Tag Archives: Great walks

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 I’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

Peace and Quiet at Raglan

The weather was good, there was a beach only a few yards away and the town was only 10 minutes walk.

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Rafe at Raglan

We were looking to get out of the traffic but not too far away.. Raglan won the day. It has been a while since we were last here but it has an atmosphere all of its own. Very like Waiheke Island with some of the similar arty but down to earth shops.

Kids enjoying Badminton
Our neighbours from Hamilton and Tauranga enjoying the sun.

When my son Drew found out we were heading to Raglan, he said we had to go to Orca so I booked in online and its a magic spot. We went for lunch and the food was fantastic and it was very reasonable with a great view too.

The view out of the main street
The Historic Raglan Pub

After lunch we headed back to Rafe at the Raglan Holiday Park and then later onto the beach.

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There was a family from Hamilton with their youngest doing hand stands and flips on the sand while they enjoyed a glass of wine and watched the sun go down. Just magic.

Amazing Sunset

We were looking forward to the next day, Watching the rugby and then checking out the town.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Raglan – Armada GPS

House & Garden RV style!

Paeroa would have to get first prize in the Antique shops. A fantastic place if you like looking at old interesting stuff.

We’ve passed through here lots of times but only stayed here once before  and that was at the Paeroa RV centre.

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I hadn’t booked or anything and just rocked up and as I checked in, there was something vaguely familiar about the nice lady checking me in.

After I gave her my name, she looked at me strangely and and said, “I went to school with you at Takapuna Grammar School”, the penny dropped and everything fell into place. Jane was also was at school with Fiona at Vauxhall Primary School.. amazing memory.  We spent the next hour or so going though all the common friends that we have and strangely enough, have managed to keep in touch with.

Jane’s partner Steve is the caretaker and they have an amazing old Devonport Ferries red bus, a real slice of history.

Jane with her and Steve’s ex Devonport Ferries Bus

Paeroa RV Centre has changed over the years and now house s a lot of permanent people in bigger vehicles and they’ve developed a real community there. I found all of them very welcoming and very friendly and with the less than friendly winter weather that we’ve had lately, its a great spot to get comfortable.

Some of the appendages to their parks .. think decks and little garden areas are amazing. I very definitely felt very undecorated and certainly not anywhere in the hunt for a prize for my park 🙂 I did have some moss and a neighbour pots nearby though 🙂

Click on the Gallery below to check out the Gardens

Having met Steve and Jane, they talked me into staying a second night and I spent the next day walking into Paeroa, getting a haircut and buying some costume jewelry for Fiona.

Downtown Paeroa
There’s a plastic bottle now !

A fantastic place to stay, great people and I was really pleased to catch up with Jane again and meet Steve.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Paeroa – Armada GPS

A long weekend in Hot Pools

And this meant Rotorua.. one of our favourite places in winter.

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Amazing covered walkways to get to the Ablutions

We left early on Friday morning to try and beat some of the motorway traffic and it worked. By 9am we were in Pokeno topping up with some tax free fuel 🙂

Check out the walkways

We arrived at Rotorua about midday and had a quick look around but finally checking into Rotorua Thermal Holiday park down by Whakarewarewa.

We’ve stayed here before with our Grandkids and its a well setup park with a covered walkway system to the ablutions which is quite neat. Great in winter!!

We were allocated a spot on one side not too far from everything.

We settled the van, plugged in, opened some hatches and after a cup of tea, headed off for the first of many swims in the pool. Its amazing who you get to meet in a hot pool.

A Café but it was closed

The next morning we got an Uber into the Rotorua big barn shopping area. The Noel Leeming’s, Briscoes  and had a nosey around, headed off to Fiona’s favourite find of the weekend, an authentic French café and its lovely. I had a Crepe with bacon and eggs and it was every bit as the good as the one I remember when we were in Arras, France.

Fiona found this french cafe
The Crepe from heaven

After that it was time to walk off the lunch so we set off down to the lake front where they have recently finished a huge redevelopment of the foreshore. There is still more to come looking at the fenced off areas but what a big improvement. People everywhere so its good to see it being enjoyed by lots of young families.

The development on the waterfront
The Lincoln and other cars at Eat St.

We walked on towards Eat st and in there was a local Hot Rod / American Car display all down the middle of it. Some great old cars.. my favourite was an old Lincoln.

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As we headed back into the city, I managed to find a bus going right past the camp so we hopped on that and headed back to Rafe and then back to the pools.

The pools

There are four pools, one for families and 3 other smaller pools.. Not too hot so we literally spent hours in there off and on. What its all about!

The facilities are amazing, free showers, big kitchen area divided into sections so it can cater for several using it at once. Nice big lounge and huge dining room all connected..

The famous bridge where the kids used to dive for coins.
Whakarewarewa

And right over the road is Whakarewarewa and Te Puia which is always worth a visit.

Rafe’s tracker map to Rotorua Thermal Park – Armada GPS

Near a Hot Pool in naff weather!

We had not long returned from a trip around the South Island where we got a crack in the windscreen, courtesy of an oncoming truck speeding through roadworks. Our 8 year old Habitation door fly screen also lost its string too so after fixing these up, we were ready to go again or at least I was.

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It doesn’t often look like this.. early in the day.

As Fiona was working, she suggested I go away for a few days so with the forecast looking not that flash, I thought Miranda wasn’t too far to go and with the hot pools, was the perfect place to be.

The last time we came here was when we were baby sitting our grand sons Ayden and Liam and while it was wet, we had fun.

The weather was fantastic for the first of my three night stay and showery for the rest of the time so it was a case of dodging the showers from Rafe to the pool 🙂

I don’t think I’ve every seen the camp ground this quiet and this empty but this was my first midweek visit so hardly surprising but by the end of each day, the place seemed to fill up nicely.

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The camp has grown to now be more than 90 odd powered sites with BIG parks out the back and more doggy sites too. The dog sites is a great idea and is perfect for those who want to let their pets outside while keeping them close.

A doggy site.
The new Ablutions block out the back

The new nearby ablutions block looks the business too and with some of the trees out by the road gone, there is more room for walks and bike riding.

The new Children’s pool.

Its a great go to place for those who don’t want to travel too far and have and easy few days away.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Miranda – Armada GPS

Bliss at Pakiri Beach

Its a wee bit off the beaten track but being here is just magic. The weather was perfect too.

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Bream Head in the distance

It was the middle of the week and with Fiona at work, I thought somewhere nice in the sun would be nice. I last came here several years ago and post Covid, the only real thing that has changed is the trees have grown but I gather there are some big changes coming.

Chatting to one of the managers, they have a massive amount of unpowered sites which people don’t seem to want as much so they are powering a large bunch of them up. Some of the cabins are apparently well past their use by date but they seemed ok to me.

Great view from these Caravans

The camp is dominated a bit by long term Caravans but there is plenty of room for Motorhomes and more with the new powered upgrades to sites.

Some tenters popped in.
The view from one of the Units

The kitchen and lounge facilities are really good and there are several ablutions blocks.

Click on the Gallery below for an Enlarged Slideshow

The feature though is that amazing beach.

I went out there not long after I arrived and the sense of peace and quiet is just amazing. I sat out there for an hour or so before heading back as I’d forgotten to take a hat but its just beautiful.

I did the same the next day with a hat 🙂 and its glorious.

Looking back to the camp from the beach

The nights were starting to get colder so there was only me and a couple of others in the campground so there was room for Africa. I bet it gets busy in the summer though.

Dusk

Next time, I’ll bring Fiona too.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Pakiri – Armada GPS

Sunny Nelson by Bike

The Racecourse was quite handy as the Bike Trails all ran around where we were parked.

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The Richmond Motorway

We set off to ride into Nelson for lunch via the bike trail along around the waterfront. The whole Nelson area is spoilt for bike trails, they’re everywhere.

Riding along the Tahunanui

The first section runs right alongside the Richmond to Nelson motorway and goes around the back of the airport. Eventually it comes into the Tahunanui area and then onto the bike lanes following the traffic around the waterfront.. I rode on the footpath here as it felt heaps safer and there only a handful of pedestrians anyway.

Rutherford Park
Nelson main st
The city council building

Coming into Nelson via the Bike trail at Rutherford park, we found ourselves virtually in the main street next to an amazing, seen only in Nelson, two level bike park. Fantastic and after a few minutes of figuring it out how it all worked, we stuck our bikes in there and off we went for lunch.

Amazing secure bike rack

Often when you’re biking it is sometimes hard to find somewhere to park your bikes safely and securely, this is the answer!

Nelson at lunch time

We found a Café which had an empty block right next to it, this might have once been a carpark or a commercial building, but they’ve decked it out on one side as a dining area and on the other side made it available to several specialist food vendors with caravans selling all sorts.

The Caravan Vendors
The Caravan vendors
People enjoying lunch

We opted for a Japanese fried chicken dish which was yum. There were lots of people there coming and going so it seemed to be well known around the town.

Fiona had a another look around and then we were off back to Richmond. The trip was a round trip of 36k’s so we felt like we’d done some exercise by the time we got back to Rafe.

Riding outside the Tahuna Campground. Fiona out in front.
The view out from Tahuna

A nice day out in sunny Nelson.

The first town in NZ to have electric Streetlights!

That’s Reefton and with its lovely old buildings, it’s all character.

Click on any Image to EnlargeAfter checking in at the campground next to the river which is very reasonable, we set off to check out the town. First stop was lunch at the Future Dough Company sitting on the pavement. I had a massive Nachos with Cream and cheese with bacon.. amazing!

Our spot in the campground

The last time we were here, we checked in with the bearded miners and although I checked in again, it was all closed up and there was no sign of them. We did find that Reefton now has its very own Gin Distillery!

Looking down the main street

We checked in to the Reefton Distilling Co in town to find it was the home of Little Biddy Gin. There were other flavours available to taste which was fun.

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After tasting a few, we ended up with one called Snow which we bought and then headed back to Rafe at the campground.

As the title suggests, Reefton was the first town in NZ to have electric streetlights powered by the river via two tunnels and a Flume in 1868. It was the first town in NZ to have a public power system.

The town reeks of the history with the amazing old buildings and the perfect place for us to stop on the way north.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Reefton – Armada GPS

Lovely Arrowtown

In the morning we left left Gary, Dianne and Ian to continue their journey and headed off towards Arrowtown with the intention of possibly staying the night. When we arrived, we couldn’t raise anyone at the only campground in town so decided that after a look around, it was probably better to head back to Creeksyde in Queenstown which is closer to Arthurs Point where Fiona’s cousin lives.

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Arrowtown never disappoints and its one of the few towns around that really knows how to welcome Motorhomes with its amazing parking down behind the town.

Great parking for Motorhomes
The River behind

We arrived mid morning and the sun was shining and it looked fantastic. It was time to do shopping so Fiona was in heaven. After a couple of hours of cruising up and down the main street, we stopped in at a Café for lunch.

Can’t get enough of these buildings!

Arrowtown has a fantastic Museum which is well worth a look and is one of the few towns in NZ that still has a cobbled kerb. The main street also still has the proportions designed for the old horse and cart days so it really shouts out its Heritage and History. The buildings also make great images and they’ve done a great job of keeping it well maintained and making it work as a Tourist destination. I still think though that this is definitely one of the towns that is missing visitor numbers due to Covid which is a real shame.

We set off early mid afternoon to check back into Creeksyde in Queenstown.

Cobbled Kerb

Fiona got in touch with her cousin Jan and she came down to pick us up for drinks at their lovely home in Arthurs point for drinks. It was really nice seeing Rob and Jan as we haven’t seen them for a while. After a few hours, Jan dropped us back at Creeksyde.. a great day out!

Rafe’s Tracker map to Arrowtown and to Creeksyde – Armada GPS

Our Milford Sound Extravaganza

We were still fizzing from the Stewart Island trip as we headed towards our next stop which was Te Anau.

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Lake Te Anau

On the ferry on the way back from Stewart Island, I booked a deal through the NZMCA with Fiordland Tours where they would pick us up from the club park in Te Anau in a small coach, and take us to Milford Sound. We would then get on a boat for a cruise through Milford Sound with guides all the way and back to Te Anau.

Te Anau NZMCA park

The weather was looking fantastic. With the disappointment of not doing the wings over Wanaka, our original reason for coming down to the South, I was a bit reluctant to book too far out in case something came up or the weather wasn’t looking good. It worked !! We had perfect weather.

Fiona at NZMCA park Te Anau

We arrived in Te Anau early in the afternoon and parked on the lakefront for half an hour or so for a look around. Fiona went for a quick look through some of the shops.

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We then rocked into the NZMCA park which is about 1k or so out of the town. Its a nice park with rural views.

At 8am the next morning, the coach turned up and we were off towards Milford Sound. It has been years since I was down here so I’d completely forgotten the lie of the land except I remembered this awful road so we were happy being driven by someone who knew the road and it wasn’t any where near as bad as I remembered.

Amazing Eglington Valley

Our first stop was in an amazing valley surrounded by mountains with a little bit of fog. A lovely spot. Don’t forget to click on these images to have a decent look at them!

We then headed off towards the mirrored lakes and had a stroll through the trees on a boardwalk looking at the reflections. Nice !

Cascade Creek walk

Back in the coach and then we stopped at a small walk down to another lake called Cascade Creek which backs onto Lake Gunn. A nice stroll and lovely place.  The next stop  after this was to see the Falls Creek Waterfall and then we went through the Homer Tunnel.

Lake Gunn

We arrived in Milford and boarded a really nice double decker party boat and set off fairly quickly towards Mitre Peak. You feel so small among these huge mountains all around.

We were lucky to see some rare Hector Dolphins just by Mitre peak which were the largest pod the skipper had every seen in Milford.

Mitre Peak looking very majestic… Stunning

We then we headed out further through the sound towards the Tasman sea. The trip took about 90 minutes but was amazing. It is really nice to get to see and feel the size and scale of these huge mountains which you don’t appreciate from the postcards.

Looking back into Milford Sound from the Tasman sea
Mitre Peak

On the way back we spotted a seal having a snooze on a rock and others playing in the water and then came to a massive waterfall. The skipper put the nose of the boat into the falls for those interested in having a shower to get wet 🙂

A happy seal
Huge Waterfall

We were taken for a walk along the waterfront in Milford before getting back on the coach to head back to Te Anau.

The boat we were on

A great trip and well worth doing.. check out the Deals on the NZMCA web site.

An absolutely stunning trip and well worth doing with a great crew.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Te Anau – Armada GPS