All posts by chrismpix

A Happy Place

Fiona’s cousin Iain has been coming here for years, every holiday break and he calls it his “Happy Place” and I heard somone else call it this too… and its all true 🙂

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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.

Huge

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.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

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 “Mot” 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 🙂

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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.   It was all about knowing where North was 🙂 I was completely confused even though I was once a boy scout too!

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

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 looking  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 🙂 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 – 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.

What clever people can do with an old tip.

In 1986, some very clever people from Nelson had several problems to solve. Some old historical buildings had to be saved and to do this, they had to be moved to somewhere safe. The other problem was what to do with an old reclaimed tip area.  So the clever people fixed up the tip area to be reasonably presentable and stuck the buildings on it. A trust was formed backed by the council and the momentum to create the Founders Heritage Park was all on.

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Looking down the main street with the Old St Peters Church and the Windmill behind. The Windmill was in the main street of Nelson for many years.

With help coming from all corners of the community and a lot of local businesses, this is a stunning collection of Heritage buildings and historical artefacts from in and around Nelson. Think of a smaller version of Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology.

Old Newmans and NAC buses

Some very nearly didn’t make it with some terrible stories of buildings nearly falling of trucks on the way to the museum.

One of Nelsons Fire Stations

We visited the park on a day when it was pouring with rain but it was really the only time we had left in Nelson to do it.

A section on the history of the Port complete with a manmade lake.

With 30 odd buildings from a church to Schools, a railway station and many local shops rescued from Trafalgar street in Nelson  as new buildings were built.

The Bristol Freighter

There was even a Bristol Freighter which was good to see as Fiona spent 3 years or so in Malaya at a British and New Zealand Military Camp. When she returned, she came back with her parents and younger brother and sister in a Bristol Freighter. As they are unpressurised, they could only fly at 300 feet and it took 3  days to get from Malaya to New Zealand via Darwin and Sydney, with frozen sandwiches as meals :-).

Fiona on the Bristol Freighter

This was Fiona’s first look inside one of these planes since that trip as an 8 year old so it was a bit special.

Fiona with the Bristol Freighter

I was amazed by how small it was inside. I used to watch them take off from Wellington Airport from my grandparents place up on the hill in Melrose, Wellington.  As a grasshopper, I always thought they were huge !

After having a good look around the plane, we checked out the rest of the village. One of the interesting things there was a replica of Sir Ernest Rutherford’s house as a child.

A replica of Sir Ernest Rutherfords house.

There is so much other stuff to see at the park, I’ll let the Gallery below do the talking.

Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow

We took shelter from the rain after that and had a nice cup of coffee and a really nice cake and scone at the onsite café.

Part of a great Agricultural display

Its a fabulous place and well done to those involved in rescuing these lovely old buildings and finding somewhere great to put them.

Its only $7 per adult and there is great parking for motorhomes there too.  Next time you’re in Nelson, check it out.

Rafe’s Track to the Founders Heritage Park

Riding to beat the rain

We woke up to a stunning view across the water at Rabbit island. It was dead still and with lots of local dog walkers out exercising.

Dogs exercising their owners.

Who’d have thought that it was going to go pear shaped later in the day with a front forecaast to come over and drench the whole country !

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Bright Sunshine

We thought there would be a few hours where we could jump on our bikes and go into Nelson for a look around. Fiona was keen to get some wool and it was good to bike around the foreshore and check out all the neat houses tucked into the hillside.

Wow

The bike lanes are pretty narrow and close to the traffic so we ended up using the footpaths probably more than we should have but there were no pedestrians so Hey Ho!

The typical Nelson look

We parked our bikes in the centre of town and locked our bikes into the provided bike racks and set off on foot. On a mission for the wool shops 🙂

The main road through Nelson with the council clock.

We found a couple but not quite what was required it seems so a cup of coffee in a cafe was a nice break.

The River through Nelson

After looking around a bit more, we hopped back on the bikes and headed back the 4kms back to the campground. The weather was closing in and it all looked different with a grey sky but still nice and warm. After an 8K round trip, it was time for a cuppa by the sea.

The famous Restaurant over the water on the way back.

A great day out and although it was supposed to be raining by 2pm and we rode back looking at the threatening sky, it was still dry at 6pm!

At the Beach

Nelson is one of my favorite places. Its waterfront with the houses built into the hill, the bars and eateries next to the water and over the water, it is special. Its also flat so makes it easy to get around on a bike.

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Looking out towards Kaiteriteri

We’ve stayed at Tahuna Beach Holiday Park before in Wee Rafe the caravan several years ago and thought we’d give it another go.

A flash back to when we were there last ..Wee Rafe at Tahuna

Its huge! 540 powered sites and it covers a huge area. What I like about it though is the area at the far end which they call the old area, under the trees which is right on the water.

Rafe parked in the beautiful CSC area with the beach
All that space

In winter, they have a deal where NZMCA’rs with CSC can park down the end for $10 pp on the basis that they use their own facilities. They give you access to water, Dump Station and Power only. This deal can only be used for 3 days per month max. Its a good arrangement but we’re staying on for a few more days in the new area for the full rate of $36 with the NZMCA discount which is still very good value.

Click on the gallery below for a Slideshow

Down the other end in the new area, there are new facilities and hard standing parks. Its all very nice. There is a mini golf course, a Restaurant and Cafe and a jumping pillow if you feel like a bounce 🙂

The new parking area

I went for a walk around and the place is massive. You could easily get lost here and being right on the harbour, its a stunning location.

Looking over the fence

There is even a shaped Auditorium in the grass with a stage for summer events. There are also lots of motels and cabins and permanent caravans too but they’re all in a separate area.

After the first few days, we moved up to the new area with all the mod cons. All the services were bunched together on top of a small hill which was nice with a courtyard in between. Laundry, showers, toilets etc.

Rafe in the distance in the new area. Taken from the raised kitchen.

We went for a  walk across the estuary when the tide went out and over to a small forest opposite. Lots of things to see and do.

Fiona on the estuary.

A cool place to stay in a nice town.

Rafe’s track to Tahuna

 

The Vines Village

This is a great place to stop with specially marked Motorhome parking. There is a great Café which does a great Bacon and Eggs breakfast and the coffee is good too.

There own pond .. nice outlook

There are several specialty Wine shops, a Cellar / Wine tasting shop, an amazing Quilting shop, a specialty Merino clothing place which is nice and out the back, there are places for the kids to stretch their legs too.

A nice bright Quilt
Fiona checking out some local spirits

The morning we were there, there were local rugby people giving the visiting kids a good workout with rugby balls and running races. There was also a Boules court and a giant chess set to play with as well.

Click on an Image for Hi Res or on the gallery below for a Slideshow

We stopped in for a cup of coffee and a scone and had a good look around. Everything in the specialty Wine shop is made in NZ including Gin and Whisky and its well worth a look.

Looking across towards Nelson with the snow on the tops of the hills

If you’re in the area, a great place to stop. Its on the road out to Nelson at Raupara. There is something there for everyone 🙂