Tag Archives: Campgrounds

Motorhomes and Classic Cars

The week ended with Fiona getting a cold and wanting to blob  and get better so we thought we’d escape the big city and head to Pauanui.

Fiona spent the first day in bed while I went out in between cups of tea for a bike ride around the peninsula.

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The park

There is only ever one place for us to park at Pauanui and that’s the Pauanui Club. I’ve done a few posts about their Motorhome Parking and it is just the best value and easy parking around for miles.

Parking at Pauanui

They’re also really good and easy to deal with. Always a smile and nothing is ever to hard. They’ve now also got their Laundromat up and running and now have a full Dump station. At $10 a night per van including power, water and access to the bar, it is exceptional value.

The Club entrance

Its amazing how many walkways and how easy the biking is. Someone really thought about this when the early Pauanui subdivisions were first planned.

Having your plane tied to your doorknob!

I headed down towards the waterways and met our Motorhome neighbours out on their bikes. They were from Motueka and are checking out the North Island with their friends from Okarito (North of Franz Josef).

The next day, Fiona was feeling much better and we went for a wander into the township which is only 5 minutes walk away through a tunnel under the adjacent airfield.

Perfect

Later that day we went to the Club and watched the Bingo which was fun and then the Rugby on the big TV. One thing I really noticed here was how friendly everyone was.

Our morning sleep in was nicely disturbed by that great sound of some big motors as the Pauanui Classic Car people met in the club car park before heading off in convoy to the Matatoki Cheese Factory for lunch.

Click on the Gallery below to see the Cars

Some of these cars were really rare. John the organiser has a Covette  Cove Convertible. A friend of mine who is a real Corvette buff has always wanted one of these but good ones are normally worth Telephone numbers!

John heading off in his Corvette

There were some really nice vehicles and the locals all came out in the sunshine to see and admire the cars and see them off for their lunch.

Mini Golf next door

A great atmosphere, great people and a nice spot to park.

Rafe’s Tracker map

The future for Takapuna Holiday Park

The final hurdle in the long running saga of the Takapuna Beach Holiday Park has been overcome with a lease for a new operator who will redevelop the land into a new look Holiday Park over the next year or so.

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The Holiday Park

The Devonport – Takapuna board approved a lease at a recent meeting. This means that the ground Holiday Park is on, is effectively in private ownership for the next 30 years.

Rafe at the park

The successful new Lease holder is understood to be involved in at least 4 well known Top 10 Holiday Parks all around the South Island so I think we can assume that the Holiday Park is in a safe pair of hands.

A Google Earth image

It is understood that the park will be completely rebuilt over the next few years.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

I think given the turmoil and angst that the community has been through to save the Holiday Park, it is a great outcome.

We’ve been here for several days a week for a couple of months and it is a great location. Good news all round!

Dusk at the park

Leigh Central Motorhome Park

We popped in here a year or so ago when Ian and his wife Heather had not long been at the helm of this neat little place.

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Looking across to the the parking

It also has quite a large Motel and Wedding reception area as part of it and since we were here last, they’ve added some some nice wee chalets which they call the Boathouses.

The Boathouses

The trees have grown, the loo and shower complex which they were installing last time are up and running and it is all looking really good.

Great view out across Omaha Bay

Being part of the NZMCA Camp saver program for off season parking is a bonus too.

Plenty of room

As we arrived, Ian and Heather were out wielding their tools adding baseboards to their accomodation at one end of the complex and although they were ovbiously busy, they couldn’t have more accomodating helping us to get setup.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

It’s nice to hear that they’ve been so busy as it really is a top place and very handy to a good Cafe and the pub is just around the corner.

The Reception area

The view out to Tawharanui Peninsular is spectacular.

View out to Tawaharanui

We really enjoyed coming back here and will be back more often. A lovely spot.

Rafe’s Tracker Map

The Vineyard bike ride

A couple of years ago we stayed here at Spring Creek and Managers, Andy and Christine had recently arrived from the  Orere Point Top 10 and were just getting started.

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Parked at Spring Creek

On our way to the ferry and wanting to check out the vineyards around Blenheim on the bikes, we thought this would be a perfect spot to stay. It was also good to catch up with Andy and Christine and see the changes they’ve made to their campground.

The Eel Park

We rocked in fresh from the Kaikoura Coast so it was nice to be able switch off, plug in and open a bottle of wine.

Nice Parking

The next day we were up earlyish and got the bikes ready for the loop around Blenheim.

The Bike trail to Blenheim on State Highway 1

Our first stop was at the Ritual Cafe in the centre of Blenheim and the food was amazing. We’ve been here before and the Coffee and food never fails!

Click on the Gallery below for the bike ride

After having lunch there we set off westward towards Allan Scotts Vineyard. I’m not sure of the distance biut probably an easy 10k’s or so, so the Chardy in their open Veranda was very well received. From there we headed to the Raukaura Shops and then back to the camp after a quick stop at the Chocolate factory.

Arriving!

The round trip was about 32k’s and I felt like I’d done some riding too.

Fiona in the open Veranda area

Last time we did much the same ride two or so years ago on Huff and Puff bikes, it took a whole morning. This time on Electric bikes, it took less than 1.5 hours. A big difference but I still felt the 32k’s !!

The Pine trees on the beach

While we were at Fairlie, I met our neighbours Peter and Val who were heading to Amberley to see their daughter. She just happened to live near the Campground at Amberley Beach. This was to be our next destination too.

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Rafe in the Park

After leaving Fairlie, we checked with old friends Ray and Margaret who have settled now in Geraldine. We met them at Peskis and they later showed us around Lake McGregor when we were with them at Tekapo. We had lots of fun together and it was neat to catch up with them again and see their house.

From here it was a quick stop at Christchurch to get some chemicals for the loo and then off to Amberley Beach.

The Non Dog area

We arrived there about 4pm and the shadows were already starting to get long. The camp is split into two bits. On the right is an area for Dogs and on the left is an area without Dogs. We went to the left and signed up and put our money in the “wooden maiden”. The cost is $5pp plus $5 for power.. very good value with some new loos nearby and the beach just through the sandhills.

Crossing to the pines

We went for a walk down to the beach just for a look and it looks fantastic with Pines on the foreshore in the sandhills.

Fabulous beach

It reminded me of when I was growing up in Christchurch, we used to have family holidays somewhere up this coast and I remember the pine trees that you had to run through to get to the beach and there were lots of old Cribs.. ahh the good old days !

Late Colours

It looked a bit bleak this time but this was only because it was getting late.

In the morning we left there and headed through to Kaikoura. Coming down from Wellington poured with rain all the way so we didnt get to see much but this time it was brilliant sunshine.

Its amazing what has been done here by the roading and railway people fixing things up after the earthquake. We saw some of the brave abseiling workers fixing back wire barriers to stop rocks falling. Amazing

The Pier Hotel

Arriving at Kaikoura for lunch, our first stop was to the Pier Hotel where we’ve eaten before. Looking across from there its amazing to see all the rocks that have been pushed up by the earthquake.

Looking across Kaikoura with all the new Rocks

One of the things still noticeable is the state of the roads around the area but Kaikoura is looking great and its great to see the good folk of Kaikoura bouncing back after such massive damage.

The Netspeed Speedtest Amberley
Download : 42.05 mbps
Upload : 12.16 mbps
Ping : 50 ms

Rafe’s Track North

Fairlie, the home of great pies and Campground!

Our aim after leaving Lowburn was to stay at Fairlie after getting a freezer full of one of the best pies in the South Island. They’re known as “Fairlie good pies” around the south but I reckon they’re Fairlie Amazing pies. Pork Belly with crackling, Chicken and Salmon and some other amazing options.

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Taken under a light in the Rafe – Pork Belly with the Crackling all ready eaten 🙂

 

After stopping at Lake Pukaki for lunch we hurtled on to Fairlie.

The place to stay in Fairlie is the Fairlie Holiday Park which is also taking part in the NZMCA’s Camp Saver program.

Nice parking

$20 a night for a powered site with everything else available. There is a dump station, great Toilets and showers in several places and a huge council playground right next door for the little ones.
They also have Dogs on leashes.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

This motorcamp up until about 6 years ago was part of the Top Ten network but closed. Mary Jane and her partner Dutchie have taken it from there and it looks fantastic.

Kitchen and Laundry

It is also only 5 minutes walk into the main shopping area one way and is next to a lovely huge river on the other side.

Looking through to the playground

Being able to park for the night in sites like this on the Camp Saver program is just fabulous and long may it continue and grow.

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 🙂

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,  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
Download : 59.00 mbps
Upload : 20.10 mbps
Ping : 71 ms

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 🙂

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)
Download : 48.3 mbps
Upload : 17.4 mbps
Ping : 49 ms

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.

The Netspeed Speedtest
Dowload : 39.25 mbps
Upload : 6.94 mbps
Ping : 154 ms

Rafe’s track to Kowhai Pass