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.
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.
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 😎
Dianne and Gary
Fiona and Gary cooking up a storm
Fiona’s curry chicken entree
The view at night over Taupo
Kevo, Gary, Rossco and Nige the concrete expert.
The pour. Gary peering around the corner
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.
A good solid breakfast outside of bacon and eggs by Gary and we were set for the day.
The schedule for today is for a nosey around Taupo then off to Napier for the Art Deco week.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Steam boat Romany at the jetty
Kids doing gymnastics with bikes in the rain
The Orere point Store
Orere point store
Tim and Shawns son having fun.
Alan giving me some instructions, can’t remember what they were.
Alan sitting in the Chev
Russell with Romany
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 boat parade is on today so we are looking forward to that.
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!
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.
Cabins and cabins
The lakefront and jetty
A Maserati was parked in front of this one!
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!
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.
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. It 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!
Lance and Karen Jones
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.
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
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.
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!
With the Waikato Buses
Behind the beach picnic areas
People enjoying the Estuary
The Toilet Block
The Boat Ramp
Late arrivals at the ramp
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.
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.