Yay .. its the end of lockdown.. we’re away again.. almost ! Here’s a couple more posts from early 2017 until we get away again.
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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Their first Tracker RB had taken them and their daughter Chloe. all around NZ over the last 4 years or so.
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.
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.
We drove down to meet them at Athenree Holiday Park as a meeting point and to help celebrate their first night away in it.
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.
As the title says.. lots of bedtime reading manuals for Rob!
Having spent the last few days with our friends Rob and Helen and their 11yr old daughter Chloe, Rob was keen to show us a modification he has made to his fridge to make it more efficient. Now Rob is a clever guy and is very familiar with things electrical so to see it working as well as it does is fantastic.
Robs fridge is an under the bench style Dometic 3 way fridge. They imported their AutoTrail themselves from the Uk a few years ago and of course it came with a “Northern Hemisphere” fridge. The difference between those and the “tropical” fridge is that the NZ fridges apparently are setup to be able to deal with hotter climates.
The work around for Uk fridges in NZ is to fit a 12v fan in the cavity behind the fridge with a thermostat to expel the air from behind the fridge, outside.
The 12v fans use next to no power and are really reliable.
Rob says it has made a massive difference to its performance and both he and Helen are really pleased with the way it performs.
There is a link to an Aussie web site which details the technical which Rob found that makes it relatively easy. Here’s the technical link
This was first posted in Feb 2016 .. a special repost for lockdown!
What a great weekend! The weather was great and we had things to do.
After Fiona had finished work, we headed out to one of our favorite spots, the NZMCA park at Ardmore, a hop skip and a jump from Alex, Sarah and the Grandkids.
As always, remember to click on the images to see Hi Res.
Our friends, Rob & Helen and their daughter Chloe were heading off for a week or so to Napier and Gisborne so it was great we could pop in to Ardmore to see them off. When we arrived at about 7:30pm, they were off on a walk so they were a bit surprised to see us there when they returned as we hadn’t confirmed that we would be there.
Alex, Sarah and the boys came over after their tea and we all caught up in Rafe. Lots of fun.
The Ardmore NZMCA park is in an airfield precinct so a little noise comes with the territory, usually small planes and sometimes Helicopters.
That morning, things were different. At 8am, we heard the repetitive bark of a Sergeant Major type next door in the cadet parade ground teaching St John Juniors how to march. It was quite interesting to watch too as some didn’t know the left from the right so there were some interesting moves happening.
They were all togged up in their black uniforms and looked good, some even wearing their medals. There was one trainer who forgot his black clobber and was doing it all in his Red shorts.
As Fiona said, good on him for volunteering his time on a Saturday morning but it did sort of spoil the overall look.
About 9:30, we said goodbye to Rob, Helen and Chloe and they headed off to Taupo for their trip to Hawkes Bay and beyond. We left as well and went around to Alex, Sarahs and the Grandkids for the morning and around lunchtime, headed towards one of our other favorite places, Rays Rest at Miranda. We were catching up our friends Gary and Chris who were helping other friends Mark and Tina with their first trip out in their new, second hand Motorhome.
Rays Rest is a great spot and the weather was behaving as well.
After arriving early in the afternoon, we caught up for cups of tea and later a couple of drinks and then headed off in Gary’s van down to get the fish and chips for tea from the famous Kaiaua fish and chips shop. Gary wasn’t drinking so that worked well. It was nice to see how much progress Mark had made on his motorhome as when he got it, it leaked and had quite a lot of dampness in its linings. .. now all gone. More on this in another post soon.
We had a great night together and called it quits and hit the hay.
The next morning was nice in diffused sunshine with little wind. We sat on the foreshore watching people fish and just soaked up the atmosphere.
Gary, Chris, Tina and Mark were going to carry on to Thames and Coromandel so after lunch, we left them and headed home. A nice weekend.
Mark came back from a Turners Auction about 8 or so months ago and surprised us all when he arrived with a 1995 CI Travelhome on a Ford Trader chassis.
Mark & Tina are old boating mates and knowing that he has his hands full with a car restoration, a bike restoration and still has his boat to look after as well, I wondered where he would get the time from to work on what was a do up !
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The galley area
The sleeping accommodation. Completely relined and insulated as it leaked and was rotten.
Mark & Tina with their new Motorhome
Above the Califont the vent was leaking. Vent no longer leaks.
The Galley area
Wee fridge.. a little beauty
The Bathroom and Toilet
My first observation when I first saw it was rot, dampness and a whole lot of work but what a transformation when I saw it just recently.
All the leaks are fixed, the rot has been removed, leaky hatches have been replaced and all the sleeping accommodation has been completely relined. It looks fantastic.
The weekend we spent with Mark & Tina at Rays Rest was great and for their very first trip away, everything worked well.
Mechanically, it just plods away with the 3.5 l normally aspirated Ford Diesel and Mark tells me it flew through its first COF.
We sold our last house in October last year. Settled in February this year and since then, we’ve been in Rafe fulltime mostly staying at Takapuna Holiday Park for 3-4 days a week.
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Fiona has been able to walk to work from there in Takapuna and I’ve been able to do the odd commercial photographic job from there. We escaped in the weekends to where ever with a month off in the South Island as well. Its been fun but I’m very happy to be in a house again.
We did put in offers for a couple but were turned down and in hindsight, it was a good thing as what we have now is pretty bloody good! It also has a park for Rafe once we extend a concrete pad in the next few weeks.
The Kitchen needs doing and Fiona is already sizing up a new Oven.
Here are some images done by the real estate agency.
Click on the Gallery below to see Images of the House
Rafe’s parking pad to be extended
Kitchen needs doing
Lots of sun
Best of all its only 90 Square metres (we came from 240 sq m) with enough room for our friends and small enough to vacuum with the new Dyson in a few minutes.
It has a view out towards the North over the Waitemata Golf course in Devonport and is 5 minutes bike ride from about 4 beaches.
The week before we settled, I went to Adelaide to see my family with my two sons Andrew and Alex, as we haven’t seen any of them over there for quite a while. We were only there for 4 days and my sister Jayne went all out and organised a meal with the family and took us to see McClaren Vale and Hahndorf in the Adelaide hills which was great.
It was all a bit of a surprise for a few with my brother Tim coming over from Melbourne and neice flying in from Sydney too. Lots of fun and nice to see everyone.
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Meeting my younger brother Tim and his daughter Emma at a hotel for breakfast. Alex and Andrew on the right
My sons Alex and Andrew in Handorf in the Adelaide Hills
Andrew and Alex on the plane
At the lockup heading for the house
Our stuff in the lockup
Loading our furniture
The next day after getting back, we settled on the house so it was all a bit hectic! It all went reasonably smoothly and we moved in a few days later.
Even though Rafe has steadies, its really nice to walk around and not have that little wobble under your feet.
Its always good fun to come here especially in the middle of winter. Nothing beats a soak in a Hot pool!
It was great to catch up with the crew and for me, its always great to see what Bruce has added to his Motorhome being identical to ours.
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Cabins are popular
People enjoying the pool
The fishing machine at Kaiaua
The neighbourhood watch at Kaiaua
Rafe and The Neismann
The new Cabins
Grant and Sharron arrived the next day from Hamilton in their Holiday Rambler. We caught up with them with their friends and their Ramblers at Tokerau a year or so ago.
Miranda Holiday Park has changed hands and as its a while since I’ve been here there have been some notable changes.
Bruce and Judy having dogs, had a fenced off area at the back which meant their two dogs could wander around their Motohome park without disappearing off around the camp. A fantastic addition for the camp for Dog lovers.
There is also a Volley Ball / Badminton net and some more cabins added at the back which were all booked out when we were there. Nice!
We had fun reminiscing with the first Dethleffs getother and the changes over the years.. that was nearly 5 years ago !
A fun weekend.
On the way home we stopped in at Kaiaua for our favourite Fish and Chips for lunch.
While we were at Fairlie, I met our neighbours Peter and Val who were heading to Amberley to see their daughter. She just happened to live near the Campground at Amberley Beach. This was to be our next destination too.
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After leaving Fairlie, we checked with old friends Ray and Margaret who have settled now in Geraldine. We met them at Peskis and they later showed us around Lake McGregor when we were with them at Tekapo. We had lots of fun together and it was neat to catch up with them again and see their house.
From here it was a quick stop at Christchurch to get some chemicals for the loo and then off to Amberley Beach.
We arrived there about 4pm and the shadows were already starting to get long. The camp is split into two bits. On the right is an area for Dogs and on the left is an area without Dogs. We went to the left and signed up and put our money in the “wooden maiden”. The cost is $5pp plus $5 for power.. very good value with some new loos nearby and the beach just through the sandhills.
We went for a walk down to the beach just for a look and it looks fantastic with Pines on the foreshore in the sandhills.
It reminded me of when I was growing up in Christchurch, we used to have family holidays somewhere up this coast and I remember the pine trees that you had to run through to get to the beach and there were lots of old Cribs.. ahh the good old days !
It looked a bit bleak this time but this was only because it was getting late.
In the morning we left there and headed through to Kaikoura. Coming down from Wellington poured with rain all the way so we didnt get to see much but this time it was brilliant sunshine.
Its amazing what has been done here by the roading and railway people fixing things up after the earthquake. We saw some of the brave abseiling workers fixing back wire barriers to stop rocks falling. Amazing
Arriving at Kaikoura for lunch, our first stop was to the Pier Hotel where we’ve eaten before. Looking across from there its amazing to see all the rocks that have been pushed up by the earthquake.
One of the things still noticeable is the state of the roads around the area but Kaikoura is looking great and its great to see the good folk of Kaikoura bouncing back after such massive damage.
The Netspeed Speedtest Amberley
Download : 42.05 mbps
Upload : 12.16 mbps
Ping : 50 ms
Moving from the Queenstown Holiday Park after my job was complete, we were looking forward to catching up with Rob and see Helen who had arrived in Lowburn from Auckland the day before.
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We were at Rob and Helen’s place for the weekend and Sunday was planned for a quick bike ride down to the lake by Lowburn Inlet.
Rob had some chores he wanted to deal with and was going to walk down later so we all set off.
Fantastic sunshiney day and warm as toast as long as you kept out of the shadows!
We ended up down by the inlet where we’ve stayed in Rafe right by the lake. Its interesting to see that the absolute lakeside has been fenced off but it is still a wonderful place to stay. I believe the loos have had a bit of a makeover too.
We didn’t stay long and we biked back up the Lowburn Valley to check out some of the newly built houses. The real estate scene down here is cruising along nicely and I’m not surprised looking at some of the fantastic homes being built here.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
By the Lowburn lake
A shot from up on the hill looking over the valley. Lake Dunstan on the right
Looking across the trees and stream at the back of Rob and Helen’s place
Fiona and Helen getting back
When we arrived back at the house in time for friends Ross and Karen afternoon drinks, Rob was just arriving back from a walk. He didn’t say where he’d been but Rob doesn’t do small walks 🙂
After 3 years or so off full time Motorhoming, Gary and Chris are back in their Ruakaka bach after having it rented out while they were away. They’re still in their Motorhome outside though while they do a virtual rebuild along with huge changes and additions for their retirement.
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Gary and Chris were old boatie mates and we used to spend most weekends and Christmas holidays in the Hauraki Gulf when we had our old Whalechaser Rorqual. They had a lovely old classic sedan called Nau Mai. There were many happy moments and we had a lot of fun.
After selling up in Devonport and spending 5 years or so in Ranfurly, for a change of scene and direction running a B&B, they then bought their first Motorhome, an ex CI Munro renter on a Mitzi Canter base. They later upgraded this to a newer Mitzi Fuso which is what they have now and now they’ve finished their Ruakaka rebuild, it is on the market!
Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow of the House
New cladding and some paint.. looking good.
Their two homes
Gary on the nailgun
Chris with the plans of the Kitchen
Looking back to the Mitzi
The house is looking fantastic and is very different to how it was.
And from now…
So .. the Mitzi Motorhome.. here’s some facts and figures that Gary has sent me.
Its a 2008 Mitsi Fuso Canter with a 3.9 Litre Turbo with a Manual 5 speed box.
It has Rego till December and a New COF and its never failed a COF
There are 3000 RUC remaining.
The Speedo has 95088 km on it, and the Hubometer has 91220.
It is officially a CI MUNRO ULTIMA 4 berth. Gary put 6.5 metres on it but I’ve parked next to it and its at least 7 metres long.
Rear wheel drive on duals. Stove / oven / Dometic 3 way fridge freezer and a Diesel Heater. It has also had Netspeed installed and the Aerials are on the roof.
Here’s some piccies when he first bought it….
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Chris and Gary with their Motorhome
The kitchen area
Our park at Pelorus Bridge
At Evans Bay
Thats about all I can add or remember so call Gary for more info on 027 778 8557.
All I can add is that Gary being an engineer, he has looked after it and it is in really good Nick.. Someone is going to be buying a really nice Motorhome.