Tag Archives: Extra Value Parking

Paradise at Ruakaka

From the moment I stepped out of Rafe at Ruakaka Holiday Park, everything about this place is HUGE. There are more than 260 powered sites and the camp is spread out over 13 hectares. The camp is divided into several regions each having their own ablution blocks.

The land that it sits on and its layout and the views are absolutely sensational.Β  Everywhere I looked I could see nice images.

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My view

It also is a participant in the NZMCA’s Camp saver program and owner Anne-Marie says it is working well for them. They also do off peak weekly stays too.

On the waterfront

I was interested to see their information sheet included how to park within your site to ensure that everyone has 3 metres separation. I think this is good news as many Holiday ParksΒ  parking is far to close for fire safety.

Great parking

I was a bit lucky to get one of the waterfront sites facing out to Marsden Point and Bream Head even though it was pretty exposed to the easterly nasties that came through, it was really nice to wake up to a great view when the weather played the game.

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The weather wasn’t that flash with an amazing thunder and lightning storm coming through with showers before and after but there was enough fine weather to get some nice images.

Old friends Mark, Tina, Gary and Chris all live around the corner in Ruakaka beach so it a good opportunity to pop in and see them too.

And just around the corner

This campground though has it all.. the views and the sites are spectacular with great facilities.

Ruakaka Beach is just down the road and there is a Bird Sanctuary to walk through too.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Ruakaka

Pakiri Beach

The last time I went to Pakiri, I was in my teens and it was at the time that we had carless days and huge petrol costs. Two of us went up to Pakiri in a ’62 pillarless Chev Impala and camped with the car and a small tent. Remember those days πŸ™‚

Apart from the horrendous cost in getting there and back with a two stage auto and V8, I still remember it as being a fun weekend away.

Click on an Image to enlarge it.This was to be different and after all those years, the thing that struck me the most was how different it was from my memories from long ago. The office now includes a store for basic provisions and was closer to the beach than I remembered but it is still a magic spot to go to for a break.

Next to the river

When I arrived, I’d just come down a wet and windy Leigh road down the hill and Rafe was absolutely covered in mud.

Manager Rachel couldn’t have been nicer in showing me where to park and although I was given an option of having a view of the river behind some pines, I chose to park a little further away in preference of getting a good TV signal and some winter sun.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Being a participant in the NZMCA’s Camp saver program, Rachel said it was working well for them. With power and access to their great facilities, it makes it really worth doing even if it is the middle of winter. Its a really nice place to be and away from all the hustle and bustle and only an hour or so from Auckland πŸ™‚

Outdoor eating

I’d only been there a few minutes when two people from Wellington rocked in with their rented Maui Campervan. They had taken advantage of the Maui discount after lockdown and were out around the North Island. That’s them in the piccy below.

Late in the day

I went for a wander down to the beach to see what was where.. There was a film crew down there doing a fashion shoot for some ads, a great spot for that.

Close to the beach

The park is right on the river and estuary and an easy walk to the beach. The park is probably three quarters occupied by annual semi permanent caravans and cabins but there is plenty of easy parking for motorhomes and casual overnight stays.

I thought he was waving at me but I’m sure I was too far away.

A lovely spot, nice facilities and a helpful crew, well worth the trip and it brought back some great memories.Β  I’ll be going back again but this time on the sealed road from Wellsford:-)

Rafe’s tracker map out of Pakiri

Elton’s Farewell

We were on a mission to see the last tour of Elton John and almost all of his original Musicians that he started out with 50 odd years ago. They’re all in their 70’s now and looking and sounding really good too.

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The afternoon view

We were staying at the Taradale Club as we did last year for the Phil Collins concert which worked out really well being just a 15 minute walk from the Mission Estate Concert venue. Just over the road, The NZMCA had a Motorhome parking area for members so that was handy too. They did this for the Phil Collins concert too.

The Niessman and Rafe.

Friends Gary and Dianne had bought the tickets for us and arranged the Taradale Club for us, so all we had to do was front up and enjoy it πŸ™‚

The NZMCA park over the road.

The Club put on a BBQ tea for the first night and a Breakfast the next morning (Extra !) which made life easy. We basically loafed about in the sun until it was time to gather our stuff together and head off round the corner to the venue.

The Neissman and Rafe

There were hundreds of people but it was all very organised and we easily found a spot on the bank to settle down and watch the show.

Gary, Dianne and Fiona at the concert.

There were a few very inebriated people there which annoyed a few but the concert was fantastic. The sound was great and given that they’re all in their 70’s, I thought it was great. I have to admit to not really being a concert person but I’m pleased I went to this one. Unlike the Phil Collins concert the weather behaved itself and was fantastic.

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We set off down the hill when it all finished back to Rafe and Gary and Diannes Neissman for a quite Pinot to finish off with πŸ™‚

Great Crowd
Eletons original Drummer Nigel Ohlsson in his suit.
Elton..

A lot of fun and I’m pleased I went and we didn’t get wet in the process either πŸ™‚

Rafe’s track

Planes and Sunshine

The Pauanui Club parking is just the best. Even when its busy.

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The park

Our Grandchildren’s other Grandparents have had a bach down here for a long time so Alex and Sarah head here with the kids when they can. Its a lovely spot too just up from the beach and easy bike riding from the Pauanui Club for us.

Lots to do

We also caught up with an old school friend of Fiona’s who have a house down here too. Evan and Janette bring their family down here too and it was nice to spend an eveing with them as well.

Parked in Pauanui

The parking area was as busy as it has ever been with several regulars commenting on how busy it was. At one stage there were 3 vans who couldn’t get near a power plug, and for those that did have power, the main circuit breaker popped in the mornings when all the toasters and jugs went on. All in all though it is fantastic value and theyre just the best to deal with.

One of the old timers
up up and away

Next door all the holiday makers with vintage planes had bought them over from Auckland for the Whitianga air show so it was neat to see them doing their thing.

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We went for a walk into the shops which are only minutes away via a tunnel and it was amazing to bump into so many people we knew… a bit scary πŸ™‚

The Township

A great few days in a nice place and the nice thing is you can bike everywhere !

Rafe’s track to Pauanui

Cruising Ideas for Summer – South Island

This post has a lots more ideas for the Summer..

Otago Rail Trail

Click on this link to see a trip we did around South Island earlier this year late last year.

And we were down there last year too !

People enjoying a walk on the Trail

The latest posts will come out first so scroll to the bottom to get the chronological order πŸ™‚
Enjoy

Always fun at Pahi

Pahi is a lovely spot and my go to place for a real Blob out.

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The parking area with the old Hotel in the corner

It has a very reasonably priced community campground run by the locals and just recently they have invested in some gravel so can provide some all weather parking which is great. I’ve been here after some heavy rain in the past and it was very boggy so a great improvement.

Great outlook

I didn’t get the chaps name who served me in the office but very helpful and cheery.

Looking down from the road

After settling down Rafe, I went for a walk down to the Wharf where there was a local painting his boat. It was an older launch probably in the early 1920’s odd and he was doing a great job. I had a great chat to him while watching his roller dry πŸ™‚ He would have been happy chatting all day but thought I’d better cut it short so he could finish the job πŸ™‚

The new Gravel

Back at Rafe, I joined the neighbours who had two Caravans from both Dargaville and Whangarei for a natter.

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How to get here.., From the Brynderwyn turnoff. Head to Paparoa and turn left down the Pahi Peninsula until you can’t go any further. Its about 5 k’s from Paparoa.

Painting the boat
Lovely beach

Another great hideaway on the Kaipara harbour and great parking at a great price.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Pahi

Bliss at Tinopai

Turning left at the Bryndrwyn’s is the Kauri Coast road which heads all the way to Dargaville and beyond to the Hokianga Harbour. About 27k’s along is the little settlement of Matakohe where the Kauri Museum is and about another 20 k’s off to the left is the lovely little settlement of Tinopai.

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Its down the end of this peninsular that juts down into the Kairapa Harbour where you’ll find the Tinopai Campground, right on the waters edge.

The Campground

With Fiona at work and this being somewhere I’ve wanted to come and see, this was me for a couple of nights. At $10 a night with power right on the waterfront, it doesn’t get much better.
There are Toilets and $1 showers along with a small Laundry.

I was parked in Chris’s Parade.. yahoo

After settling in Rafe and putting some chocks under the front wheels, I went for a wander. Right next door is the Marina.. VERY tidal with all of the boats sitting in the mud at low tide.

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I’d only been there an hour or so when a local on a quad bike came around giving away fish. I didn’t have any filleting gear so politely declined but what a fantastic atmosphere. Later that day, Sue the campground lady popped around giving away fruit off a tree..

The following day Lillian and Lester arrived with their Dethleffs Esprit and parked right next door and we enjoyed a couple of cold ones out of the wind later in front of Rafe.

Neat spot

Tinopai used to have a service station which sadly has closed so you do need to be aware that there are no shops or services here. Its very remote but you can get an Internet signal if you have Netspeed or WN.

A lovely spot to come and get away from it all and very reasonably priced.

Rafes track to Tinopai

Swinging high at Arapuni

Slightly off the beaten track south of Karapiro but part of the Waikato River Trail is the little town of Arapuni. Its an amazing spot with a really impressive historical Swing Bridge and an old power station built into the side of a hill.

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Looking up to the Power Station

The Swing Bridge was built in the early 1920’s so that workers for the power station could get to work. The power station is the oldest and the largest in capacity and was opened in 1929. It is now under the protection of the Historic Places trust and signs at the site, show the effort that went into protecting it from possible Japanese bomb attack during the war by camouflaging it.

Leonies Motorhome parking

And just down the road from the bridge, Leonie runs a great Motorhome and caravan site in her back yard which is a flat paddock, where NZMCA’rs can stay for $10 with power, toilet and shower. There are modern 10 power points and its really easy parking. You might need levelling ramps in some areas but its all very easy with an honesty box and simple instructions.

Neat parking

The site is an easy walk to the bike trail and to the town and to the Swing Bridge which is spectacular. Its well worth the walk and is only 10-15 minutes away on foot, either along the road or via the bike trail just outside the park.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

I’m not one for heights now I’m getting a bit older and a bit more sensible, so it took me a couple of go’s before I went out in the middle of the bridge πŸ™‚ .. but in my defence, there was a lot of wind πŸ™‚
I’m pleased I did though.. check out the image below.

The Power Station from the bridge

On the way back to Rafe, I stopped in at the only shop on the main road which happily is a Cafe. I stopped for lunch on the way back to Rafe. The food is great and they do a great coffee too!

Leonie’s Motorhome Park is fantasticΒ  and we’ll be back with the bikes to do the trails around here.

Rafe’s Tracker map

1600 Motorhomes and counting !

This has to be the biggest Motorhome and Caravan rally ever held in NZ.Β  Apparently nearly 1700 vehicles parked over the course of the 4 days.

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Huge

As I came down the hill, all you could see in all directions was lots of white roofs of Motorhomes and Caravans along with a few other colours but mostly white of course!

The early morning walk past Rafe

The volunteer parkers did a fantastic job. I arrived at the bottom of the hill and then realised I didn’t have any cash but with a rustle through Rafe, I eventually found some Washing machine money and had just enough!

Friends, Bruce and Judy’s Globe4 in the crowd.

Early the next morning I went for a walk around the edges and it was just amazing to see so many here. Despite the early hour, there were plenty of people out walking their dogs and enjoying the sunshine.

People leaving early

Breakfast Time

From the top of the hill in the fog
On the road

A great job done by the organisers and fantastic job by the volunteers. Thanks Guys.

Lovely early morning walk

Rafe’s Tracker Map

On the banks of the mighty Waikato

Just past Tuakau is a lovely new Campground on the banks of the river.

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Glorious spot

It is run by the good folk at the Tuakau Hotel on land that used to be where the sand was loaded up and shipped off and its in a beautiful spot.

All weather parking

The campground has been constructed from scratch with about 8 dead flat gravelled sites with power and a barbeque table overlooking the river. It couldn’t be in a better spot and well thought out.

Perfect seating

We popped in to the Tuakau Hotel which is just a few k’s away and spoke to Tash at the Hotels Accomodation office where we were given the full rundown on what was where and in case we forgot, there was also a sheet of everything we needed to know along with a key for the water and the codes for the automated gate and shower block. The cost is $20 per site for two with power which I reckon is extremely good value.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

After settling down and opening some vents, I went for a bit of a look around.

Looking down the river

There are three quite large self contained cabins too which can be rented which look out over the river too.

Looking across from the cabins

In the morning I went for a walk along the rivers edge to see the whitebaiters in full swing where I met Anthony who drives down here from Mt Wellington to do his whitebaiting. He was doing well and showed me piccies of his catch from the day before.

Whitebaiter Anthony from Mt Wellington

A lovely spot not far from the Tuakau Bridge on the way to Port Waikato.

The Netspeed Speedtest (Not great here)
Download : 2.68 mbps
Upload : 0.85 mbps
Ping : 48 ms

Rafes Tracker Map