Category Archives: NZMCA Rallies

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.

The Hamilton NZMCA Motorhome Show

Along with a few hundred others, I arrived fashionably early and we were all marshalled into a temporary parking area on the grass.

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The parking!

Kickoff at midday came and the lines formed to get in and once settled, there were old friends catching up everywhere you looked.

One of the many happy setups

The parking was superbly managed and given the huge task of parking hundreds of Motorhomes and Caravans along with Buses with Toads, the end result was just a work of art. Well done to all the volunteers who pitched in. An amazing effort.

Out with the awning

I was only there half an hour and spotted Nelson and Maree in Caniwi so popped in for a chat with them and later caught up with them for a drink after also catching up with John and Sarah Pedersen. It was really nice to catch up with them too. John does a blog called licenced to retire.

The next morning was showtime! .. I’d only just stepped in the door when Chris Nuttall tapped me on the shoulder. Chris runs the NZ Motorhome Forum and it was nice to see him. It has been a wee while!

The Swift Caravans are always a treat and this years new models didn’t disappoint. See below

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With the bathroom and shower at the back, an east-west bed and then Galley and Lounge at the other end, with the finish and polish you would expect from Swift.

I was really impressed with the new Dethleffs Caravans for Families. One of them has two bunks with a childrens lounge at one end, the bathroom and shower facilities, a french bed and Galley area and then a big adult lounge at the other end. Its a big Caravan but they also have a smaller one without the kids lounge which is also a little cheaper.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

Most of the big manufacturers were there, Trailite, Bailey, Jayco along with many others and it was nice to see Eldiss’s new Motorhomes too.

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Going from one manufacturers Caravans and Motorhomes to another all in one spot, its really interesting seeing the different design styles and layouts.

I was really interested to talk to Carters Tyres executive Phil Jackson who was at the NZMCA stand, about tyres. Phil was telling me that many Motorhomes and Caravans are actually close to the weight limit of their tyres with some even over. This isn’t something that I ever thought about to be honest as you tend to watch things like GVM and axle weights. His team were going to weigh Motorhome and Caravans the next morning including Rafe.

I also found out that they have a brand called Giti which are well suited for Motorhomes and Caravans and will perform as well as or outperform my current factory fitted european tyres, and they’re less expensive too especially with the NZMCA discount.  I’m really looking forward to finding out more as mine have done 58000k’s and need replacing!!

Rafe’s tyre weights were interesting. Weighed without me and without the bikes on the back, my current weight was just about 50 kg’s under on the front (each wheel) and would have been just over on the back with the bikes. The Giti’s have another 100kgs approx of payload each compared to my current tyres… who would have known!

Rafe’s overall GVM is just under 4300kg and on a heavy day is 4100kg with water, wine, groceries and packed with two of us ready to go.
After having a great chat with Phil, and Ryan from NZMCA and a few others, I headed out the other end for a bite of something. There was a huge covered area with picnic tables with food carts down both sides offering all the usual treats. Some music was provided too.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

From here I’ll let the pictures tell the story but a fabulous show and I heard that it is now going to be an annual event. I can’s say enough about the volunteer parking people who did an amazing job with what seemed to be a zillion Motorhomes and Caravans.

From the early days

The Vintage Caravans looked fantastic too.

The Vintage section

Caniwi

Many of you will have seen Nelson and Marees Trailite with Caniwi across its forehead along with the NZMCA wings. Nelson is originally from Canada hence the Cankiwi name!

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Nice big lounge area

They’ve had their van for 3 years now. Amazing as it seems like yesterday when they got it!

The van is a 2015 Trailite Karapiro powered by a 3 litre Turbo diesel on a VW base. They’ve done 32000 k’s over the last 3 years and spent a lot of it in the South Island and it still looks brand new!

Galley

Their favorite spots were the Tekapo NZMCA park and Pinders Pond in Roxburgh..both our favorites too.

The Bedroom

It was nice to catch up with them at the Waihi Beach NZMCA park opening.

The Grand Opening

And  even Gary the Mayor was there too!

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It was a great occasion and the Central Bay of Plenty crew did a fantastic job getting it all across the line.

Nice tidy parking

Fiona had work on Monday so wasn’t keen on a flog down there from Auckland and back for 2 days so I was on my own. So fighting a worsening cold, I jumped into Rafe and off I went.

Lots of white behind the water feature at the gate!

As I came around the last bend before the camp, all I could see was lots of white from Caravans and Motorhomes.. was there going to be room! There were 68 vehicles in the park and it was chocker.

I arrived just in time for a drink in the tent with many others which was perfect timing. It was nice to see so many old friends there too.

The park is looking good and the CBOP team had all hands on deck making sure that everything was covered.

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Early on the Saturday, it was all hands on deck for a mass tree planting of all the bunds around the park. It was great to see the party atmosphere that came with it. This was followed by a nice bbq’d sausage lunch which went down a treat.

The 2pm opening came around just inside the entrance to the park and lots dragged their deckchairs out for a ringside seat.

The grand opening by the gate

Guest of honour was Audrey who is number 164 and is now in her 90’s. She was planting a tree along with Gary the Mayor and Ross Hamilton from the board. There was also a tree planted by a senior parks manager from the council, Peter.

Audrey, Gary the Mayor, Peter from the council and Ross from the board.

After the ribbon cutting performed by Audrey and Gary the Mayor, it was back to the tent for the cutting of the cake and some refreshments.

Audrey and Gary the Mayor curting the ribbon.

Earlier in the day, I managed to get a pic of Audrey (164) with one of the NZMCA’s newer members and first timers at a Rally, Bill and Colleen. (81847)

New members Bill and Colleen (81847) with board member Ross and Audrey (164)

A nice afternoon and lots of fun.. and my cold is much better now too 🙂

Rafe’s Track to the NZMCA park

It gets even Bigger

The Covi Show NZMCA Rally at Ellerslie just keeps on growing and this year, it looked great.

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Huge!

Fiona was working on the Thursday so after a stop at Countdown in Takapuna, I tootled on my own to the Rally arriving around midday. As I entered the gate, there was a nice cheery exchange with Pete and then into the rally and once I was parked, I was right next to friends Nelson and Maree.

Another one comes in

I had just turned the engine off when in the doorway popped one of the volunteers and a friend from Ardmore Jim. Nice to see him too. There was a real buzz about the place. Fantastic.

The ladies in the Registration tent doing a great job.
L to R, Carol, Robyn, Debbie, Noeline and Shona.

Everywhere I went, it was seeing friendly faces and at the Registration tent, I got some gentle ribbing from Jill about leaving Fiona behind again.. all good fun 🙂

Busy

The Rally was well set out and it all went like clockwork but when you see it, its impressive. All those Motorhomes, Buses and Caravans.

After a happy time with Nelson next door, I had a stream of visitors to Rafe which was neat.

At lunchtime on the Friday, there were already over 300 vehicles of different sorts at the Rally.

Well done to the volunteers who put it together and nice to hear that it was a fun time for all. I gather that there were more than 500 Motorhomes over the weekend!

The Massive Rally at the Races

This is just bigger than Ben Hur.. There must be more than 450 Motorhomes and Caravans here and they’re still piling in.

Looks impressive from the entrance.. click on this to enlarge it.

Due to the weather being rather nasty last weekend, the Barfoot and Thompson Races were postponed to coincide with this rally and the races were on while the Motorhomers were crossing the track into the centre. … Between the races of course.

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One of the last races

All in good humour and as the day went on, little groups popped up all around the rally with gatherings for a few quiet cold ones while the horses galloped around the track. A great atmosphere.

Race with the stand in the background

It never ceases to amaze me how the good folk of the NZMCA who put themselves out there and go the extra mile for the benefit of everyone else. The Covi/Spoton team organised this rally from scratch and had a roster to make sure that everybody that needed some help or guidance got what they needed and were happily and safely parked.

It was disappointing to hear that a few NZMCA members who failed to check whether their dogs were allowed, made a scene and got unnecessarily nasty for our cheerful volunteers.
Come on guys.. Common sense… Racecourse, horses and dogs don’t go together.. especially when there is a race meeting on.  For those responsible for this display of bad manners, it’s nice to think that we could be be respectful and helpful for those volunteering and doing their best for the  rest of us.

The NZMCA marshalls Happy Hour

On the positive side, one of the volunteer Rally Marshalls, Jim was telling me that a couple of members who arrived with dogs just to see where they could go, were very thankful when they were redirected to another parking spot just around the corner where dogs were permitted… Nice !

The team also organised a great free bus service to the show which was fantastic.

The Rally from up in the stand

A great rally, some nice people and thanks to Auckland Racing Club, Ellerslie racecourse and of course the Counties NZMCA team for having us there.

And from Rafe’s Tracker.. for those offshore

Ellerslie Racescourse for those off shore

Covi show story next up.

Kuratau Rally

We haven’t been to a rally for a while and with it being at Kuratau at the bottom of Lake Taupo, our friends from Taupo, Dianne and Gary were keen to go  so we were off. We left early on Thursday night and headed for the NZMCA Ardmore park so we could avoid the traffic on Friday morning which worked well as we were in Cambridge having a cuppa at 10:30.

Kuratau
Kuratau

By lunchtime we were cruising up the hill to Gary and Diannes place about to join them for a quick lunch and then were going to head down to Kuratau in convoy.  Gary lead the way as he knew the road and we headed from Taupo around the western side of the lake down to Kuratau.

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Rafe and the Xli
Rafe and the Xli

An easy 1hrs drive and we were registering and settling Rafe and the XLI down and getting ready for Happy Hour.

From up above
From up above on the top plateau
Registration and raffle time. On the right, Fiona, Gary and Dianne
Registration and raffle time. On the right, Fiona, Gary and Dianne

The area was on a beautiful 6 acre property owned by Aucklanders Peter and Sandy, beside the river. They had a bach with a big open stone fireplace and their were two plateaus. We were parked on the bottom level next to the river. As the day went on, the area progressively filled up as more and more vans arrived. kuratauHappy hour is always fun and we met some new people and joined in for a couple of the raffles. I don’t remember seeing any of us (the 4 of us) win anything but its all a bit of fun and supporting the Taupo NZMCA.

I met a chap who I knew but had never met from my old days as a newspaper photographer. He worked in Palmerston North on the paper there when I was in Auckland on both the Herald and the Auckland Star.   It was really nice to finally meet him as we had lots of common friends. Small world stuff.

Gary about to open the wine.
Gary about to open the wine… Hopefully!

The weather behaved itself, Geoff and Joyce and the committee did a wonderful job of organising it all and it was nice to see everyone having fun.

Rafe
Rafe

Kuratau is not somewhere we had been before and its lovely. We’ll be back there for sure. Thanks again to the Taupo committee for a well organised rally and to Peter and Sandy for letting us park on your front lawn. 🙂  It was great to catch up with our friends Gary and Dianne again.  A nice weekend having fun!