Tag Archives: nzmca rallies

Timber Town Romp – Let there be Music!

The morning started a bit later with I suspect a few sore heads after the NZ-UK Rugby game and there was lots of chatter about the game. To console myself, I kept telling myself that it is only a game after all… not quite that simple but it helped 🙂

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Roger and Diane’s Fifth Wheeler opposite Rafe

I spent the morning reading, listening to some music and generally just blobbed for a few hours. The weather was amazing with a clear blue sky and as the day went on, it got much warmer after a fairly cold start.

Its Knitting time

Today was a real Music Day with a band called Tuned out Larry, Jenny and Band which was a three piece band from Tokerau. A nice sound. After that, there was the usual 4pm Happy Hour. This was the last one for the event so it was well attended 🙂

Time to dance

I went back to Rafe and had tea but was looking forward to the  next band.  Over in the main Hall was  the  Hamilton County Bluegrass Band. A very slick performance by some very talented people!

The crowd enjoying the Hamilton Bluegrass band
The two originals, Alan and Paul
Pam with the fantastic Voice

I’ve heard them several times before and although they’ve now got a different line up, the two original 5th formers from Fairfield High school who started the band, Alan and Paul, are still there and sounding as good as ever. Pauls ex wife Colleen was the original Fiddler and sadly she has moved on but one of their sons is the very talented Bass player and their Daughter in Law is the new Fiddle player.  The Mandolin player who is also an instrument repairer and Potter from Coromandel and Pam the singer and Guitar player complete the lineup.  Pams voice is something else… a great sound and I was there right to the end 🙂

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A very successful event run by a very switched on team.

Piccy time

A great Weekend.

Timber Town Romp – Let the Games Begin

I was up pretty early for me at 7:30! It was cold even though the sun was out for the first time for days.

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People getting ready for the games

Today was to be a big day with the Highland Games and it was fun. There were extra points if you wore some Tartan and many made a real effort with some great costumes.

On the bank

The first event was The Hamilton Pipe Band. There’s something about Bagpipes that just get me going.. I love it! A wonderful sound.

Boom Boom

One of the NZMCA Waikato organiser Neal was dressed up in Tartan, and had a set of bagpipes made of electrical Conduit pipes. He had a recording on his cell phone for the sound effects. A great sight. It was funny to see.

Neal with his Bagpipes

He also managed to momentarily slot himself on the end of the line with the Hamilton Pipers playing. Lots of fun.

Neal “Playing along”
Watching the fun

The Games started straight after that. There was Hammer throwing (into a bucket), Caber throwing, Gumboot throwing which was fun to watch. And later there was egg throwing and they weren’t hard boiled either 🙂 Brian Stanley seemed to do pretty well here 🙂

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The Forest View High School provided a Sausage Sizzle with Steak Sandwiches and other niceties. They did so well that the queue created meant that the events later had to put back while everyone had a feed.

I’m really pleased for the kids at the school as they really put themselves out to make this happen and with at least 150 odd people out of approximately 600 that attended, their sports trip had every chance of being a well funded one 🙂

Marching off

The Haggis was piped in by the Hamilton Pipe band and later another big Happy Hour in the Events Centre. Lots of people this time and after that, there was a performance by Tim Armstrong and his band. Unfortunately, he was competing against the NZ Rugby world cup semi final.

I was lucky to be able to watch it with Rodger and Diane next door with a nice Pinot to finish off the day. Despite the Rugby result, it was a great day in Paradise with some really nice people.

Happy Hour outside

Timber Town Romp – Getting Settled

Yes, it was at Tokoroa. Tokeroa is not somewhere I’ve spent any time at and after a walk around, its quite a neat wee town. Everything is handy and the locals all seemed super friendly.

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Rafe in his spot surrounded by vans

I was heading to the latest NZMCA Rally being the Timber Town Romp which was looking like being a real hoot.  Hosted by the good folk from the Waikato area of the NZMCA, it was held at the recently setup South Waikato Events centre which was a fantastic venue.

Everywhere you look

Having done parking at a Dethleffs event a few years before, I quickly volunteered to help with the parking and all was good.

After registering inside the centre, I met Des and Cathy who were manning the desk along with some others clocking everyone in. A big job.

All those white things

That night I bumped into lots of people I knew which was fantastic, including Rodger and Diane who were parked right next door. I knew Rodger from his time as Custodian at the Ardmore Park. A great guy who most will know from the park and has been involved in several of the Covi shows parking at Ellerslie.

Tokoroa’s main street is undergoing some major road works so the original plan of opening the gates at 11am was quickly found to be impractical as the Motorhomes and Caravans starting queing earlier than planned.  In the interests of safety and not cloggging up the main street, the decision was made to open early and get everyone safely parked.

I was in the main carpark making sure Motorhomes and Caravanners took a wide track so they could line up correctly for the entrance.

That carpark filled up around 11:30 so we started the other paddock. While another friend who I was pleased to see, Alan marked out several rows of new parking sites, I stood in the entrance way and directed them in. Others were parking them as they came onto the field. Everyone pitched in and we covered each other for cups of tea and lunch breaks etc..

The second park with the first in the distance behind…

It was a fun day and there were no disasters either which was a bonus 🙂 So after starting about 9am, most of us had finished about 4pm, we think we parked about 400 odd Motorhomes and Caravans !  Fortunately it got warmer as the day went on starting out around 5 degrees !

Raffle winner

It was time for the first Happy Hour of the event and that was held in the Events Centre main hall which is HUGE! One of the biggest Happy Hours I’ve ever been to.

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At 7pm there was a show from a solo performer Ebonivory Neville Ormsby where many got up onto the dance floor. Very slick too from a one man show. And this was just Day One!

Dancing
Rafe’s Tracker map to the Event.

Hamlet

While we were at the rally, we noticed that the Pop up Globe was open and Hamlet was on.

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The Theatre

Having had hearing aids for most of my adult life since meningitis as a teenager, I have always avoided these types of shows as usually I can’t hear anything and the whole exercise is just a bore but armed with brand new technology hearing aids, I thought I’d give this one a go.

The Theatre

After starting with a glass of wine in the bar area, we wandered into the pre seating area under the trees and into the theatre.

Fiona enjoying a cider with the Artwork

There was a lot that I couldn’t hear as the stage is almost surrounded with the audience on three sides  so they talk in all directions. This means the lip reading function is unavailable largely but I could still make out enough of what was going on and it was just fun being there and taking it all in. These are good hearing aids too!

The cast during a moment of silence for Christchurch before the show

For some reason I seemed be able to hear more in the second half but put that down to more mayhem and shouting 🙂 …a Great show!

The King getting close to the audience.

Its an amazing venue and being just “popped up” in different locations, they take it pretty seriously with a nice bar and seated area under some trees. The artwork and the décor was something special too along with the Minstrels wandering around with their costumes playing their instruments.

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Good seating and nice people directing you around. Its a great setup. Well worth doing and only 5 minutes walk to our Motorhome afterwards 🙂

Back at with Rafe 5 minutes walk away 🙂

Counties Rally at Ellerslie

As always, a well run and executed Rally by the good folk in the Counties team. Just under 400 vehicles were parked by Saturday afternoon and there were still more coming in.

The big picture

This year the Polo was being played in the centre of the track where the rally is usually set up so the parking was set off to the southern side of the stands beside the track. Very handy to the Pop Up Globe which Fiona and I went and saw on the Saturday afternoon.

Big girls under the trees.

Also handy for a walk to Ellerslie shopping centre for those who wanted takeways.

Sea of white (and blue)

Covi put on their magic buses for easy show access and they seemed to go every few minutes throughout the day.

Either side of the track. The latecomers went into the centre.
Off to the show. The Ellerslie event centre in the background.

A great event put on by the experienced Counties NZMCA team.. well done guys.

Rafe’s Tracker Map

Friendly Towns parking at Taradale.

As it was clear early on that the space at the Taradale Club wasn’t going to meet the huge demand for the Phil Collins concert, the local organisers of the NZMCA arranged to lease a paddock opposite the Tarade Club for NZMCA parking.

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Lots of NZMCAr’s

One of the organisers Tony was telling me that at their peak, they had nearly 300 Motohomes and Caravans there and in true NZMCA Rally style, they had everyone parking beautifully.

Organiser Tony

Having the Club over the road with its bar and the air conditioning for the 30 plus degree heat, and the generous meal deals didn’t go unnoticed by the folks over the road either.

Tony also was telling me that their next gig was the Art Deco parking and I’m sure they’ll also be involved in the AGM at Gisborne next month too. .. Busy times !

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Its great when great minds come together for a great mutual outcome. A very plesant couple of days with friendly easy parking.

The Hamilton NZMCA Motorhome Show

Along with a few hundred others, I arrived fashionably early and we were all marshalled into a temporary parking area on the grass.

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The parking!

Kickoff at midday came and the lines formed to get in and once settled, there were old friends catching up everywhere you looked.

One of the many happy setups

The parking was superbly managed and given the huge task of parking hundreds of Motorhomes and Caravans along with Buses with Toads, the end result was just a work of art. Well done to all the volunteers who pitched in. An amazing effort.

Out with the awning

I was only there half an hour and spotted Nelson and Maree in Caniwi so popped in for a chat with them and later caught up with them for a drink after also catching up with John and Sarah Pedersen. It was really nice to catch up with them too. John does a blog called licenced to retire.

The next morning was showtime! .. I’d only just stepped in the door when Chris Nuttall tapped me on the shoulder. Chris runs the NZ Motorhome Forum and it was nice to see him. It has been a wee while!

The Swift Caravans are always a treat and this years new models didn’t disappoint. See below

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With the bathroom and shower at the back, an east-west bed and then Galley and Lounge at the other end, with the finish and polish you would expect from Swift.

I was really impressed with the new Dethleffs Caravans for Families. One of them has two bunks with a childrens lounge at one end, the bathroom and shower facilities, a french bed and Galley area and then a big adult lounge at the other end. Its a big Caravan but they also have a smaller one without the kids lounge which is also a little cheaper.

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Most of the big manufacturers were there, Trailite, Bailey, Jayco along with many others and it was nice to see Eldiss’s new Motorhomes too.

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Going from one manufacturers Caravans and Motorhomes to another all in one spot, its really interesting seeing the different design styles and layouts.

I was really interested to talk to Carters Tyres executive Phil Jackson who was at the NZMCA stand, about tyres. Phil was telling me that many Motorhomes and Caravans are actually close to the weight limit of their tyres with some even over. This isn’t something that I ever thought about to be honest as you tend to watch things like GVM and axle weights. His team were going to weigh Motorhome and Caravans the next morning including Rafe.

I also found out that they have a brand called Giti which are well suited for Motorhomes and Caravans and will perform as well as or outperform my current factory fitted european tyres, and they’re less expensive too especially with the NZMCA discount.  I’m really looking forward to finding out more as mine have done 58000k’s and need replacing!!

Rafe’s tyre weights were interesting. Weighed without me and without the bikes on the back, my current weight was just about 50 kg’s under on the front (each wheel) and would have been just over on the back with the bikes. The Giti’s have another 100kgs approx of payload each compared to my current tyres… who would have known!

Rafe’s overall GVM is just under 4300kg and on a heavy day is 4100kg with water, wine, groceries and packed with two of us ready to go.
After having a great chat with Phil, and Ryan from NZMCA and a few others, I headed out the other end for a bite of something. There was a huge covered area with picnic tables with food carts down both sides offering all the usual treats. Some music was provided too.

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From here I’ll let the pictures tell the story but a fabulous show and I heard that it is now going to be an annual event. I can’s say enough about the volunteer parking people who did an amazing job with what seemed to be a zillion Motorhomes and Caravans.

From the early days

The Vintage Caravans looked fantastic too.

The Vintage section

The Blue Beast

Its always a pleasure seeing an older Motorhome getting a new life from a bit of and overhaul or some good old fashioned TLC.

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Looking Good

Alan and Keitha fom Matamata have had their 1990 Mazda Triton for about 15 years and about 5 years ago decided it was time for a makeover. The 9 month do up was mostly about the exterior but lots was done of the inside too.

Alan with his album of “Before” pictures

I really liked the hidden Waeco fridge in the double drawer. Nice touch.

The Waeco fridge hidden away in a drawer

The exterior was completely reclad and repainted with Aluminium panels with Insulation on the inside.

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Alan proudly showed me a small photo ablum of how it was and when you look at where it is today, a different beast.

A lovely truck and a great do up.. well done to you both.

It gets even Bigger

The Covi Show NZMCA Rally at Ellerslie just keeps on growing and this year, it looked great.

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Huge!

Fiona was working on the Thursday so after a stop at Countdown in Takapuna, I tootled on my own to the Rally arriving around midday. As I entered the gate, there was a nice cheery exchange with Pete and then into the rally and once I was parked, I was right next to friends Nelson and Maree.

Another one comes in

I had just turned the engine off when in the doorway popped one of the volunteers and a friend from Ardmore Jim. Nice to see him too. There was a real buzz about the place. Fantastic.

The ladies in the Registration tent doing a great job.
L to R, Carol, Robyn, Debbie, Noeline and Shona.

Everywhere I went, it was seeing friendly faces and at the Registration tent, I got some gentle ribbing from Jill about leaving Fiona behind again.. all good fun 🙂

Busy

The Rally was well set out and it all went like clockwork but when you see it, its impressive. All those Motorhomes, Buses and Caravans.

After a happy time with Nelson next door, I had a stream of visitors to Rafe which was neat.

At lunchtime on the Friday, there were already over 300 vehicles of different sorts at the Rally.

Well done to the volunteers who put it together and nice to hear that it was a fun time for all. I gather that there were more than 500 Motorhomes over the weekend!

The Massive Rally at the Races

This is just bigger than Ben Hur.. There must be more than 450 Motorhomes and Caravans here and they’re still piling in.

Looks impressive from the entrance.. click on this to enlarge it.

Due to the weather being rather nasty last weekend, the Barfoot and Thompson Races were postponed to coincide with this rally and the races were on while the Motorhomers were crossing the track into the centre. … Between the races of course.

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One of the last races

All in good humour and as the day went on, little groups popped up all around the rally with gatherings for a few quiet cold ones while the horses galloped around the track. A great atmosphere.

Race with the stand in the background

It never ceases to amaze me how the good folk of the NZMCA who put themselves out there and go the extra mile for the benefit of everyone else. The Covi/Spoton team organised this rally from scratch and had a roster to make sure that everybody that needed some help or guidance got what they needed and were happily and safely parked.

It was disappointing to hear that a few NZMCA members who failed to check whether their dogs were allowed, made a scene and got unnecessarily nasty for our cheerful volunteers.
Come on guys.. Common sense… Racecourse, horses and dogs don’t go together.. especially when there is a race meeting on.  For those responsible for this display of bad manners, it’s nice to think that we could be be respectful and helpful for those volunteering and doing their best for the  rest of us.

The NZMCA marshalls Happy Hour

On the positive side, one of the volunteer Rally Marshalls, Jim was telling me that a couple of members who arrived with dogs just to see where they could go, were very thankful when they were redirected to another parking spot just around the corner where dogs were permitted… Nice !

The team also organised a great free bus service to the show which was fantastic.

The Rally from up in the stand

A great rally, some nice people and thanks to Auckland Racing Club, Ellerslie racecourse and of course the Counties NZMCA team for having us there.

And from Rafe’s Tracker.. for those offshore

Ellerslie Racescourse for those off shore

Covi show story next up.