Category Archives: Ready to go

We’re Out!

What an arduous process.. The house sold finally in October with a settlement of Friday 22nd Feb.

Click on an Image for Hi Res

The packers in.

It was listed twice. The first time with Drew, my son after it had been rented out for two years while we did the European and South Island trips, and we listed it virtually as soon as we’d moved back in. It was a bit scruffy having been rented out and we fixed the big things but in the end it wasn’t enough and the feedback was awful.

So we took some advice from some stagers and designers and painted all the main rooms Real Estate White. We painted doors that had been stripped that hadn’t been painted and Double Hung windows that needed a makeover.

The end result was a massive lift in the look and we relisted with Barfoots in Devonport as the Lake Road traffic and Devonport was too far from Drews other open homes in the bays.

Finally a result!!

Click on the Galleries below for Slideshows

On the Tuesday after the packers came, we moved Rafe into the driveway ready for us to sleep in.

Prior to that, we had already packed everything into boxes, loads to the local op shop and the tip and the contents of the Pantry and Fridge was loaded into Rafe along with our clothes and the toiletries from the bathroom. Rafe’s cuboards were almost bursting šŸ™‚

Rafe in the driveway

The packers came and by the end of the day, all our furniture was safely locked away in a storage facility in Glenfield.

The big day came around on the Friday. Fiona went out to a girls lunch with friends to get away and I sat and waited for the Setllement calls to happen.

Around lunchtime, one of the purchasers furniture trucks arrived and he sat outside waiting. At 2pm another truck arrived and they all camped on the grass verge outside. About 2:30, the purchaser arrived to see what was happening.

It seemed the buyers bank had been a bit slow getting the funds through to our Solicitor and they had only just got the money at 2pm but just before 3pm, I received that call that I was waiting for and finally drove Rafe out of the driveway for the last time.

Lots of money in the bank, all the debt gone and no house!

LOTS of freedom! No more lawns to mow for a while and no more rates to pay. Yippee.. .. now to find another much smaller house for two people and a Motorhome!

The view from the new pad

Who would have thought that by the end of the day we would have thunder, rain and hail. I went upstairs today to be greeted with this amazing view.

From the Lounge window
From the Lounge window

These have been taken on a camera as opposed to a cell phone.

Click on the images to see the detail.

Rorqual in front of the Cruising club
Rorqual in front of the Cruising club

Andrew couldn’t have set this up any better. After handing our Whalechaser Rorqual to the next generation, Alex and Andrew, Andrew has managed to get a house where he can see the boat lying in his bed out of the window!

The Dethleff Owners meeting is on this weekend at Miranda which I’m looking froward too. Look out for plenty of images from that.

Time to celebrate !

Nice wee spot in the sun.
Nice wee spot in the sun.

After hearing the great news yesterday that our property manager Downee received a contract from new tenants, I thought I’d celebrate by cruising down to NZMCA’s Ardmore Park at the Ardmore Airfield. We know where we’re going now after the false start from “the mad woman that was living in France”!

Busy busy
Busy busy

No sooner had I arrived, I met Roger who we met last year filling up his new AutoTrail Delaware with fresh water. It was nice to see him again and there is a plan to catch up for a cold one later.
Roger and Marion had the unique experience of having a 90 ish yr old woman beating their then brand new Motorhome with a broom in the middle of the night on the Devonport waterfrontšŸ˜±. There was amazingly no damage done. The police were called and apparently she has form for giving anyone a hard time that parks in front of their B&B! So when in Devonport with your Motorhome, watch out for a mad 90 something year old with a broomstick. šŸ˜³

It is a busy park but we suspect that because the nearby freedom camping area at Bruce Pullman park has a fireworks display on, that there more here.

The library and Check in Charlie hut.
The library and Check in Charlie hut.
Next door neighbours herbs n spices
Next door neighbours herbs n spices

Tomorrow I’ll get the bike out and have a ride around and see what I can find.
Alex and Sarah and the grandkids are next door to the airfield so might see them tomorrow too.

We have to fit into one room!

The packers came, picked up all the furniture and all our stuff in boxes and delivered it to our room in Milford. It was quite straight forward when you watch the pros doing it!

Our room in Milford. There is a full ensuite with shower and a full fridge on the left and another area closer like an open walk in wardrobe with heaps of cupboards.
Our room in Milford. There is a full ensuite with shower and a full fridge on the left and another area closer like an open walk in wardrobe with heaps of cupboards.

We wondered how it was all going to fit in and with a few changes with our furniture, it all has.
The new room has a fantastic view of Milford Marina. In just an hour if watching from the veranda, there were about 6 boat movements of people I knew or knew of from my previous life as a wooden boatee!

The view over Milford Marina
The view over Milford Marina
A view from the deck over the Marina
A view from the deck over the Marina
Fiona blobbing out on the couch in the new "flat"
Fiona blobbing out on the couch in the new “flat”
Outside our room which looks over to Rangitoto and over the Marina
Outside our room which looks over to Rangitoto and over the Marina

A cleaner came in today and cleaned the house ready for a tenant and a bin arrived fir the last if the rubbish. There are about 4 boxes of pantry and a few clothes and we’re out.
We’re joining Our friend Alan on his launch Raindance on Sunday for a trip up the river with the Classic Boat Association so I’ll get some piccies of that on Monday.

Andrew coming back into Milford Marina after a day out
Andrew coming back into Milford Marina after a day out

World Cup final on Sunday..go the All Blacks!

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™‚

kai Iwi Rally and Trounson Kauris

We are Ā still waiting for a tenant for the houseĀ but it has only been just over a week. Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say.

We’re really looking forward to heading southĀ in a couple of weeks time.Ā Ā Here’s another great recent trip in the meantime.

All the Vans at the Lakes
All the Vans at the Lakes
At Kaiwi Lakes Rally
At Kaiwi Lakes Rally

Late in July, we arranged to meet friends at a NZMCA rallyĀ being held at kai Iwi lakes .. somewhere I’ve have never been to before north of Dargaville on the coast. We left Auckland on a SaturdayĀ morning and arrived there just after midday.. its a good 2.5 – 3 hr run.

There were aĀ lot of vans and a lot more of them were European Motorhomes than the traditional bus conversions that we’ve seen at these events.Ā  A really interesting place and another well organised event by the Northland NZMCA crew. Along with meeting our friends from Snells Beach, we met many Dethleffs van owners, some who have travelled quite some distance to be part of the fun.
Remember to click on the images to enlarge them.

One of the biggest in the park
One of the biggest in the park
Ferns
Lots of Ferns

There aren’t many DOC camps around the Auckland region and on the way home, we were keen to try the Trounson Kauri park which is just up the road (15k’s or so) towards Waipoua Forest . .. somewhere else we’d never been to.

All parked up
All parked up

After plugging in to the power and settling down, we were off to explore the park. It is really nicely set upĀ  .. a boardwalk stretches through the wholeĀ  lengthĀ of the Ā forest.Ā  Amazing huge Kauri Trees mixed with new growth..Ā It’s very clean and an easy 1/2 hour walk through the whole park.Ā  Well worth doing.

And I took one of her :-)
And I took one of her šŸ™‚
Just to prove that I did the walk, Fiona took this cell phone picky.
Just to prove that I did the walk, Fiona took this cell phone piccy

We got back to the vanĀ  and settled down in front of the heater to warm up with a glass ofĀ something coldĀ .. This must be one of the few DOC parks with power. Several vans ofĀ nice French tourists arrived just before dark which was good.
There is also a building with a hot shower and kitchen facilities and nice clean toilets.
The walk was fantastic and its a great spot for a night in your Motorhome.

During the walk
During the walk

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™‚

Firth Tower Museum

The Firth Tower and House. The original was burnt down in 1902
The Firth Tower and House. The original was burnt down in 1902

3k’s or so outside of Matamata is the Firth Tower Museum.
Its an amazing collection of original buildings in the grounds of what used to be a farm for the Firth family in Auckland to feed the flour mill.Ā  It later became the base for a well known Waikato family to farm.
The original farmhouse was built with the tower in the later 1800’s but the farmhouse burnt down in 1902 and was replacedĀ  then by the current house. It was then owned by the McCaw family.
Don’t forget you can click on the images to enlarge them

In each of the buildings there is a theme of history, Agriculture,Ā Transport, Medical, local war involvement, and thereĀ is evenĀ two carriages with the History of the Kaimai tunnel as well.
The volunteers who staff it were all wearing historical gear to add to the feel of the place.Ā  WhenĀ  we visited, there was school trip of local primary school kids and they all got dressed up in historical clothing to add to the occasion.

Dusk, Glass of Red in one hand, camera in the other!
Dusk with The Tower

For $10 you can stay the night with power or free parking without power. One of the nice things about being on the road is discovering new places to stay and how nice they can be and often it is the least expensive that are the nicest places to stay… this was one of those times.Ā  Ā A great way to spend the day and it really is a well setup museum.

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™‚

Middle Earth (Matamata)

Middle earth
The Information Centre or I site

After Te Aroha, we headed to Matamata to see the Firth Tower Museum complex and Madam was keen for some retail therapy.

Usually, I’m passing through Matamata and only really stop at the KFC shop on the way to Rotorua or a cup of tea on the way back so it was nice to actually stop and check it out properly.
Its an amazing little town. We arrived early around 10am and went for a walk through the town, stopping for a cuppa in an Italian coffee shop as you do in Matamata!
Getting to the end of the main strip, there was this amazing I site, all done up as one of the Lord of the Ring buildings, complete with a thatched roof. Now that we’ve been in and got all the brochures, we both decided that we would save the tour to the Film set for another time.
Click on the images to enlarge

Madam in front of the Isite
Madam in front of the Isite


After getting some food for tea from various shops, we decided to head for the Firth Tower Museum, where we would probably stay the night.. More on that tomorrow.