Old metal with smiles all around

After sneaking out if the park to get some water and groceries and sneaking back in again, we  missed the last shuttle bus to town so we walked the 1k or so into town to check out the fun and it was well worth the walk!

Is that a gun
Is that a gun

Traction engines, steam rollers and so many amazing cars.
I got talking to Dave, the owner of a one off Studebaker that he got his license in when he was 15 and later bought the car. The car was made in Hastings with a wooden frame and has steel over the top with a full genuine Studebaker everything else in it. A lovely car.

Dave with his one off Hastings made Studebaker
Dave with his one off Hastings made Studebaker
The Studebaker
The Studebaker

We bumped into Dave and Rosemarie and all the crew from Waiuku there and they were really enjoying the scene and we’re all dressed very nicely. The pictures below tell the story.

Click on the images for hi res and a slideshow

The retailers of Napier were all decked out in their finery, all enjoying he festival.

The good folk of Waiuku all decked out magnificently. Fiona on the left.
The ladies from Waiuku all decked out magnificently. Fiona on the left.

There was a couple who turned a street into their dance floor with a busker and did a very impressive floor show for the crowd around. Very good dancers and the crowd really appreciated it.

Impromptu dancing to the busker
Impromptu dancing to the busker

I even bumped into an old friend of mine Geoff who was also a photographer with me at the NZ Herald 30 odd yrs ago. NZ really is a small place !

As the day wore on and it got hotter, we found the 1918 Austin Bus was going our way home so after a $5 donation, we were on our way.

The view out of the windscreen of the 1918 bus. Steam roller in front
The view out of the windscreen of the 1918 bus. Steam roller in front
The 1918 Austin Bus that we came home in
The 1918 Austin Bus that we came home in

A fun day and more tomorrow.

Spats and Hats

We woke up this morning to find a whole lot more Motorhomes and another Dethleffs Globe4 right next door. I can count on one hand the number of Globe 4’s I have seen around on the road so to have one right next door was amazing.

Two Globe 4's in the same region!
Two Globe 4’s in the same region!

We met Bill and Lynley at the Dethleffs annual rally at Miranda late last year. They had then just taken delivery of their new van.
Bill is a keen cyclist and suggested we have lunch at Ahuriri Cafe, a neat little cafe around by the port so we got ourselves organised and off we went.
The sky was blue but black towards the west and the forecast was for heavy rain.

A great lunch and nice catching up with them both.
Just biking along by the port, we came across an elderly couple out for a walk in all their finery, him with spats, bow tie and plus 4’s and hat, her with her cloche hat, nice long period dress and fine shoes, bid us a very cheery good afternoon. Very nice and very friendly. Great atmosphere and everybody is enjoying the fun.
On the way back, we stopped at the Masonic to check out the vintage cars and people all dressed up enjoying the moment.

imageWe stopped for a yummy Gelato on the waterfront on the way back to Rafe and just got the bikes back on the rack when the rain came down.

The park is filling up
The park is filling up
And with a sea view too
And with a sea view too. More than 90 Motorhomes and caravans.

Eriksen rd

On Monday afternoon, we left Taupo after having filled up Rafe with fuel and headed for Napier. It was an easy run through with very little traffic and within a few hours, we found ourselves tootling down the Esk valley wine area into Napier.
The GPS gave us the directions to the NZMCA park at Eriksen rd. We parked Rafe and within minutes of walking around, I met some very friendly Motorhomers from Waiuku travelling together and also heading for the Art Deco events.
Last time we were here this park had just opened and it was little more than a gate to a paddock but it is now, very well setup. The local committee has done a fabulous job of setting this up and it’s huge. There is water, a library, a rubbish recycling area and a big clothesline. The ground is solid, dead flat and well drained and setup for easy parking. About two thirds of it is roped off for expansion and is currently left for making hay. Already it is one of the associations busier parks so hats off to all those involved.

Ericksen rd
Ericksen rd with the library, water and rubbish area in the middle
Vineyards behind
Vineyards behind

That night there were some nice breezes wafting through which seemed to get rid of some of the humidity which was great.
In the morning, we met some other Dethleffs owners who were full timing in their new Trend. The Trend is quite a bit smaller and a lighter van than Rafe (Globe 4) but well equipped and a smart looking Motorhome. They had sold their house and were travelling around with their small dog trying to decide where they might buy land and build.
We left Eriksen rd around 11am and headed for the supermarket then the dump station then onto the NZMCA park on the waterfront for Motorhomes for the Art Deco event. At $50 for 5-6 nights right on the waterfront and a couple of k’s bike ride into town, this was great value. Within minutes of arriving as the park opened, we bumped into the Waiuku crews we’d met the night before and not long after that, some people we met in caravanning in Taupo rocked into the park as well.
Fiona was on a mission to buy our grandson Ayden a birthday present so we biked into the town. The iconic Masonic Hotel was our first stop for something wet and cold and then after looking around, we found our way to Farmers. I had forgotten how hard it can be to buy for a 7 year old. Fiona rang daughter in law Sarah to get some ideas and in the end, we settled on a Star Wars toy. We had also lost our breadboard for the van so got a replacement one of those too.

Fiona at the Masonic Hotel
Fiona at the Masonic Hotel
An old 39 Packard.
An old 39 Packard.

With these swinging on my handlebars in a bag, we arrived back to the Rafe an hour or so later when we were invited to a Bbq with our friends from Waiuku who were parked right behind us in three Motorhomes. We briefly caught up with our caravanning friends from Whitianga for a drink before the Bbq. Another great night right next to the beach and while there, more Motorhomes rolled into the park.

The Bbq on the waterfront
The Bbq on the waterfront
Down on the waterfront. Our friends from Whitianga with the red truck and caravan.
Down on the waterfront. Our friends from Whitianga with the red truck and caravan.

After tea, I went for a walk down the beach to empty the rubbish and caught up with Bruce and Raewyn from the Kaipara who we’d met in Taupo in their very new Dethleffs Sunlight. The Sunlight is also a smaller van like the Trend but is slightly bigger than the Trend. They joined us later for a cup of tea in Rafe.
A busy day at the office but a fun day with some nice people.

Dusk at the waterfront.
Dusk at the waterfront.

The weather forecast is looking a bit suspect over the next few days but there are a couple of vineyard restaurants within biking distance from here before the Art Deco events really get started.

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.

Dusk
Dusk

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 😎

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.

Rotoiti
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.

Rotoiti
During the parade

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

Rotoiti

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 Waitematawoodys.com 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  🙂

Oh and by the way –  this is still a motorhoming blog 🙂 .. 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
Sterling
Sterling

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.

Enjoy

To see images from the Mahurangi part of this event  see http://www.waitematawoodys.com

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.

Milford

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.

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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