Lakefront views for free

After lifting in to place the pre made walls of the new scullery and enjoying another fantastic breakfast, Gary had a crack at Fiona’s sewing machine and fixed it ! Being clever with things like this and in his workshop from heaven, he managed to make it do the things it was supposed to do.
Gary and Dianne were heading to Auckland to see a show so after a couple of great days and nights with them and after saying our goodbyes, we left and headed into Taupo.

A visit to the dump station for emptying and water, then we stopped at one of the free waterfront Motorhome parks.

The cycling/walk track which go's right around the lakefront
The cycling/walk track which go’s right around the lakefront

We were right over the road from the Taupo park with a small train for kids, a superloo where you can have a shower and tidy yourself up for a few dollars, or play giant chess. It is also right in the middle of town and has a view all over the lake. You couldn’t be in a better spot. The sign writing on the road also allows for the magic 3 metres between vans for fire safety.

Don’t forget to click on the images on this page for hi res.

Within minutes of arriving, we met our neighbours right next door and later some people from Whitianga in their caravan who are also heading to Napier.


We walked into town for lunch and Fiona did the shops. I checked out the park and headed back to Rafe for a read and a general blob.
Later our neighbours popped in for a sundowner.

Another great day on the road.

Yippee, we’re off again.

Fiona has been working full weeks pretty much since Christmas to cover for others having holidays so we’ve been a bit restricted in getting away times. But that’s finished now so as the saying go’s .. Bugger it we’re off !
I spent Thursday getting the Rotoiti bugs off the front of the van, cleaning the floors and getting some basic provisions and then picked Fiona up from work.
We headed out to Ardmore to stay with Alex, Sarah and the grandkids as its Liam’s birthday coming up and we will miss it. After a nice night with Alex and Sarah in the van, we left around 10am and after quick stops for water and fuel, we were off towards Taupo.
A brilliantly fine day, not a cloud in the sky, our first stop was to be Cambridge for lunch. With the new motorway having gone through, it’s amazing how much less traffic is in Cambridge now, to the point that our favourite church cafe has closed down. As we came in to Cambridge, we passed a cafe called the Red Cherry which we’d stopped at before.

The Red Cherry with Rafe down the road
The Red Cherry with Rafe down the road
The Red Cherry cafe
The Red Cherry cafe

Fantastic place. Plenty of parking around for big vehicles and they even sell their coffee Nespresso machine ready to take away.
A pretty cruisy run through Tirau, Putaruru and Tokoroa where Fiona woke up from a long zzzz. By then, we weren’t far from Taupo.
There is a neat rest area half along the road from Warakei to Taupo where you can look down over the Huka falls area. We stopped there for a cup of tea and then at Countdown in Taupo for ingredients for the curried chicken Fiona was making for tea.

The rest area out of Taupo
The rest area out of Taupo

At around 4, we arrived at Gary and Diannes place at Acacia Bay where we’re staying the night. They are currently adding a butlers pantry to the back of their current kitchen so we arrived just in time to help shuffle the pre are walls around ūüėé

Their new house is amazing with views back over the lake towards Taupo. There is a vacant section right next door which has me twitching a wee bit. The whole area is stunning. With all the builders vehicles around, we were parked next to Gary and Diannes new XLI. The vans looked good up their with the view of Taupo behind.
After a swim in the pool, it was time for tea and a few drinks. A great night with some great people in a lovely spot.

On Saturday morning, the concrete truck arrived and it was all on. Nigel, Gary’s concrete expert was on the job and turned the fresh pour into a masterpiece. Having screed my father in laws concrete floor for a garage we built him years ago, I know how difficult this is but Nigel made it look so easy and it was just a pleasure to see such a great result.

Rafe and Gary and Diannes Xli
Rafe and Gary and Diannes Xli

A good solid breakfast outside of bacon and eggs by Gary and we were set for the day.

Breakfast with the builders. Concrete in the background.
Breakfast with the builders. Concrete in the background.

The schedule for today is for a nosey around Taupo then off to Napier for the Art Deco week.

The Show must go on

After the torrential rain on Saturday morning, the organisers of the Rotoiti Classic boats decided to postpone it until Sunday.

We left the camp early and after a quick breakfast, we took Rafe around to the top of the “viewing platform” which is a park and parking area just along the road from Okere Falls Store.

Rafe overseeing things

As a lot of my last years images were in the Rotoiti Classic Boat Associations 2016 calendar, we were welcomed by commodore Grant and past commodore Fraser down by the water and offered several options to help with pictures.

The crowd enjoying the Parade. Commentary boat on the right
The crowd enjoying the Parade. Commentary boat on the right

Alan took his from the back of the commentary boat which is where I took mine from last year but I set up my nice comfy deck chair and sat right by the waters edge and shot from there.

During the parade

Several hundred people materialised from everywhere quite quickly and made themselves comfortable on the grass.


At 10:30, the whistle sounded and the first boats started the parade. From Rowing boats right through to big launches. All meticulously maintained and most with oodles of history.

As always, click on the images to see them in hi res and the slideshow below. 

A great spectacle. A nice weekend.

After the parade finished, the boats all headed over to the other side of the lake and enjoyed their annual picnic on the beach.
We headed for home after stopping briefly at Tirau for lunch.

Classic Cars and Boats

The weather dealt to the Rotoiti Classic Boats parade today. It has been postponed until Sunday so this morning, we arranged to stay here another day.
Our friends Shawn and Kathy from Taupo arrived late yesterday from Taupo with their two children and despite the rain, people came out from under cover to admire their 1960 Dodge with their new Retro Chris Craft.

Shaun's replica Chris Craft
Shaun’s replica Chris Craft
Shawn and Kathys Dodge with onlookers in the rain
Shawn and Kathys Dodge with onlookers in the rain

Not long after that Tim and Pam arrived with their 2 door pillar less Chev Bel Air coupe with their custom made Miss Bel Air speed boat.

The 56 Chev with Miss BelAir
The 56 Chev with Miss BelAir

Russell Ward also arrived late with Steam Boat Romany and spent the morning getting her ready for the parade while kids were doing antics around with bikes in the rain.

The 56 Chev and the 1960 Dodge
The 56 Chev and the 1960 Dodge

This morning we were invited around to check out a boat Kereru that’s for sale so we went around in convoy in the Dodge and Chev and later to the Orere Point Store for lunch.

The store has a really nice outdoor area complete with a stage and has a great selection of food and wines.
One of the nice things about Lake Rotoiti and the boating setup here is their lakeside covered docks where they are used as vehicles to get about in. Backing out their boats just like the rest of us do with our cars. Fantastic.

The covered docks
The covered docks

The boat parade is on today so we are looking forward to that.

Rotoiti Classic boats, here we come.

For the last three years, Alan and I have been invited by the Classic and Wooden Boat Association to join in with the parade of classic boats on Rotoiti.  We also photographed their classic boat parade for their calendar and for and now this blog.
Alan and I are both ex launch captains of the Classic Yacht Association here in Auckland.
This is the second year we’ve come down in Rafe and it’s always a real hoot. They have a parade of all the boats on the lakes edge and then cross to a bay for a combined family picnic.

We left Takapuna around 10:30 this morning and after a brief stop for diesel and fresh water, our first stop was KFC Matamata where had lunch and got “provisions” for another meal for the boat parade cold.
Just out of Tirau, we had to stop for a cup of coffee to wash down the KFC!

Cup of tea time outside Tirau
Cup of tea time outside Tirau
Alan after a tea..!
Alan after a tea..!

Feeling much better, we were under way again for Rotoiti.
The Classic and Wooden boat associations opening do is always a barbecue at the camping ground on the lakes edge. We’re fortunate that their secretary Rachel and the committee look after us so well.
The Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park was once a fully fledged camping ground and caravan/Motorhome park. These days it’s unfortunately is set up for annual cabin rentals more than the conventional Motorcamp setup. The facilities are fantastic although now geared more for the cabins.


Fiona and I came here about 20 years or so ago with a jet ski and stayed in a cabin. After parking the JetSki on the jetty, we were able to just come and go without launching it from the trailer. Being a fresh water lake too meant we didn’t have to flush the motor! We stayed for the best part of a week exploring the hot pools and lake Rotoiti and through the weir to lake Rotorua too. I remember this being a great holiday and nice spot to stay.

Roll on the BBQ. This year unfortunately, the weather isn’t playing the game. It is forecast to be showery tomorrow so let’s wait and see. Boats are made to get wet after all!

Tug Racing lots of images

Anniversary Day on the Waitemata Harbour¬†(Auckland Harbour for our off shore friends) is always a spectacle. Especially for those of us that like to smell some diesel and hear some noise¬† ūüôā

Oh and by the way – ¬†this is still a motorhoming blog ūüôā .. apologies for all the marine things but its that time of the year !

After the start. Auckland City behind
After the start. Auckland City behind

The Tug Race is now open to all Work boats and its always nice to see some of the Classic old timers mix it up with the new machines on the water.

Lots of pictures.. click on the images to see them in there full glory.


To see images from the Mahurangi part of this event  see

Drama on Milford Beach

I used to think that going to the local boat ramp for a couple of hours  on a Saturday afternoon was great entertainment.

Fiona and I walked down to Milford beach to watch some of the returning long weekend launches come back into Milford Marina in a 20 knot easterly coming up your backside. This is a real challenge as the entrance is quite narrow and with the surf, you can easily broach and head onto the rocks on either side of the entrance. Its not for the faint hearted.


Coastguard Arriving
Coastguard Arriving

As we crossed the bridge and walked down to the sand, I mentioned to Fiona that the mast we could see and the way it was bobbing around looked as though it was on the beach. As we got closer, there it was. I immediately rang Coastguard but they already knew about it and help was coming.
MilfordMilfordIt seems the poor chap misjudged the tide completely and was forced to turn around in the channel (almost impossible) and lost control and ended up on the beach. There were lost of volleyball players who volunteered to help in the water.  Coastguard arrived and towed them off with a jet powered rubber boat. A very lucky fellow and what a long day he had!

After that, we sat back and watched the boats come in on the easterly..   Everyone I saw did the return to Milford pretty well but what an afternoon of drama and action.

Wenderholm – another great Auckland Park

With the heatwave, if you can call it that, we set off for a park beside a beach where we could swim.

Our friends Rob and Helen have stayed regularly and highly recommended Wenderholm Self Contained parks. The park is¬†well setup with a boat ramp (tidal), Electric BBQ’s and Picnic Tables that are free to use and nice new toilets too.

Remember to click on the images for Hi Res

Our parking area with the BBQ and table in the foreground
Our parking area with the BBQ and table in the foreground

We arrived in the early afternoon, settled down Rafe and headed straight for the beach. A really nice beach with views across to Whangaparoa and you can even see Rangitoto Island.

Wenderholm Beach
Wenderholm Beach
People enjoying the sun
People enjoying the sun
The Beach
The Beach

I was surprised it was so busy for a Monday but it was hot and it is still holiday time. As the day went on, more motorhomes arrived and while we had a glass of wine before tea, a visitor from Wellington was out entertaining us with his metal detector looking for treasure.
He found a house key, several coins and said he’d previously found an expensive ring!

I’m think that I would prefer¬†to park in a¬†fenced off¬†parking area like Sullivans Bay,¬†another Auckland City Park further north.¬†¬†In saying that, where we were and¬†because there were a few of us, it gave the impression that it was a motorhome area and cars didn’t park near us.

The Beach at Dusk
The Beach at Dusk

We have had a ¬†situation ¬†where we’ve been at beachs where the day trippers have been quietly drinking all day and leave to drive home where they can barely walk.(Not this one)

All in all, a nice place to stay, nice beach and things to cook on too.

Parked too close!

This is a great example of why we have a rule where we park at least 3 metres apart.

Gypsy Extravaganza

On our way to Wenderholm for a night, we stumbled across the Gypsy Extravaganza that was just packing up to leave the Orewa Beach park.

Click on the Gallery below to see an enlarged slideshow.

Unfortunately some had already left before I took these piccies but what a neat collection of vehicles.

Fiona & Chris, two empty nesters put their dreams of doing something different into reality… Living in their Motorhome, come along for the ride.


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