Tag Archives: Nice Food

The Hundertwasser Art Centre

I don’t know how many times I’ve photographed and driven past the loos at Kawakawa, but Fiona and I had both seen the publicity on the new Art centre in Whangarei and it was on the must do list πŸ™‚

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Nice easy parking

We arrived in Whangarei just after lunch after stopping in at Manganui for a piece of fish and a Scallop or two for morning tea πŸ™‚

Very styley 60’s πŸ™‚

With the weather looking decidedly dodgy with wind and rain, I decided on the Whangarei Central Holiday Park which is easy walking distance to anywhere in town. It’s also very reasonably priced with very nice people running it. Everything works and its handy!

After settling down Rafe, we set off with our umbrellas towards the new art centre, about 10 minutes’ walk. It’s amazing! The first thing to do while it was not raining was to check out the dome and the roof garden. There are some really rare trees from the islands there too with curled leaves… interesting but to think how quickly this has come together, it’s amazing and on the roof too.

Back downstairs on a wavy tiled floor, you feel almost like you’re on the water. Up one floor for the gallery on Hundertwasser are lots of examples of his art and design, and basically several rooms on how he did what he did and when. Really interesting artwork but with his unique style.

Fiona in the tower. The Marina in the background

He also had an amazing motor Sailer which I think he might have sailed out from Europe.

We spent an hour or so here and then went for a coffee at the Centre’s Cafe.

Some of the art

By the time we finished here it was time for tea. We found an arcade in the main street full of Restaurants and bars and eventually settled on an Indian Restaurant called Tumeric. It would have to be the best Indian meal we’ve both had for some time and was very reasonable. Amazing food.

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It was getting dark as left the restaurant and we ambled our way back to Rafe at the Park.

Outside our new favourite Indian Restaurant πŸ™‚

A really interesting day starting in Ahipara, Manganui for Fish, ticked off the Hundertwasser building and a great Indian meal… what a day:-)

Rafe’s tracker map to the Whangarei Central Holiday Park – Armada GPS

Mangonui, the Home of great Fish and Chips

Years ago, we had friends up here who lived in Hihi. We used to come up here and stay over the New Year period with them and other friends.Β  We stayed in a pup tent under a Ti Tree:-)Β  Β It was always heaps of fun and Mangonui was the local big town if you like.

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The Famous Mangonui Fish Shop

So, Mangonui was on the must do list for this trip. We stopped at a parking area just as you enter the town with Toilets, a dump station and is also a freedom camping area between the trees. A nice spot.

The parking by the water.. Toilets, and Dump station along with freedom camping.
The Old Oak Boutique Hotel

We then walked about 15 minutes around to Mangonui Fish shop passing all the lovely historic buildings, the Pub, a big shopping building, the over the water 4 square store, and lastly the fish shop.

Walking along the waterfront
The 4 Square shop

It’s a great spot and the fish is so fresh having the boats come in right next door. Some of the Lemon fish is actually caught from the shop.

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After an hour or so of indulging in this delicious food, we walked back via and ice cream shop opposite to Rafe and started heading north again.

Lunch at the Duke of Marlborough from Paihia

From our spot in Kaikohe, we rang ahead and booked a spot for a couple of nights at the Bay of Island campervan park which is nestled in between Olive trees on the main road into Paihia. Its a perfect spot for walking to Paihia and to the Treaty grounds, both only 15 minutes away and it is very reasonably priced too.

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Paihia Wharf

The first day we were there we walked about 15 minutes into Paihia to catch a ferry over to Russell. The ferries were flat out so there were three ferries shuttling people across but there was plenty of room and it’s only a 15-minute trip across.

Leaving Paihia

We had booked into the Duke of Marlborough for lunch but were a bit early so walked around the waterfront, ate ice creams and drank coffee and eventually went to the Duke for a G&T. The β€œDuke” as it’s known apparently is NZ’s oldest licensed pub. There are several others that claim this title but as Russell was NZ’s first capital and one of its first settlements, they’re probably right πŸ™‚

Fiona ready for lunch πŸ™‚
My Snapper and Chips
The Group across the road enjoying their lunch

Fiona and I came to a wedding here several years ago and they’re slick operators where the food and Beveridge’s are concerned. There was a table setup for a group of about 10 across the road at the top of the beach having their meal out on the edge of the water… lovely!

The Duke of Marlborough behind the trees.
The Russell Ferry that was sunk after a collision with a boat a few days later. The boat in the background is a Classic called Wild Duck. It used to be a Flying boat tender in Mechanics Bay.

As the time crept on, we crossed to the road to the jetty and caught the ferry back to Paihia.

The ferry we caught back was being skippered by a lovely guy who also collected the tickets was the ferry that was sunk a few days later, by an alleged helmless 600hp go fast boat that hit the port side. He was badly injured and airlifted to Auckland in a critical condition. A terrible situation and from my past boating background, being hit on the port side means the ferry had right of way. Witnesses say there was no one at the helm. I hope after the investigation that the transgressor has the book thrown at them.

Leaving Russell

After getting back to the camp, I had a great chat to Jan who owns the camp and previously ran another bigger camp at Haruru Falls. It turns out that Jan is the big sister of an old Auckland Star colleague of mine who was a subeditor and used to lay out my photos on the fashion pages… Small world πŸ™‚ She was ex media too but in Televison!

Click on the Gallery below for an Enlarged Slideshow of the Park

The camp is a little pearler with very tidy loos and showers and some apartments, some of which go up the hill. The camp sites are separated by Olive trees which is nice and the next morning, we were entertained by the β€œShakers” shaking out the Olives from the trees. The Oil is bottled along with the Olives and donated to charity.

The crew get stuck in.
The Shakers in action

A great park in a lovely spot and so handy!

Rafe’s tracker map to the Bay of Islands Holiday Park – Armada GPS

A break away from the chaos at Kaiaua

The new NZMCA park has been open for a few months now but what a spot.

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The Park

After several weeks of dreadful weather and with Rafe just sitting on the pad, it was time to bust out while the weather was good.

The pub in the background

We set off about lunchtime and headed down the Motorway and headed out towards Miranda with hardly any traffic on the roads at all. Arriving an hour or so later with the sun streaming down, we parked up at the Kaiaua Park. It’s a beauty! With the Bayview Hotel right next door with a track through to the pub and the famous Kaiaua fisheries next to them, there is definitely no excuse for being hungry or thirsty πŸ™‚

The Bayview Hotel next door

After a visit to the pub and finding them busy, we decided on Fish and Chips, and they were huge! I kept a piece of fish for the next day πŸ™‚

Kaiaua Fish and Chips!

After lunch at the Hotel, which was fantastic, we headed off to Rays Rest for an hour or two.Β 

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We have not been there since it was redeveloped by a storm a few years ago but it still looks pretty good to me.

Seafood Galore!

We decided not to stay though and headed back to Kaiaua and settled for a G&T at the Hotel.

The Marina

A fantastic park with room for Africa and having the Pub and Fish and Chip shop handy is a Real bonus!

Rafe’s Tracker map to Kaiaua NZMCA Park – Armada GPS

Out with the Old, in with the New

It was New Year’s Eve. We left the Hawkes Bay Golf club reasonably early so we could find a good spot at Eriksen Park. It was busy but there were plenty of gaps.

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The Dethleff corner. Steve and Rosemary’s Esprit, Rafe and Ian and Erik’s Esprit.

We’d only driven about halfway into the park when we spotted an older Dethleffs Esprit with some big gaps alongside, so I parked alongside and Steve next to us. Easy.

Busy at Eriksen Park

After we’d opened vents and settled in, off came the bikes and the four of us set off to Napier for lunch. It was nice to see some of the old cars cruising the streets.

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We then went to the famous Masonic Hotel for a drink but after less than Β½ hour, we were told they were closing so we moved to this amazing wine bar just down the road that Steve knew about, where we were entertained by really good German host who really looked after us.

At Napier shops about to have lunch. Steve, Fiona and Rosemary. Check out the car going past.
On the way back to Eriksen into the gale !

At least an hour went by, maybe more πŸ™‚ and we set off back to Eriksen on our bikes along the waterfront. The easterly wind had really got up, so the electric assistance was cranked to the max πŸ™‚

Ian, Rosemary, Steve, Fiona and Erik enjoying a New Years eve Happy Hour.

The owners of the older Esprit came back in their Toad, and we went over and met them. Nice guys from up by Kaitaia, Eric and Ian. They later came over and joined us for a New Year’s Eve drink.

Bliss

After tea, we sat outside while it got a bit cooler and waited for the fireworks.

A really good day on the bikes again with friends.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Eriksen Park – Armada – GPS

Sunshine, Biking and some new Vineyards

We woke up to another great day of sunshine and after cups of Tea and Coffee with Steve and Rosemary, we decided it would be better to move a little further down the road.

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At the Golf Club, Steve and Rosemary’s Esprit behind

We were heading to the Hawkes Bay Golf club so after a trip into Hastings to get some provisions and the dump station, we headed to the Golf Club.

Horse was the camp supervisor, and he very quickly had us sorted for a spot with some power. There were showers and Toilets too in the main building across the practice Tee.

We decided to keep it close today and not ride too far as it was predicted to get really hot. There were two vineyards close by that both had good ratings. Alpha Domus and Abbey rather than attempt the 25k’s odd the day before πŸ™‚

From the parking area across to the Clubhouse and facilities

After leaving the golf club we headed for the closest one Abbey but before we got there, we bumped into some people biking away for some feedback and they said it was chocker being right on lunchtime, so we thought we’d head to Alpha Domus a bit further down the road.

At Alpha Domus about to enjoy some really nice Sparkling Rose.
Alpha Domus by the vines. Fiona Rosemary and Steve. – Iphone pic.

It was lovely there. Some nice trees in the carpark to chain the bikes to, a great sparkling Rose and some very helpful people. They didn’t have anything to eat so we settled for a couple of bags of chips. The Sparkling Beatrix Rose was a stunner, and it was very pleasant sitting in the shade on the edge of the vineyard.

At Abbey, Steve with his beer tasting.

After this we headed about 200 metres up the road to Abbey Vineyard and it was still pretty busy but what a great atmosphere. There was a band playing and it was alive and kicking πŸ™‚

Steve did a beer tasting, Fiona had an upmarket Gin and Tonic and I settled for a Chardonnay and the platter we got between us was amazing.

Rosemary and Steve at Abbey
The Scene at Abbey

We spent a good hour or two here and then had a quiet ride back to the Motorhomes.

A perfect day in paradise… Steve and Rosemary joined us after tea in Rafe.Β  A fantastic day with good company.

Rafe’s Tracker map to the Golf Club via Provisions – Armada – GPS

In the Wine Triangle

Leaving the Gentle Annie and arriving in Hastings, we arranged to stay at a Vineyard right in heart of the Bridge Pa wine triangle. There were Bike Trails almost to the front door of the Vineyard to any of the other Cellar Doors and Vineyards. We were in for a treat.

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Looking out from our parking spot across the Vineyard

The Vineyard was also the home of Double of Quits Vineyard or as we called it Ali’s Bikes. Ali and her husband owned the 4 acres of vines of several varieties and also ran the Bike hire business from a big Barn. Alongside the Barn were 4 powered sites for Motorhomes.

We were perfectly positioned for a great day biking around the vineyards. The weather forecast was great, we were right in the middle of the vineyards, a perfect situation πŸ™‚

On the bike trail to Trinity Hill

Early the next morning, I got the bikes off the back of Rafe and we were off. We headed off to one of the roads up by Roy’s Hill as we had seen Trinity Hill as we drove in.

We bumped into a group of people biking in the opposite direction to us and we stopped for a chat and a recce as quite a few of the vineyards were closed.Β  They had just biked from Trinity Hill and confirmed it was open so destination confirmed!

Fiona crossing the road outside Trinity Hill
Arrived !

We hadn’t booked but they were able to squeeze us in for lunch which was great.

I’ve always been a bit of a Chardonnay fan and they had what had recently won the best Chardonnay in the world in the International Wine competition, the 125 Gimblett and it was the best!

Rahil with the wine from heaven.

I did a wine tasting of three of their better Chardy’s and we had a platter between the two of us… It was just magic and the education on the wines was great too. Rahil was our man of the day telling us all there was to know about the wines. Fantastic experience.

Amazing Platter

After leaving there we headed back to Rafe and our park and settled down in the sun with yes… a glass of Chardonnay πŸ™‚

We hadn’t long been back when we received a call from friends, Rosemary and Steve from the Dethleffs Owners Group in their newish Esprit GT.

Great to see them and we sat outside and enjoyed what was left of the sunshine for the day.

Storage at Trinity Hill

A wonderful day and so nice to be in a good spot to be able to bike around the vineyards.

Rafe’s Tracker map to the Vineyard showing Trinity Hill – Armada – GPS

A great place to stop – Tokoroa

What a pleasant surprise finding the Tokoroa Club parking area.

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Excellent parking

Nicely partitioned away from the normal parking area with 6 powered sites.

The Bowling club next door

It is extremely good value for $10 and they’re really friendly people too.

Massive carpark with the Motorhome parking behind.

Their carparks are huge but at the back of their main carpark are the Motorhome / Caravan parks.

We arrived early in the afternoon, plugged in, opened the vents and went into the bar for a nice cold Gin and Tonic and paid for the park at the same time.

There was a storm due!

They do meals as well but you do need to be a member of a Club to be able to use the indoor areas.

The Club

A great spot for an overnight break.

Rafe’s Tracker map to the Tokoroa Club – Armada – GPS

Matakana Country Park Markets

They’re off to a great start too from just starting out early this year.

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There were about 40 plus stalls with another 10 or so arranged in a circular food court.

The Food Court
Food time

The nice thing about this and several stall holders raved about it was that it was well shaded by some fantastic trees.

I bought some Paua shell Earings for Fiona and some neat soft plastic kitchen utensils for cast pots.

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The way it was set out was nice to with an initial lane which branched out into two other areas, the food court area and the back to the carpark.

Hand made knives

Ivana the organiser was pleased with their progress and the numbers I saw there showed it was in good heart.

A neat addition to the facilities and things to do if you stay at the Motorhome parking area.

Rafe’s Tracker map to Matakana Country Park – Armada GPS

Frankia Owners Group meet at Coromandel

We set off early on the Friday morning thinking there might be a bit of early Labour weekend traffic, but it wasn’t to be, and we made it to Coromandel in pretty good time.

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Steve Gibson took this amazing shot with his drone. Coromandel shops are off to the left.

The Frankia Owners group organiser Brian Maginness, had invited me along to meet some of the group. Many of them were ex Dethleff owners so it was nice to see them again. They’re a good bunch and I’ve always admired the Frankia Motorhomes so we were really looking forward to it.

Brian had booked out the entire Park over property at Acres which is almost right in the middle of Coromandel town.Β  Run by Pauline and Ron as part of their property in a separate area complete with power and a bathroom, it is spectacular, and we’ll definitely be back to see them again.

Late on Friday afternoon, a few gathered outside Rafe and Happy Hour was on.

I met Russell and Lorraine who were originally from New Plymouth where I had just come from the photo Auction for Hospice.

It turns out that Russell spent a lot of his working life as a Linotype operator at the Daily News in New Plymouth so knew many of my press photographer friends who were involved in the Auction as they had also worked at the Daily News. Small world stuff.

It was really nice reminiscing about the old technology with the lead bars, slugs on the page (letters/paragraphs for the press) Great stuff.

Outside the gate

I also caught up with Peter and Heather who have adult children a similar age to our own and have lived close to us in Devonport for a long time. They’ve recently just got started with their near new Frankia Platin. Lovely to see them enjoying their new Motorhome.

My old friend from Devonport, Peter.

After the happy hour was finished, we all headed up to one of the restaurants in the main street of Coromandel about 5 minutes’ walk away. A great night and everyone had fun.

The next morning, it was each to their own. Some went bike riding, some walked up the back through the bush, we went for a walk through town and after lunch, walked back slowly to the camp to catch up with our neighbours in their Motorhomes.

Off for a Bike ride

Happy Hour rolled around and after this, I set up a team piccy and moved the group, so our Dethleffs was out of the background πŸ™‚

The Team

That night’s tea was at my favourite restaurant in Coromandel, The Star and Garter. The meal I had was massive and Peter who was sitting next to me, watched me struggle through it. It was so nice.
I wasn’t going to waste any of it. πŸ™‚ A nice meal as always and at a reasonable price. Another great night.

Star and Garter on the left looking up the main street.

We all ambled back to the park and crashed.

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The next day, many left. The rally was over but Fiona and I along with several others had enjoyed the park and the others company so much, we weren’t quite ready to go home πŸ™‚

a Happy hour getting started.

A fantastic gathering… Well organised Brian and thank you to you all for making us both welcome.

Rafe’s Tracker map – Armada GPS