Category Archives: Taranaki 2019

A new life for the Chevron

Shortly after we arrived at Kaupokonui, there was a knock at the door with two smiley chaps wanting to have a quick look at Rafe’s interior.

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Aimee and Brenton outside the Awning

It turned out that one of them was Brenton whoΒ  was a long way through the restoration of a Caravan. Brenton with his wife Aimee and two kids were from Wanganui and were staying right next door.

Comfy Bed
Looking across to the Galley

I later wandered over to have a look see. It was a 1974 Chevron lightweight which Brenton andΒ  Aimee started on about a year ago. When they first got it it was full of dark stained cupboards, the roof leaked in several places and it was generally a bit of a mess.

The new Awning

This is not what I saw when I went over.. Its looking great and doing the work themselves, has kept the lid on the cost. The biggest job was reroofing with a bitumen roll on product and then completely repainting the exterior and then redoing the interior.

A Bed at the other end too.

Along with a new Awning, its was great to see them away with other friends and family with their own two kids, enjoying their Caravan.

Looking good

Catching up with Terry and Lisa

My old neighbours Terry and Lisa moved to Wangavegas (Wanganui) as he calls it, about 15 years ago and they love it. They’re really settled here with new friends and are currently building a new house out by the Golf course which is perfect for Terry as he loves his Golf.

Carolines Outback Bar and Restaurant

We arrived early in the day and checked in at Carolines Outback Holiday Park where I’ve stayed before. Its a great park and it is right behind Carolines Outback Bar and Restaurant which was perfect for us to have a meal with Terry and Lisa.

No Holes left

They popped in about 5pm and we had a couple of drinks in Rafe before checking in to the Restaurant at 6:30.

A fabulous meal as always and it was great to catch up and hear all about their new house and their family.

Terry with Lisa, Archie and Fiona

In the morning they popped around and we walked around the river across the bridges with their Dog Archie before checking out at 10am and heading North towards Auckland.

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Caroline’s Outback Holiday park is a great spot to stay and Bruce is always happy to help. Unfortunately it was a bit overcast and gloomy this time but check out the images from the last time I we were here and also see Bruces Truck.

The Tracker has popped its clogs so until its fixed or replaced there are no maps.. The Park is by the river about 1 k inland from the city on the Somme Parade.

Bliss at Kaupokonui

Arriving here in the middle of the day, I was amazed at how busy it was and it was all Tents and some Caravans. Motorhomes again were the exception.

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The park

I’ve been here before a couple of years ago and although not much has changed, it is a great spot and the old style campground where its all about having fun.

Busy

The new Managers Sue and Laurence managed to fit us in right on the front row in a prime spot overlooking the Beach.

That Mountain πŸ™‚

This really is a lovely spot down in a valley just along from Manaia on the South Taranaki Coast. It wouldn’t be more than 6 k’s or so from Manaia where the Yarrow Bread factory is so make sure you stop on the way!

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After plugging in and opening some vents, we were off for a look around. There are two levels to the valley, the upper level where the campground is and the lower level where there is a public park and a footbridge connecting with the Sand hills and the beach beyond.

Between the two levels are two massive slides. Lots of fun for the wee ones.

The Slide

After crossing the bridge and walking down to the beach, Fiona decided to do one her long walks almost the length off the beach.

It was New Years Eve and there were Fireworks on the beach and everyone came out to watch.

A lovely spot.

Amazing Museum

After leaving New Plymouth, we stopped in Stratford Countdown for some Milk and a few essentials and after breakfast and a look around, cruised on to the famous Tawhiti Museum.

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The Handsome Cab man

Started by a local very clever Artist, Nigel Ogle with his wife Teresa, they built this up using local friends and aquaintances to make their lifesized models faces and they look amazing. I love the expressions too.Β  In 1975, they bought the old Cheese factory where Nigel worked as a boy and this was the start of the Museum.

Looks like some I know πŸ™‚

It is split into three Museums being the local history, the Traders and Whalers and the Bush railway.

The Accountant

Fiona and I elected to check out the Local History which took several hours. This could easily take the whole day if you elected to do all three.

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The parking opposite is fantastic with plenty of room for Motorhome parking with separate parking for the cars on the sides.

Great Parking

There is also a well stocked Cafe on site with great Coffee too. A neat spot.

Lovely spot

We’ve decided already we will have to revisit and check out the other bits we missed but an awesome display that really is a must see.

Muller park

We went from here to the Muller NZMCA park in Hawera where we recognised several other Motorhomers who were parked next to us at the Museum! Isn’t it funny how great minds think alike πŸ™‚

Rafe’s Track to Tawhiti Museum and onto Muller Park. The Museum is the Green Dot on the right!

Perched overlooking the Harbour

After a couple of great days at the NZMCA Bell Block park and our 20k bike ride into town and back, it was time to kick back and blob out. We also needed to catch up with a washing machine too so we thought we’d try the Belt Road Holiday Park.

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Port Taranaki

We were lucky to get in after getting someones cancellation so I dropped Fiona off at the Gardens and checked in on my own.

Great Views

After getting rid of the livestock on the windscreen and all around the front of Rafe (Dead insects) I backed into this amazing little park. It was surrounded on three sides by a high hedge giving us quite a bit of privacy so out came the deck chairs and we enjoyed the moment.. as you do.

Rafe with the Hedges

Later after getting our clean washing, we went for a look around the park. There are quite few cabins and lots of people out in their tents. Lots of caravans and not so many Motorhomes.

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A great spot overlooking the harbour and for this time of the year, it was reasonably priced for a prime spot.

How is this view ?

For the two of us on a powered site it was $50.00

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Rafe’s Track to Belt Rd

Wow what a Park.

As we drove Rafe down from Awakino, I was quietly hoping that we would be able to squeeze in to the new NZMCA park in Bell Block, just outside New Plymouth.

A panorama from the top

I needn’t have worried as when we arrived there were only about 4 vehicles there and as the day went on, more popped in.

Its a HUGE park and really nicely set out with the 3 metre spacers in the ground so no room for arguments. There is one of the best Double sided Dump Stations there with Fresh water dotted all around the outside perimeter of the park. With nicely smoothed out Gravel all over the park, there is no worries if the heavens open up. It just couldn’t get any better.

The view from the top

We rode into the City via the Coastal Walkway and it is a 20k round trip and was easy on our Huff’n’Puff bikes!!

Checking out the seat
Mt Egmont at Dusk

Another nice spot and the seat on the top of the bank is a nice touch too πŸ™‚

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Rafe’s map to the NZMCA park

The Coastal Walkway

It was going to be a scorcher so we got the bikes sorted and headed from the Bell Block park down towards the Waterfront to join up to the Walkway.

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Fiona screaming down the hill to the walkway.

From the Bell Block park to the Wind Wand is about 20k’s round trip so its a good ride and you know you’ve used some muscles when you return πŸ™‚

Coming up to the Te Rewa Rewa bridge
The Te Rewarewa ridge

The trip is mostly downhill to the Te Rewa Rewa bridge but its a fantastic pathway. Some of its boardwalk but most of it is a wide concrete path which eventually goes through the side of the Fitzroy Holiday Park. We stopped at the Kiosk for a cuppa and something to eat and then rode on to the Wind Wand. Great fun.

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There we left the waterfront to have a quick look at some shops and then headed back along one of the shopping streets and back down to rejoin the Waterfront.

Fitzroy beach

Just fantastic. A great outlook and apart from the uphill bit at the end going up through the houses was pretty easy. .. Well worth doing!!

Heading home

A couple of glasses of wine later with some neighbours in the park and that was us for the day πŸ™‚

Down by the Riverside

As we pulled in to this newish NZMCA park, we could see why some would be confused and miss it. It has an really interesting entrance which curls around to the left and down a hill by the entrance to the Otorohanga College but it is pretty clearly marked.

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The Entrance to the park

We arrived mid afternoon just before one of the 4 local Park Custodians Rob popped in to check all was ship shape. A nice guy and he gave us some good information of the park and where everything was.

Nice and Shady

The neighbours are interesting.. all cows but there are quite a few of them and the location right by the river is lovely. It seems that Otorohanga has had some issues over the years with flooding and there have been some big stop banks built but this area seems to be ok.

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There were quite a few Motorhomes and a couple of Caravans butΒ  plenty of room for more.

A peep of the river behind

The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze.. another top spot to stay and only 800 metres into the shops. (15 minutes on a bike!)

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Rafe’s Tracker map

Origin at Otorohanga

We were staying in the reasonably newish Otorohanga NZMCA park which is only 800 metres to the Town centre.

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Otorohanga’s main street

One of the first shops we popped into was an Art Deco shop which had all sorts of stuff in it including quite a bit section on Steam Punk as well. Lots of Cloche hats and neat things.

Fiona with the poles outside the I site

A walk across the road and down through the Ed Hillary lane was a huge display of Kiwiana including a neatly displayed board of Kiwi slang and its American or English equivalent. Also there were old ads for wringer washing machines and reminders of the half pint of Milk at School. I was a milk monitor at the school I was at in Central Wellington so remember it well. Nice cold milk in winter for morning tea, Yum!

The Railway Station built in 1923 after the original burnt down

As you come out of the arcade at the other end is the railway station. We parked the bikes and went in for a couple of Latees. There we met Roger who owns the Origin coffee company that imports Coffee from their own farm in Malawi and brews it in the Railway Station. The coffee is fantastic. One of the best I’ve had for a while.

Fiona ordering coffees

Roger started Origin in 1999 and has gone from strength to strength since then. When you’re in the Station, don’t expect a big selection of food apart from Toasted Sammies and Cakes. The good news is, you’re welcome to bring you’re own food. Roger is keen to concentrate on the coffee πŸ™‚

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After half an hour or so of chatting to Roger and enjoying the Coffee, as we were leaving, the Auckland to Wellington Train pulled in… this is a trip I want to do as well.. looks great !

The Railway station with the North Island train in.

We biked back to Rafe at the park to think about when we can do that Train trip πŸ™‚