Tag Archives: Great beachs

A Happy Place

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

At the Beach

Nelson is one of my favorite places. Its waterfront with the houses built into the hill, the bars and eateries next to the water and over the water, it is special. Its also flat so makes it easy to get around on a bike.

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Looking out towards Kaiteriteri

We’ve stayed at Tahuna Beach Holiday Park before in Wee Rafe the caravan several years ago and thought we’d give it another go.

A flash back to when we were there last ..Wee Rafe at Tahuna

Its huge! 540 powered sites and it covers a huge area. What I like about it though is the area at the far end which they call the old area, under the trees which is right on the water.

Rafe parked in the beautiful CSC area with the beach
All that space

In winter, they have a deal where NZMCA’rs with CSC can park down the end for $10 pp on the basis that they use their own facilities. They give you access to water, Dump Station and Power only. This deal can only be used for 3 days per month max. Its a good arrangement but we’re staying on for a few more days in the new area for the full rate of $36 with the NZMCA discount which is still very good value.

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Down the other end in the new area, there are new facilities and hard standing parks. Its all very nice. There is a mini golf course, a Restaurant and Cafe and a jumping pillow if you feel like a bounce 🙂

The new parking area

I went for a walk around and the place is massive. You could easily get lost here and being right on the harbour, its a stunning location.

Looking over the fence

There is even a shaped Auditorium in the grass with a stage for summer events. There are also lots of motels and cabins and permanent caravans too but they’re all in a separate area.

After the first few days, we moved up to the new area with all the mod cons. All the services were bunched together on top of a small hill which was nice with a courtyard in between. Laundry, showers, toilets etc.

Rafe in the distance in the new area. Taken from the raised kitchen.

We went for a  walk across the estuary when the tide went out and over to a small forest opposite. Lots of things to see and do.

Fiona on the estuary.

A cool place to stay in a nice town.

Rafe’s track to Tahuna

 

Waterfront Mansion

Without wanting to annoy our old neighbours, we spent a couple of nights down by the Marina in front of my son Andrew’s house while we sorted out some Winter clothing for the South Island. It was nice to catch up with some of our old friends around the marina and such a nice place to stay.

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Beside the Marina

There were still two nights to go before we were catching up with our Devonport friends before our South Island trip so we thought we’d treat ourselves to Takapuna Motor Camp and check it out since we’d voted for it to stay.

The Tide is in and what a view.

At $47 a night for two on a waterfront site, it seemed to be to be on the pricey side but once you see the site on a good day, it is just magnificent and on our second morning, I received a text from good friend Alan asking if he could “come for a coffee at our Waterfront Mansion”.

Close to the water parking.

The Camping ground is great. It is only small so I could imagine it would be easily and often booked out on school holidays and Christmas Holidays.

You can rent these.

Standard Sites are  $42 and they also have chalets and caravans you can stay in. Loos and showers are free and are fantastic. The shower I had was one of the best ever with real pressure.

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We went for a walk one night into the Takapuna main street, Hurstmere Rd, for an ice cream, an easy 15 minute walk.

Rangitoto Island

I grew up about a block away and went to primary school about three blocks away so I’ve been keen to see what its like but living locally, I’ve never had a need to stay here but I can say its absolutely a primo spot. It is handy to everything and being right on the water with a view of Rangitoto like this, it doesn’t get much better.

Great Beach

There is also a really nice Café right next door and the coastal walk goes all the way around to Milford from right in front of the Campground.

Rafe’s track from the marina to Takapuna.

West Coast Beauty

We spent a nice couple of nights with the two Grandsons and their parents at Ardmore and then we headed off to Port Waikato for our last night away for the weekend.

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The Jandal Wall

The last time I came to Port Waikato in the middle of last year, the camp was run by a very helpful French chap who couldn’t do enough for you.

Last year in October, the camp was bought out by a Hapu of Tainui and the welcome we got from manager Mathew was unbelievable.

He’s a lovely guy and again was just so helpful. With the new management comes some enthusiasm to do a few deals to rev things up in winter. The deal we had was pay for one adult and get another one free for a powered site which was amazing. Where else do you get this with all the other facilities too 🙂

The Powered sites

After finding a nice spot for Rafe and settling down, Fiona and I decided to walk the 1k or so down to Sunset beach. A nice easy flat walk and the beach is amazing. There is something that is quite magical about our West Coast beaches.

We spent an hour so  taking it all in and then headed back to Rafe.

Sunset beach

As it was a holiday park and despite the cold weather, the park was reasonably busy with plenty of caravans and lots of Bach owners in their permanent chalets in the park.

Great decorating skills

Some have gone to some trouble to set them apart from the others.

Along the beach

The rain came down overnight which we expected and we enjoyed a leisurely run home with very little traffic.

On the Estuary

Its a great spot, the camp is well setup and with Mathew on the handlebars now, you’ll really enjoy your stay. Check it out.

Rafes Tracking map

Huge, Close to Auckland and very reasonable

This amazing campground started out as a picnic area in the early 1900’s. About 1949, all 34 acres of it was developed into a campground and run by the Rodney Council.  As time went on the council decided it wanted to divest of its interest in the Campground. The local bach owners got together and wisely formed a company with the bach owners as shareholders and the Pinewoods campground is run as part of this.

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Looking towards Orewa. Baches on top of the cliff. Orewa in the distance.

There is a green with a stage and a big screen for movies and entertainment for kids in the summer. Plenty of neat play equipment and lots of lawn to run around on.

Some of the baches

Many of the current bach owners have been coming to Pinewoods all their lives with parents or even grandparents, and lots of children looks forward to the Christmas holidays when there is films, fishing contests, talent shows, beauty pageants, a sports day, and even tennis and golf tournaments (for the not so young).

It really is a well set out place and HUGE.

The new pads with new power boxes.

The Motorhome park I stayed on was one of ten new concrete pads with new power boxes and plenty of water taps and even grey water disposal every second or third site.

Baches forever.

Toilets and Showers were handy and and spotlessly clean.

With the NZMCA discount, I was charged $16 a night in the offseason which I thought was very reasonable.

From Jacobs Ladder looking towards Orewa

I went for a walk around when I first arrived as the weather was due to deteriorate. I ended up right at the top of the Camground where there is a very robust set of concrete steps down to a small private beach called Jacobs Ladder. Apparently it is very popular for fishing off the rocks.

From the bottom of Jacobs Ladder

Around further is access to the Red Beach Surf life saving area which the camp helped setup years ago. A neat sandy beach and safe for the littlies for swimming.  I’ll be back, a great spot with friendly staff too.

And down a short pathway, Red Beach looking stunning.

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Rafe’s track to this magic spot

Glinks by the Sea

That sounds much posher than Glinks Gully 🙂

About 20 k’s South west of Dargaville is the small settlement of Glinks Gully. There are  lots of Baches and homes there with a fabulous beach. See Rafe’s Tracker map at the bottom for directions.

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I arrived around lunchtime with the intention of staying the night but given the state of the campground and how long and low Rafe is, I decided not to stay but its a neat spot if you’ve got a smaller and higher ground clearance Motorhome.

On the beach

The views are stunning straight down to the beach. There is an honesty box in the roundhouse like kitchen and the cost to stay with the NZMCA discount would have been $10 for me on my own.

The Kitchen roundhouse with Rafe behind

I parked Rafe thankfully without scraping on anything underneath and then went for a look around. I wandered down to the beach to check it out and once you get to the edge of the water, you can look in both directions and it is endless. The sun was shining and it was a great day so it was perfect for checking it all out.

I walked back to the camp up the hill and decided that I wouldn’t relax worrying about getting Rafe out in the morning so decided to head out again. I ended up having a 10-15 minute conversation with one of the local farmers parked in the middle of the road. The locals are really friendly and he was encouraging me to head down to Poutu to check out the lighthouse at the bottom of the peninsula. Another time..

Looking north

A great place to stay but I would recommend only for Motorhomes less than 7 metres and with plenty of ground clearance.

Rafes Tracker Map to Glinks Gully

Glinks Gully on the coast

Happy at Hahei

We’d survived the weather as fortunately the storm veered away from Coromandel and left us with plenty of rain but no wind.

Debris after the storm

I woke up early on Good Friday and took Rafe around to the dump station and got prepared for the next few days at our prebooked beachfront site. Fiona was driving down to Ardmore to be picked up by Helen and Rob and they were due to arrive around the middle of the day. Rob was following in their new Autotrail Tracker with daughter Chloe.

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Our wee spot in paradise

When I arrived up at the beachfront site, there was another little Swift rental alongside. I jumped out to move a BBQ table out of the way and Eric from the Swift gave me a hand. Eric and his wife Mary Ann were from Victoria in Canada and were traveling around NZ.

About 11am, I received a call from Fiona to say that they had arrived and that the camp wouldn’t allow them to come in until 11:30. Seriously?  This does nothing to create a holiday atmosphere!

Our little setup with the tables. The Tracker and Rafe

Half an hour went by and Rob brought the Tracker in to park. As Rafes door is on the right and the Trackers door is on the left, I suggested I move to Rob’s park so the doors faced each other. This turned out to work really well as Gary, Dianne, Neil, Christine and even Eric and Mary Ann all came around to join us for drinks and nibbles for several nights. A lot of fun.

Happy Hour. LtoR: Dianne, Gary, Fiona, Christine, Neil, Helen, Chloe and Rob
Happy at Hahei

Back to friday. As the day went on, the park got more people in but by Sunday morning, it was really only about 1/3rd full.

Its a great park, a stunning location where our parks on the beachfront had tracks directly down to the sand. We were effectively parked on the back of the sand dunes.

Beachfront parking
The outlook 🙂

Toilets were handy, Gary and Diannes Beachfront cottage was right next to us, it couldn’t be better.

Beachfront cottages behind us.

My only comment would be that I found there was definitely room for improvement in the welcoming process at the office.  To be fair this may have been stress caused by the cancellations they would have had.

The stunning beach

All the same, I have to rate it as one of the better Motorcamps around in a great place and we had a lot of fun.

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Rafe’s Tracker Map

To Hahei