All posts by Chris Miller - Buggeritweareoff.com

Founder and Creator of Buggeritweareoff.com. Ex Newspaper Photographer and Commercial Photographer for more than 40 years.

Wind for Everyone

The last few weeks has found us at Takapuna Holiday Park a few days a week while Fiona is at work. We’re right next to the Boat Ramp where there is never a dull moment. It has been hot with very little wind… until now 🙂 And its really nice.

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Ringside seat

Looking out of the front windows towards Rangitoto Island, you see Windsurfers and Kite Boarders mostly now on foils taking advantage of the wind, and its great to watch. Some of them doing tricks too, like leaping out of the water and doing complete turns. A couple of them were sailing backwards and forwards for about half an hour without even getting wet.. amazing.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Its really entertaining and most nights you can see a small regular bunch of people just coming down to the ramp to watch.

As the sun goes down

Foiling has really changed the nature of sailing everywhere and it is magic being able to watch it from our ringside seat in Rafe.

Takapuna Beach

Bruce and Judy’s Table

From the Clever Changes department comes Bruces new dining table which he made himself.

Bruce and Judy are probably the only other people in NZ that have a Motorhome that is almost exactly like Rafe.. just 1 month younger.. same colour, same 3 litre Iveco motor, the lot.

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Bruce and Judy with their two dogs and their Globe 4.

Bruce and Judy are both very involved with the NZMCA in their area in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Tidied away

They both decided that they could change the table into a drop leave arrangement where they could have more space in the entertaining area with the table put away when its not needed and the extensions going in when the crowd arrives 🙂

Click on the gallery below to see the table changes.

A great setup and I’m twitching about doing something similar in Rafe.  We caught up with them recently in Papakura when they were on their way home from Whangarei.

The two Globe 4’s together.. Rafe on the right.

A great couple and a really nice Motorhome 🙂

Darryn’s Otten

Its funny who you meet at places… such a small world.

We’d only been here half a day when Fiona spots an unusual looking Caravan just along from us and says .. “Blog!” .. so off I trundle and introduce myself to Darryn. It turns out that Darryn’s dad was a very good friend of mine and mentor when I first started as a Photographer in my early teens.

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Darryn with his Otten

Like me, Colin was an ex Herald Photographer but before my time and had a really successful Photographic business in Milford.

Colin, Darryn’s dad and I had our birthdays within days of each other with Colin being a few years older. We used to make the most of celebrating.. Fiona and Colin’s late wife Val, called them “adventures”!!

The other side

Anyway .. back to Darryn. He has been living in Poland after marrying his Polish wife and working remotely for an American Merchant bank in IT.

Table or Bedding

Having family here  who he flies back to see fairly regularly, he decided to get a Caravan and a car to tow it. Having access to good tradesmen and costs being a bit less, he  did them up in Poland before shipping them here in a Container.

The Galley area

The Caravan is amazing being a 1978 Otten made in Holland which he bought in Germany.. yep, its crossed a few borders! He has done quite a lot of work on it to tidy it up but has yet to make it compliant for NZ power so was running on Solar and batteries when I caught up with him. With only an 800k tow weight and the Plymouth with the 471 V8, it would hardly know its behind!

Hinged covers

The Plymouth has had a lot of work done including the new bigger motor. He has also done a lot with the body and painted it. I’d say it would be a rare beast in Poland. It sounds  and looks beautiful.

Darryn with the Plymouth and the Otten

It was really nice to see Darryn to catch up on the news on Colin and his family and to see his amazing Caravan and Car.

The Country Stars

8 months ago new fulltimers Jo and Avon ago picked up their Newmar Country Star and after taking it home to Dargaville to finish setting it up, have now sold up and are starting their adventure on the road.

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All setup for the night

I was busy chatting to one of the Counties parking volunteers at Ellerslie when they rocked into the rally for parking for the Covi Show. I got talking to Avon while he was setting up the hydraulic levelling and setting up the slideout. What a magic machine.

From the back

Being just 10 metres long, it is still able to parked in most places but the 250 HP Cummins underneath sounds nice. Avon is a builder so is keen on progressively making some changes and with Jo, stamping their own ideas on it.

Looking forward
The Helm station

It is setup with a huge paddock like living room behind the drivers area with lounge and dining area on one side opposite the Kitchen. The ablutions off a corridor to the bedroom at the back.

Living space for Africa !

What a difference slideouts make.. massive amounts of room in the lounge, perhaps a great party venue 🙂

And at the back

Nice couple and nice Motorhome.. !

Luxury Location

We’re in our 4 th day of sitting on the waters edge at Takapuna Beach Holiday Park after moving from our house and its just the best location.

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Premo Spot

Fiona works in Takapuna 3 days a week so can walk to work from here which is great.

When you take into account the costs of owning a house with rates, Insurance and Maintenance and everything else, doing this for 3 – 4 days a week is pretty cost efficient. Its also handy to the Devonport market while we look for another house.

Takapuna Holiday Park has had some interesting moments recently. Being in a prime spot, it has been under pressure by others for its space.

Lovely tropical atmosphere

A couple of years ago, there was a bit of a stoush when the council had thoughts of giving some or all of the campground land for development of young sailors but they didn’t count on the locals wanting to keep the park as is.  Its my understanding that the land occupied by the Holiday Park was gifted on the condition it was used as a Campground or similar.

Looking over the park from the office

Anyway, despite our helicoptered in MP at the time, baracking for the Yachties, the locals won the day and the Campground stays.

Colourful, Caravans

Early in April all the old Caravans are going and they’re going to be replaced with a whole lot of new Powered sites so that will make a difference and make it available to more Motorhomes and Caravanners.

Will be all powered sites soon

This will make a huge difference as many of the Caravans are well past their use by date and the park will do well with the extra space for powered sites.

Takapuna Beach behind

Its a lovely spot and we’ve been here a few times over the last few years and is a great bolthole.

Bliss looking out at Rangitoto

The waterfront parks are 7 metres so I have to park Rafe on an angle but the parks are wide enough to do this.

Rental caravans
10 steps away for a swim

Toilets and Showers, Kitchen and Laundry are all in good shape. They’re beautifully clean and everything works so you can’t ask for more than this.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

We’re probably going to be here three days a week for the next month or so as we’re still looking for another house and for Fiona’s work but I can’t think of a nicer place to be.

Right on the best beach in Auckland and with some great walks along the waterfont right up to Milford and beyond, and south to Narrow Neck. The shops are great and close by and there is a licensed Cafe just on the edge of the campground serving great Coffee overlooking the boatramp. Great entertainment at low tide !!

See our previous visits to Takapuna here and the walk to Milford here.

The Netspeed Speedtest
Download: 64.36 mbps
Upload: 23.76 mbps
Ping: 45ms

Rafe’s Tracker Map

Hamlet

While we were at the rally, we noticed that the Pop up Globe was open and Hamlet was on.

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The Theatre

Having had hearing aids for most of my adult life since meningitis as a teenager, I have always avoided these types of shows as usually I can’t hear anything and the whole exercise is just a bore but armed with brand new technology hearing aids, I thought I’d give this one a go.

The Theatre

After starting with a glass of wine in the bar area, we wandered into the pre seating area under the trees and into the theatre.

Fiona enjoying a cider with the Artwork

There was a lot that I couldn’t hear as the stage is almost surrounded with the audience on three sides  so they talk in all directions. This means the lip reading function is unavailable largely but I could still make out enough of what was going on and it was just fun being there and taking it all in. These are good hearing aids too!

The cast during a moment of silence for Christchurch before the show

For some reason I seemed be able to hear more in the second half but put that down to more mayhem and shouting 🙂 …a Great show!

The King getting close to the audience.

Its an amazing venue and being just “popped up” in different locations, they take it pretty seriously with a nice bar and seated area under some trees. The artwork and the décor was something special too along with the Minstrels wandering around with their costumes playing their instruments.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Good seating and nice people directing you around. Its a great setup. Well worth doing and only 5 minutes walk to our Motorhome afterwards 🙂

Back at with Rafe 5 minutes walk away 🙂

Counties Rally at Ellerslie

As always, a well run and executed Rally by the good folk in the Counties team. Just under 400 vehicles were parked by Saturday afternoon and there were still more coming in.

The big picture

This year the Polo was being played in the centre of the track where the rally is usually set up so the parking was set off to the southern side of the stands beside the track. Very handy to the Pop Up Globe which Fiona and I went and saw on the Saturday afternoon.

Big girls under the trees.

Also handy for a walk to Ellerslie shopping centre for those who wanted takeways.

Sea of white (and blue)

Covi put on their magic buses for easy show access and they seemed to go every few minutes throughout the day.

Either side of the track. The latecomers went into the centre.
Off to the show. The Ellerslie event centre in the background.

A great event put on by the experienced Counties NZMCA team.. well done guys.

Rafe’s Tracker Map

#1 NZMCA

And that would be the newly restored 1928 Reo Speedwagon, once owned by the founders of the NZMCA, Andy and Gladys Anderson.

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4 of the volunteers that could come up with #1, L to R, John, Alan, Brian and Fergus

Once used as passenger and freight bus in Te Karaka, it later went on to be a bus for the Gisborne freezing works.

#1 sporting its new Headlights

Andy Anderson bought the old bus in Gisborne and converted it to his Motorhome and then started the NZMCA as #1 !

Looking forward

Fast forward to June 2016, it was collected from the Eastland Museum of Transport and Technology and taken to a workshop at Hallright Plumbing.  It spent the next 2 and a half years here being restored by a small army of 34 volunteers.

Looking back over the Galley

It was completely stripped down and rebuilt bolt by bolt and the result is stunning.

Click on the Gallery below for a Sldeshow

Seeing it on the NZMCA stand at the 2019 Covi show, it was a joy to behold. The attention to detail from the volunteers is amazing. Ferg Mckenzie along with 3 other volunteers came up to the Covi show to look after and show off their work.

Storage on the back

Well done too to the board for supporting the restoration. A great part of the associations history.

People queing to see it on the stand

Covi Show 2019

What I took from this years Covi show was the slow move away from ground floor beds in Motorhomes, mostly in the smaller models to drop down or other options. There were lots of new knick knacks too.

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Morelo area

There is a new Dethleffs XLI on its way which wasn’t available for the show but comes with a rear lounge instead of beds. The bedding comes as various versions of either a Luton type or different drop down setups. New also to the Dethleffs range is the Pulse GT.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Burstner has a new 7 something metre van option with a rear lounge with a door, and a drop down bed with another drop down bed further forward. A nice option too.

One of the things I really liked was the trailer mounted fold out camper priced at just $32000 with all the extras. I  forgot to get the name of it, but a lot of kit and good comfortable camping without spending a fortune.

Its like a friend of mine once said in the boating world, those who spend less on their boat than the million dollar boaties, still have just as much fun 🙂

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

There was lots to see in the accessories area too with several options available in the Generator area and there was also a drop on bach on display too.

A Mark 1 Zephyr with matching Lilliput. I had one of these during my misspent youth 🙂

No show is ever complete without the Lillput Caravans and their beautifully done up tow cars (Tugs).

Great Caravans
The lovely Lilliputs

A good day with lots of walking. Fiona looked at her phone at the end of the show on the bus back to Ellerslie and we did just over 9000 steps 🙂 .. plenty of exercise for the day.

The Dragon Truck

While we were in Narrow Neck, across the car park was a Blue Truck with an amazing Dragon artwork along one side.

Love the stairs
Looking back to the Galley

I wandered over when the owners turned up to meet Garrith and his partner Summer.

The Bunks

Takapuna based Garrith has had the 1996 Ford Trader for 6 months, and in that time has set it up so he can live in it. It looks comfortable but with only 6 months, I get the feeling it will be quite different in another 12 months time.

The living area looking forward

There is an amazing amount of room in it and they’re really enjoying being on the road and check out Garrith’s Mural on the side.

The Trader from the front