While I was having a look around the Piha Motorcamp, I walked past Jo outside her Civilian Bus giving another camper a Massage. Kids from other caravans were there taking photos with their cellphones. It was all very casual with lots of laughter !
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Having a chat later with Jo, its quite a normal part of her day along with making up her Rongoa Maori Healthcare medicines.
Two years ago Jo took delivery of her 6m, 1992 Nissan Civilian and adapted it so she could make her Natural Herbal medicines. She has been living in it and commutes into town two days a week to teach others about Maori Healthcare.
The day I took the photos, she was showing me the biggest Mushroom I’ve ever seen.
She also has a great collection of walking sticks which she has gathered up with hre long walks looking for the native plant ingredients for her Medicines.
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Some of the Medicines
Where it all happens
Jo cooking up a storm
Jo with the Mushroom
A really nice lady and she is really enjoying her lifestyle with the bus.
Parked just a couple of rows across was a flash big German Caravan called a Vivaldi made by Tabbert.
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Brent and Natalie from Papamoa are the proud owners of this fantastic Caravan and most afternoons of the Timber Town Romp, there was a Happy Hour set outside this van. The others in the Happy Hour were mostly Brent and Natalie’s neighbours at Papamoa where they are based.
I popped over and joined them one afternoon and the next morning went over for a chat and a look see. One of the first things you notice are the massive windows.
At 8.65 metres long, its a biggie but apparently tows well. With 800 watts odd of Solar power and massive storage, theyre never going to have the lights dim 🙂
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Lovely dining/Kitchen area
Brent and Natalie
From the front
After buying the 2005 model van 3 years or so ago from a dealer in the South Island, where they used to live, they’ve now been “everywhere” but their favorite places are up North.
A nice Caravan and well set up for some fantastic trips to come.
While I was standing in the main carpark helping traffic get from one side to the other at the Tokoroa Timber Town Romp, in came John and Joan in their massive 11m long Motorhome.
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They originally came from Rotorua but have recently moved to Matata and “Homely” is their mobile Bach which they’ve had for more than 20 years. In that time, they’ve completely rebuilt the interior including putting in features like slide out cutting boards and bench extensions.
John tells me that it is two Ford D750 chassis’s welded together powered by a Hino eh700 with a Manual Gearbox. It has a Leyland Bison Cab and the the exterior is colour steel. On top is a Butynol roof.
They’ve been all over in it and travel with their two small dogs Bear and Wolf.
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The front end
The Main Bedroom
Bunks for the grandkids.. one used as storage.
The magic pull out extensions
Looking forward towards Wolf and Bear
They got a very clever friend of theirs in Rotorua to do the fantastic graphics on the side which make it quite distinctive.
As I walked away after chatting to them for half an hour or so, they looked very settled and content in their very comfortable Motorhome.
I had just been for a walk around the grounds of the pub and was returning to Rafe when in comes Rex and Jenny with their beautiful homebuilt Teardrop Caravan and WOW!!
Its roomy too, much bigger than your average teardrop. They have a Queen size bed in it along with a wall of wardrobe and shelves.
The back lifts up for the Galley area and there is a great little hideaway for their slide out Barbeque.
Having taken 2 years to build from scratch, they’re returning to their home town of Tauranga after a 3 month trip around the South Island. They finished building it 3 years ago and are now are getting to enjoy it.
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Rex and Jenny
The BBQ pulls out of one of the rwar guards
The 1957 Chev . (same year as me !)
Matched with the 1957 Chevrolet, it is the full package and sounds it too.
Its funny who you meet at places… such a small world.
We’d only been here half a day when Fiona spots an unusual looking Caravan just along from us and says .. “Blog!” .. so off I trundle and introduce myself to Darryn. It turns out that Darryn’s dad was a very good friend of mine and mentor when I first started as a Photographer in my early teens.
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Like me, Colin was an ex Herald Photographer but before my time and had a really successful Photographic business in Milford.
Colin, Darryn’s dad and I had our birthdays within days of each other with Colin being a few years older. We used to make the most of celebrating.. Fiona and Colin’s late wife Val, called them “adventures”!!
Anyway .. back to Darryn. He has been living in Poland after marrying his Polish wife and working remotely for an American Merchant bank in IT.
Having family here who he flies back to see fairly regularly, he decided to get a Caravan and a car to tow it. Having access to good tradesmen and costs being a bit less, he did them up in Poland before shipping them here in a Container.
The Caravan is amazing being a 1978 Otten made in Holland which he bought in Germany.. yep, its crossed a few borders! He has done quite a lot of work on it to tidy it up but has yet to make it compliant for NZ power so was running on Solar and batteries when I caught up with him. With only an 800k tow weight and the Plymouth with the 471 V8, it would hardly know its behind!
The Plymouth has had a lot of work done including the new bigger motor. He has also done a lot with the body and painted it. I’d say it would be a rare beast in Poland. It sounds and looks beautiful.
It was really nice to see Darryn to catch up on the news on Colin and his family and to see his amazing Caravan and Car.
8 months ago new fulltimers Jo and Avon ago picked up their Newmar Country Star and after taking it home to Dargaville to finish setting it up, have now sold up and are starting their adventure on the road.
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I was busy chatting to one of the Counties parking volunteers at Ellerslie when they rocked into the rally for parking for the Covi Show. I got talking to Avon while he was setting up the hydraulic levelling and setting up the slideout. What a magic machine.
Being just 10 metres long, it is still able to parked in most places but the 250 HP Cummins underneath sounds nice. Avon is a builder so is keen on progressively making some changes and with Jo, stamping their own ideas on it.
It is setup with a huge paddock like living room behind the drivers area with lounge and dining area on one side opposite the Kitchen. The ablutions off a corridor to the bedroom at the back.
What a difference slideouts make.. massive amounts of room in the lounge, perhaps a great party venue 🙂
And that would be the newly restored 1928 Reo Speedwagon, once owned by the founders of the NZMCA, Andy and Gladys Anderson.
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Once used as passenger and freight bus in Te Karaka, it later went on to be a bus for the Gisborne freezing works.
Andy Anderson bought the old bus in Gisborne and converted it to his Motorhome and then started the NZMCA as #1 !
Fast forward to June 2016, it was collected from the Eastland Museum of Transport and Technology and taken to a workshop at Hallright Plumbing. It spent the next 2 and a half years here being restored by a small army of 34 volunteers.
It was completely stripped down and rebuilt bolt by bolt and the result is stunning.
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Allan, John, Brian and Fergus in front
Love the mirror
Comfy seating. Fergus’s nailbox has gone 🙂
The outside loo
Seeing it on the NZMCA stand at the 2019 Covi show, it was a joy to behold. The attention to detail from the volunteers is amazing. Ferg Mckenzie along with 3 other volunteers came up to the Covi show to look after and show off their work.
Well done too to the board for supporting the restoration. A great part of the associations history.
While we were in Narrow Neck, across the car park was a Blue Truck with an amazing Dragon artwork along one side.
I wandered over when the owners turned up to meet Garrith and his partner Summer.
Takapuna based Garrith has had the 1996 Ford Trader for 6 months, and in that time has set it up so he can live in it. It looks comfortable but with only 6 months, I get the feeling it will be quite different in another 12 months time.
There is an amazing amount of room in it and they’re really enjoying being on the road and check out Garrith’s Mural on the side.