Tag Archives: Campgrounds

Landscapes in the Ida Valley

Today was washing day.. two big loads to catch up while a brisk Nor wester was there to dry it all.

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Fiona using the power pole clothesline πŸ™‚

The washing line was a hoot. Two shortened power poles with the washing line wire in between. It worked a treat.

We’re staying at The Crows Nest which is a very small campground in the main street of Oturehura with cabins for Bike Trail people. There are only two powered sites but I’m sure the host Bill, could rustle up some more if the need arose. Its all here though and exceptional value at $20 per van for two with power.

The hosts are fantastic and although Bill was originally from Winton, for most of his life, he and his wife Mal, have been in the Tauranga area for quite a while but have now settled here. They’re lovely people and very helpful.

Fiona off up to the Poolburn Dam.. great colours

The next morning, Fiona organised the washing and I got the bikes ready. Once the wash was out, we were off on our way up to the Poolburn Viaduct. An easy ride although a lot more gravel on the trail here making it harder to ride on than other parts of the trail.

Auripo Station looking back towards Oturehura
The Poolburn Viaduct .. took 3 years to build.

The colours and the landscape was just amazing. With the clouds doing strange things with the wind over the hills, it was really interesting for piccies.

Over the hills from the Viaduct looking out towards Lauder

I averaged about 20 odd Kph despite the gravel but stopped a lot for piccies with my phone. Some amazing spots.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

We ended up doing about 30 odd K’s for the round trip over nearly two hours.

People enjoying a walk on the Trail
Outside the camp looking back at the hills on dusk.. stunning

After cleaning up and locking the bikes,Β  we headed off for a walk to have a look at the town ending up in the pub!

Click on this Gallery for the old time General Store!

 

Great Hotel and its for sale

A neat wee town and we’ve decided to stay another couple of nights to have a good look around.

The Netspeed Speedtest
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Rafe’s Tracker Map

The Start of the Trail

We arrived in Middlemarch early in the afternoon and with the plan being to bike up to Hyde from there, I thought that might be optimistic but Hey Ho!

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Getting the Bikes ready

We were staying in Middlemarch Holiday park so we had power to charge up the bikes and so we could turn up the heat as it was forecast to be pretty cold!

The Kitchen in the camp

We were welcomed by the camp owner Susan who couldn’t have been more helpful and told to pick a site and plug in. Susan then went on to tell us that she had ridden the whole trail on her horse Wilson who was in the next paddock so she knew it well.

Susan with Wilson

It didn’t take long to get the bikes ready and we were off towards Hyde. It was just before 3pm when the shadows started to get longer and as we had to return to Middlemarch, I thought if we got as far as Rock and Pillar, we’d call it quits and have a go at Hyde the next day.

Fiona setting off from Middlemarch

What a great track and with the sun out a not a cloud around, but when we went behind the trees, it was cold. As we went on the shadows got longer but with the new Lecky bikes it was a lot of fun and basically, we did the round trip in just under an hour.

Some horses on the way

As it turned out, the sun hung up there longer than we thought and we might have made to Hyde.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

It gave us a chance to get back and have a look around the camp which is neat. The Kitchen is made from an old railway carriage and fits into a covered seating area for people to sit and enjoy the area.

On the way back to Middlemarch

Another interesting town full of history.

Back at the station

 

Layers by the River

We spent the night at the Oamaru A&P grounds just a couple of K’s North of the town. At $6 for two and plenty of room on the grass, its a great spot. There are lots of loos and a laundry as well.

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Oamaru A&P ground

By the time we got up and got under way, and then checked out the Historic Precinct, it was lunchtime. The plan was to head to Middlemarch and do bits of the Otago Rail Trail that we missed two years ago but already, we were running very late!

No chance of getting lost here in Herbert

As we passed through Herbert, there was a Riverside Holiday Park right next to the river which looked good. As it was starting to get late, we popped in, there was heaps of parking and it seemed very reasonable at $28.

Shop in Herbert

The very helpful hosts who were happy for us to park anywhere as it was quiet and were happy to tell us a bit about the area.Just a fantastic spot right by a river and we had the camp virtually to ourselves in that area. We met another couple who parked away from the river around the other end who were from Timaru who were just giving their van a run πŸ™‚

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

The huge cliffs beside the river showed really interesting layers of rock which suggested they were pushed up by several earthquakes… I’m not a geologist but thats what it looks like. Amazing.

We both really enjoyed this park. Everything was clean and tidy and everything worked. The Hosts were great and what an amazing spot.

What a Cliff

In the morning we went back a couple of K’s to check out the Historic town of Herbert.

The Netspeed Speedtest (at Oamaru A&P)
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Rafe’s Tracker Map  – The park is at the Blue Dot

Kowhai Pass – Springfield

The NZMCA has just started a new program called Campersave which allows us Motorhomers to take advantage of the off season when Motorcamps are not busy and also has the benefit for Motorcamps to get some off season cashflow.

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Neat spot

Its a win win for all!

A customer at the door.. old fashioned camping !

So I was keen to support one and the one closest to us was part of the Springfield Domain. It is called the Kowhai Pass Campground as this was the original name for Springfield.

Camp Caretaker Joy in her office

We rocked in and met one of the delightful caretakers, Joy who showed us where to park and where things were. The cost is $20 per van with power. There are toilets and showers as well. The showers cost a $1 which is pretty cheap. I’m sure I spotted a laundry too.

Looking along the main street of Springfield

A great spot for the night and great value with some nice people.

Fiona with the Donut

The next morning we went further west and had a look through Springfield town where there is a tribute to Rewi Alley and of course the famous Donut. A neat spot.

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Rafe’s track to Kowhai Pass

Wind for Everyone

The last few weeks has found us at Takapuna Holiday Park a few days a week while Fiona is at work. We’re right next to the Boat Ramp where there is never a dull moment. It has been hot with very little wind… until now πŸ™‚ And its really nice.

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Ringside seat

Looking out of the front windows towards Rangitoto Island, you see Windsurfers and Kite Boarders mostly now on foils taking advantage of the wind, and its great to watch. Some of them doing tricks too, like leaping out of the water and doing complete turns. A couple of them were sailing backwards and forwards for about half an hour without even getting wet.. amazing.

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Its really entertaining and most nights you can see a small regular bunch of people just coming down to the ramp to watch.

As the sun goes down

Foiling has really changed the nature of sailing everywhere and it is magic being able to watch it from our ringside seat in Rafe.

Takapuna Beach

Luxury Location

We’re in our 4 th day of sitting on the waters edge at Takapuna Beach Holiday Park after moving from our house and its just the best location.

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Premo Spot

Fiona works in Takapuna 3 days a week so can walk to work from here which is great.

When you take into account the costs of owning a house with rates, Insurance and Maintenance and everything else, doing this for 3 – 4 days a week is pretty cost efficient. Its also handy to the Devonport market while we look for another house.

Takapuna Holiday Park has had some interesting moments recently. Being in a prime spot, it has been under pressure by others for its space.

Lovely tropical atmosphere

A couple of years ago, there was a bit of a stoush when the council had thoughts of giving some or all of the campground land for development of young sailors but they didn’t count on the locals wanting to keep the park as is.Β  Its my understanding that the land occupied by the Holiday Park was gifted on the condition it was used as a Campground or similar.

Looking over the park from the office

Anyway, despite our helicoptered in MP at the time, baracking for the Yachties, the locals won the day and the Campground stays.

Colourful, Caravans

Early in April all the old Caravans are going and they’re going to be replaced with a whole lot of new Powered sites so that will make a difference and make it available to more Motorhomes and Caravanners.

Will be all powered sites soon

This will make a huge difference as many of the Caravans are well past their use by date and the park will do well with the extra space for powered sites.

Takapuna Beach behind

Its a lovely spot and we’ve been here a few times over the last few years and is a great bolthole.

Bliss looking out at Rangitoto

The waterfront parks are 7 metres so I have to park Rafe on an angle but the parks are wide enough to do this.

Rental caravans
10 steps away for a swim

Toilets and Showers, Kitchen and Laundry are all in good shape. They’re beautifully clean and everything works so you can’t ask for more than this.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

We’re probably going to be here three days a week for the next month or so as we’re still looking for another house and for Fiona’s work but I can’t think of a nicer place to be.

Right on the best beach in Auckland and with some great walks along the waterfont right up to Milford and beyond, and south to Narrow Neck. The shops are great and close by and there is a licensed Cafe just on the edge of the campground serving great Coffee overlooking the boatramp. Great entertainment at low tide !!

See our previous visits to Takapuna here and the walk to Milford here.

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Rafe’s Tracker Map

Old Rail Freight Wagons for a Snooze

Motorhome friends Helen and two of her daughters, Chloe and Jessica were heading up to Okaihau to stay at the Okaihau Rail Stay. We were also catching up with Gary and Dianne and cycling part of the Rail trail to Horeke which is about 30 k’s to the coast.

Nice layout

Arriving later in the afternoon, we checked in at the Office and met Noeline who set it up and she helped us with power and getting ourselves organised.

First Class

Noeline has been collecting and doing up old Railway Wagons for about 4 years and now has 4 of them set up for accomodation. There is also a Kitchen, Shower and Toilet all looking like a stattion and railway station side buildings. The whole place is immaculatly tidy and clean quite cleverly set out.

Neoline with Maeo the welcome committee πŸ™‚

The Motorhome parking is over a fence on a big paddock. Beyond that on another section is Noeline’s husbands trucking business.

The Rail Trail from Opua to Horeke is right opposite and so its just case of crossing the road to do the trail.

Us all settled in.

We were charged $30 a night for two including power.

Sorry no map as the GPS tracker has spat the dummy but Okaihau is about 15ks’ north of Kaikohe.

Catching up with Terry and Lisa

My old neighbours Terry and Lisa moved to Wangavegas (Wanganui) as he calls it, about 15 years ago and they love it. They’re really settled here with new friends and are currently building a new house out by the Golf course which is perfect for Terry as he loves his Golf.

Carolines Outback Bar and Restaurant

We arrived early in the day and checked in at Carolines Outback Holiday Park where I’ve stayed before. Its a great park and it is right behind Carolines Outback Bar and Restaurant which was perfect for us to have a meal with Terry and Lisa.

No Holes left

They popped in about 5pm and we had a couple of drinks in Rafe before checking in to the Restaurant at 6:30.

A fabulous meal as always and it was great to catch up and hear all about their new house and their family.

Terry with Lisa, Archie and Fiona

In the morning they popped around and we walked around the river across the bridges with their Dog Archie before checking out at 10am and heading North towards Auckland.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Caroline’s Outback Holiday park is a great spot to stay and Bruce is always happy to help. Unfortunately it was a bit overcast and gloomy this time but check out the images from the last time I we were here and also see Bruces Truck.

The Tracker has popped its clogs so until its fixed or replaced there are no maps.. The Park is by the river about 1 k inland from the city on the Somme Parade.

Bliss at Kaupokonui

Arriving here in the middle of the day, I was amazed at how busy it was and it was all Tents and some Caravans. Motorhomes again were the exception.

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The park

I’ve been here before a couple of years ago and although not much has changed, it is a great spot and the old style campground where its all about having fun.

Busy

The new Managers Sue and Laurence managed to fit us in right on the front row in a prime spot overlooking the Beach.

That Mountain πŸ™‚

This really is a lovely spot down in a valley just along from Manaia on the South Taranaki Coast. It wouldn’t be more than 6 k’s or so from Manaia where the Yarrow Bread factory is so make sure you stop on the way!

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

After plugging in and opening some vents, we were off for a look around. There are two levels to the valley, the upper level where the campground is and the lower level where there is a public park and a footbridge connecting with the Sand hills and the beach beyond.

Between the two levels are two massive slides. Lots of fun for the wee ones.

The Slide

After crossing the bridge and walking down to the beach, Fiona decided to do one her long walks almost the length off the beach.

It was New Years Eve and there were Fireworks on the beach and everyone came out to watch.

A lovely spot.

Amazing Museum

After leaving New Plymouth, we stopped in Stratford Countdown for some Milk and a few essentials and after breakfast and a look around, cruised on to the famous Tawhiti Museum.

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The Handsome Cab man

Started by a local very clever Artist, Nigel Ogle with his wife Teresa, they built this up using local friends and aquaintances to make their lifesized models faces and they look amazing. I love the expressions too.Β  In 1975, they bought the old Cheese factory where Nigel worked as a boy and this was the start of the Museum.

Looks like some I know πŸ™‚

It is split into three Museums being the local history, the Traders and Whalers and the Bush railway.

The Accountant

Fiona and I elected to check out the Local History which took several hours. This could easily take the whole day if you elected to do all three.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

The parking opposite is fantastic with plenty of room for Motorhome parking with separate parking for the cars on the sides.

Great Parking

There is also a well stocked Cafe on site with great Coffee too. A neat spot.

Lovely spot

We’ve decided already we will have to revisit and check out the other bits we missed but an awesome display that really is a must see.

Muller park

We went from here to the Muller NZMCA park in Hawera where we recognised several other Motorhomers who were parked next to us at the Museum! Isn’t it funny how great minds think alike πŸ™‚

Rafe’s Track to Tawhiti Museum and onto Muller Park. The Museum is the Green Dot on the right!