All posts by Chris Miller - Buggeritweareoff.com

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

Vineyards and swing bridges

Wellington harbour
Wellington harbour
Early morning Wellington from the ferry
Early morning Wellington from the ferry

With an early start on Tuesday morning from Evans Bay, we followed Chris and Gary around a very still Wellington waterfront to the Bluebridge ferry terminal. The hour wait in the queue that we expected didn’t eventuate so we were on Bluebridges newest ferry Strait Feronia and in comfy chairs looking out at Wellington city in no time at all.
The trip across was magic, little or no wind and pretty flat given it was Cook Strait.
Cook Strait is the Ā water between the North and the South Island of NZ for those offshore.

Coming into Picton
Coming into Picton

After arriving in Picton, we’d decided to find somewhere for lunch around Blenheim and then head to Pelorus Bridge for the night.. About 60 odd k’s.

Allan Scotts vineyard
Allan Scotts vineyard

Driving through the world famous Marlborough vineyards, we came across the Cloudy Bay and Allan Scott vineyards right over the road from each other. Allan Scotts looked easier for parking two 7m plus motor homes and we found an open gate leading right next to the vines so rather than upset their car park with two motor homes we parked there.
After lunch in our van amongst the vines, we went in to gain some wine knowledge and a quick tasting.
I bought a nice Chardonnay and a Reisling. Gary came away with a nice Pinot Noir. We had a brief visit to a chocolate factory as well and the girls came away with their wallets slightly lighter šŸ˜Š

Our park at Pelorus Bridge
Our park at Pelorus Bridge
Pelorus suspension bridge
Pelorus suspension bridge
Pelorus River
Pelorus River

Half an hour or thereabouts easy driving got us to Pelorus Bridge DOC camp. With both Gary and I having annual DOC passes, we found this camp didn’t accept them but it was only $12 each for the night in a nicely manicured bush area with power, toilets and an amazing hot shower!
After plugging in and settling down, we set off for a walk along the river to a massive suspension bridge over the Pelorus river. It only took an hour so an easy walk.

Another view along the Pelorus river edge.
Another view along the Pelorus river edge.

Arriving back to the camp, I had to try the shower. What a treat. Plenty of hot water, great pressure in a well setup hut with no tops to the walls so you’re in the bush. Great experience.
We finished a great day with a glass of something cold in Rafe.
We’re off to Nelson tomorrow.

Chris and Gary’s new Fuso

Chris and Gary with their Motorhome
Chris and Gary with their Motorhome

This is their second Mitzi truck, Luton based Motorhome and they’re really pleased with it.
They hit the road full time earlier this year and after driving from their rented out home in Ranfurly to Auckland, they spotted this new van on Trade me. As Gary says, it was the van he’s been looking for forever! So after many will we, won’t we, moments, they bought the van and flew to Christchurch and drove it back up to Auckland.

In the last few months they’ve been back to Ranfurly, worked their way up to the North Island to meet us in Marton last week.
It is 7 m long, has a nice U shaped lounge at the back and heaps of cupboards.

The kitchen area
The kitchen area
The Lounge
The Lounge

A very comfortable, reliable machine with all the comforts of home.

Evans Bay Marina being reviewed for Motorhomes

Evans Bay Marina 20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!
Evans Bay Marina
20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!

On Sunday morning a chap from Wellington City popped around in the Evans Bay Marina car park, with his clipboard. He was checking the CSC stickers for parking compliance. For those offshore, this is the self containment with black and grey water.

At Evans Bay
At Evans Bay the day before. Close to houses

Gary had a natter to him and he mentioned that the parking area was being reviewed. They’re thinking of moving it “up the “coast” which to me sounds like ‘out of town’.
One if the nice things about Evans Bay is its location and closeness to Wellington City.

Evans Bay Marina
Evans Bay Marina

There is also a dump station, toilets and water and a fantastic view.
I have to say though, Wellington definitely have more than their share of boy racers and people with sirens.
All in all though, it’s a great spot and it would be a real shame to lose it.

Does anyone know what’s happening ?

I want one šŸ˜ƒ

The Dethleffs XLI
The Dethleffs XLI

NowĀ into their third Motorhome, they’ve really Ā gone for the best and I think it’s safe to say, they’re pretty chuffed with it too.

Happy With their XLI, Dianne and Gary
Happy With their XLI, Dianne and Gary

Their new Dethleffs XLI is just the business. At 8.7 metres and 5 tons, there is plenty of room and a payload for Africa.

The Garage across the back is enormous and the brochures show a scooter standing upright in it, I think you would probably fit two in!

The shower and toilet Ā area is divided from both the main bedroom and dining area by two sets of doors, effectively setting it upas an ensuite and it’s very nicely done.

In the Bedroom
In the Bedroom
Gary and Dianne in the living area
Gary and Dianne in the living area
The shower
The shower

A really nice machine , and I’m pleased that they’re back on the road enjoying their Motorhome.

Yippee. Wearable arts!

Before we left Raglan, we had to check out the famous Raglan beach, then onto Hamilton to get diesel and the to check out a neat wee cafe that Dianne and Gary knew just out of Cambridge called the Red Cherry.

Gary, Dianne and Madam at Red Cherry
Gary, Dianne and Madam at Red Cherry

We decided on an early lunch and then after more goodbyes, set off for Marton. Gary mentioned going down the western side of Lake Taupo, turning off at Tokoroa. Great idea as there was no traffic to queue behind so Madam decided to have a drive. Now that Rafe is run in and everything has settled down, she found it a doddle.

Down the western side of Taupo
Down the western side of Taupo. This pic specially for Alan šŸ˜€

After stopping briefly at Turangi for a cuppa, went went all the way through to Ā Marton. We arrived about 5pm just before dusk and it was nice to see Gary and Chris again.

With Gary and Chris
With Gary and Chris
At the Marton MCA park
At the Marton MCA park

The NZMCA park at Marton is a fantastic facility set up with toilets, showers, water and a library. I think I also saw a kitchen there too.Ā To those set this up, well done, a great place to stay.

The next morning, we were off again to Wellington, stopping briefly for diesel at Levin and Ā cuppa shortly after. Ā Arriving at Evans Bay Marina around 1pm, we had plenty of time to get ready for the show at 5pm.

Arriving in Wellington
Arriving in Wellington

Evans Bay Marina is near the airport and is a well know free camping spot with Potable water, a dump station, toilets and a great view.

The view
The view
Evans Bay Marina
Evans Bay Marina. It’s great watching the planes land.

Evans Bay is about 15 minutes drive from town, it is $7.50 each in a bus, so we got a cab at $25. Also much more convenient.

The show was fantastic, clever people doing clever things. Every Kiwi should see it. This was our third time going and I’d do it again.

Wearable arts before the performance
Wearable arts before the performance

We’re on the ferry to probably Nelson via Blenheim. More tomorrow

My apologies for the strange postings, I’ve been trying out an offline blog program and its been a failure!

Raglan at its best

 

After the rugby
The bridge to Raglan

We were up early to be joined by Dianne and Gary to watch the All Blacks play Namibia.. What a great first half and great that Namibia scored a try. The second half. Well !

Breakfast time

A walk up to Raglan town across the foot bridge was next on the agenda so we crossed the footbridge from the campground to the town and checked in a one of the cafes for breakfast. A tour around the crafty shops and although I’m not a great shopper, I was on my best behaviouršŸ˜œ

The wharf
The perfect house
Repairing a fishing boat

Raglan has an amazing wharf area with a great fish shop. There is also what Madam thinks is the best pottery and jewellery shop around. We stopped for a cup of tea and watched some fishermen repairing their nets.

There is an old silo there which has been turned into flats.

The fish shop
Repairing nets
Fiona and Dianne enjoying the view

We set a course for home and Gary and I had a crack at getting the NZMCA kml tikes into his Gps.

After an anxious hour or so after the Nav software wouldn’t play the game on Gary’s Mac, I remembered where the files went and we managed to set the path and install the files manually… We hadn’t buggered it up after all.šŸ˜€

We celebrated with some great fish and chips in the new XLI with a glass or two of something coldšŸ˜Ž

Back to the vans

Today we’re off to Marton to meet Gary and Chris for the trip to Wellington.

Designer dirt

Rafe on the farm
Rafe on the farm

It’s great to be on the road.. As I suspected might happen… Forgetting something important…, we got as far as the city and had to return to Ā Devonport to send out my September invoices ..šŸ˜—… That set us back half an hour for doing a job on the way for a Wellington customer,…on a farm at Glen Murray. ..it didn’t really matter at the end of the day..we’re on the road and away .. Yay.

Madam reading up on the wind farm
Madam reading up on the wind farm
The wind farm at Te Uku
The wind farm at Te Uku

We arrived 40 minutes later and got some nice images .. Rafes first visit to a farm and getting the designer dirt treatmentšŸ˜€

The Gps then had a moment where it took us the back windy way from there to Raglan where we caught up with our friends from Taupo, Dianne and Gary in their new Dethleffs XLI. Great to see them again.

Raglan Main st
Raglan Main st
Raglan Hotel
Raglan Hotel

Dianne had arranged for us to stay at the Raglan Motorcamp which is on a peninsula virtually surrounded by water with a footbridge into town so we’re looking forward to checking that out later… More on this tomorrow.

Dawn at the camp
Dawn at the camp
Dusk at the camp before the Rugby
Dusk at the camp before the Rugby

 

We’re just about there

As we’re renting the house out, we’re running down the pantry stocks in the house so provisioning the van for the Sth Island trip tomorrow was pretty straight forward… more a case of finding places to put stuff.

Madam in the Supermarket provisioning for the trip.
Madam in the Supermarket provisioning for the trip.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday pulling everything out of the cupboards and resetting where stuff goes in which cupboards… It’s amazing the space that was created for yep! …. more stuff

Under floor storage. There are three ares like this .. Very handy

We use big plastic storage bins for keeping things tidy in the garage and most of that was rejigged as well so it’s all looking good.. Ā I’ve got that feeling we’re going to forget something important..

Wardrobe drawers.. A cheap way for extra storage

On a recent visit to the Plastic Box company, I discovered a neat way of making better use of our wardrobes. They have a hanging draw set that is designed to make a wardrobe into some shelving… To do both wardrobes was about $140 all up and it looks like it should work quite well..

Yippee .. Off tomorrow to meet some Motorhome friends at Raglan for a couple days, then Marton to meet some other Motorhome friends and then we travel in convoy to the South Island via WOW in Wellington.

I’ll try to post daily now we’re on the move. Keep your eyes peeledšŸ˜ƒ

Lunch at Shakespeare

Mike & Wendy with their Rapido
Mike & Wendy with their Rapido, Madam in the backgroundĀ ready forĀ lunch.

After leaving Rob & Helens at Snells Beach after a morning cuppa, we met Mike & Wendy with their new French A class Rapido at Shakespeare Bay, Whangaparoa. I went to school with MikeĀ last centuryĀ and Fiona met Wendy at TechĀ not long after šŸ™‚

The Rapido isĀ based on a Fiat Ducato, with a centre island bed with a HUGE garage across the back. Very comfortable and very similar to the Dethleffs EspritĀ 
Mike likes his knick knacks soĀ its greatĀ for himĀ to have this amazing amount of storage šŸ™‚

We’ve been trying to get together with them for some time so it was nice to finally have lunch together. They had spent the night at Shakespeare Park and ready to toodle back to Devonport.

The Girls whipped up some Lunch
The Girls whipped up some Lunch
Rafe & the Rapido at Shakespeare Park
Rafe & the Rapido at Shakespeare Park

After a nice lunch and swapping notes, it wasĀ great for each of us to come away having learnt something about our vans. Mike being a Certified Gasfitter and Plumber, has done some really clever things with both the gas and the water. .. Auto changing gas bottles and outside shower and other things too!

It was nice to see them enjoying their new Motorhome.

As the posts here are a bit infrequent at the moment, if you click Follow at the bottom, you’ll be notified of a new post to save you checking in. šŸ™‚

Snells Beach parking

Snells Beach Northern end
Snells Beach Northern end
Snells Beach
Snells Beach

On Saturday, we cruised up to seeĀ our Motorhome friends, Rob & Helen at Snells Beach .

It was great to have a meal with them before we all visit the South Island later this month.Ā  We are hoping to catch up with them down there too.

Some stregic parking saw the ramp to the door :-)
Some strategic parking saw the ramp to the door šŸ™‚
Snell Beach Housing
Snells Beach Housing
Our parking spot at the Northern end
Our parking spot at the Northern end

We parked the van at the end of their road at the Northern part of the beach..Ā  a lovely spot and the weather was playing the game albeit with plenty of wind.

Catching up with Rob and Helen and hearing their plans for the South Island was great fun. We last saw them at the Kai Iwi lakes rally in July.

We’ve stayed here at Snells beach before but were in the “middle carpark”Ā  further down the beach and there is a third carpark as well for motorhomes.

Apparently some of the locals around the middle parkĀ have beenĀ getting agitated about some of the behaviour from some of the Freedom Campers in their patch.

Unfortunately with the huge growth in Motorhoming, Ā most councils want to provide freedom camping which is great. The trouble is, many are providing the space but not policing it effectively.Ā  As a result, the “mattress vans” and non compliant renters and cars are ruining for everyone by not playing the game and “freedom camping” generally is seen as a blight in their backyard.

It’s a shame that the irresponsible few are going to bugger it up for many who are playing by the rules.

The Middle Park
The Middle Park
Northern End of Snells
Northern End of Snells

We woke up early and went for a walk along Snells beach to the other Motorhome parks and it was all looking really nice ..A few vans in each and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Motorhomers enjoying the Southernmost park
Motorhomers enjoying the Southernmost park
Happy Dog walkers
Happy Dog walkers

They’re a very friendly lot up there .. all the dog walkers saying hello or good morning and smiling away.. A really nice place to stay looking out at Kawau Island.

As the posts here are a bit infrequent at the moment, if you click Follow at the bottom, you’ll be notified of a new post to save you checking in. šŸ™‚