Tag Archives: Campgrounds

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 🙂

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.

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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 🙂

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!

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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.  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 🙂

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.

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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 🙂

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

Perched overlooking the Harbour

After a couple of great days at the NZMCA Bell Block park and our 20k bike ride into town and back, it was time to kick back and blob out. We also needed to catch up with a washing machine too so we thought we’d try the Belt Road Holiday Park.

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Port Taranaki

We were lucky to get in after getting someones cancellation so I dropped Fiona off at the Gardens and checked in on my own.

Great Views

After getting rid of the livestock on the windscreen and all around the front of Rafe (Dead insects) I backed into this amazing little park. It was surrounded on three sides by a high hedge giving us quite a bit of privacy so out came the deck chairs and we enjoyed the moment.. as you do.

Rafe with the Hedges

Later after getting our clean washing, we went for a look around the park. There are quite few cabins and lots of people out in their tents. Lots of caravans and not so many Motorhomes.

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A great spot overlooking the harbour and for this time of the year, it was reasonably priced for a prime spot.

How is this view ?

For the two of us on a powered site it was $50.00

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Rafe’s Track to Belt Rd

Wow what a Park.

As we drove Rafe down from Awakino, I was quietly hoping that we would be able to squeeze in to the new NZMCA park in Bell Block, just outside New Plymouth.

A panorama from the top

I needn’t have worried as when we arrived there were only about 4 vehicles there and as the day went on, more popped in.

Its a HUGE park and really nicely set out with the 3 metre spacers in the ground so no room for arguments. There is one of the best Double sided Dump Stations there with Fresh water dotted all around the outside perimeter of the park. With nicely smoothed out Gravel all over the park, there is no worries if the heavens open up. It just couldn’t get any better.

The view from the top

We rode into the City via the Coastal Walkway and it is a 20k round trip and was easy on our Huff’n’Puff bikes!!

Checking out the seat
Mt Egmont at Dusk

Another nice spot and the seat on the top of the bank is a nice touch too 🙂

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Rafe’s map to the NZMCA park

Down by the Riverside

As we pulled in to this newish NZMCA park, we could see why some would be confused and miss it. It has an really interesting entrance which curls around to the left and down a hill by the entrance to the Otorohanga College but it is pretty clearly marked.

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The Entrance to the park

We arrived mid afternoon just before one of the 4 local Park Custodians Rob popped in to check all was ship shape. A nice guy and he gave us some good information of the park and where everything was.

Nice and Shady

The neighbours are interesting.. all cows but there are quite a few of them and the location right by the river is lovely. It seems that Otorohanga has had some issues over the years with flooding and there have been some big stop banks built but this area seems to be ok.

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There were quite a few Motorhomes and a couple of Caravans but  plenty of room for more.

A peep of the river behind

The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze.. another top spot to stay and only 800 metres into the shops. (15 minutes on a bike!)

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Rafe’s Tracker map

In sight of the mountain

We’ll be heading here again soon.. a lovely spot!

Friends in New Plymouth suggested I should have a look at Opunake but on the way from Hawera, I read about a small campsite at Kaupokonui Beach which is not far on the Opunake side of Manaia, about 4ks so I thought I’d give it a shot.
KaupokonuiThe campsite itself was down in a valley next to a river entrance to the sea with huge sandhills opposite. It looked the business but before I went down the valley, I stopped at the top to see if there was any internet around.. There was, so off I went.

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Campground with view
Campground with view

I met Jim in the office who was very a happy friendly guy who said that if I stayed for three days, it would be $15 per night.  I still had another week of unsupervised travel before Fiona came down so it sounded like a good plan 🙂
I parked up and almost immediately met my neighbours who were in their new Carado, which is made in the Hymer factory and is identical to the Dethleffs Sunlight. Dot and Ron were cruising in their new van and were originally from  Wellington. They have just sold their house and looking at what to do next.

Whitebaiters enjoying the river
Whitebaiters enjoying the river
Looking across from the Dunes
Looking across from the Dunes

The campground is great as it sits on a plateau above the river entrance. The level below is a favourite spot for whitebaiters and there is a footbridge which makes the Sandhills opposite, easily accessible.

I went for a couple of walks around and the first thing you notice is the quiet, the clean air and for the time I was here, it was non stop sunshine and no wind.
I also met three caravan/bus loads of people from Wanganui here for the weekend.

Our friends from Wanganui enjoying the sun.
Our friends from Wanganui enjoying the sun.

With the first Bledisloe test looming that night, he was having trouble with his sky card which I tested in our tv as well for him but I suspect it needs resetting by sky for not having had power for a few weeks.

Nice pic of Rafe with the mountain
Nice pic of Rafe with the mountain

I went to sleep ignoring the rugby but happened to wake up at midnight anyway and watched it then on Prime.. Great game.
For its money, it’s a nice camp in a great location and it’s not surprising it gets really busy in summer.

Cricket on the mudflats

Another nice contender for Summer 2018

Fiona had left Bland Bay and was heading back to town to do other things .. and work so she suggested that I spend another night out on the way back. We stopped in Waipu and had lunch and then Fiona went on to Auckland.

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The cricket pitch with the campground behind
The cricket pitch with the campground behind

I rang the good folk at one of my favorite spots when the weathers good, Whangateau by Matakana. A great campground run by Auckland City.

In the Grandstand
In the Grandstand

Today was a bit different as when I arrived, the tide was out and there was a friendly game of cricket with two families involved. One was from Whangaparoa and the other from the UK visiting. They were having a ball. I had to get some piccies.

It is a fascinating place to watch as the tide comes in really quickly covering hundreds of metres of exposed mud in just under an hour… Amazing to watch.

The water is coming in
The water is coming in

A nice campground if you’re looking for somewhere not to far from Auckland. See my earlier Whangateau post here.

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Rafes Track to Whangateau Holiday park

Rafes Tracker Map
Rafes Tracker Map

A Happy Place

Another nice place to consider for summer!

Fiona’s cousin Iain has been coming here for years, every holiday break and he calls it his “Happy Place” and I heard somone else call it this too… and its all true 🙂

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A Happy Place

Kaiteriteri is just a magic place in the world and with an off season deal for NZMCA members at $98 a week, it truly is happy time sitting there amongst other nice NZMCA’rs looking at the beach literally in front of your front bumper!

Long termers in the middle rows

We’d just stopped and parked in front of the reception and I was walking in to check in when I met Selwyn and Lynda. This was before I’d even checked in ! They were off on a walk over to Little Kaiteriteri via a lookout on a track through the bush. They showed me how to get there so we could do it to. What a welcome !

Close to the water

The receptionist was amazing too. She insisted that if we weren’t happy with the site, I could shift which we did later.

Huge

Its a huge campground with muliple ammenties blocks. In winter, they cut costs by closing all but one block. There are more than 400 powered sites and several cottages. They even have their own small supermarket and nearby are several bars and restaurants to suit all tastes . A very well setup campground.

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After checking in on a brilliantly fine day, we went for a walk up to the lookout at one end of the beach and Fiona carried on to Little Kaiteriteri for more exercise. That afternoon, we sat around the beach and checked out the camp.

Fiona at the lookout

Later in the day, we met up again with Selwyn and Lynda who were only parked two away from us so we commandeered an empty barbeque table and enjoyed an hour of laughs and something cold with them. They hadn’t come that far as they lived in Motueka or “Mot” as its known locally. This to me gives you some idea of how good they think it is at Kaiteriteri when they could be anywhere.

Looking down from the lookout

The next day, we took off in Rafe over to the next bay around Marahau. It is a really bendy, twisty road and we averaged probably 30 k all the way there. Interesting though to see and it is another lovely bay. From here you can go right up into the Abel Tasman Park. We headed back on another easier road and stopped for a cup of tea at the charming coffee shop in Riwaka.

Looking across to Little Kaiteriteri

We have been here before a couple of years ago with Gary and Chris with their Fuso. But weren’t here long enough to have a good look around.

Lovely spot and a very Happy Place !

Rafes Track to Kaiteriteri