It was Saturday morning, and it was time for a bike ride!
At our Dethleffs Rally at the Happy Hour the evening before, we had sorted out somewhere to go so it was all on! The bikes were organised and led by Tony and Neal, 14 of us headed down through Cambridge towards the river and the start of the Trail.
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Some were heading all the way to Hamilton Gardens, some going to Tamahere to a Coffee Shop and others to the Velodrome.
The Te Awa trail is all pretty new still but what an amazing setup. Because I went as far as Tamahere (40k round trip), I didn’t get to see all the flashest boardwalks over the river .. next time!
We left Cambridge at 10am and it took about 2.5 hours to do the round trip including a good stop for lunch 🙂 Very easy though on an electric bike.
I’d stupidly left my bike keys behind so couldn’t get my bike off the rack on the back of Rafe. The Kryptonite lock and cable is a force to be reckoned with, so it wasn’t even worth thinking about the grinder.
John very kindly lent me Kirsty’s bike as she wasn’t riding. The bike is fantastic but has an older electric system with a Turbo function which is a bit scary if you’re not used to it 🙂
The short version: I was about halfway along the trail when I came around a corner, but the turbo kept running quite a bit… ending with a full lock up of the brakes sideways into these massive retaining poles onto my shoulder.
Chris was just behind me and immediately stopped and said something like “that might hurt” 🙂 Initially it didn’t really. Back on the horse and we were off again 🙂
We were about halfway so by the time we got to the cafe; with my recently acquired sore ribs, I was looking forward to a rest.
Although 14 started with us, several split off into different groups to go on to Hamilton Gardens or to the Velodrome.
After about 20 minutes or so, we headed back to the Raceway… a lot of fun and a nice ride with good company. Thanks again to John and Kirsty for the use of their bike. A great day and a fantastic place to ride.
You can stay at The Cambridge Raceway if you’re a member of the NZMCA for just $10 a night so an easy base for the trail and you can go as far as you like in either direction.
These events are always fun to organise and fun to be at too. Organising this was made a lot easier by some useful tips from Brian who runs the Frankia group after they had a Rally here at Cambridge. Vicky who runs the event management at Cambridge was very helpful too along with Amy who works with her. Thanks heaps to those people for making it easy.
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We all started arriving at the Racecourse around Midday and during the afternoon. As we were down in numbers from the Miranda do where we had 47 vans, we had 22 but I don’t think that we really had room for many more without splitting into two groups. Apparently, there was more parking just along by the stables. It worked and was very easy. We had some big gaps between us which was great.
I was really pleased to see quite a few new people with new Motorhomes and first timers at an event like this. Nice to see you guys too.
We now have 322 members in this group. These rally’s give you a great opportunity to mix with other Dethleff Owners and pick to their brains, tips and tricks with storage, electrical stuff, all sorts. So come and join us at the next one.
As more people came in, there was lots of cruising around catching up with old friends and people checking on other Motorhomes. I even saw a few pairs of legs sticking out from under vehicles looking at things 🙂
Fiona was not feeling well so she decided to sit this one out and I made the stupid mistake of leaving all my bike keys behind so I couldn’t get my bike off the rack when the time came.
Kirsty and John very kindly lent me Kirsty’s bike as she wasn’t riding .. Nice bike and it was fun but there was an operator error oops 🙂 .. more on this later.
That night, I had tea with my old friends, Walter and Nolina from Taupo who were parked right next door. The last time we caught up was at the Miranda do and it’s always nice to see them. They’re a lot of fun.
Then it was time to go the Clubhouse Bar to watch the Warriors game. I’m not sure why I think this, but I often think I’m going to see them lose but they played brilliantly and won. Fantastic. It was a really good game, and I might have to watch them more often like I used to.
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Great Tshirt.. probably quite true too 🙂
The next morning, I was surprised how many people were up early.
The cyclists amongst us were organising ourselves and getting ready to go. After a team photo, we were off!
We were heading to the Velodrome and Tamahere. More on the Te Awa trail soon.
Arriving back at the Racecourse, it was almost time for that “Elbow Exercise” again. We started in earnest all sitting around our favourite tree until the heavens opened up with a brief downpour which surprised everyone!
There was quick retreat to the room which was available to us for wet weather at the bottom of the grandstand. Very civilised with a bit of an outlook to the track.
Then it was time for Tea where simply had to lock up and head next door to the restaurant. Nice food, good service although they were struggling with one of their tills which wasn’t playing nicely but it was a great evening. Everyone seemed happy and most retreated back to entertain friends in or outside their vans.
Thanks everyone again for coming.
It all went really well. Our next major get together will be in Miranda sometime in August. It’s a popular place and easy to get to and a nice park.
The new NZMCA park has been open for a few months now but what a spot.
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After several weeks of dreadful weather and with Rafe just sitting on the pad, it was time to bust out while the weather was good.
We set off about lunchtime and headed down the Motorway and headed out towards Miranda with hardly any traffic on the roads at all. Arriving an hour or so later with the sun streaming down, we parked up at the Kaiaua Park. It’s a beauty! With the Bayview Hotel right next door with a track through to the pub and the famous Kaiaua fisheries next to them, there is definitely no excuse for being hungry or thirsty 🙂
After a visit to the pub and finding them busy, we decided on Fish and Chips, and they were huge! I kept a piece of fish for the next day 🙂
After lunch at the Hotel, which was fantastic, we headed off to Rays Rest for an hour or two.
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We have not been there since it was redeveloped by a storm a few years ago but it still looks pretty good to me.
We decided not to stay though and headed back to Kaiaua and settled for a G&T at the Hotel.
A fantastic park with room for Africa and having the Pub and Fish and Chip shop handy is a Real bonus!
One of the amazing little hidden treasures in Miranda is this amazing Cafe and Gallery.
It is run and owned by Annie Wilson and her family. Annie has been here about 7 years with the Cafe with the Gallery coming together over that time. There is also a fantastic easy parking for Motorhomes right in front.
The easy way of getting here is like we did, from Miranda Holiday park on our bikes.
It is an easy 30 minute ride but there is a small hill so an ebike makes life a bit easier.
We left early on a Saturday morning from Miranda Holiday Park while we were at a Dethleffs get together and rode an easy trail along the foreshore until we got back to a bridge. Going right, you’re heading to Rays Rest and Kaiaua or if you go left and head to the corner and up the hill, you’ll come across the cafe.
We had a nice morning tea and something to eat and then walked next door to check out the Gallery.
The art is amazing and is from many well known artists as well as some locals.
The outside Toilet was designed by Annie and a friend and is something else with its beautiful stained glass window and also has a wooden toilet seat!
After a couple of hours here, we biked back to Miranda and were back in the Hot Pools.. a great morning.
And it was a goodie too.. Many arrived early on Friday afternoon and were well settled by the time Fiona and I arrived about 12:30!
The day before we found out about the Kaiaua Pub courtesy van. I knew we had about 12 interested so it was all last minute but after two trips of the van, they all managed to get to the table and it all went well.
It was still raining off and on so I was in the pool soon after arriving, my favourite part of Miranda 🙂
As the day went on, it was a great meet and greet. For many of the 46 Motorhomes that arrived, this was their first get together and for me, the biggest turnout of vans ever.
It was funny though as the numbers from the bookings were 46, if you walked around and looked, it didn’t seem too crowded.
As the day wore on. More and more people were making themselves known and introducing themselves to everyone and looking around the Motorhomes.
Click on the Gallery below for an enlarged slide show – Friday
Friday Happy hour
Friday Happy hour
Friday Happy Hour
John at Friday Happy hour
Noelina at Friday Happy hour
4pm came around and the BBQ area suddenly filled up with laughter and Wine bottles..
Day two was Bike ride day towards Kaiaua. Tony Coupe who put his hand up early encouraging riders to bring their bikes and had a plan to ride to a neat little Café and Gallery called Stray Dog Café. It was just up the hill off to the left on the way to Kaiaua. Fantastic place with an amazing Gallery Thanks Tony.. more on this in another post coming soon.
We arrived back at Miranda a couple of hours later. A great ride and it was time for a coffee and another swim in the pool.
At 3pm, we had Neil showing quite a few interested people the basics on Amp hours and how to calculate your battery needs. Very useful and many went away very happy. Great work.. thanks Neil.
Click on the Gallery below for an enlarged Slideshow – Saturday
On the trail to Kaiaua
At the bridge where we split directions.
Neil during his talk. Pic by Mary Coupe
Getting ready for the bike ride
Lets go biking!
Neil and Michelle
John and Tony
Peter and Sue who we bumped into in Invercargill earlier this year.
At 4pm was time for a Team Photo but to make sure everyone was there, we started happy hour and then did the images. Photographer Grant who has the same camera as me, was keen to get me in the photo so we did a quick swap for a fun pic. Thanks Grant.
I was talking to one of the camp senior staff, Gay the next day and she was telling me they were watching us in the CCTV while we were getting organised and starting happy hour then suddenly we all vanished in a nano second.. “where did they go”! That must have been photo time 🙂
John Ogilvie had very kindly brought his amazing projector along for the rugby and with Michelle’s screen, were were all ready for the big game starting later.
At 6, the food started appearing on the Barbecue area and we all got stuck in. The food was unbelievable. Normally at a shared meal you end up with a lot of snacky stuff but this was top drawer dishes. Well done everyone. Stunning Stuff.
The tidying up and dishes were done in the well equipped kitchen and we were set for the Rugby.
A great atmosphere and we had a few other campers join us on the fringes to watch as well. I found out after talking to Gay in the office that they had quite a few people who wanted to watch in the TV room but there is no drinking or food in there so they were suggesting joining us so that was good. There even some people on the other side of the screen in the BBQ area watching it backwards from the opposite side of the screen 🙂
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Magic Drone pics from Paul
By Paul McLuckie
Well done and thanks John (the projectionist) and thanks again Michelle for the use of your screen. Although the result wasn’t what we wanted, it was still a fun night.
All in all, a great weekend finished off with a farewell coffee/tea catchup before everyone went off in different directions.
Talking to Gay (Miranda Holiday Park) afterwards, she said it went well for them, no one got up their noses (not from our group anyway) and for them it was easy.
Thanks too to Paul McLuckie who put his drone up to get the amazing drone images.
Thanks everyone for coming, we had a lot of fun and it was nice to see everyone again. Some we haven’t seen for years.
After enjoying a great All Blacks win in the Raglan Holiday Park, we headed into town over the walk bridge to check out the shops. First stop was a Café for a coffee and then we walked about 1k across to the wharf and Silo area.
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We last visited this area years ago with friends Dianne and Gary from Taupo so check that post out for more photos of this area.
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The Beach by the camp
The Bridge to town
The Historic Raglan
The main street
The view out of the main street
The Raglan Wharf
Since then, one of the Silos has been converted into what looks to be some very nice rentable Apartments.
Its a busy area with a fantastic Fish and Chip shop on the outer end of the wharf along with some pottery and Leather shops. Fiona bought herself a new Leather Hand Bag where we enjoyed a really nice chat with the shopkeeper. I complimented her on her lovely London accent before she told me she was from Perth ! Oops .. but she did have a nice English Accent so no harm done 🙂
After a coffee in a new (to us) Café opposite the wharf, we headed back to the town and Rafe.
An amazing little town and not far from Auckland with the current Diesel prices as they are.
The weather was good, there was a beach only a few yards away and the town was only 10 minutes walk.
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We were looking to get out of the traffic but not too far away.. Raglan won the day. It has been a while since we were last here but it has an atmosphere all of its own. Very like Waiheke Island with some of the similar arty but down to earth shops.
When my son Drew found out we were heading to Raglan, he said we had to go to Orca so I booked in online and its a magic spot. We went for lunch and the food was fantastic and it was very reasonable with a great view too.
Click on any Image to Enlarge I hadn’t booked or anything and just rocked up and as I checked in, there was something vaguely familiar about the nice lady checking me in.
After I gave her my name, she looked at me strangely and and said, “I went to school with you at Takapuna Grammar School”, the penny dropped and everything fell into place. Jane was also was at school with Fiona at Vauxhall Primary School.. amazing memory. We spent the next hour or so going though all the common friends that we have and strangely enough, have managed to keep in touch with.
Jane’s partner Steve is the caretaker and they have an amazing old Devonport Ferries red bus, a real slice of history.
Paeroa RV Centre has changed over the years and now house s a lot of permanent people in bigger vehicles and they’ve developed a real community there. I found all of them very welcoming and very friendly and with the less than friendly winter weather that we’ve had lately, its a great spot to get comfortable.
Some of the appendages to their parks .. think decks and little garden areas are amazing. I very definitely felt very undecorated and certainly not anywhere in the hunt for a prize for my park 🙂 I did have some moss and a neighbour pots nearby though 🙂
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I don’t think I’ll win any garden competition here 🙂
Ex Concrete Mixer barrel as a garden ornament.
Having met Steve and Jane, they talked me into staying a second night and I spent the next day walking into Paeroa, getting a haircut and buying some costume jewelry for Fiona.
A fantastic place to stay, great people and I was really pleased to catch up with Jane again and meet Steve.
We’ve been trying to get into Waikite at all the wrong times it seems. At the end of the weekend, we managed to bag a spot in their camping ground for a night. There are only about 20 powered sites so that explains why a holiday weekend is probably going to awkward.. 🙂
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Waikite is about half an hour south of Rotorua and in its own little valley about 6 k’s from Waiotapu.
The campground does its best to be level but does have a little bit of a slope on it. Nothing that can’t be fixed with a wheel ramp or a block of wood 🙂
We arrived around midday and after setting things up in Rafe, plugging in and opening vents, I went for a walk with the camera. Its an amazing place with some of its history on the walls in the onsite café.
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The boiling spring at the back. The source!
View from the lookout
One of the bigger (and hotter) pools
There are 3 smaller scenic pools plus a big main pool in the middle. Attached to the side of the main pool are two small spa pool sized pools so plenty of choice. They are all different temperatures so you can chose your own comfort zone 🙂
A walk up the back behind the pools will take to the spring where the water is so hot, it is constantly bubbling out of the ground and running down a stream beside the pools.
On the track back to the pools is a lookout up the hill looking out all over the area. Both well worth checking out.
We spent hours in the pools off and on and ending up having a simple nice shared seafood platter from the café there.
The outside temperature got down to 5 degrees that night so we took advantage of the late 11am checkout for another early warm up swim before leaving.
Everybody we’ve met raves about this place and I can see why. Its like being in another world and you can’t beat those Hot Pools.
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