One of the trips I’ve always wanted to do while in Wellington was to drive from Lyall Bay all the way around the outside past Seatoun and Worser Bay. The buildings into the cliffs and the rustic charms of the way the houses are all set into the cliffs is amazing. It’s like a different world.
When you come out the other end towards Miramar, there is the old Air Force Base and workshops. These days they’re mostly occupied by Artists and a few tradespeople. The old Senior NCO’s mess is now used by a cafe called The Chocolate Fish BBQ cafe.
The building has a Historic classification which prevents them from poking holes in it for vents etc so they’ve carefully added a clip on lean to for the kitchen which seems to work quite well for them. The rest of the building is just as it was as a mess building with a few mods for convenience.
One of the staff was quite a talented artist and has painted all the seats and backs of the chairs with different images which really brightens the place.
The company vehicle
Fiona picking her lunch
Half of Fiona’s Fish Sammy
A picture on the wall of how it looked earlier on..
The food is sensational and very reasonably priced and is very sandwich based but they’re a good hearty size! .. Outside, the views of the city are fantastic, there are plenty of things for kids or grandchildren to play with and best of all, really easy Motorhome friendly parking.
The place oozes history and we found ourselves easily enjoying a couple of hours taking it all in.
Caroline had a really popular Celtic cafe and bar in the Whanganui City Centre but tragedy struck and it burnt to the ground. Bouncing back from adversity, she purchased the Arohomo Hotel next to the river which was for sale at the time.
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Over the course of the last few years, she has completely rebuilt the Bar and Restaurant and now Caroline’s Boatshed is one of Whanganui’s finest eating out establishments. Having quite a lot of land behind the Restaurant, with her Caretaker, Bruce, they’ve developed this into a well equipped Motorhome park complete with 30 powered sites, a dump station, showers and a washing machine.
The carpark and Caroline’s Boathouse
At $15 a night for a powered site for 1 or $25 for two, it’s very good value.
For me, being right next to the river, a flat bike ride to town, it’s a magic discovery
This was a real discovery as when I first arrived, they immediately said that they allowed Certified Self Contained Motorhomers to stay overnight. A great discovery as it doesn’t say anywhere and doesn’t seem to appear on any apps that I use. .. Now we know.
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The Pioneers village is just outside Stratford on the southern side and is a collection of 40 plus pioneer buildings set up as a village and done very well.
Many of the buildings have come from the area and have their full history with them so it’s a great record of who did what locally and the the buildings are well setup for visitors.
A nurse a bit worse for wear
Raewyn oiling the wheels
Many of the local families have donated all sorts of furniture, clothes and their old homes to make it happen. There is also a train with carriages on a track that surrounds the entire village. Board member Raewyn was the train driver on the day and was very helpful with showing me what was there.
There is an adjoining cafe which has a great selection of food for lunches and coffee stops so a good place to stop and as I said, very easy parking.
Leaving Thames after a great few days cruising around the Coromandel Peninsula with plenty of time of my hands. I had all day to get home but just before Pipiroa, I started seeing signs for the Bugger café. Well with the Toyota Bugger ad having just been judged one of the all time top ads and the name of this blog, I just had to stop and check it out and I wasn’t to be disappointed.
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A huge carpark in front and although it was busy with cars, there were plenty of big spaces to make easy parking for a large motorhome like Rafe.
I stopped to take some piccies outside and wandered in to a big cheery welcome from owner, Glenda and her team.. nothing beats a great welcome.
Nice food, nice people, reasonable pricing and lots of Bugger bits around the wall encouraging good humour. Their line is “Laugh a little” which you can see everywhere and its infectious.
I bought a Bugger Tshirt and a Bugger Motorhome Rug called the Bugger Rug for Fiona. Lots of fun and neat people.
Glenda and John also have a Bugger café in Tirau.
It doesn’t get much better than this. In a great spot, perfectly flat parking, Power, Water, a very handy bar if you need one and cooked dinner next to a Golf course and Mini Golf.. where? At the Pauanui Club. And only $8 a day for parking with the power and access to the loos.
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I was on my last night after doing the round trip from Thames via Coromandel and Whitianga meeting heaps of neat new people and catching up with some old friends too. A great few days.
For the kids, conveniently right next to the bar
Airstrip next door
So its nice to kick back, plug in and make it easy. The grass is really well drained and is solid so I have no worries about the rain or it getting muddy.
We’ve stayed here before earlier this year when it was warmer and I’ve also done a blog on it. Its worth having a look at the last blog as it was done in summer and there were a few more people around.
Since my last visit, the water has been finished off at the parking spots and it’s all looking good.
The club is a magic spot, they’re friendly helpful people and with a bike, from here it’s not far to anywhere.