All posts by Chris Miller - Buggeritweareoff.com

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

Ye Olde Luxury Post Office

And it’s a B&B so you can stay there!

A true labour of love .. Dave and Maria bought the Post office building some years ago and have restored what was originally the Eltham Post Office with the Telegraph area upstairs, is now a luxury B&B.

Click on any Image to enlarge

Dave is a retired Photojournalist and worked with me at the Herald in the late 1970’s. David has also provided some images to the Hospice Taranaki Auction happening on the 24th September.

Dave outside the B&B

I was in New Plymouth staying at Ninia Park over so it was an easy trip in Rafe to pop in to see Dave after 40 something years since we’ve seen each other. Unfortunately, Dave’s wife Maria was away in Sydney catching up with friends and family so I get to meet her.

Historical Neighbourhood

I found Dave water blasting some Mould of one of the sheltered walls at the back and we adjourned into the kitchen for a good catchup over a cup of tea.

The main Helena Suite

Later I got a tour of the building which is amazing. They’ve certainly been busy!

Lots of old period things add to the charm

The upstairs has been converted into their private flat but in a thorough Way 🙂 .. as you would expect from these two!

Dave outside the Post Office.

If you want to sample this beauty and have a night away from your Motorhome or Caravan in one of Taranaki’s small towns, check out their website here.

Rafe parked outside with the Post office behind
Lovely old Building

It was lovely to see Dave again after all these years. As I said to him, he still looks the same 🙂

Bright Colours by the Beach

With one week to go until the Hospice Taranaki News Photo Auction, I set off to New Plymouth a bit early to have a nosey around the mountain. Mt Egmont.

Click on any Image to enlarge.As I got closer to Mokau, on the coast I thought I’d stop at the Seaview Holiday Park right on the beach which had views down to Mt Egmont.

Bright Colours!

It’s a typical west coast beach complete with Black Sand and the wild water. The ruggedness is what makes it though.

The Beach looking towards New Plymouth

I checked in and was given a park right behind the sandhill facing the beach but still protected from any wind that might come up. Great parking!

One of the many baches along the coast

It’s one of those real old original Kiwi family parks with nice bright colours on slightly older cabins.

One of the Ablution blocks

The ablution blocks are covered in murals… nicely done.

Looking through the campground
Rafe with the beach behind
Mt Egmont on the right

I went for a wander around the park and then along the beach. Lovely spot!

Rafe’s Tracker map to Mokau – Armada GPS

The Bike ride to Miranda Cafe

One of the amazing little hidden treasures in Miranda is this amazing Cafe and Gallery.

Annie with some of the Art

It is run and owned by Annie Wilson and her family.   Annie has been here about 7 years with the Cafe with the Gallery coming together over that time. There is also a fantastic easy parking for Motorhomes right in front.

Bikes outside

The easy way of getting here is like we did, from Miranda Holiday park on our bikes.

It is an easy 30 minute ride but there is a small hill so an ebike makes life a bit easier.

The Team
On the trail to Kaiaua

We left early on a Saturday morning from Miranda Holiday Park while we were at a Dethleffs get together and rode an easy trail along the foreshore until we got back to a bridge. Going right, you’re heading to Rays Rest and Kaiaua or if you go left and head to the corner and up the hill, you’ll come across the cafe.

Fiona with the some of the selection.. Photo by Mary

We had a nice morning tea and something to eat and then walked next door to check out the Gallery.

A sculpture outside the Gallery
Mary and Fiona in the Gallery
A pitchfork sculpture

The art is amazing and is from many well known artists as well as some locals.

That stained glass window

The outside Toilet was designed by Annie and a friend and is something else with its beautiful stained glass window and also has a wooden toilet seat!

Fiona and Mary ready for the road

After a couple of hours here, we biked back to Miranda and were back in the Hot Pools.. a great morning.

Tony and Mary back at their Motorhome

Dethleffs Owners Group 2nd Soiree 2022

And it was a goodie too.. Many arrived early on Friday afternoon and were well settled by the time Fiona and I arrived about 12:30!

The day before we found out about the Kaiaua Pub courtesy van. I knew we had about 12 interested so it was all last minute but after two trips of the van, they all managed to get to the table and it all went well.

It was still raining off and on so I was in the pool soon after arriving, my favourite part of Miranda 🙂

Electrical help

As the day went on, it was a great meet and greet. For many of the 46 Motorhomes that arrived, this was their first get together and for me, the biggest turnout of vans ever.

It was funny though as the numbers from the bookings were 46, if you walked around and looked, it didn’t seem too crowded.

As the day wore on. More and more people were making themselves known and introducing themselves to everyone and looking around the Motorhomes.

Click on the Gallery below for an enlarged slide show – Friday

4pm came around and the BBQ area suddenly filled up with laughter and Wine bottles..

Day two was Bike ride day towards Kaiaua. Tony Coupe who put his hand up early encouraging riders to bring their bikes  and had a plan to ride to a neat little Café and Gallery called Stray Dog Café.  It was just up the hill off to the left on the way to Kaiaua. Fantastic place with an amazing Gallery  Thanks Tony.. more on this in another post coming soon.

On the trail to Kaiaua

We arrived back at Miranda a couple of hours later. A great ride and it was time for a coffee and another swim in the pool.

Neil during his talk. Pic by Mary Coupe

At 3pm, we had Neil showing quite a few interested people the basics on Amp hours and how to calculate your battery needs. Very useful and many went away very happy. Great work.. thanks Neil.

Click on the Gallery below for an enlarged Slideshow – Saturday

At 4pm was time for a Team Photo but to make sure everyone was there, we started happy hour and then did the images. Photographer Grant who has the same camera as me, was keen to get me in the photo so we did a quick swap for a fun pic. Thanks Grant.

I was talking to one of the camp senior staff, Gay the next day and she was telling me they were watching us in the CCTV while we were getting organised and starting happy hour then suddenly we all vanished in a nano second.. “where did they go”! That must have been photo time 🙂

Click on this to enlarge for a better look.

John Ogilvie had very kindly brought his amazing projector along for the rugby and with Michelle’s screen, were were all ready for the big game starting later.

Everyone in
Tea time.
The leftovers of the shared meal.. I was too busy eating to get a before shot 🙂

At 6, the food started appearing on the Barbecue area and we all got stuck in. The food was unbelievable. Normally at a shared meal you end up with a lot of snacky stuff but this was top drawer dishes. Well done everyone. Stunning Stuff.

The tidying up and dishes were done in the well equipped kitchen and we were set for the Rugby.

A great atmosphere and we had a few other campers join us on the fringes to watch as well. I found out after talking to Gay in the office that they had quite a few people who wanted to watch in the TV room but there is no drinking or food in there so they were suggesting joining us so that was good. There even some people on the other side of the screen in the BBQ area watching it backwards from the opposite side of the screen 🙂

Click on the Gallery below to Enlarge

Well done and thanks John (the projectionist) and thanks again Michelle for the use of your screen. Although the result wasn’t what we wanted, it was still a fun night.


All in all, a great weekend finished off with a farewell coffee/tea catchup before everyone went off in different directions.

Talking to Gay (Miranda Holiday Park) afterwards, she said it went well for them, no one got up their noses (not from our group anyway) and for them it was easy.

Thanks too to Paul McLuckie who put his drone up to get the amazing drone images.

Click on this image to enlarge.

Thanks everyone for coming, we had a lot of fun and it was nice to see everyone again. Some we haven’t seen for years.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Miranda – Armada GPS

The Picturesque and Amazing Raglan.

After enjoying a great All Blacks win  in the Raglan Holiday Park, we headed into town over the walk bridge to check out the shops. First stop was a Café for a coffee and then we walked about 1k across to the wharf and Silo area.

Click on an Image to Enlarge

Raglan personified
The Historic Raglan
Neat shops

We last visited this area years ago with friends Dianne and Gary from Taupo so check that post out for more photos of this area.

Click on the Gallery below for an Enlarged Slideshow

Since then, one of the Silos has been converted into what looks to be some very nice rentable Apartments.

The Silos

Its a busy area with a fantastic Fish and Chip shop on the outer end of the wharf along with some pottery and Leather shops. Fiona bought herself a new Leather Hand Bag where we enjoyed a really nice chat with the shopkeeper. I complimented her on her lovely London accent before she told me she was from Perth ! Oops .. but she did have a nice English Accent so no harm done 🙂

The Raglan Wharf
Cafe opposite Raglan Wharf

After a coffee in a new (to us) Café opposite the wharf, we headed back to the town and Rafe.

Sundown

An amazing little town and not far from Auckland with the current Diesel prices as they are.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Raglan – Armada GPS

Peace and Quiet at Raglan

The weather was good, there was a beach only a few yards away and the town was only 10 minutes walk.

Click on any Image to Enlarge

Rafe at Raglan

We were looking to get out of the traffic but not too far away.. Raglan won the day. It has been a while since we were last here but it has an atmosphere all of its own. Very like Waiheke Island with some of the similar arty but down to earth shops.

Kids enjoying Badminton
Our neighbours from Hamilton and Tauranga enjoying the sun.

When my son Drew found out we were heading to Raglan, he said we had to go to Orca so I booked in online and its a magic spot. We went for lunch and the food was fantastic and it was very reasonable with a great view too.

The view out of the main street
The Historic Raglan Pub

After lunch we headed back to Rafe at the Raglan Holiday Park and then later onto the beach.

Click on the Gallery below for an Enlarged Slideshow

There was a family from Hamilton with their youngest doing hand stands and flips on the sand while they enjoyed a glass of wine and watched the sun go down. Just magic.

Amazing Sunset

We were looking forward to the next day, Watching the rugby and then checking out the town.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Raglan – Armada GPS

Ardmore’s Flash new paint work

Ardmore NZMCA park is one of our better parks so it we were looking forward to a break from the house and the grotty weather for a week of sunshine watching the world go by.

Click on any image to enlarge.

Our youngest 9 yr old Grandson Liam goes to school in Ardmore where they used to live until last year and Dad Alex, had a week in Canberra for business so Liam needed someone to get him to school and feed him for the week. We live in Devonport so the easy way was to take Rafe out and stay at the park and walk him to his old bus stop not far from the entrance of Ardmore.

For the first couple of days Fiona was working so it was time for some walks during the day, take some piccies and read Newspapers. The sun was out, it was warm in the sun but was cold in the shadows but generally a big improvement on a few weeks ago.

Ardmore park

I met the custodian and Grant and Liz who honestly made me feel exhausted just watching them work on the park. It was almost non stop!  .. and they’re really nice people who were so helpful.

On the Wednesday morning Fiona drove out in the car which was good as we could get around and leave Rafe in the park so we got to get a few things and go out for lunch and check out some shops while Liam was at school.

Eye on the line

On the Friday morning, our last day, Grant popped his head in the door and said we had to vacate temporarily so the road markers could come in and give the park a flash new paint job on the parking areas.

The new paint with everyone on the grass behind.

There were about 10 or so Caravans and Motorhomes and one by one we shifted into the slightly damp grass paddock next door. We were a bit lucky having only one Caravan behind a light van losing traction which we pushed out. No harm done and everyone was still smiling 🙂

Click on the Gallery below for an enlarged slide show.

The painters were only there for a couple of hours and made it look easy while we all watched on. There were a few jokes about wobbly lines and late nights but they did an amazing job.

A Flashback to 2015.. Click on the Gallery to view

From coming here when the park first opened, Ardmore park is looking really good and is a credit to all those volunteers who have pitched in over the years.

We left on the Friday and headed home.

Rafe’s Tracker map home from Ardmore NZMCA Park – Armada GPS

House & Garden RV style!

Paeroa would have to get first prize in the Antique shops. A fantastic place if you like looking at old interesting stuff.

We’ve passed through here lots of times but only stayed here once before  and that was at the Paeroa RV centre.

Click on any Image to Enlarge

I hadn’t booked or anything and just rocked up and as I checked in, there was something vaguely familiar about the nice lady checking me in.

After I gave her my name, she looked at me strangely and and said, “I went to school with you at Takapuna Grammar School”, the penny dropped and everything fell into place. Jane was also was at school with Fiona at Vauxhall Primary School.. amazing memory.  We spent the next hour or so going though all the common friends that we have and strangely enough, have managed to keep in touch with.

Jane’s partner Steve is the caretaker and they have an amazing old Devonport Ferries red bus, a real slice of history.

Jane with her and Steve’s ex Devonport Ferries Bus

Paeroa RV Centre has changed over the years and now house s a lot of permanent people in bigger vehicles and they’ve developed a real community there. I found all of them very welcoming and very friendly and with the less than friendly winter weather that we’ve had lately, its a great spot to get comfortable.

Some of the appendages to their parks .. think decks and little garden areas are amazing. I very definitely felt very undecorated and certainly not anywhere in the hunt for a prize for my park 🙂 I did have some moss and a neighbour pots nearby though 🙂

Click on the Gallery below to check out the Gardens

Having met Steve and Jane, they talked me into staying a second night and I spent the next day walking into Paeroa, getting a haircut and buying some costume jewelry for Fiona.

Downtown Paeroa
There’s a plastic bottle now !

A fantastic place to stay, great people and I was really pleased to catch up with Jane again and meet Steve.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Paeroa – Armada GPS

Wild in Papamoa

Glancing through my iPad recently, I came across a rather sad posting of a friend who had been battling a Melanoma for the last 10 years but finally lost the race. They had recently moved out of Auckland to Papamoa to enjoy their retirement by the sea.

Click on any Image to Enlarge

Hear those waves

When we found out the funeral was on and where, it was time to jump into Rafe and pop down to Papamoa to the funeral. Leaving Auckland early to beat the traffic, I found myself around the back of Hamilton by 9:20 in the morning. By 11:30 I was cruising into Papamoa after crossing the Kaimai’s. What a huge difference that new motorway makes by passing Hamilton.

Wild!

After checking into the Tasman Holiday Park in Papamoa, and settling Rafe down by the sea and after a cup of coffee, I called a Taxi to take me to the venue which was on the other side of Papamoa.

After the funeral, one of our old boating friends who also came down dropped me back at the entrance to the Holiday Park.

Click on the Gallery below to see an enlarged slide show

The camp has a lot of permanent Caravans all with their laid out decks and additions and I’m sure the place absolutely pumps in summer. The area where I was next to the sea was about 1/3rd full but it was pretty windy, cold and miserable with waves crashing in. Very handy to the beach which was probably less than 50 metres away.

I took the camera for a walk and it was wild with the sea absolutely raging.

Fantastic Beach
Some of the new beachfront chalets.

The ablution block looked almost new and was spotless. For the shoppers, its really handy to downtown Papamoa with a huge shopping centre right across the road.

Dusk at Papamoa -cellphone pic

The forecast for the morning was evil with thunderstorms forecast and high winds. When I woke up at 7, I thought I’d get up and get going given it was pretty exposed on grass and the clouds over Tauranga looked positively evil. It rained but I think the worst of it went offshore.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Papamoa – Armada GPS

Auction for Hospice of the best NZ news photos!

One of the saddest things I had to deal with earlier this year was finding out that my old buddy and ex boss, Rob Tucker had  cancer.

Several years ago when I went down his home town of New Plymouth,  Rob went to some trouble to give me a guided tour of New Plymouth. We later adjourned to his house for tea where I caught up with his wife Bonnie and brother Jim who was also an ex boss when I was at the Auckland Star.

While we were in the South Island earlier this year I received a phone call from another old friend Ross Land to tell me that Rob has organised an auction of our 3 best images from our days in newspapers. We were in Plimmerton at the time about to cross on the ferry and as there was plenty of time, we’d find some images for it  when we got back.

Once we got back to Auckland a few weeks later, I sent a selection of 10 or so images to Rob for him to pick what he thought would work and the three images below are what he picked.

Click on any Image to Enlarge

Tina Turner at a press conference under TV lights.

Rob was one of the NZ Heralds youngest ever Picture Editors.  A vacancy came up at the Herald for a junior and I jumped at it. I was 19yrs old, welding and repairing containers at the time biding my time so it came just at the right time. Rob did me a big favour getting me on board at that early stage as the Herald was a fantastic training ground and a great place to work.  Once you were out of the Newspaper industry, it was really hard to get back in.

Ross joined not long after me and later we shared a darkroom together and became good friends.

Ross and Kay have done a spectacular job over the last few years doing up a classic Caravan!

Michael Winslow outside the Regent in Auckland.

Hospice Taranaki have taken really good care of Rob and he felt he wanted to do something to help them fund their financial situation. He came up with the idea of getting as many of NZ Newspaper photographers to provide their best three images to be mounted and auctioned off for Hospice Taranaki.

Here’s a story from the  NZ Herald of Rob  Its an interesting video and well worth watching.

Run for your wife. One of the last shows at His Majesties Theatre in Auckland before it got bulldozed. L to R: Geoffrey Hughes (Coronation Street), Timothy Lea (Confessions of a Windows Cleaner) and Windsor Davies (It aint half hot mum) were staying at the White Heron lodge in Parnell where I met them early one morning.

There is also a coffee table book with all the images in which will be a collectors item in years to come. The proceeds for this are also heading Hospice’s way.

Its a great idea of his to get behind a great cause and we need to support it.  I’m sure once you see some of the images, you will remember seeing them published.

Here’s a few that didn’t make Robs selection that I sent as well to give you an idea of some of the others.

Click on the Gallery below to Enlarge.

The Auction is being held at Plymouth International Hotel in New Plymouth on the 24th September.

Most if not all the photographers involved will be there too so it’ll be quite a reunion 🙂

Check out the Photo Journalism NZ page here.