We trekked back to Martinborough on the Saturday morning to a busy Martinborough rugby ground. There were Caravans and Motorhomes for Africa. It was the day of the Fair so people had come from far and wide.
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The park was an amazing place and having gone to virtually having it to ourselves a weekend before with the Cruise Martinborough event to it being as busy as it was was great.
Friends Gary and Dianne, and Ian and Lynda went to Ngawi while we were in Greytown and they arrived back the day before. We met John and Yvonne from Ruakaka in their Dethleffs Nomad Caravan and they were here again too. It was going to be a fun weekend.
We all walked into town and had a good cruise around the Market. Where there were Hot Rods and Classic cars a week before, there were stalls in every corner. It was amazing.
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next door in the Park
This guy was fantastic
The food carts were popular
One of the things I really enjoy doing at these events is simply buying a lime thickshake and a bun and sitting in a street side cafe and watch the world go by. Its great fun.
After a couple of hours of checking out every nook and cranny, we headed back to the park for something wet and cold. The wind finally dropped off a bit, but was bitterly cold. It allowed us to move out into the field where there was some raucous laughter amongst some dancing and singing along.
The big day for Cruise Martinborough is when all the cars start in Puruatanga park, where we were staying and then all roar into the town square and completely surround the main square.
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It is truly a magnificant sight. The park in the middle under the trees, gets covered in portable deck chairs from the car owners to shelter from the sun. The coffee and Ice Cream carts are doing a roaring trade. The Cafe’s are flat out and its just a neat scene of people everywhere wandering through the magnificent old Fords, Chevrolets and many others.
The time and money that has gone into these cars is unbelievable and it is not until you get a close up look at some of them that you can appreciate the craftsmenship involved.
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People enjoying the sights
Time for a photo
The pie carts were busy
Cruising in the park
American muscle everywhere you look
We spent an hour or so having a good look around before settling for a good old fashioned lime thickshake from a milkshake bar in the square.
An amazing scene with several retailers saying that they wished it happened more often 🙂 So do I !
We had arrived in Rafe along with Ian and Lynda with their XLI, and Gary and Dianne with their Niesmann and Bichoff Arto at the NZMCA parking area at the Rugby Ground at Martinborough.
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The official Motorhome and caravan parking was at Puruatanga Park. In previous years this has been called Cruise Central but this year it was simply a registration area.
We arrived mid afternoon on the first day and were directed to park around the end of a fence which was just perfect.
Early one morning.. it was probably after 9am 🙂 you could hear the dulcit tones of many Ford and Chev V8’s arriving for registration before they headed off to the Drag strip at Masterton for a day of action!
More and more cars kept coming to the point that I thought I should shift Rafe out of the way but there was plenty of room.
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A V8 Hillman with a Home made Tear Drop
Many of the Woman dressed up really nicely in Polka Dot dresses and Parasols but the chaps seemed happy in their cut off jeans and T shirts which seemed a bit of a let down 🙂 .. whatever spins your wheels I suppose !
Some amazing vehicles and it was nice being able to walk amongst them and talk to the people involved with them.
An hour so so later, they were leaving for Masterton for the Drag Strip. A real spectacle and good to see so many cars so nicely looked after.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been wanting to visit Martinborough while the Cruise Martinborough festival was on and this time, it was a happening thing. Nothing to get in the way!
We set off from Ardmore early and by mid afternoon, we found ourselves half way along the Napier Taupo road heading for Hastings. Fiona had tracked down a long lost family friend in Havelock North and we were determined to catch up with her. Annie was a very close friend of Fiona’s late father Norm and she is just a lovely lovely lady. She also did the flowers and helped Fiona at our wedding a hundred years ago. By getting here in one day meant that we had a day to catch up with Annie before we caught up with other friends also going to Martinborough.
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We checked in at an Orchard Parking spot in Hastings. As I drove in, I was welcomed by Rose the Manager, who cheerfully showed me where everything was and helped me get the power sorted ($15 a night) and left us to settle down Rafe. It was almost 5 pm and our neighbours, Sharon and Allan in a 5th wheeler were getting their chairs ready for happy hour amongst the apple trees so we joined them with some other friends of theirs. Lots of fun and nice people. The sun was shining and we were having fun.
Early the next morning, there was a knock on the door and it was Dick Spiekerman bearing gifts. A bag of Walnuts and a bag of Oranges along with a big smile and happily showed me around the property. A lovely guy who clearly is passionate about the property and its amenities for Motorhomers.
They’ve had the Orchard for about 30 years but the parking area has been running for about 8 years. Dick and Elly Spiekerman have had several caravans and 5th Wheelers and still get away from time to time. Now retired he has leased out the business and the Parking area is his new passion.
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The Happy Hour Pavilion by the court
Rafe at Napier. A wonderful spot
A tennis court with a Happy Hour pavilion, a toilet and a shower along with a cold weather happy hour room and only 10 minutes drive to Hastings. What more could you want.
They also do long term parking.
We caught up with Annie and her daughter and grandaughter, at her home in Havelock, and then later joined up with friends at Clifton Beach ready for the trip to Martinborough.
Fiona and I had both taken 6 months off for a trip to Europe and to go around the South Island and we were really looking forward to it..
After getting back from Europe in early August and with our house still rented out, we immediately went to Taupo to pick up Rafe who was being cared for in Gary’s shed by Gary’s neighbour Chris… kind chaps that they are !
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We returned to Auckland to get a few things done like drop down steadies on Rafe and a couple of other things and then we were off.
We left Auckland and first stop was Taupo with Gary and Dianne, who we’d been around Europe with and other Motorhome friends Ian and Lynda. A few nights there, a night in Mangaweka, then to Wellington to catch up with my son Alex who commutes from Auckland, then onto the ferry and the adventure began.
Best Park over property (POP) – Peski’s in Geraldine where we spent nearly two weeks.
Best free Parking – Lowburn on the lake front.. a week of perfect weather helped here 🙂
I’ll let the Image Gallery below tell the story of the trip. Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow.
Rafe at the Mangaweka Campground
Entering the Tory Channel. North Island behind
Rafe with the handbrake on with people getting off at Picton.
Looking across towards Nelson with the snow on the tops of the hills
Some extras with the daffodils
Dogs exercising their owners.
I can feel a drink coming on
The famous Restaurant over the water.
Looking down the main street with the Old St Peters Church and the Windmill behind. The Windmill was in the main street of Nelson for many years.
Fiona on the Bristol Freighter
The Bristol Freighter
The port and the shops
Late afternoon in the sun
Looking down from the lookout
A Happy Place
The Moutere Inn
Dusk looking down Reeftons main street with the old lights lighting the street.
The Bearded Miners. Gavin, Peter and Mark
People collecting Driftwood down by the Greymouth Breakwater
ith rafe outside that famous Hotel
The Jetty down at Lake Mahinapua
The Bar. Amazing working cash register
Fiona with the fire at the Empire
Up in the Historic Gold area
The Franz Josef Glacier. See if you can spot a Helicopter
Rafe at Hawea
The amazing dump station with the grates in the ground at Queenstown
Queenstown with Jacks Point on the right
Fiona and Jessa at Q’town
Fiona checking out the Fairlight Railway Station
A Train at the Station
Inside the carriage – Lumsden
The Texaco Tanker Invercargill
Fiona in the café done up as a 50’s Kitchen
Curio bay looking towards the campground
The park setup – Lawrence
One of the Roxburgh pubs
A sluicing lake behind the park _ Roxburgh.
Close to the bike trail – Roxburgh
Fiona nearly at Roxburgh
A view over Clyde
The old Hotel
The road through the vineyard through the Kawarau Gorge
The kawerau River from the road
Jessa checking out a Pinot Gris at Mt Rosa
Lunch at the historic Gibbston Valley Tavern
The Ophir Bridge
The Function Centre – Omakau
The front of the Hotel
Starting off at Ranfurly Railway Station
Fiona arriving at Wedderburn
Once the tea rooms, now a museum.
The Dunedin Railway Station
Along the Platform
The Taieri train
In the Railway Station
The Pergola with a peep of Dunedin at the end.
Outside the ballroom
The main street at Rush hour 😉 Waimate
The Oamaru Wharf
Plenty of room
Sue (Peskis) with her new Letterbox
The gardens at Peskis
Fiona checking out the Hats
Cheers at Geraldine
One of the performing groups
Fiona with her great auntie Jeannie’s Morris
The interior of Johns truck
Fiona with the Cadburys Chocolate
Lake Tekapo late on our first day
Love the different layers in the colour
The Stone Church with the tourists
Happy Hour with all our visitors at Tekapo. Cell pic
A bridge across the river
Across Lake McGregor
Our neighbours Jim and Lynley back at the NZMCA park
The first Tunnel
On the way back to Omakau
A Miners hut
On the way to the Stamper Battery
Fiona gold panning
Under the mountains
Rafe in front of the house plugged in. The visitors area on the very left.
The boat club down by the NZMCA park
Parked behind the Gate in Cromwell
Ross is a great character.. the birthday boy.
The pools at Hamner
Fiona enjoying the heat.
Look at all that water.
Fiona at the market – Nelson
The Church cafe – Richmond
The bar at the cellar Door
Lots of Motorhomes on the deck
Ian and Gary with all the polishing toys!
We met some wonderful people along the way and had some nice 5pm catchups in some fantastic places.
The weather was superb. Fiona reckons we only had 1 wet day in the South Island! I reckon it was 3 but the weather really looked after us, if anything it was quite hot with a record breaking 33C in Cromwell on the day we decided to do a bike ride from Lowburn to the Historic Precinct and back !
The difference in Fuel prices between the different parts of NZ was quite noticeable with the highest I saw at $1.48 a litre for diesel around Hanmer and the lowest $1.19 in Cromwell. We filled up in Takanini before we left at $.98 a litre! As Fiona says though Hay Ho.. when in Rome !
One of the things that really surprised me as we went around was how many people recognised us from this Blog and who made themselves known. It was fantastic to meet you and to hear your feedback. We’re fast approaching 400,000 views which is amazing in less than 2 years!
We’re back in Auckland with our feet up for a bit before we set off again.
They’re a great couple and have been fulltiming in the Commanche now for nearly 2 years and loving the lifestyle.
After tea they joined us for a cup of coffee and a biscuit in Rafe. As Fiona says, they were the inspiration for us to try fulltiming so it was good to catch up with them and see how they were going.
The Richmond Motorhome park is part of the A&P grounds in Richmond and is extremely good value with powered sites for just $15. There are toilets, several washing machines and recyling and rubbish collection.
We left the next morning for the day to go into Nelson to see Monty’s market in the middle of town.
Interesting seeing people out having fun in the sun looking for the bargains.
After this we went to find somewhere nice for lunch and came across a group of three cafes all on the one site on the way to Motueka, about 2k’s from Richmond.
We initially thought they were owned by the same person but they are separate and competing businesses. We stopped in at the Waimea Cellar Door Cafe which was quite quirky and rustic with its décor. There is another cafe in a Church next door called la Capilla and also a burger bar called Abbey Road.
They had a deal on for a cup of coffee and a scone for $7 so we did that and then had a cider and a glass of the Waimea Chardonnay. Very nice it was too and a generous pour as well!
They all look like nice places with plenty of easy Motorhome parking around the back.
Country music isn’t really our thing but I was really keen to check out the Hoedown so we decided to spend a night there and see what it was all about.
After spending a few days at Lowburn, we went into Cromwell town for supplies and while Fiona went for a walk, I popped in to see my old friend Ross who’s celebrating his 70th at the end of the week.
I haven’t seen Ross for several years so it was nice to see him and he had lots to talk about. He’s a writer and had some deadlines so after 20 minutes or so, I headed for the Hoedown.
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Parking was easy. There were two chaps with Hi Vis vests on directing the traffic into parks very efficiently and I slipped into a park where I could easily get out in case I had to pick up Fiona. She was walking to the racecourse from Cromwell, about 2k.
We were aware that old Caravanning friends, Henny and Rory from Christchurch were going to the Hoedown and we thought this would be a great opportunity to catch up them as we had missed them a couple of times.
The official statistic for the Motorhomes and Caravans was 140 on the Friday when we were there.
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The big Marquee
Fun in the Sun
A lot of Motorhomers and Caravanners and there was plenty of room for more!
It was a very festive scene and everyone seemed to be enjoying the moment I went for a walk around the park on the first day and it was a great scene.
Later in the day, Rory called and we joined both Rory and Henny in their Leisureline Caravan for a few cups of coffee and a catchup. It was nice to see them again.
After a cuppa in the morning with them both, we headed back to the side of the lake at Lowburn.