Tag Archives: Great beachs

By the beach at Ahipara

After leaving Awanui, we were going to head to Ahipara. Fiona mentioned that she’d never been to Kaitaia so we were off to see Kaitaia which was on the way. We were going to stop for a coffee but couldn’t find any easy parking. After a visit to the Dump Station, we had a quick look around and decided to head on to Ahipara which is just short of 14k’s away.

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The road entrance to State highway 1 to Cape Reinga ๐Ÿ™‚
Looking back to Ahipara and the road around to the headland.

As we entered Ahipara there were two Cafe’s which were really busy… so we checked in at the Ahipara Holiday Park being the only place to stay.

Just in front of where we were parked.. huge parking area.

Although slightly on the expensive side, the parking spots were bigger and flatter than I’ve seen anywhere so that more than made up for it.ย  The Loos and Showers were really good too and there was also free Wi-Fi if we’d wanted it. It was only 10 minutes’ walk away to the beach. You generally get what you pay for these days ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out the room!

After setting up Rafe and opening vents, and plugging in, I took the camera for a walk down to the beach…. The bottom end of the 90 mile beach! I looked around for anything that looked anything like what I could remember from years ago with the beach buggy, but it all looks very different from what I remember… it was a long time ago though.

Looking north towards Cape Reinga!
People enjoying the water.

I went back to the camp and Fiona, and I took Rafe to the Cafe we saw coming in and had a really nice lunch and then went for a drive down to the bottom end of the beach along the foreshore road.

A local friendly Goat

It’s amazing looking up the beach, you can see the bend of the land going right up to the cape. There were a few people having a swim and enjoying what is probably the end of Summer. A great spot.

After an hour or so we motored back to the Holiday Park and blobbed for a bit.

Later in the day.

The wind had died down a bit later on and the sun was shining so it was nice with the stereo on and with all this space, no neighbours ๐Ÿ™‚

Rafe’s tracker map to the Ahipara Holiday Park – Armada GPS

Bus Trip up Ninety Mile Beach โ€“ Cape Reinga

This was just such a treat and Fiona and I had been looking forward to it.. the highlight of the trip if you like. We met the bus I was later told; was a 400 HP beast that was once a Petrol tanker but was custom made for its current purpose of ferrying people like us up to the Cape on the sand.

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The driver picked us up outside the Awanui NZMCA park along with a neighbour in the park with his two grandsons and we were off.

Jason the driver and guide was a scream and very good with the flow of interesting information that went all day.

After turning off the main road north at Waipapakauri, we headed a few k’s towards the beach before we got to the sand. The weather for the trip was perfect and once Jason had changed into 4-wheel drive, we were off up the beach… all 56k’s of it apparently ๐Ÿ™‚ As Jason said on the commentary โ€œ It’s the only state highway that gets a wash twice a day โ€œ:-)

Getting out for a stretch

About half an hour or so of cruising up the beach, we stopped and got out for stretch and a look around. It’s an amazing beach with nothing really in either direction apart from the sandhills behind.

Looking South. the hole in the rock.

There was a rock of the beach with a hole in like the one off Cape Brett.

Jason running the Bus up the Te Paki stream for the sandboarding.

A bit further on, we were heading up the Te Paki stream beside the massive sand hills where we stopped to let to let those younger and more adventurous than us to boogie board down the sand hills. Jason gave them all a few safety lessons and they were off.

Jason doing the safety briefing.
Jason doing the safety briefing before they head up the dune.
Sandboarding !

They all seemed pretty happy with the occasion and about 45 minutes or so later, we set off again up the stream to rejoin the highway up to the Cape.

After Lunch

Next we were heading up to Tapotupotu Beach for lunch which Jason had stashed away. The road wasn’t for the faint hearted in a big vehicle and although there were a few Motorhomes there, it definitely wasn’t for me.

Looking towards Maris van Diemen

About an 1 hour later with a great lunch by the beach, we all headed back to the bus and Jason then took us all up to the Cape Reinga carpark to walk down to the lighthouse.

The oceans meeting

It’s about a 45-minute walk down to the lighthouse and back and quite steep in places but on a really nice track. As you go down on the left you can see Cape Maria van Diemen where the lighthouse used to be, Cape Reinga in front and the beach that we had lunch at off to the right with North Cape way off in the distance.

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The last time I was here, I think I was 13 years old or thereabouts. We were on a family trip with a 4-wheel drive with a beach buggy on an A frame. It was a trip for a photo shoot with a friend of my Dads who was a specialist Motor Racing photographer for a magazine article. The beach buggy got stuck on top of a sandhill… think all wheels off the ground so I got to learn how to drive it while we got it unstuck ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to the trip… it was fantastic to see it all again and all the improvements that have been made for easier access.

At the pub on the way home.

We were all back in the bus heading down the road for an ice cream stop and to the famous Waipapakauri where Fiona and I had a G & T to celebrate the end of a great day. We were only a few K’s north of the Awanui NZMCA park.

Back at Awanui.. great day !

A fantastic day and I’m really pleased we took the option of a guided bus trip. It wasn’t expensive given what was involved and a lot of fun and entertainment. Thanks, Jason, for the great commentary and a brilliant day out.

Rafe’s tracker map to the Awanui NZMCA park – Armada GPS

Lunch at the Duke of Marlborough from Paihia

From our spot in Kaikohe, we rang ahead and booked a spot for a couple of nights at the Bay of Island campervan park which is nestled in between Olive trees on the main road into Paihia. Its a perfect spot for walking to Paihia and to the Treaty grounds, both only 15 minutes away and it is very reasonably priced too.

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Paihia Wharf

The first day we were there we walked about 15 minutes into Paihia to catch a ferry over to Russell. The ferries were flat out so there were three ferries shuttling people across but there was plenty of room and it’s only a 15-minute trip across.

Leaving Paihia

We had booked into the Duke of Marlborough for lunch but were a bit early so walked around the waterfront, ate ice creams and drank coffee and eventually went to the Duke for a G&T. The โ€œDukeโ€ as it’s known apparently is NZ’s oldest licensed pub. There are several others that claim this title but as Russell was NZ’s first capital and one of its first settlements, they’re probably right ๐Ÿ™‚

Fiona ready for lunch ๐Ÿ™‚
My Snapper and Chips
The Group across the road enjoying their lunch

Fiona and I came to a wedding here several years ago and they’re slick operators where the food and Beveridge’s are concerned. There was a table setup for a group of about 10 across the road at the top of the beach having their meal out on the edge of the water… lovely!

The Duke of Marlborough behind the trees.
The Russell Ferry that was sunk after a collision with a boat a few days later. The boat in the background is a Classic called Wild Duck. It used to be a Flying boat tender in Mechanics Bay.

As the time crept on, we crossed to the road to the jetty and caught the ferry back to Paihia.

The ferry we caught back was being skippered by a lovely guy who also collected the tickets was the ferry that was sunk a few days later, by an alleged helmless 600hp go fast boat that hit the port side. He was badly injured and airlifted to Auckland in a critical condition. A terrible situation and from my past boating background, being hit on the port side means the ferry had right of way. Witnesses say there was no one at the helm. I hope after the investigation that the transgressor has the book thrown at them.

Leaving Russell

After getting back to the camp, I had a great chat to Jan who owns the camp and previously ran another bigger camp at Haruru Falls. It turns out that Jan is the big sister of an old Auckland Star colleague of mine who was a subeditor and used to lay out my photos on the fashion pages… Small world ๐Ÿ™‚ She was ex media too but in Televison!

Click on the Gallery below for an Enlarged Slideshow of the Park

The camp is a little pearler with very tidy loos and showers and some apartments, some of which go up the hill. The camp sites are separated by Olive trees which is nice and the next morning, we were entertained by the โ€œShakersโ€ shaking out the Olives from the trees. The Oil is bottled along with the Olives and donated to charity.

The crew get stuck in.
The Shakers in action

A great park in a lovely spot and so handy!

Rafe’s tracker map to the Bay of Islands Holiday Park – Armada GPS

Rays Rest

A favourite free parking spot for many.. on the coast north of Miranda.

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Lovely spot

This was probably one of our first parking spots when we first bought our Motorhome 8 or so years ago. Its handy to Auckland, its free and its easy.

Easy parking

If you want shops, museums and pubs, you don’t go to Rays Rest. This where peace and quiet happens with the odd sound of a vehicle whizzing past at 80 odd K.

Flying Kites .. perfect spot
Rafe on the edge

It’s a lovely spot to sit on a deck chair on the edge of the sand outside your Motorhome and watch the clouds go by.

People enjoying the sun

Its been a while since we were here and it was redeveloped by a big storm since our last visit but it still looks much the same. Just as good as it was.

Looking across to Thames

Well recommended if you live in Auckland, are finding diesel expensive and can’t decide where to go for a night or two.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Ray’s Rest- Armada GPS

Back to the Bay

The next morning, we got fuel, filled up an LPG bottle which ran out and we were off up through the gorge towards Opotiki. I was quite looking forward to the drive as it is years since we’ve done this. It is actually quite a good road despite the potholes.

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Just over 2 hours later, we found ourselves coming into Opotiki where we stopped for something to eat and then onto Island View Holiday Park. It’s called that but due to the weather building up, you simply couldn’t see White Island at all through the murk.

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We’ve been to this park before just prior to one of the Covid lockdowns and being off season, it was $20 for two (Campsaver). There was no one else here!

Wild !

With it being top of the silly season, almost all of the Campgrounds in the Bay had cranked their prices to make the most of the demand and this park was no exception. We saw it as a treat for a couple of days. We’d done well over the previous week or so all good!

The Pool

The weather was closing in with wind and rain warnings and we were only just behind the sand dunes. A few went for a swim in the wild waters down by the surf club, but most went for the safer option in the camp pool.

The vibe was amazing with everyone having fun. There is a bike trail along behind the dunes but peters out both ways which confused a few people.

Spoilt for choice

The camp is well setup with multiple toilet and shower blocks, but it was just nice sitting down on the sand watching the waves crash and in a funny way, quite therapeutic ๐Ÿ™‚

We stayed a couple of nights to hunker down for the worst of the weather that wasn’t as bad as predicted.

Nice people, a nice setup but now that I’m aย  pensioner, I might keep our next visit to off peak ๐Ÿ™‚

Rafe’s Tracker map to Island view – Armada GPS

Gisborne, here we come.

On New Year’s Day we said goodbye to Steve and Rosemary. They were heading down towards Carterton.

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We were well overdue for a trip to Gisborne as it has been 7 years since our last visit!

We headed off via the coast up past Wairoa which seemed to go on forever. The forecast bad weather had arrived and was settling in.

We found a neat little Fish shop just by the turnoff to Mahia Peninsula which had the best Fish and Chips I’ve tasted for a long time then we headed off again up towards Gisborne.

The park

The new NZMCA park in Gisborne is a beauty right over the road from the beach. With the weather the way it was it was no real surprise to see a couple of cruise ships anchored off the coast.

Fiona checking out the cruise ships

The next day we spent the morning catching up with the Laundry, bedding and all. It was nice to have a everything clean again. After that we headed off to find a nice Cafe for some lunch and got some more groceries while we were right next to a 4 Square.

Waikanae Beach
Fiona on the beach

The new park is a cracker with the beach right over the road.
Well done to the local crew for the Garden Art, it looks great.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Gisborne – Armada GPS

 

Idyllic Sandspit

This is one of those places that you’ll keep coming back to. It is just magic and there’s a ferry to Kawau too.

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Just Bliss

I arrived early in the afternoon and got myself setup in a corner spot but then realised that under some huge trees, there would be no TV signal.

First thing on the waterfront
Looking over towards the ferry wharf

It’s a fairly casual arrangement, โ€œPark wherever you like except the waterfront spots which are booked for a whole bunch of Ozzies in their Britz vansโ€. I was only 10 steps away anyway so that was fine:-)

The Ozzies on the water

It was warm, there were people out kayaking in the camps free Kayaks and people out swimming.

The Ozzies catching up
Kayaking fun

I went for a walk across to the Sandpit Yacht club later for tea and sat out on the deck with a nice glass of chardonnay. Very civilised I thought but such a nice spot and the food was fantastic too.

At the Yacht club

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Later it was time to head back for a shower in the fantastic newish ablutions block.

Some of the history

There used to be a whole bunch of pretend historic shops around the office area which all seem to have gone which is a shame.. one of the features of this camp but still a great spot to stay all the same.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Sandspit – Armada GPS

New Parking at Red Beach

It has been a wee while since we’ve been here at what used to be called Pinewoods. We used to come here quite often as it was close and a nice break away without driving too far. With the cost of diesel being what it is, I thought it was time for a visit!

The weather wasn’t perfect as a whole week of unsettled weather was due a few days away, but it was stinking hot.

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The new parking area looking out towards the beach.

I checked in at the office and found that the old parking area with the very clean and tidy but basically in a bachy style building was not the first-choice area. They’ve now got a new very swish new parking area in an area that used to be a paddock you walked through to get to the beach.

It is set out with a big wide concrete driveway in a half circle arrangement with concrete parking bays running off that. A neat setup as it doesn’t matter where you’re parked, there is an easy angle to back in.

This also comes with a swish new facilities block, a kitchen, along with several showers and toilets.

The entrance

The kids a play area has been souped up too with the addition of a flying fox and other gear too.

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I always remembered this place for its big concrete table tennis table. Easily one of the best around.

The amazing table tennis table.

Once I had Rafe settled, I walked over the park for a look around. The bachs all dotted over the hill and as I understand it are still all managed by a collective board. At the top there is also the famous Jacobs Ladder which is a set of steps going down the cliff although there is a sign saying you shouldn’t go down due to the erosion on the cliff.

The original camping area.

Funny who you meet in strange places.ย  After I took the photo of the new area and posted it on my own Facebook page, a friend Adele was saying what a nice motorhome her friend Gordon had in the foreground, so I went over to meet him.ย  Having been the owner of several Dethleffs, I’m certain we’ve met before, but it was nice to meet him again.

The Beach

Back to the campground.ย  Across the new campground is a locked bridge behind the surf club to cross the creek to the beach The creek surrounds the campground on three sides.ย  It’s nice to be parked so close to the beach and not far from the big smoke for fuel!

A nice park with very friendly people.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Red Beach – Armada – GPS

Bright Colours by the Beach

With one week to go until the Hospice Taranaki News Photo Auction, I set off to New Plymouth a bit early to have a nosey around the mountain. Mt Egmont.

Click on any Image to enlarge.As I got closer to Mokau, on the coast I thought Iโ€™d stop at the Seaview Holiday Park right on the beach which had views down to Mt Egmont.

Bright Colours!

It’s a typical west coast beach complete with Black Sand and the wild water. The ruggedness is what makes it though.

The Beach looking towards New Plymouth

I checked in and was given a park right behind the sandhill facing the beach but still protected from any wind that might come up. Great parking!

One of the many baches along the coast

It’s one of those real old original Kiwi family parks with nice bright colours on slightly older cabins.

One of the Ablution blocks

The ablution blocks are covered in murals… nicely done.

Looking through the campground
Rafe with the beach behind
Mt Egmont on the right

I went for a wander around the park and then along the beach. Lovely spot!

Rafe’s Tracker map to Mokau – Armada GPS

The Picturesque and Amazing Raglan.

After enjoying a great All Blacks winย  in the Raglan Holiday Park, we headed into town over the walk bridge to check out the shops. First stop was a Cafรฉ for a coffee and then we walked about 1k across to the wharf and Silo area.

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Raglan personified
The Historic Raglan
Neat shops

We last visited this area years ago with friends Dianne and Gary from Taupo so check that post out for more photos of this area.

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Since then, one of the Silos has been converted into what looks to be some very nice rentable Apartments.

The Silos

Its a busy area with a fantastic Fish and Chip shop on the outer end of the wharf along with some pottery and Leather shops. Fiona bought herself a new Leather Hand Bag where we enjoyed a really nice chat with the shopkeeper. I complimented her on her lovely London accent before she told me she was from Perth ! Oops .. but she did have a nice English Accent so no harm done ๐Ÿ™‚

The Raglan Wharf
Cafe opposite Raglan Wharf

After a coffee in a new (to us) Cafรฉ opposite the wharf, we headed back to the town and Rafe.

Sundown

An amazing little town and not far from Auckland with the current Diesel prices as they are.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Raglan – Armada GPS