Tag Archives: Great walks

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.  The next year was held there too.  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

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

The future for Takapuna Holiday Park

The final hurdle in the long running saga of the Takapuna Beach Holiday Park has been overcome with a lease for a new operator who will redevelop the land into a new look Holiday Park over the next year or so.

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The Holiday Park

The Devonport – Takapuna board approved a lease at a recent meeting. This means that the ground Holiday Park is on, is effectively in private ownership for the next 30 years.

Rafe at the park

The successful new Lease holder is understood to be involved in at least 4 well known Top 10 Holiday Parks all around the South Island so I think we can assume that the Holiday Park is in a safe pair of hands.

A Google Earth image

It is understood that the park will be completely rebuilt over the next few years.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

I think given the turmoil and angst that the community has been through to save the Holiday Park, it is a great outcome.

We’ve been here for several days a week for a couple of months and it is a great location. Good news all round!

Dusk at the park

The Pine trees on the beach

While we were at Fairlie, I met our neighbours Peter and Val who were heading to Amberley to see their daughter. She just happened to live near the Campground at Amberley Beach. This was to be our next destination too.

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Rafe in the Park

After leaving Fairlie, we checked with old friends Ray and Margaret who have settled now in Geraldine. We met them at Peskis and they later showed us around Lake McGregor when we were with them at Tekapo. We had lots of fun together and it was neat to catch up with them again and see their house.

From here it was a quick stop at Christchurch to get some chemicals for the loo and then off to Amberley Beach.

The Non Dog area

We arrived there about 4pm and the shadows were already starting to get long. The camp is split into two bits. On the right is an area for Dogs and on the left is an area without Dogs. We went to the left and signed up and put our money in the “wooden maiden”. The cost is $5pp plus $5 for power.. very good value with some new loos nearby and the beach just through the sandhills.

Crossing to the pines

We went for a walk down to the beach just for a look and it looks fantastic with Pines on the foreshore in the sandhills.

Fabulous beach

It reminded me of when I was growing up in Christchurch, we used to have family holidays somewhere up this coast and I remember the pine trees that you had to run through to get to the beach and there were lots of old Cribs.. ahh the good old days !

Late Colours

It looked a bit bleak this time but this was only because it was getting late.

In the morning we left there and headed through to Kaikoura. Coming down from Wellington poured with rain all the way so we didnt get to see much but this time it was brilliant sunshine.

Its amazing what has been done here by the roading and railway people fixing things up after the earthquake. We saw some of the brave abseiling workers fixing back wire barriers to stop rocks falling. Amazing

The Pier Hotel

Arriving at Kaikoura for lunch, our first stop was to the Pier Hotel where we’ve eaten before. Looking across from there its amazing to see all the rocks that have been pushed up by the earthquake.

Looking across Kaikoura with all the new Rocks

One of the things still noticeable is the state of the roads around the area but Kaikoura is looking great and its great to see the good folk of Kaikoura bouncing back after such massive damage.

The Netspeed Speedtest Amberley
Download : 42.05 mbps
Upload : 12.16 mbps
Ping : 50 ms

Rafe’s Track North

Biking to Lowburn

Moving from the Queenstown Holiday Park after my job was complete, we were looking forward to catching up with Rob and see Helen who had arrived in Lowburn from Auckland the day before.

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Motorhomes and caravans down at one of my favourite parking spots

We were at Rob and Helen’s place for the weekend and Sunday was planned for a quick bike ride down to the lake by Lowburn Inlet.

Rob had some chores he wanted to deal with and was going to walk down later so we all set off.

The bikes ready to go

Fantastic sunshiney day and warm as toast as long as you kept out of the shadows!

Fiona and Helen heading to Lowburn

We ended up down by the inlet where we’ve stayed in Rafe right by the lake. Its interesting to see that the absolute lakeside has been fenced off but it is still a wonderful place to stay. I believe the loos have had a bit of a makeover too.

Lowburn lake

We didn’t stay long and we biked back up the Lowburn Valley to check out some of the newly built houses. The real estate scene down here is cruising along nicely and I’m not surprised looking at some of the fantastic homes being built here.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

When we arrived back at the house in time for friends Ross and Karen afternoon drinks, Rob was just arriving back from a walk. He didn’t say where he’d been but Rob doesn’t do small walks 🙂

Fiona getting back to Rob and Helen’s

A great day out in the sun.

Alexandra to Clyde River Bike Trail

It was a cold, foggy and clammy day with a bit of drizzle thrown in but we were keen to bike into Alexandra from where we were staying about 7 k’s from Alex at Derek and Andrea’s Park over Property.

In the unpowered area

Its a big space with plenty of powered sites, a toilet, $2 shower and a laundry along with water.  And its $12 per van!

Us next to a Burstner Elegance of some other fulltime Jaffas’

From here its and easy ride to either Clyde or Alexandra and the Otago Rail Trail is just 1/2 a kilometre away.

Click on an Image for Hi Res  – (Iphone images)

The old Alexandra bridge supports

After a coffee and a quick look around in Alex, we found the end of the trail by the bridge and set off along the river towards Clyde. Its about 12k and is supposed to take about 45 minutes.

Looking back at Alex

Its a great ride and we came across several coming the other way on bikes and a few walkers.

Crossing a small Waterfall

About half way along there are old tailings where a lot of Gold was discovered, and there is what looks like an old drill bit from days gone by. When I say drill bit, its about 6ft in diameter so not something that would fit the Black and Decker !

Fiona with the giant drill bit

We averaged about 15-18kph along the ride as its quite different from the Rail Trail (avg 25kph) with a few curves around trees and ups and down but this makes it a fun ride.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

It runs alongside the river and in several places you cross bridges, ride on boardwalks and there is even a small waterfall. Well worth doing.  It took us a little more than ½ hour.

Interesting track

Eventually we came to the Clyde Bridge and rode off into Clyde.

At the finish line Clyde bridge.. 12k’s

A fun day

The Netspeed Speedtest at Derek and Andreas CAP
Download : 41.79 mbps
Upload : 5.31 mbps
Ping : 66ms

Rafe’s Tracker Map

Anzacs at Marton

After checking in at the Marton NZMCA parking area, I went for a wander around with the camera.

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Great Parking

Marton is probably the only NZMCA park with Loos and a shower which is nice and the check in room is huge and there is plenty of room to relax if there is bad weather and you want a break from your Motorhome.

Down in the corner

We last stayed here with friends Chris and Gary a couple of years ago but the improvements just keep coming.

The parks are now all nicely marked with plenty of nicely planted areas to enjoy.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Right next door to this park is one of Marton’s big reserves with a Monument to our fallen heroes and a rugby field next door. The gardens around are lovely with a nice grove of trees filtering the light as you enter the park.

Nice light next door

The crosses for our fallen soldiers were all in place and there were some amazing metallic Poppies around the trees and on the banks, just as a finishing touch.

Guarded by the Magpie

A great setup and with Fiona and I both coming from huge Army families, it was really nice to see the town was so well setup for Anzac Day.

The Netspeed Speedtest
Download: 64.25 Mbps
Upload: 19.33 Mbps
Ping: 55ms

Rafe’s Tracker Map

 

Luxury Location

We’re in our 4 th day of sitting on the waters edge at Takapuna Beach Holiday Park after moving from our house and its just the best location.

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Premo Spot

Fiona works in Takapuna 3 days a week so can walk to work from here which is great.

When you take into account the costs of owning a house with rates, Insurance and Maintenance and everything else, doing this for 3 – 4 days a week is pretty cost efficient. Its also handy to the Devonport market while we look for another house.

Takapuna Holiday Park has had some interesting moments recently. Being in a prime spot, it has been under pressure by others for its space.

Lovely tropical atmosphere

A couple of years ago, there was a bit of a stoush when the council had thoughts of giving some or all of the campground land for development of young sailors but they didn’t count on the locals wanting to keep the park as is.  Its my understanding that the land occupied by the Holiday Park was gifted on the condition it was used as a Campground or similar.

Looking over the park from the office

Anyway, despite our helicoptered in MP at the time, baracking for the Yachties, the locals won the day and the Campground stays.

Colourful, Caravans

Early in April all the old Caravans are going and they’re going to be replaced with a whole lot of new Powered sites so that will make a difference and make it available to more Motorhomes and Caravanners.

Will be all powered sites soon

This will make a huge difference as many of the Caravans are well past their use by date and the park will do well with the extra space for powered sites.

Takapuna Beach behind

Its a lovely spot and we’ve been here a few times over the last few years and is a great bolthole.

Bliss looking out at Rangitoto

The waterfront parks are 7 metres so I have to park Rafe on an angle but the parks are wide enough to do this.

Rental caravans
10 steps away for a swim

Toilets and Showers, Kitchen and Laundry are all in good shape. They’re beautifully clean and everything works so you can’t ask for more than this.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

We’re probably going to be here three days a week for the next month or so as we’re still looking for another house and for Fiona’s work but I can’t think of a nicer place to be.

Right on the best beach in Auckland and with some great walks along the waterfont right up to Milford and beyond, and south to Narrow Neck. The shops are great and close by and there is a licensed Cafe just on the edge of the campground serving great Coffee overlooking the boatramp. Great entertainment at low tide !!

See our previous visits to Takapuna here and the walk to Milford here.

The Netspeed Speedtest
Download: 64.36 mbps
Upload: 23.76 mbps
Ping: 45ms

Rafe’s Tracker Map

Narrow Neck Sunshine

Our first night out of the house was spent at a friends Garage Forecourt in Devonport. Mark very kindly said we could stay the weekend but the first two nights away from the house were fantastic and with the remnants of a cylcone bearing down on us, it was nice to half tucked under his forecourt verandah.

We met our regular Friday night friends Alan, Grant and Robyn, just around the corner at a Bar and enjoyed some good nerve settling banter with them before joining them for a great Italian meal up by the Victoria Theatre in Devonport. Fantastic night.

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Waking up early on Saturday, Rafe’s grey tank said it was full (which it wasn’t) so a quick trip was made to the dump station at Albany and we did a complete dump and top up of fresh water so we were right for a few days. Fiona followed me in the car up to the lockup with some last minute leftovers from the Packers like vacuum cleaners and cleaning stuff to squeeze in the door 🙂 .. It is packed to the rafters literally !!

Good easy parking

With the weather improving, we headed to Woddall Park in Narrow Neck, a well known freedom camping spot. Its interesting as one of the recent less than intelligent moments from our Council was a decision to ban Motorhomes staying at this park without any discussion. The locals however were outraged and promptly got them to reinstate the parking as the presence of Motorhomers meant the hoon element had completely dissapeared.
Fan bloody tastic ! .. A classic case of Council plonkers making arbitrary decisions and not listening.

My intermediate and High School years were spent not living very far from this beach so I know it pretty well.

Fiona lived on the beachfront reserve for a few years as it was Army housing as her dad was CO of Fort Cautley, so she was really familiar with it too.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

A lovely spot. The day we were there, there was a big day for small yacht racing out on the beach.

Its neat to watch the Dads all pitching in helping their kids rig their yachts and set them off racing.

Dad’s waitiung

Lovely to see them having a cuppa at the club house and waiting on the beach and helping them in too afterwards.

Narrow Neck with Browns Island behind

The pictures tell the story really but a fabulous spot for a night and great walks from here to Cheltenham and most of the way to Takapuna too.

Rangitoto Island

There is also a bus stop to the ferry or to Takapuna right next to the park.

The Netspeed Speedtest
Download:  64.84 mbps
Upload: 36.68 mbps
Ping: 37 ms

Rafe’s Tracker Map

The Big Ride to the Horeke Pub

After a great night of catching up with Helen, Chloe and Jessica along with Dianne and Gary, it was time to get some sleep for the big 30k ride the next day.

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Getting the bikes ready

The next morning, Helen and the the girls set off to check out the Bay of Islands and we got organised and set off towards Horeke.

The top part of the Trail

We simply crossed the road and headed off down the trail. The first part of the trail is downhill..some of it so steep that you are advised to walk it! The first third is pretty much downhill but then it flattens out and its up and down the rest of the way through to Horeke but the trail is pretty easy and nicely set out.

Riding beside the stream

The middle part of the ride go’s through Snows Farm and past a Lily pond and the track is set in some really nice easy bush and along side a river. The scenery and countryside is amazing.

Dianne and Fiona

Eventually the track comes out to a road and then cross’s over to a huge wooden track built up over the Mangroves on the upper reaches of the Hokianga. From there it is only a few K’s to the pub.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

We were well and truly ready for a G&T and a sit down lunch and the lunch didn’t disappoint!  The Seafood Chowder was recommended to us by Noeline at the Rail Stay so 4 Seafood Chowders later, everyone was happy.

Peter the Publican came over to say Hi and it was interesting talking to him. He has owned the Horeke Tavern for more than 25 years so has seen some big changes.

Horeke Pub

Peter runs a shuttle for bikes and gave a us a ride back to the Rail Stay. Gary being a bit of sucker for some more punishment, decided to ride back on his electric bike and did it in really good time too, despite it being mostly uphill on the way back.

Back for a cold one with Rafe later.. Dianne, Jessica, Helen and Gary.