Yum !

Kaikoura coast
Kaikoura coast

We were up early in Christchurch to get under way to Rarangi. The Gps suggested the trip was 330 odd k’s and about 3.5 hrs driving.
A quick visit to the dump station to empty tanks and fill up the potable water and we were away. The forecast suggested it would be wet by the time we reached kaikoura, the home of crayfish and whale watching. With light traffic and long straight roads, we were in Cheviot by 10:30! There is a Gallery and Cafe on the left as you come into Cheviot from the south that makes the best Chicken Filo with amazing pastry. If you’re in the area, try it, you won’t be disappointed. The coffee is great too.

Kaikoura township
Kaikoura township

After 30 minutes or so, we were on our way to Kaikoura. By the time we arrived, the weather was threatening to rain but almost everything was shut. I overheard one tourist after rattling a door to a closed cafe “what time to they get out of bed here?” Had to laugh but understood where he was coming from. Before we got to Cheviot, we’d stopped at both Greta Valley cafe and Dommett railway cafe to find them both closed with several vans and people wanting some service in the car parks.
Fiona went to the supermarket at Kaikoura which was open, and got some tatare sauce knowing we were looking for some crayfish.

Nins bins north of Kaikoura
Nins bins north of Kaikoura
Lunch from Nins Bin
Lunch from Nins Bin
Fiona with her Crayfish
Fiona with her Crayfish

The lady in the supermarket told her about Nins bins which was a caravan on the side of the road 20 k’s north of Kaikoura. By the time we got there it was pouring with rain but Fiona was in a sprint to get through the door to get her cray. The lady in the caravan was great. Fiona chose a cray, she cut it in half in the bench and tossed it into a frypan with Garlic Butter. It was delicious. We paired it off with some lemon, some beer battered chips and heaps of tartare sauce YUM! She even put it on our plates from Rafe so we could sprint back to Rafe through the rain and enjoy lunch.
After a cup of tea to wash it down we were under way to see the seal colony about 3-4 k’s away. The rain was a pain for my camera but we saw enough and got a few piccies so we were on our way to Blenheim.

The colony at Kaikoura
The colony at Kaikoura
Mum looking after the kids
Mum looking after the kids

We were making a return visit to a chocolate factory we visited on the way down and after this a craft centre which we drive past earlier that I promised we’d go back to. There was also wine tasting as well so while Fiona was doing the crafts, I checked out some nice Chardys and Pinots!
10 k’s away was our overnight stop at Rarangi, a DOC park on the water.

At Rarangi this morning
At Rarangi this morning

After settling in, we went for a walk up to the point and to Monkey Bay where there are caves have completely undermined the cliff with the water.

Seals on the rocks at Kaikoura
Seals on the rocks at Kaikoura

Tomorrow, we’re off to Picton to catch the ferry to Wellington to start our trip north.

 

Oddities and Colour

The view out of the front window at our site in Akaroa.
The view out of the front window at our site in Akaroa.

We woke up to the alarm at 4:30am to watch the France v Ireland Rwc game, Ireland won! Great game too.

After falling asleep, we woke again at 9am to see another great day of sunshine. The forecast was awful with north west gales and rain on the way so we thought we’d head from our North West facing perch for somewhere a bit more sheltered.
We decided to head to Christchurch and leave our wonderful view over Akaroa, and catch up with some relatives.

The colourful boatsheds at Duvachelle
The colourful boatsheds at Duvachelle

On the way, we went through Duvachelle harbour where there is an amazing rows of boatsheds. I thought maybe they have to paint them these colours for resource consent reasons but surely not! There is a huge Motorcamp right on the water there which looks quite good.

Moving on from there was the Duvachelle Hotel, which has a for sale sign if anyone us keen. Over the road is an amazing row of colonial cabins? .. Or rooms, I’m not sure what but an interesting building.

The cottage at Duvachelle
The cottage at Duvachelle

A kilometre or so down the road we were at the Barry’s Bay cheese factory where we bought some beautiful cheese and of course a bottle of Chardonnay to go with it. The cheese is made on site and there is a huge window from the retail are which looks through so you can see the cheese actually being made.
We stopped over the hill at Little River for lunch. Interesting little place full of history and with some corrugated iron silos, turned into holiday accomodation.

The Holiday Silos at Little River
The Holiday Silos at Little River
Little River Railway Station
Little River Railway Station

We stopped along the way to get a piccie of Lake Ellesmere. I kicked myself a bit here as on the way to Akaroa, it was sparkly blue sky and water with a cyclist riding through. It would have made a much nicer piccie.. Oh well!

Lake Ellesmere from the Little River road
Lake Ellesmere from the Little River road

After a trip to Burnsco and Papanui Countdown and we were safely tucked up for the blow in Christchurch.

Vineyards and swing bridges

Wellington harbour
Wellington harbour
Early morning Wellington from the ferry
Early morning Wellington from the ferry

With an early start on Tuesday morning from Evans Bay, we followed Chris and Gary around a very still Wellington waterfront to the Bluebridge ferry terminal. The hour wait in the queue that we expected didn’t eventuate so we were on Bluebridges newest ferry Strait Feronia and in comfy chairs looking out at Wellington city in no time at all.
The trip across was magic, little or no wind and pretty flat given it was Cook Strait.
Cook Strait is the  water between the North and the South Island of NZ for those offshore.

Coming into Picton
Coming into Picton

After arriving in Picton, we’d decided to find somewhere for lunch around Blenheim and then head to Pelorus Bridge for the night.. About 60 odd k’s.

Allan Scotts vineyard
Allan Scotts vineyard

Driving through the world famous Marlborough vineyards, we came across the Cloudy Bay and Allan Scott vineyards right over the road from each other. Allan Scotts looked easier for parking two 7m plus motor homes and we found an open gate leading right next to the vines so rather than upset their car park with two motor homes we parked there.
After lunch in our van amongst the vines, we went in to gain some wine knowledge and a quick tasting.
I bought a nice Chardonnay and a Reisling. Gary came away with a nice Pinot Noir. We had a brief visit to a chocolate factory as well and the girls came away with their wallets slightly lighter 😊

Our park at Pelorus Bridge
Our park at Pelorus Bridge
Pelorus suspension bridge
Pelorus suspension bridge
Pelorus River
Pelorus River

Half an hour or thereabouts easy driving got us to Pelorus Bridge DOC camp. With both Gary and I having annual DOC passes, we found this camp didn’t accept them but it was only $12 each for the night in a nicely manicured bush area with power, toilets and an amazing hot shower!
After plugging in and settling down, we set off for a walk along the river to a massive suspension bridge over the Pelorus river. It only took an hour so an easy walk.

Another view along the Pelorus river edge.
Another view along the Pelorus river edge.

Arriving back to the camp, I had to try the shower. What a treat. Plenty of hot water, great pressure in a well setup hut with no tops to the walls so you’re in the bush. Great experience.
We finished a great day with a glass of something cold in Rafe.
We’re off to Nelson tomorrow.

Chris and Gary’s new Fuso

Chris and Gary with their Motorhome
Chris and Gary with their Motorhome

This is their second Mitzi truck, Luton based Motorhome and they’re really pleased with it.
They hit the road full time earlier this year and after driving from their rented out home in Ranfurly to Auckland, they spotted this new van on Trade me. As Gary says, it was the van he’s been looking for forever! So after many will we, won’t we, moments, they bought the van and flew to Christchurch and drove it back up to Auckland.

In the last few months they’ve been back to Ranfurly, worked their way up to the North Island to meet us in Marton last week.
It is 7 m long, has a nice U shaped lounge at the back and heaps of cupboards.

The kitchen area
The kitchen area
The Lounge
The Lounge

A very comfortable, reliable machine with all the comforts of home.

Evans Bay Marina being reviewed for Motorhomes

Evans Bay Marina 20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!
Evans Bay Marina
20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!

On Sunday morning a chap from Wellington City popped around in the Evans Bay Marina car park, with his clipboard. He was checking the CSC stickers for parking compliance. For those offshore, this is the self containment with black and grey water.

At Evans Bay
At Evans Bay the day before. Close to houses

Gary had a natter to him and he mentioned that the parking area was being reviewed. They’re thinking of moving it “up the “coast” which to me sounds like ‘out of town’.
One if the nice things about Evans Bay is its location and closeness to Wellington City.

Evans Bay Marina
Evans Bay Marina

There is also a dump station, toilets and water and a fantastic view.
I have to say though, Wellington definitely have more than their share of boy racers and people with sirens.
All in all though, it’s a great spot and it would be a real shame to lose it.

Does anyone know what’s happening ?

I want one 😃

The Dethleffs XLI
The Dethleffs XLI

Now into their third Motorhome, they’ve really  gone for the best and I think it’s safe to say, they’re pretty chuffed with it too.

Happy With their XLI, Dianne and Gary
Happy With their XLI, Dianne and Gary

Their new Dethleffs XLI is just the business. At 8.7 metres and 5 tons, there is plenty of room and a payload for Africa.

The Garage across the back is enormous and the brochures show a scooter standing upright in it, I think you would probably fit two in!

The shower and toilet  area is divided from both the main bedroom and dining area by two sets of doors, effectively setting it upas an ensuite and it’s very nicely done.

In the Bedroom
In the Bedroom
Gary and Dianne in the living area
Gary and Dianne in the living area
The shower
The shower

A really nice machine , and I’m pleased that they’re back on the road enjoying their Motorhome.

Yippee. Wearable arts!

Before we left Raglan, we had to check out the famous Raglan beach, then onto Hamilton to get diesel and the to check out a neat wee cafe that Dianne and Gary knew just out of Cambridge called the Red Cherry.

Gary, Dianne and Madam at Red Cherry
Gary, Dianne and Madam at Red Cherry

We decided on an early lunch and then after more goodbyes, set off for Marton. Gary mentioned going down the western side of Lake Taupo, turning off at Tokoroa. Great idea as there was no traffic to queue behind so Madam decided to have a drive. Now that Rafe is run in and everything has settled down, she found it a doddle.

Down the western side of Taupo
Down the western side of Taupo. This pic specially for Alan 😀

After stopping briefly at Turangi for a cuppa, went went all the way through to  Marton. We arrived about 5pm just before dusk and it was nice to see Gary and Chris again.

With Gary and Chris
With Gary and Chris
At the Marton MCA park
At the Marton MCA park

The NZMCA park at Marton is a fantastic facility set up with toilets, showers, water and a library. I think I also saw a kitchen there too. To those set this up, well done, a great place to stay.

The next morning, we were off again to Wellington, stopping briefly for diesel at Levin and  cuppa shortly after.  Arriving at Evans Bay Marina around 1pm, we had plenty of time to get ready for the show at 5pm.

Arriving in Wellington
Arriving in Wellington

Evans Bay Marina is near the airport and is a well know free camping spot with Potable water, a dump station, toilets and a great view.

The view
The view
Evans Bay Marina
Evans Bay Marina. It’s great watching the planes land.

Evans Bay is about 15 minutes drive from town, it is $7.50 each in a bus, so we got a cab at $25. Also much more convenient.

The show was fantastic, clever people doing clever things. Every Kiwi should see it. This was our third time going and I’d do it again.

Wearable arts before the performance
Wearable arts before the performance

We’re on the ferry to probably Nelson via Blenheim. More tomorrow

My apologies for the strange postings, I’ve been trying out an offline blog program and its been a failure!

Raglan at its best

 

After the rugby
The bridge to Raglan

We were up early to be joined by Dianne and Gary to watch the All Blacks play Namibia.. What a great first half and great that Namibia scored a try. The second half. Well !

Breakfast time

A walk up to Raglan town across the foot bridge was next on the agenda so we crossed the footbridge from the campground to the town and checked in a one of the cafes for breakfast. A tour around the crafty shops and although I’m not a great shopper, I was on my best behaviour😜

The wharf
The perfect house
Repairing a fishing boat

Raglan has an amazing wharf area with a great fish shop. There is also what Madam thinks is the best pottery and jewellery shop around. We stopped for a cup of tea and watched some fishermen repairing their nets.

There is an old silo there which has been turned into flats.

The fish shop
Repairing nets
Fiona and Dianne enjoying the view

We set a course for home and Gary and I had a crack at getting the NZMCA kml tikes into his Gps.

After an anxious hour or so after the Nav software wouldn’t play the game on Gary’s Mac, I remembered where the files went and we managed to set the path and install the files manually… We hadn’t buggered it up after all.😀

We celebrated with some great fish and chips in the new XLI with a glass or two of something cold😎

Back to the vans

Today we’re off to Marton to meet Gary and Chris for the trip to Wellington.

Designer dirt

Rafe on the farm
Rafe on the farm

It’s great to be on the road.. As I suspected might happen… Forgetting something important…, we got as far as the city and had to return to  Devonport to send out my September invoices ..😗… That set us back half an hour for doing a job on the way for a Wellington customer,…on a farm at Glen Murray. ..it didn’t really matter at the end of the day..we’re on the road and away .. Yay.

Madam reading up on the wind farm
Madam reading up on the wind farm
The wind farm at Te Uku
The wind farm at Te Uku

We arrived 40 minutes later and got some nice images .. Rafes first visit to a farm and getting the designer dirt treatment😀

The Gps then had a moment where it took us the back windy way from there to Raglan where we caught up with our friends from Taupo, Dianne and Gary in their new Dethleffs XLI. Great to see them again.

Raglan Main st
Raglan Main st
Raglan Hotel
Raglan Hotel

Dianne had arranged for us to stay at the Raglan Motorcamp which is on a peninsula virtually surrounded by water with a footbridge into town so we’re looking forward to checking that out later… More on this tomorrow.

Dawn at the camp
Dawn at the camp
Dusk at the camp before the Rugby
Dusk at the camp before the Rugby

 

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..  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 peeled😃

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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