The last time we stayed at Wenderholm, we stayed in the public carpark by the beach. Although we had a great night and its a great spot, compared to other Auckland CSC parks where Motorhomers were safely fenced off, this was somewhat of a disappointment.
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After discussing this with our veteran Auckland parks motorhoming friends, Rob and Helen, they told us that the Schischka park was THE place to go so here we were and it was fabulous.
There is a big electric gate with a digital keypad and after a 500 metre driveway it opens up to a massive grassed parking area by the water with brand new flush toilets in the middle. There are also some baches where you can stay if you don’t have your own accommodation.
Schiska house where you can stay
Schiska House from the CSC parking
The new loos
Rafe parked with the Estuary
The Puhoi Estuary
The Walk to the beach
We could only spend one night here but it is stunning. We went for a walk down a waterfront track to the beach and checked out the old Historic Couldrey House. There are new toilets there too. There are walks all over the hill there too so plenty to do and see.
A great place to stay and so handy to the big smoke of Auckland too.
One of Rafe’s tracking maps below.
The Rudder cup was first run in 1908 and again on its 100th anniversary in 2008. The race involves some of NZ’s finest Classic launches racing overnight up to Sail Rock and back. This is the third time the full length race has been held.
Sail Rock is just over 100 nautical miles from Auckland and is just off the coast by Pakiri. north of Auckland.
In 2008, I was keen to run but Rorqual had an overheating problem and it would have been too risky but now that my son Drew has spent the last year going over the boat completely and has largely sorted out all these issues, we’re getting much closer but its great that he’s basically beaten it.
Because so much has been done on Rorqual recently and it has literally only just been put back together with so many changes, it was deemed to risky to go the whole distance but we thought we would show up on the start line and join in the fun and then peel off.
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We left Milford on the tide around lunch time and headed down to Westhaven marina to the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron (Home of the Americas Cup for those overseas) which is a bout 40 minutes by water. There we were to join up with some of the other boats who were going to start the race.
We had a great afternoon at the Squadrons visitors berth catching up with everyone and checking out different boats.
With us at the visitors berth was Jason with his boat My Girl that he has been restoring over the last couple of years and she looks fabulous. It has a big Turbo charged Volvo in her so she was one of the race favorites for her class. Behind us was an old work boat owned by Ian called Meola. Ian invited us on board and and showed us around. He has repowered it with a 4 cylinder Gardner and she looks a picture.
Not long after we arrived, old friends Barb and Dave arrived with their old Salthouse classic Trinidad. It was nice to see them too.
About 6:30, everyone started to head out towards the startline under the bridge. There were 14 boats racing and they were all ready to go. While we waiting there, race official Baden motored around in a tender and checked all the boats had all their safety gear.
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Everyone milling around the bridge before the start
Jason’s crew with their Christmas gear on
Race officials in the tender.. Baden in the blue.
Ferro and Kumi getting ready
Getting ready to start. Kumi, left and My Girl
Alan on the bow of Trinidad
Waimiga and Meola
The good crew of Ferro
Waitangi won the vintage division
The weather forecast for the race was a little grim with heavy rain and thunderstorms predicted for most of the race area and Auckland and while we bobbed around waiting for the start time at 7pm, the patchy showers were heading across Auckland.
The Cannon sounded at 7pm and Drew opened up the noise and we were off. With a puff of black smoke we were heading off down to North Head at the entrance to Auckland Harbour. As there is a 12 knot limit in the harbour until you get to North Head, Drew kept Rorqual’s speed down until we got well past Devonport and then opened her up to 16 knots.
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And we’re off.. Trinidad and Sterling
Sterling won the Veteran Division
Trinidad won the Classic Division
Lady Margaret with her new John Deere motors!
Trinidad passing Takapuna Beach
By the time we got to Devonport Wharf which is about half way down the harbour, we were well ahead of most of the fleet and only one of Drew’s mates in a Thundercat with a 50HP Yamaha on the back was with us. He spent 10 minutes or so playing in our wake which provided some entertainment for us.
We got about half way across to Rangitoto light when Drew decided to withdraw from the race and we headed back sedately at around 15 knots.
Rorqual performed amazingly and I was really pleased that Drew has managed to crack the heating issue with only some small things to be done to finish things off.
They dropped me off in Viaduct Harbour and I caught the ferry home to Devonport. They went on to Islington Bay for a boys night away. A fun day!
I was watching the race on my phone on a tracking app and I noticed some of the Rudder racers had returned back to the Squadron base in Westhaven by 3am in the morning which is great timing.
Just in time for the Silly Season .. Here’s the first of some preloved posts of nice places to go this summer! .. Enjoy
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.
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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
You’ve got black sand between your toes and at the Kopua Raglan Motorcamp right on the beach, there is plenty of that.
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We’ve stayed here a few times now and one of the things that I really noticed this time is the recently done up showers and toilets. The pressure in the showers is so good, you almost don’t need soap.. let the water do its thing.. amazing.
When you check in, you get a swipe card which you use for both the automatic gates and the facilities. A good system and it worked well. There is a $10 bond which you get back as you leave after returning the card.
The camp is on a peninsula of sand basically so it there were no worries with the awful forecast of heavy rain. We knew we’d be fine on the well drained sand. It is almost completely surrounded by water but there is a well lit footbridge connecting it to the town with an easy walk in to the cafes and shops.
There are more than 200 powered sites with quite a few permanent caravans and they also have Cabins that can be rented too.
I heard someone comment that they thought it was a bit expensive but at $86 for two nights for two nights with power and all the new facilities with the NZMCA discount, I thought that was very reasonable.
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The amazing showers
After we arrived
One of the cafes in town
We spent a couple of really nice nights there. Yes it rained and it blew but nothing like the forecast said. Over the two days there with friends, Dianne and Gary from Taupo and Jonas and Irene from Auckland, we had several walks into town for a look around the shops and an great meal at one of their restaurants.
Very easy accomodation, friendly people, great facilities and a really interesting town.
Before you ask, No Dogs but there is some free Wifi!
The Netspeed Speedtest
After a few weeks of being housebound and itching to get away, our friend Dianne in Taupo arranged a get together in Raglan.
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Raglan was deemed to be reasonably easy for everyone and a pleasant place to be. There were going to be three Motorhomes, Us in Rafe, Gary and Dianne in their Niesmann and Bichoff and Jonas and Irene with a Dethleffs Trend McRent Motorhome from their fleet.
The weather forecast was a shocker with high winds and heavy rain forecast but when has that ever stopped us before 🙂 The Classic Yacht Association had already cancelled their annual Christmas hooley just based on the forecast a few days before !
After staying a night with Alex and Sarah and the grandies, we set off early to the dump station at Papakura and then Raglan stopping briefly at the Countdown supermarket in Huntly for a few forgotten items.
We arrived at Raglan Kopua Holiday Park around lunch time and after parking Rafe, plugging in and opening some vents, we had a quick lunch and then set off to Raglan township across the bridge for a look around.
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One of the unusual shops
One of the amazing shops
The Bridge to Raglan
At this stage we pretty much had a blue sky but the wind was blowing and it was threatening.
Raglan really is a seriously nice town full of very friendly people. The choice for cafe’s is fantastic and there seems to be a real Hippy/Surfy culture which you can see everywhere.
After an hour or so, we headed back over the foot bridge connecting the Motorcamp to the town and arrived back just in time to see Gary and Dianne arrive from Taupo.
The next morning we were joined by Jonas and Irene and had a another trip into the village for another look around and after an afternoon of chatting, cups of coffee, a few glasses of wine and lots of laughs, we headed back in for a meal in one of the towns fine restaurants.
There is a cassette only dump station which is connected to a Septic tank which I’ve never used but plenty do and there is potable water too. I waited until I went back through Whitianga and used that Dump Station.
I rocked up to the “Office” door and Margaret popped her head around the door with the usual smiley face she has. A really nice lady and its amazing that she pretty much runs this now on her own now.
All the proceeds from Camping are sent to the Charity of the moment. Last time we were here it was St Johns in Whitianga.
I met Dave and Helen who were in their Caravan from Whangamata who were with their friends who were next to us. Dave is a Self Containment officer so it was really interesting talking to him about Motorhome and Caravan things.
There was also a really nice guy from Nelson staying there called Bim who is travelling around the North Island with his friend in his Motorhome with a boat. With the wind blowing Dogs off Chains that day, neither Dave or Bim were keen to battle the elements out in the bay in their boats.
I went for a couple of walks along the beach and got some updated images.. Its a sensational place to stay and its a place you never get sick of.