Tag Archives: Great beachs

A night out at Rakino on the Whaler

The forecast was fantastic, no sign of any rain or wind so we were heading off from Milford to go to Rakino Island about 9k’s away. For those overseas readers, it is one of the furthest Islands out from Auckland behind Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands.

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Rorqual at the Marina berth shortly before we set off.

Rorqual was all ready to go and we were off. A quick call to the Bridge operators by son Andrew to open the bridge and we were on our way.


Andrew driving Rorqual out of Milford Marina.
Turn the volume up to hear that 400hp Turbo charged Detroit!

We had just got out a bit beyond Castor Bay when friend Greg Fenwick rang Andrew from his house up on the cliff watching us go by. He could hear distinctive roar from the Detroit as we went past from several k’s away πŸ™‚ he sent us the video below! Thanks Greg

After that, we stopped off Rangitoto when we saw a whole heap of fish on the depth sounder complete with measurements and a smile on their faces πŸ™‚ Given the lack of success there in catching anything, I’m sure they were poking their tongues out at us πŸ™‚ I did get one really good bite but he got away!

We stopped again to try later off Rakino but same luck so we went on into Woody Bay into 3metres of water and had lunch and a glass of wine. Absolutely perfect day.

All settled in Woody Bay

Andrew saw some mates in at the beach in a fizz boat so he swam in to say hello.

Looking into the beach

Half an hour later after he’d just returned, my other son Alex came into the bay with a friend of his Sam on their identical Jet Skis. They had come around from Half Moon Bay which is by Pakuranga, probably about 10k’s or so.

The Jetskis
Alex refueling his Jetski

They were out for a fish but hadn’t had much luck, just like us… until we sat in 2-3 metres of water in the bay. We were just sitting there, having a drink and the rod just kept bringing them in. Andrew was filleting them and put them on a plate with soy sauce and wasabi. Fantastic. About 3 reasonable sized fish popped onto the plate during the afternoon πŸ™‚ Yum!

L to R, Alex, Sam and Andrew. Sashimi in the middle

Later in the day, the time came for the boys to go with their Jetskis and try for a fish round the Rangitoto Channel.

The Boys setting off
On their way out
Tea is on

Andrew put the BBQ on and we settled down to listen to some good music. The Stereo is a monster with 3 amplifiers with a Subwoofer powered by a Solar backed 450 odd AH bank of House batteries so no danger of running out of anything!

Looking back to Auckland. North Shore in the distance

While we listening to the music, the bait runner ran again and this time, in came breakfast! Yippee!

End of a great day

After a nice bread crumbed pan fried Snapper and a cup of coffee, we tidied up the boat and got ready to head back to Milford Marina. A nice weekend and nice to see Alex and Sam come in too.

More information here on Rorqual.

Jo’s Healthcare Motorhome

While I was having a look around the Piha Motorcamp, I walked past Jo outside her Civilian Bus giving another camper a Massage. Kids from other caravans were there taking photos with their cellphones. It was all very casual with lots of laughter !

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One of my neighbours Jo doing massages !

Having a chat later with Jo, its quite a normal part of her day along with making up her Rongoa Maori Healthcare medicines.

Jo with some of her Medicines

Two years ago Jo took delivery of her 6m, 1992 Nissan Civilian and adapted it so she could make her Natural Herbal medicines. She has been living in it and commutes into town two days a week to teach others about Maori Healthcare.

Jo with the Civilian
The living area

The day I took the photos, she was showing me the biggest Mushroom I’ve ever seen.

The Mushroom

She also has a great collection of walking sticks which she has gathered up with hre long walks looking for the native plant ingredients for her Medicines.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

A really nice lady and she is really enjoying her lifestyle with the bus.

Lounging at the Lion – Piha

One of the trips I’ve been wanting to do for ages but I haven’t been able to get Fiona interested in is a trip to Piha. One of Aucklands better west coast beaches, it is dominated by Lion Rock in the middle and is one of the few North Island beaches to have two surf clubs.

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Lion Rock looking fantastic

Over the years the road has improved massively but it is still very windy(curvy) in places and there is no direct route. There are several ways of getting there but the best one I think is via Henderson Valley. Check the map below.

Its a slow 30k odd from the centre of Auckland but well worth it when you get here and its a nice drive.

Lion Rock

The Holiday park is a leased site off the council as part of the Domain but privately run and is on black sand. Its a big park with plenty of room and is only 5 minutes walk to the beach via a bridge over the lagoon.

All that space

At the time of this post, it was $22 per adult with power with new showers and loos close by. There is a cafe right over the road and a General Store next door for anything you may have forgotten.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

The beach is spectacular. I popped down here at dusk Β to find a dozen or so amateur photographers wandering around in a group waiting to get the sunset.

The Amateur photographers doing their dusk pix.

Its funny as I remember when I was working at The Auckland Star, we used to get called on to judge various photographic awards for these Camera Clubs. The people were always very friendly and it was interesting to see what they were up to.Β  Generally it was a PR thing from the Star’s point of view and we tried to help with ideas where we could. I remember judging at the North Shore Society awards a couple of times but can’t remember any of the others.

Finished for the day

I met one of the members and gave him a few ideas while we were wandering around Lion Rock on the black sand. It was great to see them out there having some fun.

Sunset

After that, I wandered back to Rafe through the black sand and had a drink with my neighbours. A great night.

One of my neighbours Jo doing massages !

Lovely spot, close to Auckland and reasonably priced with a great Beach.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Piha

Down on the Beach

Having finished with the house pretty much with the landscaping, Laundry and Kitchen bits, it was time to get back in Rafe and head south.

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A primo spot in the corner

With the 32C degree temperatures plus, we figured a beach park would be the name of the game so we picked Waihi Beach NZMCA park.

Its a busy park now and its easy to see why being so handy to the Beach and easy rides to cafe’s. There’s even a nice Cafe right next door.

Look at those plants go!

Having done some piccies of the opening, I was really pleased to see how the plants had grown and how established it all looks. Its nice too to see the 3 metre parking marks. I reckon that makes it much easier to line yourself up keep everyone a resonable distance apart.

Nice planting and they’re off

When we first arrived there was a good westerley breeze blowing across the park so the sensible place to park was on the upwind side of the park and with the 30 plus degree temporatures, it was nice to have the breeze blowing through Rafe to keep us cool.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

We spent the first afternoon down in the township being only a 10 minute bike ride away and then headed down the bike trail down to Bowentown about 7ks’ south. Its a great ride and although we didn’t go right down to Anzac Bay its a great run.

The Bike trail heading back to the park

The next day we walked down to the beach. A nice spot to stop over and good to see the park is so popular.

Waihi Beach Pod

Waihi Beach NZMCA park is an easy 10 minute bike ride away from the centre of Waihi Beach shops.

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Easy parking for our bikes

We rode in for a look around the shops and to check out somewhere for lunch.

The Courtyard

Fiona found a setup called the Pod which is a group of Bure like buildings amongst a very pacific inspired garden which serves fantastic food and coffee. It also has a few shops in there too in separate buildings. Its on the left as you ride into the shops.

Fiona in the Bure

Quite a setup and it seemed to be very popular with the locals.
There is also easy secure parking for bikes (bring a bike lock).

Click on the Gallery below for a slide show

A lovely spot and quite different from your normal cafe.

One of the shops

Whitianga Waterways for Motorhomes

This has to be one of the nicer places to park a Motorhome and it is the NZMCA’s park in Whitianga.

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Great Motorhome parking

After arriving around lunch time, we set off on the bikes to check out the town and eventually stopped in a cafe in town for lunch. After that, we biked around the waterfront to check out the Marina and a general nosey around.

Plenty of room

I was expecting it to be chocker block but it was just pleasant with smiles in the sunshine.

We headed back to the camp to meet our neighbours Andrew and Annette and see their very new Autotrail Scout Motorhome. Interesting layout and bags of room too. It turns out that Andrew was at the same primary school with Fiona in Waiouru when they were in the primers.. small world πŸ™‚

paddleboarding

A nice night there and in the morning all the locals were in the canal, swimming, radio controlled yachts, paddle boarding.. a great place.

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Andrew was telling me that the site is apparently going to be a future Hotel.. lovely spot!

Rafe’s tracker map to the Waterways

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.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

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

Happy New Year 2020

I hope everyone had a great New Year and enjoyed the sunshine. There was plenty of it !

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Cooks Beach

We spent the New Year with our Family (Sons and Daughters in law and Grandchildren) on the Coromandel Peninsula and it was fun. We also caught up with our Motorhome friends Bruce and Judy who have Rafes twin at their home near Whitianga.

Flaxmill bay
Interesting cliffs

We headed up the windy road to Cooks Beach and had a quick look around before heading to Bruce and Judy’s place. They had their friends Graham and Shirley coming for tea as well with their new Roller Team A class. We would be parked together on an empty section across the road which was really handy.

Rorqual (right) with Whitianga behind

Earlier while we were on Cooks beach, we spotted Rorqual now being looked after our son Andrew and Jenna. They were on another friends boat down an Cathedral Cove but would catch up later.

Looking down on Rorqual left and out to Cooks Beach.

We headed up the Shakespeare Hill reserve at the end of the beach to the lookout up the top and could see from Cooks Beach, all the way around to Simpsons Beach and beyond on the other side.

Looking across to Whitianga from the lookout

The track is pretty steep in parts but an easy walk to the top and well worth it for the view in all directions. Looking down from the lookout we could also see Rorqual anchored in Lonely Bay by Cooks Beach.

Rorqual

Back on the beach there were some amazing Rock formations.. very typical of this area..

Amazing rock formations

Andrew and Jenna were dropped off back to their boat and headed in to the beach in their tender and we met them on the beach and then walked back to Rafe.

Bruce and Judy’s Motorhome.. same as Rafe

It was neat catching up with Bruce and Judy again and meeting their friends. Shirley is a really amazing painter shirleycresswell.com so it was really interesting talking to her and Graham about where they’d been and what they had done.

Rafe in the spare section

Later Andrew and Jenna headed back to Rorqual before dark and we later headed back to Rafe. Nice to catch up with them too.

A fantastic warm up for New Years Eve !

Just a bit of housekeeping …
Now that we’re permanently in our new house in Devonport and I’m doing a bit more photographic work for clients, I’m finding it much harder getting content to publish posts as often as I was.
So this year, the posts will be mainly photos with captions and when there is something to publish

Happy New Year.

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.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

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

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