Bone Idle 2

Early in the morning, Keith and Lyn rocked up in their 5th Wheeler and with minimal fuss, backed it into a nice big park in the Central RV park in Greymouth.

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Lyn and Keith on the back of their Izuzu

I met them later in the day and we enjoyed a cold drink leaning over the tray of their Izuzu 4wd while we told a few tall stories and had a few laughs ๐Ÿ˜Ž


Their 2005 Canadian Okanagan called Bone Idle 2 is just a thing of beauty and altough it needed a lot of tidying up, when they first got it 3.5 years ago, they have done all the work themselves and done it well. Keith was telling me how they had resealed the roof, completely repainted inside, redone the floor and generally tidied it up. They have even replaced some of the wood that was a bit suspect under the bed, above the hitch on the outside with checker plate. That won’t rot!

The galley and Living area
Nice and Bright

It looks fantastic and now they’re out and about enjoying the fruits of their labour !

Lots of room
The sleeping area.

Coming originally from Nelson they’re now well and truly part of the Westport community.ย  Lyn was telling me that one of their favorite spots was at the Anatori river.

Lovely trailer and neat people.

The Brewery

We couldn’t come to Greymouth and not visit the famous Monteiths Brewery where Fiona’s favorite Cider comes from ๐Ÿ™‚

The Central Motorhome Park

The tours are on three times a day and are $50 for two which includes some tasting and some complimentary drinks and discounts on West Coast Tourist attractions and some Monteiths clothing.
The coupons all come in a nicely packaged West Coast passport for each person on the tour.

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We checked in at the only central Motorhome Park, Central Motorhome Park and it is behind a Challenge service station almost across the road from Monteiths. Very handy!

An interesting wall hanging at Monteiths

The park is very reasonable at $20 a Motorhome but includes showers, free wifi and has water and a dump station. It is walking distance to everywhere so is VERY handy.

Fiona with her Passport

Monteiths is across the road and down a side street, less than 5 minutes walk and was very easy to find.

Our guide Nick with some of the product range

We arrived there right on time for our mid afternoon tour and soon after our guide Nick introduced himself and after donning some hi vis vests, we were shown given a quick background on how it all came about in the mid 1800’s. Originally the Brewery was in Reefton and wasn’t moved to Greymouth until the founders son moved it in early 1900’s. Fascinating history and I understand that after being owned by DB, it is now owned by Heinekin. Another good beer.

Nick showing us around.

After the history run down, we were shown the process on a giant board and then shown the different Stainless Steel Vats that are used to process the Beers. Very modern and it all looks amazingly efficient. After this we were shown the bottling plant and then the original safe with some historic books with the original shareholders etc. They also still have all the original processing equipment there that was used before all the high volume products were moved to DB.

Fiona on the tour

Afterwards, we were given lessons on how to pour a beer correctly and then we got to taste some .. Yum. Fiona and I had a couple of drinks each with some chips before we ambled back over the road to Rafe. All in all, a really interesting, fun afternoon and also not in any danger of dehyration ๐Ÿ™‚

Central Motorhome Park behind the service station.

Seriously though.. well worth doing if you’re in the area.

The Bearded Miners

The sun welcomed us into Reefton and after driving down the main street, we parked by the river and went for a walk.

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The river behind Reefton

The I site is amazing as it has a fully set up mine in there. You can hardly see your hand in front of your face but after your eyes adjust, you can see the trolley with a chap behind it. It is all setup to look like the real thing.

Dusk looking down Reeftons main street with the old lights lighting the street.

There was also a good background on how Reefton got to be the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to have a full power supply.
In 1886, Walter Prince from Dunedin with a generator in tow and showed what could be done, totally dazzling the population of Reefton. Within a few years, they had the whole town up and running.

Plenty of parking

After wandering around looking at the shops and checking out the river, we came across a Miners Hut and all the related equipment. It was setup by 4 guys (all bearded of course) as volunteers and they take tours through all the bits they have there but they are a wealth of knowledge.

The Miners Hut

They weren’t there at the time but we found out we could see them the next morning so we parked Rafe at the local motorcamp by the river in the middle of town.

At the Reefton Camping ground. Toilets and showers behind

The weather was supposed to really pack a sad with a front coming through so we were pleased to be on gravel. In the end, it never really got much worse than drizzle.

The Hut
The Miners Hut

In the morning, we headed back to the miners hut to meet three of the bearded miners. Gavin, Peter and Mark. Unfortunately, there was a fourth miner involved in setting this up too but he recently passed away. They were full of knowledge and very happily lit a lantern or two so I could photograph the inside of the hut. .. magic stuff.

The Bearded Miners. Gavin, Peter and Mark

They were waiting on a busload of tourists to arrive when we were there. Lovely to catch up with them and have a good natter and really nice guys who volunteer their time in their retirement to show off the history of Reefton.

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The town just reeks of history and the locals are just charming. Its a town that is often by passed but is well worth checking out.

Rafe’s track to Reefton

Historic Sarau

The forecast talked about several days of some rough weather coming in from the next day so we thought we’d make the best of the great weather and have a look at the Historic town of Sarau, now called Upper Moutere.

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Its an amazing little town up behind Motueka which was settled by several boat loads of Germans who landed here in the 1840’s. The town started with a hall and a church, followed later by a pub and was a thriving little town. The original church has gone but the current Lutheran Church on the same site that still stands there today, has a bell that has the original german inscriptions on it.

Lutheran Church with the original German Bell

We stopped in the middle of town and had a look around. The old Post Office is now a gift shop with some amazing jams and clothes and jewelery. They also coffee and a muffin if you’re peckish!

The old Post Office now a gift shop amongst other things

Across the road is an amazing Clay Gallery run by Katie Gold and Owen Bartlett. They have a rustic old barn there covered in all sorts which I thought had to be photographed. The house is amazing and while were there, I managed to get a piccy of Katie with one of her masterpieces.

Some of Katies art.

After this, we found out that Kahurangi Wines were just around the corner and decided it would be rude not to stop there for a taste since we were in the area ๐Ÿ™‚

Rafe by the vines

After tasting some lovely Chardonnay and a wine they make from an Italian grape, I ended up buying a bottle of each. We shared the Italian beauty with our neighbours back at Kaiteriteri Selwyn and Lynda. It went down a treat !

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From here it was onto the historic Moutere Inn for a drink and something to eat. The Moutere Inn is still the original pub and is reputed to be the oldest in New Zealand that is still in its original state.

The Moutere Inn

The pub is a favorite stopping point for a lot of Sunday Motorbike riders with some huge bikes so we got to have a quick look at some amazing bikes parked in the carpark.

Lunch at the Moutere Inn

A lovely place to visit if you’re in the area.

Rafe’s Track from Motueka


A Happy Place

Fiona’s cousin Iain has been coming here for years, every holiday break and he calls it his โ€œHappy Placeโ€ and I heard somone else call it this too… and its all true ๐Ÿ™‚

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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.


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.

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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 โ€œMotโ€ 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

Port Mapua

Checking in at Mapua Leisure Park in the rain was easy. Getting Rafe organised in the rain on these huge parks was another matter. The parks are generally 9m by 9m but are marked only by little signs in the grass. Fun to see in the rain ๐Ÿ™‚

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Rabbit Island and the Nelson hills behind

After figuring out that the trees I’d parked in front of were in the way of a good TV signal, all was well. ย  It was all about knowing where North was ๐Ÿ™‚ I was completely confused even though I was once a boy scout too!

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We were right on the waterfront. Just amazing looking back over Rabbit Island to the hills behind Nelson. A great spot.

The port and the shops

On our second day, we went for a bike ride around to the Mapua Port. In what used to some old cool stores have all been turned into a selection of specialty shops and food outlets. It was really interesting. The port is only about 10 minutes riding from the camping ground and is an easy walk too.

The Antique shop in the cool store.

After looking through an antique shop with Fiona I went back to the wharf and watched the boats with the amazing current with the outgoing tide. It must have been at least 5 knots! The boats on the moorings look like theyre under way and when a small boat came in against the current, it looked like it was barely making and headway. It must be a dangerous area if you broke down!

The ferry and lookingย  towards the camp on the left.

After having some great Fish and Chips at the fish shop, we headed back to the town for a cuppa at the bakery and then back to the camp.

The bakery at Mapua town.

The sun was shining, the wind was insignificant and it was just lovely by the water, watching boats come and go.

Rafe on the waterfront

With over 100 powered sites, a pool, a Cafe and some motels, its massive. A very pleasant place to stay and I gather it rocks during summer.

Rafe’s track to Mapua

Peter and Sue’s new Esprit

One of the nice things about buying a Dethleffs in NZ is that you are automatically a member of the Dethleffs Owners Group. As part of this with the now huge annual Rallies, there is a real sense of being part of a team or family which is great.

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The Esprit with Rafe behind

We’d just arrived at Mapua in the pouring rain and trying to line up Rafe into some fairly vaguely defined parking spaces(in the rain anyway!) It was fun when you had to make sure the TV signal was fine and close to the power towers etc, and dodging big puddles. We got the power right but the TV wasn’t a happening thing until I noticed a dish on a neighbourly Dethleffs Esprit pointing in a completely different direction. Where I thought North was was actually 180 degrees wrong so some trees behind us were the problem ๐Ÿ™‚ I ran over and knocked on the door and met Peter and Sue who gave me a huge Dethleffs welcome and invited me in and it was about 15 โ€“ 20 minutes later before I got to shifting Rafe to sort our the TV!

Turning leather seats. Very comfortable.

Cutting a long story short, Peter and Sue came over through the puddles and rain for a drink later in the day and we had a fun couple of hours.

The Dethleffs curved Galley. Plenty of room here too.

They picked up their brand new Esprit in March and have been up into Northland and several times down to their daughters driveways in Palmerston North. Now that they’re semi retired, they’re getting out and enjoying their new truck a bit more from their home in Taupo.

Peter and Sue with their Esprit

I was really impressed with the changes in the new Esprit especially where it came to new lighting systems and it was interesting seeing the Single/King sized bed configuration in a practical way too. Peter is pretty tall so that limited their options when they were working out what they wanted and what they have now really works well for them.

The Single Beds which also turn into a massive King Size Bed. There is lots of storage underneath too.

The following day, we caught up with them again for a hour or so in their Esprit. It really is very comfortable.

Another look at the galley with the gas oven below.

They will be at the Annual Dethleffs Owners Group meeting in Karapiro in October so keep an eye out for them.