We were out having a walk towards the upper end of Coromandel, trying to walk off a great tea that we’d enjoyed the night before:-)
As we passed the Coromandel Hotel, I remembered being told about some parking for Motorhomes that was available behind the pub. It is not marked on any of the apps and doesn’t appear in the bible so it was time to check it out.
Walking down the side street, beside the Hotel is a backpackers and then what they call the Kampa parking. What a neat place. There are 16 powered sites available on grass for $20 a night per van with 2 people. Apparently the pub puts on some nice meals too and you’re not too far from a bar 🙂
I’ll be trying it next time we’re there. It looks nice.
In terms of being in the middle of things, this NZMCA park takes the cake for being handy to everything. Great restaurants, several pubs, lots of history and things to do. It is in Coromandel and is just behind the BP station as you come into the town on the left. Blink and you’ll miss the entrance.
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Its is also very conveniently right behind the Coromandel Smoking Company where you can buy everything from smoked fish and other seafood to great cheese from local cheesemakers.
I have been here in the middle of winter when it had been punished by endless rain and many were camped in a small area of gravel by the entrance. I gather the local managers of the park have a solution to the water problem in winter and there are plans to make it more all weather. Our two nights there were great and there were about a dozen other motorhomes and caravans who came and went while we were there.
Our first day there, we had lunch at the local pub with friends Rob, Helen and Chloe. Fiona and I shared a seafood basket for $16 which was amazing with bits of everything along with a nice glass of wine. We decided it was so nice we had to go back later to watch the rugby.. the one with the controversial try! … A great night and an interesting game.
The shop to go to for Happy hour food 🙂
Lunch in the Beer garden
The Seafood basket.. Yum
Rob, Helen, Chloe and Fiona behind enjoying lunch at the pub.
Who else could this be but ex Devonport potter, Barry Brickell.
Unfortunately Barry passed away last year but his Driving Creek Railway business still lives on. It is an amazing example of what can be achieved by someone with an idea and the drive to see it happen.
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He spent years building up his railway, even making his own trains and designing his own propulsion system using small diesels and hydraulics on the wheels making it very efficient.
One of Barry’s retaining walls 🙂
The view from the Eyeful Tower
Happy people getting off the train
Driving Creek Railway is in Coromandel and has easy parking for Motorhomes too but best to get there early for easier parking.
The train ride takes about an hour and works its way up to the Eyeful tower at the top where there is a fantastic view over Coromandel and across to Waiheke Island. As you go to the top, you cross a couple of viaducts, one of them a double decker. There are several tunnels one of which is lined with pottery tiles made on site.
There are also several retaining walls made with Barry’s left over wine bottles. Its great to see they’ve got an extra life apart from just holding the contents.
A fantastic achievement that is also now a great tourist attraction. You can also buy some nice pottery and souvenirs there too.
One of our favorite parks that we use a lot too, is Ardmore by the airfield. Its a great park and usually full of some interesting people as well.
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We were on our way to Coromandel with our friends Rob, Helen and Chloe and to avoid the morning traffic we checked in with Rafe and their Tracker for the night. We arrived first and soon after we found we were next to another Dethleffs, some people that that we’d met some months ago, Liz and Dave in their Esprit.
It was time for a drink so they came over to Rafe and soon after Rob, Helen and Chloe arrived and joined in too.
The biggest thing about Ardmore now is the massive amount of gravel that now covers the old grass area at the back. What a huge difference it makes and also extends the useable area of the park.
Its level too which is great.
Well done to those who make it such a great park.
We had a great night there and in the morning were up early to get away to Coromandel.
Its amazing who you meet and what clever things they do to their motorhomes to make them work better for their lifestyle. During the recent Dethleffs Owners group meeting at the Classic Car Museum in Hamilton, I was fortunate enough to meet Walter and Nolina from Taupo and to see some of the clever things they have done to their Dethleffs Esprit.
Don’t forget you can click on the images for hi res !
Walter saw the need to have somewhere to put their laundry. In almost all the centre island bed Dethleffs models, there is a shelf which extends about 800mm along each side of the bed from the back wall.
In mine I have a speaker and some usb jacks for phones and ipads etc. Walter very cleverly decided to use his on one side to install an opening round marine hatch which opens to a chute which Nolina made, that drops down into the garage underneath. The bottom of the chute detachs as a bag to cart away the washing. Fabulous idea and a great way of getting the washing out of the way.
That’s an idea I’m going to use 🙂
They have also made use of waste space under a seat and in a cupboard for a glasses case and a drinks cabinet under the seat.
Great stuff! A great use of what could otherwise be wasted space.
It is always a great occasion once a year when the nations Dethleffs owners get together for a catchup all in one spot. Its a good opportunity to see what others have done to their vans to make their motorhoming more fun.
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This year was the biggest yet with 75 motorhomes and caravans which made life interesting to yours truly and my old friend Gary from Taupo to get them all parked. We had a lot of fun as we did it with little walkie talkies that Gary had. The hard part was not being able to have a chat with everyone as they came in, that had to wait for later. As they all had the same sided habitation door, we decided we’d park them in rows with the doors facing together on a 3 metre space and the opposite side being a 4 meter space so that people could escape without skittling tables and chairs etc and it worked really well.
The first 40 odd arrived on the Friday and everyone settled in, met old friends and checked out the car museum. The car museum is fabulous. We visited this last March and had a good look through. You can see that here. There are all those cars that we had as kids, the Mark 1 Zephyrs, the Prefects and a lot older. It really is something to see. Outside is normally a NZMCA POP where you can stay overnight and it was nice to see friends Marama and Karen pop in for the night.
Inside the Museum
The front of the Auburn
Fiona’s favourite, the Messerschmitt
A car I had as a teenager, a Mark 1 Zephyr
The back of the Auburn
The next day after a good breakfast in the Juke Box Diner onsite, we caught a bus to a local Tea Estate and got to taste and learn about locally grown tea which was really interesting and on the way back popped in for lunch at the Hamilton Gardens Café. Some decided to walk off their lunch around the amazing gardens.
Off to check out the tea
Arriving at the tea place off the bus.. Fiona, Gary and Dianne
Sussing out the Tea
Gary Aroma checking
Dianne smelling the aroma
Lunch at the gardens café, Graham from Tauranga, Fiona, Gary and Dianne
The latecomers on the other side and the Marquee
Bev in her and Bernies Esprit
Peter and Bernie on their tables!
Fush and Chups
cell phone pic
After getting back to HQ at the museum, it was open home for motorhomes so a quick vacuum and a tidy up of Rafe and it was visits all around. Lots of fun and it was nice to see people we hadn’t seen for a long time.
At 6pm it was time for a drink in the Marquee and a feed in the Diner which was immediately followed by a great display of the local rock n roll dance club and they were fantastic.
We finished up the day with Dianne and Gary with friends Ian and Lynda in their XLI right next to us. A lot of fun and we had some great laughs.
A great day and well hosted by Mr and Mrs Dethleff in NZ, Jonas and Irene Ng. Thanks guys and thanks to Dianne for organising a great day out.
And the Netspeed speed test from this site.
Test Date: 12/11/2016 5:14 PM
Download: 40.43 Mbps
Upload: 12.35 Mbps
Ping: 34 ms
With no jobs in the book and with the sun shining, it was time to hit the road. I had just paid for a years Auckland City Parks pass so I thought I’d try Tauwharanui at the end of the Takatu peninsula, north of Kawau Island.
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We stayed here more than a year or so go with friends, Gary, Chris and Rob, Helen and Chloe. We only had the one night here so exploring the area wasn’t really on the agenda that particular trip but it’s just a magic place.
When I first arrived, I think there was only 1 other person here and I bumped into him on the beach. He’d parked down in the tents only area but I assumed he knew 😀
The next day, I set out with the camera to have a nosy around. The beach is beautiful with Little Barrier just off it and Great Barrier further out. Compared to Auckland, you could almost reach out and touch them.
Rafe tucked in
The Camping area for tent people
The water is stunning with a clean deep blue merging into Turquoise, just like the tropics with beautiful white sand. As you walk further, the beach merges with two more, all part of Anchor Bay.. Just beautiful. I spent a couple of hours just sitting on a rock under a tree just admiring the colours.. sensational.
After getting some nice piccies, I wandered back to the track to find that I’d forgotten which of the many tracks took me back to Rafe. I ended up walking about 3ks just to find my way back 😎 I can hear Fiona saying something like good exercise !
At nearly 600 hectares of Regional park, it’s a huge place and there are plenty of interesting walks to go on. There are information boards to guide the way with brochures available. No Dogs as its a pest proof and kiwi zone.
A fabulous place and not too far from the big smoke at Auckland.
I can see myself spending lots of time here. 😎
And a screen grab from Rafe’s new tracker system to show its location.
The Netspeed speed test here..given how isolated it is, this a great result.
Test Date: 3/11/2016 11:49 AM
Download: 15.38 Mbps
Upload: 2.76 Mbps
Ping: 46 ms
With the All Blacks losing to Ireland and the weather forecast looking miserable, you could have easily flagged the day as one for the slippers and the fireplace but when the call goes out for the Classic Launches Riverhead trip, it is one not to be missed!
Fiona and I have done this for years, usually twice a year and it never disappoints. See a previous trip here.
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Classic boat owners Paula and Stephen Pepperill sold their Classic Yacht to renovate their newly purchased Riverhead Hotel and have done a stunning job in rescuing it after years of being run down and neglected. These days, ferry loads of passengers make the day trip from Auckland to have a great lunch with a few drinks and to enjoy the river trip. It has also become one of the more popular trips for the Classic Yacht Launches too.
Its always a fun event and can be quite nerve racking for the novices as the channel is quite narrow in places and can be only a 1 metre or so deep in places so its a great event for confidence building and to join in with a new adventure.
Fiona and I decided to take Rafe down to the marina carpark and stay two nights so we could get away early and stay the night after.
We were meeting Alan and his wife Robyn on their 28ft 1928 Lanes tramtop at the marina at 9.00am. Friends Dani and Grant were going to be there too. Alan was Launch Captain of the CYA (Classic Yacht Association) for 4 years after my 2 years as LC, and Alan, Grant and I have done lots of boating together when I had Rorqual.
We met under the centre span of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and at 09:30, Alan led the way up to the first meeting point at Lucas creek, about half way where we were meeting several other boats and their crews.
In the well sheltered upper harbour, the water was calm and there was very little wind. About an hour later, everyone was jockeying for a parking spot, some rafting with friends and the Tino Rawa Trust tender Whistleblower was on hand to ferry people into the Pub’s jetty.
Marita with the city behind
John Dory, under the bridge
Mahunui, city behind under the bridge
John Dory arriving at Riverhead
Trinidad at Lucas creek
The Ferry at the jetty
Fiona nd Robyn at the Riverhead.
Boats moored below the pub
About 100 people turned up, some by car as well. There was a band playing, the sun made an appearance and it was a great few hours of catching up with old friends and meeting a few new people too.
About 2pm (1.5hrs after full tide), many started to leave before the creek ran out of water 🙂 We had a fun trip back with a couple of drinks, some Sausage Rolls and some chocolates and strawberries which Fiona had prepared.
We stepped off the boat to a hot shower and a cup of coffee after a neat day out. Thanks for a great day out on the water Robyn and Alan, and its always fun to see Grant and Dani too.
I don’t know about you but when I’m away Motorhoming but I largely wear T shirts, Jeans and Shorts etc. Stuff you’d stick in a drawer. The Dethleffs come with well set up wardrobes but not a lot of drawers in the bed room area for clothes.
So I set out to change our wardrobe into something that would be useful for clothes like drawers.
The first option we used lasted about 18 months which was a hanging basket type of arrangement which was suspended from the rail. It had cloth covered cardboard boxes which slid in and out like drawers. This worked quite well for about 8 months when it just collapsed to a point where it was almost unusable.
I set out a few weeks ago to sort this out with some shelving bits which I got from Bunnings.
The Steel supports screw in first using glue and short screws(also glued) and then the shelf brackets clip in with plastic locks which prevent the shelf or brackets from coming out while you’re driving.
I thought that I would possibly have to bungy cord the shelves in while we were moving but so far, I haven’t even had to do that. It works a treat. The whole things for these shelves cost about $240.00 so it wasn’t insignificant but the problem seems to have gone away 🙂
We were going to take our grandson Ayden for a school holiday trip to Rotorua but unfortunately, he came down with a germ and after another night with his Mum and Dad on the ranch in Ardmore, he was still too crook to travel.
Fiona and I thought we’d try a new campground out at Martins Bay at the end of the Mahurangi Peninsula overlooking Moturekareka Island and also a bit of Kawau. A lovely part of the world and we were pretty much the only people there on our second night.
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The Motorcamp is one of the Auckland City commercial campgrounds like Whangateau and Orewa. They were having an off peak special of $15 a person so given the rain and the showers were rolling through, we thought we’d give a shot.
Its a huge campground with lots of permanent caravans with decks and addons but there are also plenty of powered sites, I think in the region of 130 odd I saw somewhere.
The Balcony parking up the top.
Caravans everywhere you looked
The boat wash down area (coin operated)
Looking down at Martins from the Scandretts track
A Kowhai half way up to Scandretts
Martins Bay with Kawau Island
A good facilities block with token and 50c showers and a well setup kitchen and TV room. Being in a popular fishing area, there is a boat and fish washing area and a separate storage area for boats and tractors.
Above the main part of the campground on a hill, there is a raised area with views over the whole bay where you stay if you pay a wee bit more.
On our first full day, we set off along the beach past heaps of baches for a walk up to Scandretts Park. Its an easy walk up a well worn track up to the top of the hill and you can walk down to Scandretts Bay, or several tracks take you out to a pah at the end of the point. The views are amazing.
We had rolling showers with lots of fine periods while we were there and they had just had lots of rain so quite a bit of the park was roped off to recover.
A nice park which I reckon would be packed in summer and very handy to Kawau Island and the other islands.