We trekked back to Martinborough on the Saturday morning to a busy Martinborough rugby ground. There were Caravans and Motorhomes for Africa. It was the day of the Fair so people had come from far and wide.
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The park was an amazing place and having gone to virtually having it to ourselves a weekend before with the Cruise Martinborough event to it being as busy as it was was great.
Friends Gary and Dianne, and Ian and Lynda went to Ngawi while we were in Greytown and they arrived back the day before. We met John and Yvonne from Ruakaka in their Dethleffs Nomad Caravan and they were here again too. It was going to be a fun weekend.
We all walked into town and had a good cruise around the Market. Where there were Hot Rods and Classic cars a week before, there were stalls in every corner. It was amazing.
Click on the Gallery below to see a slide show
next door in the Park
This guy was fantastic
The food carts were popular
One of the things I really enjoy doing at these events is simply buying a lime thickshake and a bun and sitting in a street side cafe and watch the world go by. Its great fun.
After a couple of hours of checking out every nook and cranny, we headed back to the park for something wet and cold. The wind finally dropped off a bit, but was bitterly cold. It allowed us to move out into the field where there was some raucous laughter amongst some dancing and singing along.
Having helped park a couple of these Rallies, they are a BIG job for the volunteers who put these together and with this one, Neal and his parking team kept the bar high with their direction and parking skills.
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This year like last year, the parking costs were covered by Covi organisers along with a free bus service which ran in a cycle every half an hour or so… it worked beautifully. There was also a storage area at the Show where you could securely store any goodies purchased and pick them up on the way back on the bus… a great idea.
I’m not sure how many people were at the Rally but a general estimate I would say it was at least 500 vehicles on the first day all beautifully parked by Neal and his team from the Waikato group with Counties pitching in too as a joint parking effort.. well done guys.
The best part for me at these events was catching up with friends I haven’t seen for a while who have come for the show.
A great effort and well done to all those Volunteers.
I always look forward to these mainly for the new gadgets which this year, was the Drones which you can take away and use them for fishing.
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The Star of the show for me though was ACM’s Freedom Platinum Elite. The one in the show is customised for wheelchair access but it is HUGE inside. ACM is owned by a Boatbuilder Chris and the Elite just reeks of a quality build everywhere you look.
Click on the Galley below for a look at the Platinum Elite
Looking forward in the Kitchen lounge in the ACM Platinum
Looking back in the ACM Platinum
The Bathroom in the PACM Platinum
The outside of the ACM Platinum
The ACM Platinum
The Vivaldi made by Tabbert was the first one of these I’ve seen new having seen one in Tokoroa at the Scottish Games event. Beautifully appointed and well made and really popular in Europe.
Its really nice to see them arriving here.
Click on the Gallery below for the beautiful Vivaldi
Looking down the hall to the Bedroom in the Vivaldi
Kitchen Dining area in the Vivaldi
Dining in the Vivaldi
Recently I helped some friends buy a Burstner Lyseo and it was my first opportunity to see one up close if you like.
They have an amazing 850kg payload! Some of its competitors in its class, only have half that, and with the Police just getting ready with their in road weigh stations, I’m sure it’ll be a big seller.
Click on the Gallery below to see the Lyseo
The Burstner Lyseo
Looking forward in the Lyseo
The Lyseo Lounge area
The Burstner stand
It was great to see some of the travel destinations like Awakeri Rail there and also the Top 10 Holiday park team.
I was there on Friday and it was busy from 10am on and a couple of the dealers I spoke to seemed pretty happy with the way things were going.
One of those BIG events of the year which I reckon we should all do at least once. The 2020 Beach Hop was postponed from earlier in the year but it was just as popular as it always is. Its a fun event and the fine people at Whangamata did well accommodating everyone as the place was literally jumping with people 🙂
There were 1700 registered (for the show) vehicles plus they think about that again of unregistered owners of vehicles who turned up just to enjoy the fun.
I parked on the Whangamata School footy field along with nearly 300 other Motorhomers and a whole lot of Retro Caravans. At $75 for three nights each van, it makes a great donation to the school of about $14k which replaces a lot of cake stalls 🙂
The Retro Caravans – Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
One of the Caravans
Ross and Karine and their Starlette
Caravan in the Retro area next door
I managed to get to see some old friends who I haven’t seen for a long time. They’re both ex newspaper Photographers who have retired here now and love it.
I met John who used to work at the Christchurch Press and Star, and his wife Cheryl at their favorite coffee shop in the centre of town. Very hard to hear anything with the big V8’s running past but it was really nice to see them. I also caught up with Paul who I used to work at the Herald with. We met at the Whangamata Club which is a neat place and just down the road from the school.. Paul is a Caravanner now so great to see him too.
Just Cruising – Click on the Gallery below to enlarge
Every spot taken!
A bit different
An old Holden
Without a doubt the Grand Parade was one of the big events of the weekend and it went forever width the sheer numbers of cars. Quite a few woman made the most of the occasion and were dressed up in their bebop skirts and looked amazing.
Grand Parade and later – Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow
The Rolls Royce in the parade
Enjoying a dance
Check out those Turbos
Mum and Daughter with Daughters Hot Rod behind 🙂
Even a vintage Tow truck
Nice way to get around
DD of Boom Boom Deluxe
Amongst the cars popped out a Morris 1000 with a half done paint job which got a few smiles. Most of us some where in our histories have had one of those or knew someone with one.
After enjoying a good lunch in a town café with an elevated deck for a view of the street, I wandered back and listened to one of the many bands playing.
There was one called Boom Boom Deluxe appropriately singing Rockabilly music and doing it really well. The female lead singer / double bass player, Hettie La Bomb, could really belt out the sound and looked the part too.
One of the things I enjoyed this time was watching people reactions to the cars and the event.
A lot of fun and after several years of trying to get here but other things getting it the way, I’m pleased I came. Neat place, I met some nice people and lots of action.
When I first found out about this, my first thought was to check in with friends Ross and Kay who I knew had just finished doing one of these beauties up to see if they were going to be there.
Ross and I both started as junior photographers at the NZ Herald in our early 20’s and its been a while since we last caught up.
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I had a commercial job in town on the Friday morning, which didn’t finish until midday so we were late out of the starting blocks and didn’t get to Cambridge until about 4pm, but that didn’t matter as many others were still arriving.
After settling down Rafe and after having a nosey around the park at some of the old Caravans, we checked in with Ross and Kay to see their amazing Caravan ..more on this in another post coming soon!
Ross had found an Indian restaurant only a block away so that was tea sorted! We had a great night catching up on all the news.
The next morning after getting up late 🙂 we had a look around some of the beautiful Caravans that were arriving as the day went on and chatting to some of the people there.
A great turnout of Caravans and some Motorhomes. It was a really well organised event with a slide show and BBQ too on the Saturday night so hats off to all those who organised the event. There were some great Caravans and not all of them Lightweights.
There was one there with a Penny Farthing strapped on towed by a nice old vintage Truck.
The lengths some had gone to with their Caravans to be faithful to their origins was amazing. There were also some really creative ways of restoring these Caravans with the absence of some hard to get parts. The good old Kiwi number 8 wire mentality shone brightly 🙂
Fiona was keen to do the shops in Cambridge and wanted a decent walk so she set off towards Cambridge’s main street which was about 3 k’s away.
The organisers of the event had arranged for a tour of the old liteweight factories which are now a gift and furniture shop and a huge ITM store on the outskirts of Hamilton. I had no idea it was such a big operation but they apparently had two productions lines pumping out up to 10 Caravans a day. Really interesting.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
Don Jesson showing where everything was when Lightweight were there.
One of only 5 of these left, only 50 were made.
One of the 5 left, the other end.
Looking at Dave McRobbies old collection of Caravans
Very social time!
A neat wee Tear drop
Rafe at the Cambridge Top 10 with the Lightweight Caravans
After this we had a quick look through Caravan and Motorhome World which was just across the road. The owner of this fine establishment is Dave McRobbie who started as an apprentice in the Liteweight factory and later went on to set up this business to service warranty claims and service any after market issues for the Liteweight product lines. That’s Dave’s red Caravan at the top of this post.
He had two Caravans of a model where only 50 were made and they know of only 5 left… A really unusual but lovely looking Caravan. .. see above and below.. same caravan being restored.
Here we saw some amazing early models of the Liteweights which Dave and his team has restored.
On the way back from Hamilton, we liaised with Fiona and met up for lunch in an old converted church in Cambridge for lunch.
A really interesting day and lots of images and really nice to see our old friends again.
It is very rare for me to get Fiona interested in going to one of these so we both arrived early on the Friday afternoon. The show was well into its second day so there were plenty of people there and it looked great.
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Coming down the Mystery Creek hill there was a glorious sea of white roofs for miles. The parkers looked like they had done another great job getting everyone in. Lots of happy faces and a good atmosphere.
After settling down Rafe, opening some vents and having a cup of tea, it was off to the show to see what was new.
The show was considerably smaller due to the postponement and Covid but there was still plenty to see.
One of the first things we saw was the new Dethleffs Trend with the rear bathroom. Its amazing the difference it makes to the layout of the whole van as the usual cupboard like setup on the side completely disappears for a more open layout.
Click on the Gallery below to see the Trend
The Trend with the rear bathroom showing the space
Bathroom – Trend
The bathroom – Trend
The Dethleffs Trend with the rear bathroom.
The next thing we came across was the small Baileys D4-3 Discovery Caravan with the Awning that covers two sides. The space that the caravan doesn’t use on a pitch is covered by an almost wrap around awning.. really unusual and neat to see a different way of getting space.
Click on the Gallery below to see more of the Bailey Caravan
The Bailey with the BIG surrounding awning.
Inside the Bailey
The Bailey lounge area
Quite a lot of room for a small Caravan – Bailey
The Bailey with the Awning
We checked out the NZMCA stand and it was nice to see Ryan and the rest of the team there.
Click on the Gallery below to see larger images or a slideshow
Lots to see
A Pilote A class my first look.
The Pilote Aclass
Pilote A Class
Pilote A class Galley
Old and new VW’s
Outside in the eating area.
After having a good look around, we headed outside to see the vintage caravans. I love what these guys do to these lovely cars and caravans, and the effort that is made to keep these in such good shape.
I was getting some piccies of one when suddenly in front of me a smiley face popped into the frame and it was the happy owner Alex. The 59 Chev which he used to tow it was a perfect match in colour and it was easily one of the best there.
It was happy hour time so Fiona and I headed back to Rafe to meet our neighbours and enjoy something wet and cold 🙂
The show was definitely smaller than usual but the fact that it on at all was amazing.
The numbers were definitely down with the Coronavirus hanging over us all but despite that, several vendors I spoke to did well.
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I guess with more room to move, many had time to have a good nosey and spend more time doing what they came for.
I went early on the Saturday morning and my first stop was say hello to the happy crew at the NZMCA stand then from there onto the Zion Motorhomes stand where the new Morelo Palace was on display.
At 9 metres long and 7.5 tons, this is a serious Motorhome. Check out the piccies below.
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Palace Kitchen area
Palace Living area
Palace living space
Bedroom in the Palace
Zion also have a new Dethleffs XLI Alpa which has a rear lounge with really clever drop down beds above the drivers area which doesn’t feel like a drop down system.
Just in the next hall was ACM Motorhomes who have a repair facility and manufacture their own Motorhomes too, but have made some really nice bespoke designs for those with special interests or needs.
Click on the Gallery below for bigger images
Looking through the Niessman Bichoff area
Dethleffs Alpa drop down sleeping area
Dethleffs Alpa Kitchen
Dethleffs Alpa Rear Lounge
Dethleffs Alpa Exterior
RV Super Centre
ACM rear with wheelchair lift
ACM Motohome for wheelchairs
ACM Motohome for wheelchairs. Looking out the back
ACM Motohome for wheelchairs. Looking forward
One of the Motorhomes they had on display was one that I saw being put together for a handicapped customer and its beautiful. Complete with a wheelchair lift at the back which comes up to a rear bathroom. Very nice and nice to see what I saw in bits all finished and looking so good.
Moving on from here I was amazed to see some of the refinements made to the smaller Caravans.
In order .. the Chameleon Crusader, a little bigger was the Manta Ray by New Age, then there was the Rockwood with slide outs and a bunk room which was interesting.
The 5m long Bailey Discovery is interesting too.. Perfect for two people and can be towed with a small vehicle.
Jayco have got an interesting small Caravan which is called the Crosstrak Hybrid. Again well suited for two and an easy tow for a smaller SUV, it is just under 5 metres.
An interesting show which I finished by checking out the Lilliputs and watching an auction of a Benimar. I suspect someone got a bit of a bargain at 136k 🙂
Click on the Gallery for bigger images and a slideshow
The Rockwood Stand
Inside a Rockwood
Rockwood – Bathroom
Rockwood the bunkroom
Inside the Rockwood.. huge !
Inside the Rockwood.. huge !
Outside of the Rockwood
The Manta Ray outside
The Manta Ray bedroom
The Manta Ray living area
The Manta Ray Living area
The Manta Ray Outside
The wee Bailey
Time for a feed
The Jayco Crosstrak
The Jayco Crosstrak Inside
The Jayco Crosstrak Inside
The Jayco Crosstrak
A bed anyone?
Owners of the RV Travel and Lifestyle Magazine, Robyn and Bruce on their stand.
Central RV stand
I stayed at Ellerslie Racecourse as part of the Rally there which was free this year and was well served by some free buses to the Showgrounds. A great show!
While we were at the rally, we noticed that the Pop up Globe was open and Hamlet was on.
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Having had hearing aids for most of my adult life since meningitis as a teenager, I have always avoided these types of shows as usually I can’t hear anything and the whole exercise is just a bore but armed with brand new technology hearing aids, I thought I’d give this one a go.
After starting with a glass of wine in the bar area, we wandered into the pre seating area under the trees and into the theatre.
There was a lot that I couldn’t hear as the stage is almost surrounded with the audience on three sides so they talk in all directions. This means the lip reading function is unavailable largely but I could still make out enough of what was going on and it was just fun being there and taking it all in. These are good hearing aids too!
For some reason I seemed be able to hear more in the second half but put that down to more mayhem and shouting 🙂 …a Great show!
Its an amazing venue and being just “popped up” in different locations, they take it pretty seriously with a nice bar and seated area under some trees. The artwork and the décor was something special too along with the Minstrels wandering around with their costumes playing their instruments.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
Lessons on Hamlet before the show
The happy Minstrels
In the Beer Garden
Murder and Mayhem
People after the show
Good seating and nice people directing you around. Its a great setup. Well worth doing and only 5 minutes walk to our Motorhome afterwards 🙂
And that would be the newly restored 1928 Reo Speedwagon, once owned by the founders of the NZMCA, Andy and Gladys Anderson.
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Once used as passenger and freight bus in Te Karaka, it later went on to be a bus for the Gisborne freezing works.
Andy Anderson bought the old bus in Gisborne and converted it to his Motorhome and then started the NZMCA as #1 !
Fast forward to June 2016, it was collected from the Eastland Museum of Transport and Technology and taken to a workshop at Hallright Plumbing. It spent the next 2 and a half years here being restored by a small army of 34 volunteers.
It was completely stripped down and rebuilt bolt by bolt and the result is stunning.
Click on the Gallery below for a Sldeshow
Allan, John, Brian and Fergus in front
Love the mirror
Comfy seating. Fergus’s nailbox has gone 🙂
The outside loo
Seeing it on the NZMCA stand at the 2019 Covi show, it was a joy to behold. The attention to detail from the volunteers is amazing. Ferg Mckenzie along with 3 other volunteers came up to the Covi show to look after and show off their work.
Well done too to the board for supporting the restoration. A great part of the associations history.