too!

It was nice to see them enjoying their new Motorhome.

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Snells Beach parking

Snells Beach Northern end
Snells Beach Northern end
Snells Beach
Snells Beach

On Saturday, we cruised up to seeĀ our Motorhome friends, Rob & Helen at Snells Beach .

It was great to have a meal with them before we all visit the South Island later this month.Ā  We are hoping to catch up with them down there too.

Some stregic parking saw the ramp to the door :-)
Some strategic parking saw the ramp to the door šŸ™‚
Snell Beach Housing
Snells Beach Housing
Our parking spot at the Northern end
Our parking spot at the Northern end

We parked the van at the end of their road at the Northern part of the beach..Ā  a lovely spot and the weather was playing the game albeit with plenty of wind.

Catching up with Rob and Helen and hearing their plans for the South Island was great fun. We last saw them at the Kai Iwi lakes rally in July.

We’ve stayed here at Snells beach before but were in the “middle carpark”Ā  further down the beach and there is a third carpark as well for motorhomes.

Apparently some of the locals around the middle parkĀ have beenĀ getting agitated about some of the behaviour from some of the Freedom Campers in their patch.

Unfortunately with the huge growth in Motorhoming, Ā most councils want to provide freedom camping which is great. The trouble is, many are providing the space but not policing it effectively.Ā  As a result, the “mattress vans” and non compliant renters and cars are ruining for everyone by not playing the game and “freedom camping” generally is seen as a blight in their backyard.

It’s a shame that the irresponsible few are going to bugger it up for many who are playing by the rules.

The Middle Park
The Middle Park
Northern End of Snells
Northern End of Snells

We woke up early and went for a walk along Snells beach to the other Motorhome parks and it was all looking really nice ..A few vans in each and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Motorhomers enjoying the Southernmost park
Motorhomers enjoying the Southernmost park
Happy Dog walkers
Happy Dog walkers

They’re a very friendly lot up there .. all the dog walkers saying hello or good morning and smiling away.. A really nice place to stay looking out at Kawau Island.

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kai Iwi Rally and Trounson Kauris

We are Ā still waiting for a tenant for the houseĀ but it has only been just over a week. Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say.

We’re really looking forward to heading southĀ in a couple of weeks time.Ā Ā Here’s another great recent trip in the meantime.

All the Vans at the Lakes
All the Vans at the Lakes
At Kaiwi Lakes Rally
At Kaiwi Lakes Rally

Late in July, we arranged to meet friends at a NZMCA rallyĀ being held at kai Iwi lakes .. somewhere I’ve have never been to before north of Dargaville on the coast. We left Auckland on a SaturdayĀ morning and arrived there just after midday.. its a good 2.5 – 3 hr run.

There were aĀ lot of vans and a lot more of them were European Motorhomes than the traditional bus conversions that we’ve seen at these events.Ā  A really interesting place and another well organised event by the Northland NZMCA crew. Along with meeting our friends from Snells Beach, we met many Dethleffs van owners, some who have travelled quite some distance to be part of the fun.
Remember to click on the images to enlarge them.

One of the biggest in the park
One of the biggest in the park
Ferns
Lots of Ferns

There aren’t many DOC camps around the Auckland region and on the way home, we were keen to try the Trounson Kauri park which is just up the road (15k’s or so) towards Waipoua Forest . .. somewhere else we’d never been to.

All parked up
All parked up

After plugging in to the power and settling down, we were off to explore the park. It is really nicely set upĀ  .. a boardwalk stretches through the wholeĀ  lengthĀ of the Ā forest.Ā  Amazing huge Kauri Trees mixed with new growth..Ā It’s very clean and an easy 1/2 hour walk through the whole park.Ā  Well worth doing.

And I took one of her :-)
And I took one of her šŸ™‚
Just to prove that I did the walk, Fiona took this cell phone picky.
Just to prove that I did the walk, Fiona took this cell phone piccy

We got back to the vanĀ  and settled down in front of the heater to warm up with a glass ofĀ something coldĀ .. This must be one of the few DOC parks with power. Several vans ofĀ nice French tourists arrived just before dark which was good.
There is also a building with a hot shower and kitchen facilities and nice clean toilets.
The walk was fantastic and its a great spot for a night in your Motorhome.

During the walk
During the walk

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Firth Tower Museum

The Firth Tower and House. The original was burnt down in 1902
The Firth Tower and House. The original was burnt down in 1902

3k’s or so outside of Matamata is the Firth Tower Museum.
Its an amazing collection of original buildings in the grounds of what used to be a farm for the Firth family in Auckland to feed the flour mill.Ā  It later became the base for a well known Waikato family to farm.
The original farmhouse was built with the tower in the later 1800’s but the farmhouse burnt down in 1902 and was replacedĀ  then by the current house. It was then owned by the McCaw family.
Don’t forget you can click on the images to enlarge them

In each of the buildings there is a theme of history, Agriculture,Ā Transport, Medical, local war involvement, and thereĀ is evenĀ two carriages with the History of the Kaimai tunnel as well.
The volunteers who staff it were all wearing historical gear to add to the feel of the place.Ā  WhenĀ  we visited, there was school trip of local primary school kids and they all got dressed up in historical clothing to add to the occasion.

Dusk, Glass of Red in one hand, camera in the other!
Dusk with The Tower

For $10 you can stay the night with power or free parking without power. One of the nice things about being on the road is discovering new places to stay and how nice they can be and often it is the least expensive that are the nicest places to stay… this was one of those times.Ā  Ā A great way to spend the day and it really is a well setup museum.

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