Tag Archives: Nice Food

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.

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Rafe’s Tracker Map

The Phil Collins Concert

We’ve been to quite a few Mission Concerts now and they never seem to fail to entertain.

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Earlier in the day

This year, we had Phil Collins along with a couple of local bands which warmed up the crowd.

The day started with breakfast at the Taradale Club which was supposed to include a shuttle ride around to the venue too but when the time cam for the shuttle, the driver went AWOL 🙂 so we walked and it wasn’t far and it was fun.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Breakfast was great and at $10 each was very good value. By the time we had finished breakfast, it was pretty much lunchtime so at 2pm, after a bit of a snack, we headed off around the corner to the Mission Estate.

Fiona, Dianne and Gary all rugged up.

The weather was supposed to shower in the morning and improve as the day went on but the weather was late.. so the showering happened during the early bands. By the time Phil came on, everyone was damp, it was cold but it had pretty much stopped drizzling so as the night went on, we dried out and it was quite pleasant.

Phil had had some back surgery and had a duff leg so was aided by a walking stick and sat on a stool at the front of the stage but as a drummer, he is very used to singing sitting down and it sounded as good as it ever does.

His 17 year old son Nicholas is now the drummer and is very very good. One of the early songs they played had a huge quite complicated drum solo in it and he did a great job. He’s also a good piano player as well and you could tell that Dad was very proud of him.

Phil with Nicholas playing the Piano (Cell phone pic)

All in all a great concert which I’m pleased we went to despite the timeing with packing our house with moving just a week or so away. A good trip..

We headed back to Auckland after a nice night at the NZMCA park at Taupo.

On Stage .. cell pic

Taradale Club parking for Phil

Late last year, I received an email from our Taupo Motorhome friends Gary and Dianne asking if we wanted to go to the Phil Collins concert.. yes please says I so Gary bought them online. I’m not sure exactly where he was at the time but I suspect it was somewhere in the UK.

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On the way.. Taupo

All I had to do was arrange for some parking at Napier for our two Motorhomes. Just as that was happening, I received a very timely email from mary at the Taradale club saying they had limited Motorhome parking for $25 a night.. thats us I thought so I immediately booked us for two nights for both of us.

Happy parking

Fast forward 6 months or so and despite moving out of our house in less than two weeks, we’re on our way for a few days to Napier.

Arriving at Taradale, I met Mary who was happy to change Gary and Dianne’s park so they were next to us and not long after we arrived, in rocked Gary and Dianne in the Niesmann.

34 Degrees C! .. not much talking happening here 🙂

The Taradale club was doing a BBQ tea for $20 a head and a $10 cooked breakfast so we clocked oursleves in for those too!

Every nook and Cranny was used.

The parking was great and with the temperatures hovering around the early 30’s it was stinking hot. The club’s bar with its air conditioning was a great spot to hang out and the drinks were reasonably priced too.

It was one of these !

There were probably about 30 odd Motorhomes there with most taking up the option for the meal and the breakfast.

Everyone was happy to chat to each other in the parking area and it was a very friendly spot.

Over the road, The NZMCA had leased a paddock fromn a local farmer and there was parking there too and that would have helped that Clubs turnover too!

Acroos the road at the NZMCA parking

Mary did a gfreat job making sure everyone was where they wanted to be and organising the meals. A neat spot to stay and very close to the concert venue as well.

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Rafe’s Tracking map north showing where the club is.

Like a Tooth Missing

We were heading up North for the weekend to catch up with Helen, Chloe and Jessica and also meet Gary and Dianne from Taupo. The plan was to meet Gary and Dianne at the Caledonian Park at Waipu for a night and then go on up North after that.

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The Neissmann and Rafe

We pulled into the park early in the afternoon and it was good to see a few others in there enjoying the park. There were several Caravans and a couple of Buses there. What wasn’t so good to see was the missing buidings from the recent fire.

You can the back of Rafe in the park next door

As Gary said later, it was like a Tooth was missing. The fire happened in late September and burnt 3 shops to the ground including Fiona’s favorite cafe which is temporarily trading in a building over the road. Having something like this happen in a small town like Waipu would be devastating and I’m sure was a real shock to the town.

Neat Town
That Gap from across the road.

The town rallied around to help those businesses and many worked through their Christmas Holidays to help get some temprorary accomodation for the Cafe.

Cafe Deli’s temporary accommodation.
Cafe Deli at the back

The next morning we went for a look through the town and had a coffee at the Cafe Deli over the road in their temporary building.

Good to see some others here.

Its good to see they’re rebuilding but what a huge hole.

Catching up with Terry and Lisa

My old neighbours Terry and Lisa moved to Wangavegas (Wanganui) as he calls it, about 15 years ago and they love it. They’re really settled here with new friends and are currently building a new house out by the Golf course which is perfect for Terry as he loves his Golf.

Carolines Outback Bar and Restaurant

We arrived early in the day and checked in at Carolines Outback Holiday Park where I’ve stayed before. Its a great park and it is right behind Carolines Outback Bar and Restaurant which was perfect for us to have a meal with Terry and Lisa.

No Holes left

They popped in about 5pm and we had a couple of drinks in Rafe before checking in to the Restaurant at 6:30.

A fabulous meal as always and it was great to catch up and hear all about their new house and their family.

Terry with Lisa, Archie and Fiona

In the morning they popped around and we walked around the river across the bridges with their Dog Archie before checking out at 10am and heading North towards Auckland.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Caroline’s Outback Holiday park is a great spot to stay and Bruce is always happy to help. Unfortunately it was a bit overcast and gloomy this time but check out the images from the last time I we were here and also see Bruces Truck.

The Tracker has popped its clogs so until its fixed or replaced there are no maps.. The Park is by the river about 1 k inland from the city on the Somme Parade.

A Happy Place

Another nice place to consider for summer!

Fiona’s cousin Iain has been coming here for years, every holiday break and he calls it his “Happy Place” and I heard somone else call it this too… and its all true 🙂

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A Happy Place

Kaiteriteri is just a magic place in the world and with an off season deal for NZMCA members at $98 a week, it truly is happy time sitting there amongst other nice NZMCA’rs looking at the beach literally in front of your front bumper!

Long termers in the middle rows

We’d just stopped and parked in front of the reception and I was walking in to check in when I met Selwyn and Lynda. This was before I’d even checked in ! They were off on a walk over to Little Kaiteriteri via a lookout on a track through the bush. They showed me how to get there so we could do it to. What a welcome !

Close to the water

The receptionist was amazing too. She insisted that if we weren’t happy with the site, I could shift which we did later.

Huge

Its a huge campground with muliple ammenties blocks. In winter, they cut costs by closing all but one block. There are more than 400 powered sites and several cottages. They even have their own small supermarket and nearby are several bars and restaurants to suit all tastes . A very well setup campground.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

After checking in on a brilliantly fine day, we went for a walk up to the lookout at one end of the beach and Fiona carried on to Little Kaiteriteri for more exercise. That afternoon, we sat around the beach and checked out the camp.

Fiona at the lookout

Later in the day, we met up again with Selwyn and Lynda who were only parked two away from us so we commandeered an empty barbeque table and enjoyed an hour of laughs and something cold with them. They hadn’t come that far as they lived in Motueka or “Mot” as its known locally. This to me gives you some idea of how good they think it is at Kaiteriteri when they could be anywhere.

Looking down from the lookout

The next day, we took off in Rafe over to the next bay around Marahau. It is a really bendy, twisty road and we averaged probably 30 k all the way there. Interesting though to see and it is another lovely bay. From here you can go right up into the Abel Tasman Park. We headed back on another easier road and stopped for a cup of tea at the charming coffee shop in Riwaka.

Looking across to Little Kaiteriteri

We have been here before a couple of years ago with Gary and Chris with their Fuso. But weren’t here long enough to have a good look around.

Lovely spot and a very Happy Place !

Rafes Track to Kaiteriteri

You know you’re on the West Coast When..

You’ve got black sand between your toes and at the Kopua Raglan Motorcamp right on the beach, there is plenty of that.

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The Black Sand

We’ve stayed here a few times now and one of the things that I really noticed this time is the recently done up showers and toilets. The pressure in the showers is so good, you almost don’t need soap.. let the water do its thing.. amazing.

Chess anyone?

When you check in, you get a swipe card which you use for both the automatic gates and the facilities. A good system and it worked well. There is a $10 bond which you get back as you leave after returning the card.

Lots of stripes

The camp is on a peninsula of sand basically so it there were no worries with the awful forecast of heavy rain. We knew we’d be fine on the well drained sand. It is almost completely surrounded by water but there is a well lit footbridge connecting it to the town with an easy walk in to the cafes and shops.

The Bridge to Raglan

There are more than 200 powered sites with quite a few permanent caravans and they also have Cabins that can be rented too.

The Fish and Chip shop on the edge of the camp and apparently they’re pretty good.

I heard someone comment that they thought it was a bit expensive but at $86 for two nights for two nights with power and all the new facilities with the NZMCA discount, I thought that was very reasonable.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

We spent a couple of really nice nights there. Yes it rained and it blew but nothing like the forecast said. Over the two days there with friends, Dianne and Gary from Taupo and Jonas and Irene from Auckland, we had several walks into town for a look around the shops and an great meal at one of their restaurants.

The Beach

Very easy accomodation, friendly people, great facilities and a really interesting town.

Rafe, The Niesmann and Jonas’s Trend

Before you ask, No Dogs but there is some free Wifi!

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Rafe’s Tracker to the Camp

A Special little town called Raglan

After a few weeks of being housebound and itching to get away, our friend Dianne in Taupo arranged a get together in Raglan.

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Jonas trying out a surfboard on a Mural

Raglan was deemed to be reasonably easy for everyone and a pleasant place to be. There were going to be three Motorhomes, Us in Rafe, Gary and Dianne in their Niesmann and Bichoff and Jonas and Irene with a Dethleffs Trend McRent Motorhome from their fleet.

One of the amazing shops

The weather forecast was a shocker with high winds and heavy rain forecast but when has that ever stopped us before 🙂 The Classic Yacht Association had already cancelled their annual Christmas hooley just based on the forecast a few days before !

At the campground

After staying a night with Alex and Sarah and the grandies, we set off early to the dump station at Papakura and then Raglan stopping briefly at the Countdown supermarket in Huntly for a few forgotten items.

We arrived at Raglan Kopua Holiday Park around lunch time and after parking Rafe, plugging in and opening some vents, we had a quick lunch and then set off to Raglan township across the bridge for a look around.

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At this stage we pretty much had a blue sky but the wind was blowing and it was threatening.

Raglan really is a seriously nice town full of very friendly people. The choice for cafe’s is fantastic and there seems to be a real Hippy/Surfy culture which you can see everywhere.

After an hour or so, we headed back over the foot bridge connecting the Motorcamp to the town and arrived back just in time to see Gary and Dianne arrive from Taupo.

The famous Hotel

The next morning we were joined by Jonas and Irene and had a another trip into the village for another look around and after an afternoon of chatting, cups of coffee, a few glasses of wine and lots of laughs, we headed back in for a meal in one of the towns fine restaurants.

Last time we were here a few years ago, we walked right around the foreshore to the wharf where there is an amazing fish and chip shop and some more great shopping.

One of the unusual shops

A fantastic town with an amazing atmosphere and I’m looking forward to going back sometime soon.

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Rafe’s Tracker map to Raglan

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

Port Albert Wharf

After stopping at the Port Albert General Store to check out the amazing fish and chips, we doodled down the hill to check out the Wharf and domain.

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Amazing wharf

The area was settled in the 1880’s and was quite thriving settlement caller Albertland but they eventually all drifted away to Auckland and other bigger centres. There is a museum in Wellsford dedicated to this area which is well worth a look at.

A Plaque telling the story of the Albert Landers

Self contained Motorhomes can stay here for free for up to 2 days but need to vacate during the day.

There are good Toilets here and a huge gravel area which runs down to a boat ramp.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Its a lovely spot and while we were there, there were three small vans ready to stop for the night.

The Gravel area.

Its only 8 k’s from Wellsford and the road runs down to Helensville and Kaukapapa so is not far for many things to see and do.

Rafe’s Tracker map