After a great New Year’s Eve, we knew the wind was going to blow but I was keen to go for a walk up to the lighthouse and get some piccies.
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As we walked down the beach towards Castlepoint Reserve, you could feel the wind building. By the time we started walking up the track to the lighthouse and being exposed to the wind, you really had to hang on and lean into the wind.
About half way up we were hanging onto the handrail to make sure you didn’t get blown over.. Madness! We weren’t far from the lighthouse now so it was worth persevering. The Lighthouse was built in 1913 so the lighthouse keeper must have had some interesting climbs up the rock to do his thing. These days it is all automated. After a good look around, we headed back down against the wind to find that it had been a steady 40 knots with 60 knot gusts. You could feel the sand stinging your legs from the beach as we walked along. Probably a bit silly really but I’m pleased we did it.
The last time we stayed at Wenderholm, we stayed in the public carpark by the beach. Although we had a great night and its a great spot, compared to other Auckland CSC parks where Motorhomers were safely fenced off, this was somewhat of a disappointment.
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After discussing this with our veteran Auckland parks motorhoming friends, Rob and Helen, they told us that the Schischka park was THE place to go so here we were and it was fabulous.
There is a big electric gate with a digital keypad and after a 500 metre driveway it opens up to a massive grassed parking area by the water with brand new flush toilets in the middle. There are also some baches where you can stay if you don’t have your own accommodation.
Schiska house where you can stay
Schiska House from the CSC parking
The new loos
Rafe parked with the Estuary
The Puhoi Estuary
The Walk to the beach
We could only spend one night here but it is stunning. We went for a walk down a waterfront track to the beach and checked out the old Historic Couldrey House. There are new toilets there too. There are walks all over the hill there too so plenty to do and see.
A great place to stay and so handy to the big smoke of Auckland too.
One of Rafe’s tracking maps below.
The NZMCA parks are amazing value. Where else can you stay for $3 each overnight and have that nice warm fuzzy safe feeling of not waking up with a mattress van or worse a few inches from your pride and joy.
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We checked out the Rainbow Falls park recently and after some pretty heavy rain too. After seeing some comments about how slushy it was, its nice to see enough gravel has gone down to provide parking for 6 or so big Motorhomes or Caravans. I gather this is slowly going to spread as the grass grows. Great idea.
The local crew have done a fantastic job of the gardens around the Lighthouse too.
There were only two caravans there when we arrived and with a fine day forecast for the next day, we made plans to walk down the river right next door with the amazing Rainbow Falls, down to the historic Stone Store. The idea was to have lunch down there and walk back.
Interesting too that the Falls were used to generate one of NZ’s power as one of the first power stations.
We hopped over the fence and got about fifty yards to find the track had been closed off due to “upgrading” so took the car out for a look around instead. I wandered around the top and got some piccies of the falls which was about as far as you could go.
We have been here before in the middle of Summer and it truly is a magic spot. Fiona did the walk last time and I met her down there.
Its a lovely spot now and will be popular in Summer and once the Gravel program is finished, it’ll be a great all year round spot to stay.
Well done to those involved.
The Netspeed Speed test from this site.
(Pre Aerial upgrade)
In terms of being in the middle of things, this NZMCA park takes the cake for being handy to everything. Great restaurants, several pubs, lots of history and things to do. It is in Coromandel and is just behind the BP station as you come into the town on the left. Blink and you’ll miss the entrance.
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Its is also very conveniently right behind the Coromandel Smoking Company where you can buy everything from smoked fish and other seafood to great cheese from local cheesemakers.
I have been here in the middle of winter when it had been punished by endless rain and many were camped in a small area of gravel by the entrance. I gather the local managers of the park have a solution to the water problem in winter and there are plans to make it more all weather. Our two nights there were great and there were about a dozen other motorhomes and caravans who came and went while we were there.
Our first day there, we had lunch at the local pub with friends Rob, Helen and Chloe. Fiona and I shared a seafood basket for $16 which was amazing with bits of everything along with a nice glass of wine. We decided it was so nice we had to go back later to watch the rugby.. the one with the controversial try! … A great night and an interesting game.
The shop to go to for Happy hour food 🙂
Lunch in the Beer garden
The Seafood basket.. Yum
Rob, Helen, Chloe and Fiona behind enjoying lunch at the pub.
With no jobs in the book and with the sun shining, it was time to hit the road. I had just paid for a years Auckland City Parks pass so I thought I’d try Tauwharanui at the end of the Takatu peninsula, north of Kawau Island.
Check these in Hi Res by clicking on them!!
We stayed here more than a year or so go with friends, Gary, Chris and Rob, Helen and Chloe. We only had the one night here so exploring the area wasn’t really on the agenda that particular trip but it’s just a magic place.
When I first arrived, I think there was only 1 other person here and I bumped into him on the beach. He’d parked down in the tents only area but I assumed he knew 😀
The next day, I set out with the camera to have a nosy around. The beach is beautiful with Little Barrier just off it and Great Barrier further out. Compared to Auckland, you could almost reach out and touch them.
Rafe tucked in
The Camping area for tent people
The water is stunning with a clean deep blue merging into Turquoise, just like the tropics with beautiful white sand. As you walk further, the beach merges with two more, all part of Anchor Bay.. Just beautiful. I spent a couple of hours just sitting on a rock under a tree just admiring the colours.. sensational.
After getting some nice piccies, I wandered back to the track to find that I’d forgotten which of the many tracks took me back to Rafe. I ended up walking about 3ks just to find my way back 😎 I can hear Fiona saying something like good exercise !
At nearly 600 hectares of Regional park, it’s a huge place and there are plenty of interesting walks to go on. There are information boards to guide the way with brochures available. No Dogs as its a pest proof and kiwi zone.
A fabulous place and not too far from the big smoke at Auckland.
I can see myself spending lots of time here. 😎
And a screen grab from Rafe’s new tracker system to show its location.
The Netspeed speed test here..given how isolated it is, this a great result.
Test Date: 3/11/2016 11:49 AM
Download: 15.38 Mbps
Upload: 2.76 Mbps
Ping: 46 ms
We were going to take our grandson Ayden for a school holiday trip to Rotorua but unfortunately, he came down with a germ and after another night with his Mum and Dad on the ranch in Ardmore, he was still too crook to travel.
Fiona and I thought we’d try a new campground out at Martins Bay at the end of the Mahurangi Peninsula overlooking Moturekareka Island and also a bit of Kawau. A lovely part of the world and we were pretty much the only people there on our second night.
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The Motorcamp is one of the Auckland City commercial campgrounds like Whangateau and Orewa. They were having an off peak special of $15 a person so given the rain and the showers were rolling through, we thought we’d give a shot.
Its a huge campground with lots of permanent caravans with decks and addons but there are also plenty of powered sites, I think in the region of 130 odd I saw somewhere.
The Balcony parking up the top.
Caravans everywhere you looked
The boat wash down area (coin operated)
Looking down at Martins from the Scandretts track
A Kowhai half way up to Scandretts
Martins Bay with Kawau Island
A good facilities block with token and 50c showers and a well setup kitchen and TV room. Being in a popular fishing area, there is a boat and fish washing area and a separate storage area for boats and tractors.
Above the main part of the campground on a hill, there is a raised area with views over the whole bay where you stay if you pay a wee bit more.
On our first full day, we set off along the beach past heaps of baches for a walk up to Scandretts Park. Its an easy walk up a well worn track up to the top of the hill and you can walk down to Scandretts Bay, or several tracks take you out to a pah at the end of the point. The views are amazing.
We had rolling showers with lots of fine periods while we were there and they had just had lots of rain so quite a bit of the park was roped off to recover.
A nice park which I reckon would be packed in summer and very handy to Kawau Island and the other islands.
A years ago or so, we found this spot and stayed here with our friends Rob, Helen and Chloe. With high cliffs all around with a river running through the middle, it’s an amazing spot. When we were there with Rob, Helen and Chloe in our way south. it was a bit warmer and there were people swimming in the river, a lovely spot.
There is a swing bridge which takes you leads you along the valley for some great walks up into into the bush into the valley. Plenty of level parking, picnic tables, Barbeques, swings and slides and some loos too. The best part of all this is that you can stay for free overnight as long as you have that Blue Sticker of Self Containment.
As you enter the park, you pass under the main trunk railway on a massive viaduct.
I just popped in for a look and to do a Internet speed test and get some photos but while I was there a train went through. You can hear it but being a couple of hills away, only just. To get there, head south out of Te Kuiti towards Bennydale and it’s a few K’s on the left. A nice spot to stay if you’re heading through that way.
The Netspeed Internet Speedtest
Test Date: 14/08/2016 2:30 PM
Download: 7.31 Mbps
Upload: 0.73 Mbps
Ping: 57 ms
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