Category Archives: Bay of Plenty

From the Blue Beast to the White

Earlier this year at the Covi show, I met  Alan and Keitha and their Blue Beast which they had extensively rebuilt both inside and out.

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Alan and Keitha with their previous van, The Mazda Triton

They were at the Waihi Beach opening and with their new Dethleffs Trend and they love it.

Living area

The Trend was an ex rental and is significantly smaller and more manageable than their older 1990 Mazda Triton Motorhome..

Sleeping Dept

The Trend had 9000k’s on the clock (Hardly touched) and they’ve just enjoyed a great trip down to Christchurch stopping in at Lake Ellesmere.

Galley

With the new 2.3 litre 130HP fiat motor, they’re really enjoying the fuel economy that that comes from one of these new technology motors.

With their new baby, they’re really enjoying the change to a newer, smaller, more nimble vehicle.

Kiwifruit and Avocados

This has to be one the best Parking spots that I’ve found and I pretty much found it by accident.

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Great Parking

It was set up for the workers originally for Robert and Ruth McLeods Kiwifruit and Avocado Orchard workers  just outside Katikati and is now a NZMCA charges apply site. There are Toilets and Showers with Washing facilities and about 20 powered sites set among some fruit trees. It is $10 a night per person with power. I’d just been at the Waihi Beach opening for a couple of days and needed to give camera batteries and my laptop a bit of a shove on power so this was fantastic. There are quite a few long termers and workers there who take a personal interest in keeping the place spic and span. It is a busy little spot but a fantastic place to stop off if you’re on the way somewhere. There is also a family of Pukekos that seem to be pretty territorial and keep an eye on the place as well 🙂

A lovely spot.

The Netspeed Speedtest for this site
Download: 51.13 Mbps
Upload: 25.88 Mbps
Ping: 59 ms

Rafe’s Tracker map

The Razza Waihi Beach

What a great place.  Perched on a hill looking over Waihi Beach looking out to Mayor Island and views right down to Bowentown.

Mayor Island
Mayor Island

We were helping friends Rob and Helen celebrate picking up their new Autotrail Tracker. The campground volunteered that the RSA courtesy van was coming and we could get a ride to the famous Gunners Restaurant.

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Rob, Helen and Fiona arriving in the van.
Rob, Helen and Fiona arriving in the van.

It was a Saturday night so their overnight parking was pretty busy but not full and looked fantastic. The NZMCA card admitted us to the bar and to the restaurant. We opted for the carvery at $18 a head and it was absolutely amazing. There was also a salad bar which was great too.

After a few drinks, we headed back in the courtesy van to the campground. A great night

The Razza parking area
The Razza parking area

The next day, Fiona and I decided we would have to give the parking at the RSA a go so after having had a good look around the area, we arrived around 3pm and clocked ourselves in for the overnight stay and for a drink at the bar. A perfectly fine day, views for Africa it was an nice place to be. We’d both vowed that we wouldn’t do the carvery again but I ended up eating that anyway 🙂 ..and every bit as nice as the first night.
While there is no cost for overnight parking, it is expected that you at least buy a drink or even a meal. You won’t regret it either 🙂

Not far to walk home:-)
Not far to walk home:-)

In the morning, we were woken up with a knock on the door. It was an RSA person asking us to move to the carpark so the diggers could tear up the grass to turn it into a gravel park as it turns into a mud bog in winter. No worries.. the lady at the bar had told us this was coming but no one knew it was the next day.

The Grass getting dug up
The Grass getting dug up

It was an easy move but I felt a bit for the Caravanners but it was received with good humour .

A wonderful place to stay, eat and drink and for friendliness they are unbeatable.

The Netspeed Speedtest for this park

Download: 42.58 Mbps
Upload: 10.70 Mbps
Ping: 63 ms
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&q=-37.406769,175.935864

Rafes Tracker Map

Our track from Athenree down to Bowentown and to the RSA

 

The Busiest Bay around

While we were looking around Bowentown, we stumbled on Anzac Bay. What a great spot and I can now understand why it has had so many issues with Freedom Camping.  It seems now to be well managed but so busy, you’d need to get there really early to have any chance of getting an overnight spot.

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No room at the Inn
No room at the Inn
Great view
Great view

The water literally sparkles and its a really protected safe beach for the kids too. Waterskiing and jet skiers were having fun there too.

We were just stopping to have lunch but within minutes of arriving, I was chatting quite happily to my next door neighbor from Auckland and his friends in a matching Auto Sleeper. They had met as a result of buying the same vehicle 4 or so years ago and were travelling together. Nice people.

Busy busy
Busy busy

After a few sammies and a cuppa, we went for a wander down to the beach and to check out some of the Motorhomes in the overnight area. Some were pretty close together but they all seemed happy with the setup. It was chocker and it was a Sunday too.

Check out that water
Check out that water

A lovely bay and if I get there early enough one day, I might try a night there.

A little Bedtime reading :-)

Saturday was a big day. Rob and Helen were off to collect their new Autotrail Tracker RB and they were beside themselves with excitement.

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Rob and Helen looking very happy !
Rob and Helen looking very happy !

Their first Tracker RB had taken them and their daughter Chloe. all around NZ over the last 4 years or so.

The new Tracker looking very smart
The new Tracker looking very smart

The new Tracker is a different colour, has Automatic Transmission and has 180 horses. It has more room in the front lounge area, a separate Shower and Toilet area and lots of other little tweaks.

The new beast with Rafe behind
The new beast with Rafe behind

Having Rafe parked right behind, I was amazed with the changes in some of the vents, and other fittings which you see on Dethleffs and other makes.  Even the tyres are different from the older models.. now Michelins.

Rob unpacking the sealed manual packs.
Rob unpacking the sealed manual packs.

We drove down to meet them at Athenree Holiday Park as a meeting point and to help celebrate their first night away in it.

The Bedroom. The bed runs the opposite way to the older one.
The Bedroom. The bed runs the opposite way to the older one.

We hadn’t long checked in when the first glasses of bubbly were consumed. A nice afternoon in the sun with a swim in the hotpools later as well.

Its a lovely Motorhome and they’re over the moon with it.

Its a good thing that Rob is pretty handy and technically minded and likes reading the odd manual.
Its a good thing that Rob is pretty handy and technically minded and likes reading the odd manual.

As the title says.. lots of bedtime reading manuals for Rob!

The Netspeed Speedtest for Athenree Holiday Park
Download: 42.01 Mbps
Upload: 26.18 Mbps
Ping: 54 ms
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&q=-37.448570,175.966467

Rafe’s Track to Athenree

Rafe’s Track to Athenree.. The Green Dot

Peak time at Ngongotaha

This really is an amazing park. The last time I was here, the trees had just come down and there was some concern as to how it would be without them. Nothing to worry about here, its fabulous and now with the extra space, it has just got a whole lot better.

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The front part looking good but as it had been so wet, no one was game to park on it.
The front part looking good but as it had been so wet, no one was game to park on it.

We were in transit between Taupo and Auckland getting Fiona back to the grandkids in their home in Ardmore for the birthday Grannies cake cutting 🙂

RotoruaWe stopped off down by the lake when we first arrived and went for a look around and a cup of tea after driving with a crosswind after a great night in Taupo.  After looking through the app for somewhere to stay, Ngongotaha NZMCA park was the standout place.

Busy
Busy

The first thing I noticed when we came in is that the driveway seems to have been smoothed out and there is a big new area at the front on the right for more parking. The night before a big storm had gone right through the country and everywhere was pretty wet so there was no one in this new area but it looked like a great addition.

As we got to the top, we easily found a park and I went for a walk around the back. It was covered in caravan and a couple of Motorhomes.  I’ve never seen anyone parked right out the back so it was great to see.

Nice to see so many caravans
Nice to see so many caravans

I had only been there half an hour when a couple of people who I knew popped out for a chat. A lovely park and great to see the improvements and it being so busy..

The 20000th Peppermint

I was having a bit of browse through the NZMCA app and found Athenree Holiday Park. We cruised into the entrance and popped into the reception. Well, what a welcome.. “You’re our 20000th customer, have a peppermint! ”
Fantastic. That doesn’t happen too often!

Fiona having a cup of tea in the sun
Fiona having a cup of tea in the sun

We’re parked right on the waterfront facing towards Katikati just up from Bowentown.

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They have two hot pools. One is directly fed by a bore that goes down 220 metres and the water comes up about 35c. They have another smaller adults pool which has the water tweaked up by a heat exchanger from waste water. It’s fantastic.. Nice and hot.

The Pools .. hot adults pool on the left
The Pools .. hot adults pool on the left

Nice big flat parks and with the pools, great.

anthenreeAcross the road is a kids playground and the other side of the peninsula. More water!

Right by the water
Right by the water

Home for a few days after this.