Tag Archives: Hot pools

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

The Lost Spring in Whitianga

This is as good as it gets without going to a tropical island and includes all the nice things that go with it.

Fiona and I first came here about 8 years or so ago when there was an accommodation deal with an apartment block next door where we could walk through a hole in the fence. It was just magic and we have often talked about when we could go again.

The swing bridge

There is something seriously nice about sitting in the pool having cocktails and beautiful sea food chowder while you’re enjoying the heat from the thermal waters.

In December this year, they’re celebrating their 10th Anniversary so we might have to pop back in then too 🙂

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Just over 10 years or so ago, longtime Whitianga entrepreneur Alan found out he had some thermal water under his property but it was just a case of finding it.  After sinking 4 bores down at huge expense, he struck gold and the Lost Spring was found. Over the course of a few years, he then set out to create what we see now as the Lost Spring Hot Pools and Restaurant.

A Cave that you can swim into

The detail in the Caves and Volcanos with waterfalls and the Gardens are amazing and its something else to swim in and out of them.

You’ve probably gathered by now that I’m a real sucker for some nice Hot Pools but these really do take the cake!

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Alan now runs it with his daughter Allana and it just gets better and better with the addition of a Day Spa and some elevated Massage Therapy  rooms overlooking the pools.

Allana and Alan

One of the neat things here is the old Whitianga Schoolhouse was moved and restored and is now the Restaurant, Reception  and changing room area.

Enjoying the Heat

The whole experience is a real treat and trust me, you will feel very spoiled!

One of the New Elevated Massage therapy rooms.

If you’re in the area, this is an experience you won’t forget and remember you can park your Motorhome there if you’ve had a swim.

Update 1/1/2019:  Motorhome overnight parking is no longer available.

Rafe’s Tracker Map

Yay, the Hot Pools

It was miserable in Tauranga and due to get worse so I headed over the hills to the Opal Hot Springs Holiday Park just outside Matamata.

As I pulled up, I met Vanessa and Carrilline at the front desk, both very friendly and ready to show me where everything was..

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Happy faces, Vanessa and Carrilline

Carrilline and her husband, Brian own the business and after 3 years here, they are making some big changes. I showed her a picture on the NZMCA app of the camp and it looks completely different with all the parks now being all weather.

The steam rising from the pools

The pools are being painted later this year. The place is looking really good.

The all weather parking

I parked Rafe at one end of the new all weather parks and headed off for a walk around the park while the sun was out. The pool complex is massive with an almost Olympic sized heated pool and several others.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

There are 70 powered sites, 10 non powered and a dozen or so Motels and Cabins.

More Parking

Its in a lovely position just outside Matamata heading towards the Kaimais.  A great place to blob out with some heat.

The Kaimais

The Netspeed Speedtest
Download: 4.51 Mbps
Upload: 2.85 Mbps
Ping: 125 ms

Rafe’s Track

The Promised trip to Rotorua

Some time ago we promised the Grandsons Ayden and Liam that we would take them to Rotorua for a few days and see the boiling mud and swim in a hot pool.

The boys have never been to Rotorua so were looking forward to it after a false start a few months ago, when one of them got sick and we couldn’t go.

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Ayden and Liam playing in the Playground.

We were also meeting our friends Rob, Helen and daughter Chloe who were on their way to the South Island.

After picking up Fiona from work in Takapuna and then collecting the boys at Ardmore, we were off to Rotovegas! We didn’t leave until late so we weren’t expecting to be in Rotorua much before about 7pm.

As it was cold and there was some pretty rough weather due to arrive, we decided on staying at the Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park which looked pretty good with the hot pools.

When its cold outside and there is an Internet signal!

It is a well setup place and comes with several thermal pools and a playground for the kids. It was also perfectly located  for us as we were just around the corner from Te Puia and Whakarewarewa.

The Tracker and Rafe by the flash amenities building.

Helen had made a nice tea for us and after settling down Rafe, we moved into an amazingly well setup new kitchen and dining Room. It was all connected to our parks with a covered walkway which I thought was pretty cleverly done.

Great setup

After a great night of catching up with Rob, Helen and Chloe, we setup the drop down bed for the boys and all turned in for the night.

In the morning, Rob and Helen were taking Chloe up the Gondolas and headed for Ngongotaha while we went outside with the boys and took them to Te Puia which was just over the road.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

I had a good look around the camp in the early afternoon and it is huge. There are 164 powered sites and nearly 30 odd cabins and units and while we were there, the housemovers were setting up some more !

Something for everyone. At 10C I’m not sure this is me !

After spending the day in the thermal area, we arrived back just as it started to rain and headed for a hot swim where we caught up with Rob, Helen and Chloe.

After Happy hour and a few glasses of Chardy in the Tracker, we hit the sack for the night.

Smaller hot hot pools

A great spot to stay for the Hot Pools, for the thermal attractions and the amenities are superb.

The Netspeed Speedtest here..  not too flash!
Download: 6.46 Mbps
Upload: 1.79 Mbps
Ping: 47 ms

Rafes Tracker Map to the Thermal Holiday park

The big Wet

We started planning Queens Birthday quite a few weeks ago so we could book into the anticipated busy Miranda Holiday Park and get parks,  for both Rafe and our friends in their Tracker.

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Fun in the pool

Rob, Helen and Chloe were joining us for the weekend and we were really looking forward to catching up with them again.

Lonely yellow chair

The weekend forecast was not great but we figured that our old favorite spot would be pretty safe.

At last the sun came out briefly

We arrived around midday on Saturday to find that Rob, Helen and Chloe had already arrived and after getting Rafe level and some vents open and the power on, Fiona and I were off to the hot pool.

Chloe’s tent in between us

The rain hadn’t started yet but was forecast to arrive anytime. Later in the day, it was all on and overnight into Sunday, it just didn’t stop. It didn’t prevent us though from ducking in and out for a swim on both days.

Later on Saturday, Rob and Helen popped over for a cold one and some cheese and biccies. I was amazed that despite the forecast, Chloe was still keen to stay the night on an air bed in a small tent between the two vans!

Click on the Gallery below to see a slideshow

Sunday… It was all on, some Thunder, and LOTS of rain. The drainage ditch behind us was chocker and threatening to come into the park from the road. There was water everywhere.

swimming in the rain

Later in the day, the rain eased up and Rob and I went for a walk to have a look around. Many of the parks with Caravans and smaller vans were half under water. Most of the tent sites near us were submerged but despite all this, everyone seemed happy. The pool was busy everytime I went anywhere near it too!

The drain behind us was about to verflow

If you’re going to get stuck in a downpour, I couldn’t think of a better place to be really:-)

Rafe’s Tracker Map

Thunder and Lightning

While we were in Cromwell, we heard the odd crash of thunder in the distance and given that there were 5 days of storms in that region, we seem to miss it all 🙂

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Rafe with Brian and Rose’s Jayco

After leaving Weedons, were headed into Christchurch to get some more toilet chemicals and then started the trek north to Hanmer.

It is years since we were last at Hanmer and its a great place.

The Hanmer park

We headed into the NZMCA park which I’ve driven past numerous times but this was our first time in it. What a neat spot. We’d only just pulled up and I was levelling up Rafe when I met our next door neighbours Tony and Beryl from Motueka, who were heading south to catch up with family in Arrowtown. They had a nice little Bailey caravan and having lived in a bigger model earlier were seasoned caravanners so it was really interesting chatting to them.

John at happy hour!

We were joined by their caravan by John and his girlfriend from Australia who was a real character. He had been part of the television series Outback Truckers so it was great to catch up with them too.

The pools

The next morning, we took Rafe into Hanmer which is about 7 k’s from the park and had a swim and lunch in the hotpools. While were there, out rolled these huge black clouds and it was all on with the thunder and the lightning. Even in the daylight you could see the lightening.

Happy hour before the rain

We got back to the park quite late and a new van had come in while we were out. Brian and Rose from Motueka. We got talking to them too and it turned out that they lived only a few houses away from Tony and Beryl 🙂 A small world.

And the rain came down!

We all got together between Rafe and Brians Motorhome and enjoyed a cold drink and a laugh or two. The Thunder and lightening hadn’t finished yet but we all had umbrellas which I thought was very stoic !

Dusk at Hanmer NZMCA park

The Hanmer park doesn’t have any water, rubbish or any extras and as I said, its 7ks out of town but given that there is no freedom camping in the area, the options are very limited but its a great wee park all the same and comes it at the same great price as all the other NZMCA parks. 🙂

Rafe’s Track

Hunker down at Holdens

The weather was about to go downhill dramatically and as there was a deal going on the Campermate app at Holdens Bay Holiday park for $14 a night, it seemed sensible to take up the offer.

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Lots of room in winter
Lots of room in winter

A couple of nights plugged in with the heater on to clear some posts, sounded like a good idea. There were hot pools there too.

Rafe all settled in before the afternoon rush.

Its a big park with lots of rental apartments and plenty of powered parks and being a cold winters day and about to get colder, it had more motorhomes there than I expected.
Holdens  Bay is on the eastern side of Lake Rotorua just south of the airport. Its a little out of the way but apart from the odd plane, its a nice quiet spot with great facilities. You can also walk to the lake which is only 5 minutes away and there is a technology museum almost next door. With the deal and forecasted bad weather, a great spot to hunker down.

NZ is such a small place. I’d no sooner settled Rafe down when I heard a frantic tooting and looked around. There was some people that I’d met the night before in Taupo and put them onto Campermate.
A young Dutch graphic designer with his theatre nurse wife, Stephen and Angelique with their 3 year old son. A really nice couple who were into their third and last week of a NZ campervan tour. They had got  the same deal I had and were staying one night before pushing on towards Auckland. I also bumped into them a few days later at Miranda Holiday park, one of my recommendations for their last night. We’ll hopefully catch up with them in Rotterdam when we get there sometime next year.

HoldensFor those offshore, Campermate is a free cell phone app which shows where Campgrounds, dumpstations, free parking, petrol stations etc are on a map and use your location but also has deals. Well worth getting if you’re touring NZ.

Holdens bay towards Rotorua
Holdens bay towards Rotorua

Its such a neat place Rotorua with so much to do and has a calming atmosphere to it and of course all the Thermal stuff happening.

The Netspeed Speed test for this site:
Test Date: 5/09/2016 2:18 PM
Download: 29.28 Mbps
Upload: 1.87 Mbps
Ping: 46 ms


It’s always a great experience checking out St Faiths Church and Ohinemutu on the lakefront, when I’m in Rotorua.

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The chap in the window
The walk on water window

I can remember coming here when I was in short pants and it still looks as good now if not better.

Inside St Faiths
Inside St Faiths

It’s always quite serene and has an air about it which is nice. I think the thermal steam from the cracks in the road and everywhere probably helps this too.

There were quite a few people there too having a good look around so that’s great for the donation boxes there. OhinemutuA lovely peaceful spot and there’s a couple of overnight spots for motorhomers just around the corner by the boatramp.

By the pools parking

In Rotorua recently, I discovered by accident almost, the amazing new free overnight parking put in as part of the Motorhome Friendly towns scheme and by the Rotorua Council.

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Great Parking
Great Parking

What a great spot right in the middle of town really and in the Gardens area by the Polynesian Pools complex.

Although it’s essentially a modified carpark, it has been done really nicely with the sculpture garden next door and surrounded by pools.

The view from the park
The view from the park

Well done Rotorua Council and I bet it’ll be well used by Motorhomers.

Drinks and Food by the side of the Hot Pool !

I felt like spoiling myself and had heard about the new Top 10 Taupo’s new pool bar. A swim in a hot pool and be served a nice Chardonnay sounded like just the ticket to me.

Check out these images in Hi Res by clicking on them

I arrived at the Top 10 around lunch time which was great after a great run across the Napier – Taupo rd. After spending two nights in the NZMCA Eriksen rd park, I was a little taken back by the Top 10 winter rates for a single person at $27.00. But then thought, everything is spic and span and the new multi million dollar pool complex and so on, it’s not that bad when you compare it to others and I was spoiling myself 🙂

People enjoying the Bar
People enjoying the Bar
One of the hotter pools
One of the hotter pools

After parking Rafe, it was time to do some laundry and check the place out out before having a swim. It’s nicely laid out with lots of green things (trees and stuff) between parks and the Toilets and Showers are absolutely immaculate and pretty new. There is also Pétanque, Volleyball, Tennis, Trampolines, Basketball and something new called Neos.. There’s plenty for everyone.
The washing was finished so I was off for a swim.

There are no steps which makes it interesting for getting in and out. You sort of slide in and out over a concrete bank. The main hot pool is huge with other hotter and cooler pools and channels from it. There is a cave which is 4 metres deep at one end of the pool with a waterfall over the entrance. And the bar.. Fantastic. You can buy pizza’s, meals, drinks, what ever takes your fancy and there are partly submerged chairs to sit on too. There was a unique system when I checked in where they took my credit card number so all you have to do is give the bar person your site number and sign your name and it’s all done. The prices were very reasonable too .. $8.00 for a big glass of Chardy. Very pleasant.

Enjoying the Sun
Enjoying the Sun

There is also a huge TV screen over the pool which had the movie Shrek on when I first got in. Early in the evening, it had the league on which I thought was a bit of an atmosphere killer. It was better when it was switched off in between !.. Each to there own.

Kids watching Shrek
Kids watching Shrek

Although this is a commercial Top 10 site and the price is up there at $57 peak for 2 with power, it isn’t too bad when you see what’s there and you’re ready to treat yourself to something special.
TaupoIt’s a novel experience and a first for me here in NZ. This is the only one in NZ like this. Go and spoil yourself.