Tag Archives: Nice Food

Treats at Makana

As you come into Kerikeri on the left, there is a new complex of buildings set up as a Chocolate Factory and Café.

Rafe parked up safely
Rafe parked up safely

A great place to spoil yourself as well as rest your legs and get something sweet.  It is also very easy to park Motorhomes in the car park as long as you pick one of the end parks on each row. There is also bus parking around the back for caravans and longer vehicles.

We visited a Chocolate factory on the outskirts of Blenheim, last year and that was their South Is store.

MakanaEasy parking, lots of nice sweet things and great Coffee.

Grand Central Park

In terms of being in the middle of things, this NZMCA park takes the cake for being handy to everything. Great restaurants, several pubs, lots of history and things to do. It is in Coromandel and is just behind the BP station as you come into the town on the left. Blink and you’ll miss the entrance.

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The NZMCA park looking fabulous
The NZMCA park looking fabulous

Its is also very conveniently right behind the Coromandel Smoking Company where you can buy everything from smoked fish and other seafood to great cheese from local cheesemakers.

Keeping out the wind and having fun
Keeping out the wind and having fun

I have been here in the middle of winter when it had been punished by endless rain and many were camped in a small area of gravel by the entrance.  I gather the local managers of the park have a solution to the water problem in winter and there are plans to make it more all weather.  Our two nights there were great and there were about a dozen  other motorhomes and caravans who came and went while we were there.

Our first day there, we had lunch at the local pub with friends Rob, Helen and Chloe. Fiona and I shared a seafood basket for $16 which was amazing with bits of everything along with a nice glass of wine.  We decided it was so nice we had to go back later to watch the rugby.. the one with the controversial try! … A great night and an interesting game.

The next day, we checked out Driving Creek Railway which is just up the hill from the town.

coromandelThere is so much to see and do in Coromandel. It is so well setup for Motorhomes too and the park perfectly located to make everything easily within walking distance.

The old and the new at the Museum

It is always a great occasion once a year when the nations Dethleffs owners get together for a catchup all in one spot. Its a good opportunity to see what others have done to their vans to make their motorhoming more fun.

Click on the images to see them in Hi Res or a slideshow

View from the Museum
View from the Museum

This year was the biggest yet with 75 motorhomes and caravans which made life interesting to yours truly and my old friend Gary from Taupo to get them all parked. We had a lot of fun as we did it with little walkie talkies that Gary had. The hard part was not being able to have a chat with everyone as they came in, that had to wait for later.  As they all had the same sided habitation door, we decided we’d park them in rows with the doors facing together on a 3 metre space and the opposite side being a 4 meter space so that people could escape without skittling tables and chairs etc and it worked really well.

In the social lane
In the social lane
From the road .. impressive.
From the road .. impressive.

The first 40 odd arrived on the Friday and everyone settled in, met old friends and checked out the car museum.  The car museum is fabulous. We visited this last March and had a good look through. You can see that here. There are all those cars that we had as kids, the Mark 1 Zephyrs, the Prefects and a lot older. It really is something to see. Outside is normally a NZMCA POP where you can stay overnight and it was nice to see friends Marama and Karen pop in for the night.

The next day after a good breakfast in the Juke Box Diner onsite, we caught a bus to a local Tea Estate and got to taste and learn about locally grown tea which was really interesting and on the way back popped in for lunch at the Hamilton Gardens Café. Some decided to walk off their lunch around the amazing gardens.

After getting back to HQ at the museum, it was open home for motorhomes so a quick vacuum and a tidy up of Rafe and it was visits all around. Lots of fun and it was nice to see people we hadn’t seen for a long time.

Open Homes
Open Homes

At 6pm it was time for a drink in the Marquee and a feed in the Diner which was immediately followed by a great display of the local rock n roll dance club and they were fantastic.

dethleffs
Slightly blurry cell phone pic!

We finished up the day with Dianne and Gary with friends Ian and Lynda in their XLI right next to us. A lot of fun and we had some great laughs.

catching up with friends
Ian and Lynda’s XLI on the left, Rafe on the right.
The way there from Rafes tracker
The way there from Rafes tracker

A great day and well hosted by Mr and Mrs Dethleff in NZ, Jonas and Irene Ng. Thanks guys and thanks to Dianne for organising  a great day out.

And the Netspeed speed test from this site.
Test Date: 12/11/2016 5:14 PM
Download: 40.43 Mbps
Upload: 12.35 Mbps
Ping: 34 ms

The Woolshed

As you’re coming North on State Highway 1 is a new Cafe called the Woolshed. It’s about 200 metres south of Sanson on the left. It was built from the foundations and flooring of a huge house.

The Huge carpark
The Huge carpark

The building looks like it has been there forever but it is brand new.
Fiona and I were on route from Wanganui to Palmerston North so she could catch a flight back to Auckland so we diverted to try out this new cafe.
It has a massive carpark so it’s very easy to park even the biggest vehicles and their toads! While we were there, a caravanning couple popped in.

It’s full of character and you would put money on it being a do up rather than a new build and has plenty of sheep and wool paraphernalia scattered around the room. There is even a couple of model full sized sheep just inside the door and a full wool press in a corner.

The inside of the cafe
The inside of the cafe

Out the back there are sliding doors for full on BBQ sessions and a playhouse and other extras for the kids/grandkids.
WoolshedNice coffee and although I forgot to get a piccy of it, Fiona and I went halves in a very nice and filling shepherds pie for under $10.
Looks out for it as you get close or drive through Sanson. About 200 metres south of Sanson on the left going north.

The Old Senior NCO’s Mess

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.

The view
The view

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.

At the front door
At the front door
Plenty of good easy parking
Plenty of good easy parking

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.

My Pork Sandwich
My Pork Sandwich

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 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 view
The view

The place oozes history and we found ourselves easily enjoying a couple of hours taking it all in.

Caroline’s Outback Gem

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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From the street
From the street

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.
Caroline's BoathouseHaving 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.

At $15 a night for a powered site for 1 or $25 for two, it’s very good value.

The outbuilding at the back.
The outbuilding at the back.

For me, being right next to the river, a flat bike ride to town, it’s a magic discovery

Stratford Pioneer Village

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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Cafe over the carpark
Cafe over the carpark

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.

Okato Cottage
Okato Cottage
Inside Okato Cottage
Inside Okato Cottage

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.

Many of the local families have donated all sorts of furniture, clothes and their old homes to make it happen.
imageThere 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.

Plenty of parking
Plenty of parking

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.

Bugger

Bugger
The sign says it all.

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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Bugger
Big Carpark

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.

Bugger
Rafe snuggled into a park

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.

Bugger
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.

The Sports Club

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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Pauanui
Rafe plugged in, Club in the background

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.

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.

Plenty of Room
Plenty of Room

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.

Pauanui beach
Pauanui beach.. from the earlier blog in Summer

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.

The Netspeed Speedtest for this site
Download: 42.19 Mbps
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Ping: 54 ms
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&q=-37.021481,175.860135

Lots of Lemons

Heading back to Auckland after a great weekend in the Helensville area, we stopped at a place called Provenance which we’d been to before a long time ago when it was Beesonline.

The Parking
The Parking

A huge carpark which makes it easy to get a Motorhome into and a very park like environment with a bridge to get to the Café.

Click on the images to see them in Hi res or slideshow

parakai

When we went there, there had been thunderstorms the night before and the weather had been misbehaving badly so the pictures don’t show it  at its best.

Nice outdoor area
Nice outdoor area

I imagine their outdoor areas would be nice in the sunshine. It was also really interesting to see they had a huge garden where they grow a lot of there own veges and herbs.

Someone knows how to grow Lemons!
Someone knows how to grow Lemons!

They also have about 10 or so absolutely laden Lemon trees. Someone here knows what they’re doing.

There was a big fire raging when we got there and it was all very warm and toasty inside despite the weather and we sat down and ordered some lunch.

Corrugated Cow on the roof
Corrugated Cow on the roof

As I was still nursing my implanted tooth, I went for a mushroom penne  type of meal and Fiona had the same. It was just amazing.

When it was Beesonline, it was very popular and its good to see the same high standards still apply. They still have some hives out the back too.

Bees out the back
Bees out the back

If you’re heading out west to Muriwai or beyond, it is just on the left before you get to  Waimauku on the main road.