All posts by Chris Miller - Buggeritweareoff.com

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

Layers by the River

We spent the night at the Oamaru A&P grounds just a couple of K’s North of the town. At $6 for two and plenty of room on the grass, its a great spot. There are lots of loos and a laundry as well.

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Oamaru A&P ground

By the time we got up and got under way, and then checked out the Historic Precinct, it was lunchtime. The plan was to head to Middlemarch and do bits of the Otago Rail Trail that we missed two years ago but already, we were running very late!

No chance of getting lost here in Herbert

As we passed through Herbert, there was a Riverside Holiday Park right next to the river which looked good. As it was starting to get late, we popped in, there was heaps of parking and it seemed very reasonable at $28.

Shop in Herbert

The very helpful hosts who were happy for us to park anywhere as it was quiet and were happy to tell us a bit about the area.Just a fantastic spot right by a river and we had the camp virtually to ourselves in that area. We met another couple who parked away from the river around the other end who were from Timaru who were just giving their van a run 🙂

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

The huge cliffs beside the river showed really interesting layers of rock which suggested they were pushed up by several earthquakes… I’m not a geologist but thats what it looks like. Amazing.

We both really enjoyed this park. Everything was clean and tidy and everything worked. The Hosts were great and what an amazing spot.

What a Cliff

In the morning we went back a couple of K’s to check out the Historic town of Herbert.

The Netspeed Speedtest (at Oamaru A&P)
Download : 48.3 mbps
Upload : 17.4 mbps
Ping : 49 ms

Rafe’s Tracker Map  – The park is at the Blue Dot

Winchester’s favorite Cafe

About 3.5 years ago, Australian friends and business partners, John and Bruce bought a beautiful huge Mansion on the main road in Winchester, just a few k’s north of Temuka. It is called MiaFlora and is just amazing. It is open from Thursdays through to Sundays.

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Miaflora

The idea was to restore the house, landscape the gardens using unusual and larger items of Garden furniture and accessories and have a plant nursery around the back with everything that you can think of.

Unusual garden sculptre

Meanwhile inside the house and on the other side beside the house, John the talented Pastry Chef with his staff run the Cafe. The food is something else and the coffee superb, and of course it is all beautifully landscaped with Bruce’s directions.

The Cafe area inside

We caught up with old friends Ollie and Pam and they bought us to the Cafe. They also introduced us to Bruce and we enjoyed a fun ½ hour or so chatting about all sorts. He’s a real character and when you see the setup, very talented with things Green and Floral 🙂

Just remembering that Ollie is a Chef and he and Pam are pretty fussy with food and things Hospitality, MiaFlora is their bolthole when they want a break somewhere nice.

Fiona, Ollie and Pam

Directly over the road is the local masonic Lodge with a huge easy access and flat carpark that could be used for Motorhome parking.

One of the yummy cakes we had there

Definitely worth checking out next time you’re in the area.. MiaFlora

Yum Yum at Olivers

About a hundred years ago, Fiona trained to be a nurse with Pam.  We became good friends with Pam and husband Ollie, and as they also lived in Devonport we kept in touch.

Cutting a long story short, after their children grew up, they eventually went for a change of lifestyle and bought their farm just out of Temuka and did up the farm house.

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Ollie and Pam

It was a massive restoration which included lifting it up and spinning it around to face the sun.

The Farmhouse

Ollie is a trained chef and along with his cooking skills and having Pam at his side, they’ve setup and run Olivers Farm Stay’s B&B.

We had just arrived at Winchester Domain Camping ground which is about 500 metres up the road from their B&B just as we did a couple of years ago.

Fiona looked a picture as she had just washed her hair and one side of her head all done up in curlers.. think Ena Sharples 🙂 .. Ollie and Pam pull up and pop their heads in the door.. 🙂

After a cup of tea in Rafe, they took us up the road to their local cafe in Winchester.

Several hours went by here and then we went straight to Ollie and Pams home for tea.

It was great to catch up on all the news about their family and where they were up to.

While we had a glass or two of nice wine, Ollie prepared the feast and it was just stunning. No wonder their overseas customers keep coming coming back when there is this standard of hospitality.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

The time ticked by unoticed as it does when you’re having fun but what a magic night and lovely to catch up with them both again.

Roasted Kumara !

If you’re in the area or know someone who wants to be spoiled with great food, in a comfortable place with some great humour thrown in. Check out http://www.oliversfarmstay.co.nz

Feeling at home in The South

And it is in Peski’s at Geraldine which is also one of THE best parking spots.

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The Top level

We’ve stayed here several times and it just like a comfy old chair!  Sue and David .. and Tui keep the place looking immaculate and the happy hours are legendary 😃

Sue and Tui

It was great to see them both again after two years or so since we here last.

We popped in pretty much unannounced and they were chocker but Sue managed to squeeze us in next to their Garage.

The shadow is creeping over

The Happy Hour tree has had a big haircut and with the sun dropping earlier, it was a case of where the sun was for our late afternoon catchup.

We met a whole lot of people from Christchurch who were here together and they were good fun.

The Old Happy Hour Tree with a HUGE haircut

We rode into Geraldine on the new Electric bikes which was good fun. Its about 7 k’s out of Geraldine but thats about 10 minutes at 30k’s on an Electric Bike 🙂 I like Geraldine and I’ve said to various members of our family that I might just go and buy a house here 🙂 .. all attempts end up with “the look”!..

I checked out the track behind down to the river. The garden seat has washed away a few times in various weather events but David has managed to reset it again.

Peskis is $15 a night with power. There is a washing machine, a shower and a cassette only dump station which are available each for $2.

Chocker Block

A fantastic spot and they’re just the best hosts. A must stay spot when you’re next in the area.

The Netspeed Speedtest
Download : 44.06 mbps
Upload : 5.59 mbps
Ping : 51 ms

Rafe’s Tracker Map

In the Paddock at Oxford

The Oxford Workingmans club was handy to the Anzac day service the next day so we thought we’d check it out. It was also handy to the cemetery where we went to check in on my Grandparents and see how things looked there.

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Workingmans club

At the cemetary, the headstone was in a bit of a state and you could barely read it so we thought we’d get some potent cleanup stuff and take to it with a stiff brush. It came up really well and looks fantastic.

Fiona cleaning the Headstone
The end result!

After that, we went and checked out the local Workingmans club which has free accomodation for Motorhomes in a well separated paddock out the back.

Our neighbour in the paddock

We decided to join the Oxford Workingmans Club and after enjoying a couple of wines, we bought some Fish and Chips and headed back to Rafe. They’re fantastic people there and very helpful. A place to remember.

Rafe’s tracker map

The Turkey Lounge

We’re 7 k’s odd out of Kaikoura parked in the country next to a country pub and along comes a stunner.

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Rex and jenny

I had just been for a walk around the grounds of the pub and was returning to Rafe when in comes Rex and Jenny with their beautiful homebuilt Teardrop Caravan and WOW!!

Stunning

Its roomy too, much bigger than your average teardrop. They have a Queen size bed in it along with a wall of wardrobe and shelves.

The back lifts up for the Galley area and there is a great little hideaway for their slide out Barbeque.

Arriving at the Park.. what a sight

Having taken 2 years to build from scratch, they’re returning to their home town of Tauranga after a 3 month trip around the South Island. They finished building it 3 years ago and are now are getting to enjoy it.

Click on the Gallery below to see a great Slideshow!

Matched with the 1957 Chevrolet, it is the full package and sounds it too.

The ultimate sound and vision package !

On their way

Kowhai Pass – Springfield

The NZMCA has just started a new program called Campersave which allows us Motorhomers to take advantage of the off season when Motorcamps are not busy and also has the benefit for Motorcamps to get some off season cashflow.

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Neat spot

Its a win win for all!

A customer at the door.. old fashioned camping !

So I was keen to support one and the one closest to us was part of the Springfield Domain. It is called the Kowhai Pass Campground as this was the original name for Springfield.

Camp Caretaker Joy in her office

We rocked in and met one of the delightful caretakers, Joy who showed us where to park and where things were. The cost is $20 per van with power. There are toilets and showers as well. The showers cost a $1 which is pretty cheap. I’m sure I spotted a laundry too.

Looking along the main street of Springfield

A great spot for the night and great value with some nice people.

Fiona with the Donut

The next morning we went further west and had a look through Springfield town where there is a tribute to Rewi Alley and of course the famous Donut. A neat spot.

The Netspeed Speedtest
Dowload : 39.25 mbps
Upload : 6.94 mbps
Ping : 154 ms

Rafe’s track to Kowhai Pass

Anzac Day at Oxford

After a great night in Springfield, we headed back to Oxford as an old stamping ground for my family and to be there for the Anzac service.

Oxford was settled by large parts of my family, the Vincents and the Millers. The local cemetary tells the story and they’re also well represented in the Museum and on the local War Memorial Obelisk.

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In the Town Hall during the service

The next morning was the Anzac service so we walked around to the Town Hall where it was standing room only. It was an amazing turn out for such a little town.

In the Main Street

After the service, the returned Soldiers and other services like St John and current Soldiers, formed up for the march to be led down the road a bit to the Cenotaph.

The Cenotaph

Following a lone piper, the parade occupied most of the main street before it turned in to the Cenotaph. .. Very impressive..!

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Two of my great uncles Ashley and Ray Vincent were killed in action about 20 years old and were both on the Cenotaph and had seperate crosses.

The Obelisk

A really impressive setup and the parade went like clockwork. It was also nice to see several armed police turn up just to ensure everyones safety.. thanks Guys.

Donegal House

What a find.. Owned and run by the Boyd family on what was once the family farm, this is a superb setup and has to be one the better Park over properties sites I’ve come across.

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It is set in the grounds of Donegal House Irish Pub about 7 k’s from Kaikoura. Its only downside is it is not walking distance to kaikoura but more than makes up for it with the facilities.

What you see on postcards

We’d only been in the South Island a day and the weather was the pits with it raining non stop so we thought we’d wait it out in front of the open fire at Donegal House 🙂

Inside the Pub

We spent two nights there waiting for the weather to improve before heading further south.

Great Fire

Powered sites are $20 per van per night and non powered is free in a separate area. There are heaps of powered sites all nicely setup up in little fenced areas with Irish names on each!

This is a place with huge family history and they’re very proud of it. Their family tree is up on a board with lots of photos in side of how it was with their relatives.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

The Gardens are amazing too and well cared for. A stunning spot.

The Netspeed Speedtest… Awful! .. I suspect there was an issue with the local tower as it did improve before we left.
Download:  1.48 mbps
Upload:  0.24 mbps
Ping: 76ms

Rafe’s Tracker Map

Pork Pie Run

Arriving in Wellington, we headed to our favourite spot at Plimmerton at the NZMCA park.

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Plimmerton NZMCA park

The weather forecast for the next few days was awful with torrential rain forecast so we were in for an early start in the morning to drive into Wellington for the 8am Bluebridge sailing.

Rafe with the Mini’s

We were first in line arriving at 0630, half an hour before check in. Not long after we checked in, we were joined by some of the 60 odd Minis doing the Kidscan Charity run from Kaitaia to Invercargill over 6 days. Most were dressed up for the occasion with long hair and bright clothing.. a lot of fun.

This is the 6th running of this event in homage to the Kiwi Classic movie, Goodbye Pork Pie.

The view from the deck through the rain

Once we were on the ferry, they were marshalled in behind us and it looked like it would have been a fun trip.

In the Truck deck as we arrived in Picton

Driving through Kaikoura, we also saw some passing us and stopped in various places along the way.

Minis on the car deck

To donate to the cause or to find out more, see kidscan.org.nz

Tons of Minis