Tag Archives: Great walks

Lounging at the Lion โ€“ 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 ย 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.ย  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

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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 ๐Ÿ™‚
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 ๐Ÿ™‚ He would have been happy chatting all day but thought I’d better cut it short so he could finish the job ๐Ÿ™‚

The new Gravel

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

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ .. but in my defence, there was a lot of wind ๐Ÿ™‚
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 fantasticย  and we’ll be back with the bikes to do the trails around here.

Rafe’s Tracker map

Steaming Gutters in Ohinemutu

We were in Rotorua with our Grandchildren Ayden and Liam and on our route was Ohinemutu.

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Walking through Ohinemutu

I think they were pretty taken by the steam coming out of the gutters and the lakefront.

Roadside steam

There was a huge crowd set up for a special event where the last remaing Maori Battalion member was being honoured on the Marae and was being presented with a medal by the Italians. A great occasion and there was a special Marque set upย  with chairs everywhere you looked.

St Faiths Church over a steamy Lakefront

There was a small party from the NZ Army there too representing the NZ Armed Forces.

The Special team from the Army for the celebration of the Maori

We had a brief look around St Faiths Church on the lakefront and thought we’d make head into town but its a lovely tranquil spot and the steam and heat from the bores and water makes it a special place.

Ayden, Liam and Fiona heading down to the Church

There is free parking for Motorhomes just along from there towards the city so its an easy walk and well worth doing.

For a look at our last trip here and some interiors of the church go here.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

There was a big fun fair entertainment thing happening in the domain so the boys had a ride on the small cars to finish off the morning before lunch.

St Faiths

Motorhome reunion at the Hot Pools

Some months ago we arranged to get some old time Dethleffers together at the old haunt where we first met at Miranda Hot Pools.

New Playground

Bruce and Judy with Rafe’s twin brother (Motorhome, younger by a month) from Coromandel, and Gary and Dianne from Taupo with their Neismann and Bischoff Arto 88. Gary and Dianne started with a Dethleffs Esprit and then later and Dethleffs XLI.

We all met at the Miranda Holiday park as Jonas (the agent) held the first Annual get together there which Gary and Dianne helped to organise.ย  The next year was held there too.ย  Day 2

Its always good fun to come here especially in the middle of winter. Nothing beats a soak in a Hot pool!

People enjoying the pool

It was great to catch up with the crew and for me, its always great to see what Bruce has added to his Motorhome being identical to ours.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Grant and Sharron arrived the next day from Hamilton in their Holiday Rambler. We caught up with them with their friends and their Ramblers at Tokerau a year or so ago.

Grant and Sharron arrived too from Hamilton in their Rambler.

Miranda Holiday Park has changed hands and as its a while since I’ve been here there have been some notable changes.

Bruce and Judy having dogs, had a fenced off area at the back which meant their two dogs could wander around their Motohome park without disappearing off around the camp. A fantastic addition for the camp for Dog lovers.

Bruce and Judy’s van in the Dog area

There is also a Volley Ball / Badminton net and some more cabins added at the back which were all booked out when we were there. Nice!

The new Cabins

We had fun reminiscing with the first Dethleffs getother and the changes over the years.. that was nearly 5 years ago !
A fun weekend.

Rafe at Kaiaua

On the way home we stopped in at Kaiaua for our favourite Fish and Chips for lunch.

Rafe’s Tracker map