Tag Archives: NZMCA

New Dargaville park with History

This was my first trip to the brand new Dargaville NZMCA park and its a cracker.

Click on an Image for Hi Res

Close to the water

It is right on the rivers edge with another smaller river on a side boundary and only a few minutes walk to the centre of town.

This was one of my first times of the new check in system and paying on the NZMCA App and it was easy. What a great system.

There are two old heritage buildings on the site with a couple of old jettys on the side of the river.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

After a wander around watching the river water flow from all the rain we’d had, it reminded me of when I was a nipper just mooching around the waters edge and sitting on old wharves on a quiet day.

2 minutes walk to the Rotunda and the town

I went for a walk into town over the bridge and what a neat atmosphere. The old band rotunda and some public loos are only a few minutes away and although the brown colour of the Wairoa River isn’t exactly beautiful, there is a real sense of history and a real charm about the place.

All weather and safe

We’re very lucky to have this network of NZMCA parks and once the word gets out, this new one is sure to be popular.

The Netspeed Speedtest here (Old Router)
Download: 7.64 Mbps
Upload: 21.01 Mbps
Ping: 44 ms

Rafe’s Tracker Map

Rust N Dust

This is before Pohara was an NZMCA park. We stayed at the Murchison Park which is fantastic too.  Another oldie. Enjoy

Pohara Beack looking towards the boat club and Abel Tasman National Park
Pohara Beack looking towards the boat club and Abel Tasman National Park

After a more settled night at a free camping site by the Waitapu river, we left Takaka via the magnificent Pohara Beach and checked out the Pohara boating club. The rock formations right above the road were amazing. There were a few Motorhomes , a bus and a 5th wheeler parked at the boat club which is parking by donation, and looked as though they had been there the night and were right on the waters edge. They must have been hammered by the wind as we got some big puffs by the river and we were behind big trees and sheltered!

The rocks by Pohara boat club
The rocks by Pohara boat club.

We left there to go over the Takaka hill road which is impressive. Sadly, no where to stop for pictures but some great views. We headed into Motueka and the onto Mapua for lunch. After lunch, we left to go through upper Moutere which is supposed to be loaded with craft shops, cheese places and vineyards. Someone must have forgotten to tell the gps where they were as Madam was a bit dark when we got to the other side without seeing any:-/

NZMCA park in Murchison
NZMCA park in Murchison

We arrived at the NZMCA park in Murchison at about 4pm. The park is well set up and is huge. It has a dump station, water and is beautifully flat with all weather gravel. Well done and a big Thank you from us to those people who put this together.

The grocers shop
The grocers shop
Murchison Hotel
Murchison Hotel

There is an amazing old shop in the old stables right next door to the park selling second hand bits and bobs called Rust N Dust!

Rust n Dust in Murchison
Rust n Dust in Murchison
Odds and sods
Odds and sods
Bits and bobs
Bits and bobs
Madam with some glassware
Madam with some glassware

Most if it you would never see in another shop. It was almost like a museum as the stock was so rare. Parts of an Austin dashboard, 1950’s high chairs, old telephones.. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

More bits and bobs
More bits and bobs

We had a quick walk around Murchison Main Street when Gary and Chris arrived from Takaka.
As it was well after 5pm, we thought it would be rude not to have a wee glass of something to celebrate our arrival in Murchison. Gary also did a plan for us for the rest of the trip which looks really good. Westport tomorrow.

It gets even Bigger

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

Click on on an image for Hi Res

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 2017 Covi Motorhome Show

It’s  always an exciting time when  either of the Motorhome and Caravan shows start to see what new knick knacks are available and what’s new. We were staying at the Ellerslie Racecourse NZMCA Rally with 500 or so others and they had put on a shuttle service to make it easy to get to there.

The Rally looks impressive from the entrance.. click on this to enlarge it.

I must have been on one of the first buses to the Showgrounds as the bus driver wasn’t too sure where to drop us off and we circumnavigated the Show grounds a few times before we got there, even a brief tour of Alexander Park too.   🙂

A 4 WD Hymer on the Rocks!

This year was the first year for the new Hymers and also the Cathargo. The Hymer has arrived in force with three or four different models including a 4 wheel drive model which was setup on top of a pile of rocks just to make the point. The Hymer in the piccies is the Starline 690 which is 7.9 metre is length, has a GVM of 5.3 t and has a 3l Mercedes rear wheel drive.

The Cathargo was well publicised at last years Covi show but this year is the first time they’ve got several models here. A very smart looking wagon.

The other interesting story is with the Dethleff Nomad Caravans represented by Central RV. Brett at Central RV sent off his design for a Caravan specially for the local market and this was the first one in. The amount of room in it is amazing and it’s the first caravan I’ve seen with doors on both sides of the bedroom giving complete privacy. The Dethleffs Nomad 650 RQT as it is known is 8.7 meters long, it has a 700kg payload and has a total weight of 2.5 tons so she’s a biggy!  It also has an Alko chassis helping to make it tow nicely.

Jonas and Chris and the team at Frankia have received the first of the 8.4 metre Platin series.  These really are the ultimate in Motorhomes.  The electrical cupboard is a joy in itself having its own external locker with everything very tidily laid out and easy to get at. The inside is amazing as well.. The Platin at the show is 8.5 metres long and has a GVM of 5 tons with a 650kg payload.
Well appointed and is typical of the Frankia range known for its high standards.

Patricia and John with their Lilliput and Plymouth
The interior of John and Patricia’s Lilliput

It’s always nice to see the Lilliput Crew with their lovely old Caravans and usually matched by their amazing, beautifully restored cars.

Patricia and John were here with their  caravan and their 1955 Plymouth Belvedere. It was their 55th Wedding Anniversary.  They were also well colour co-ordinated for St Patrick’s Day 🙂

Peter with others on the NZMCA Stand
The NZMCA stand early in the day

The NZMCA stand was huge. I got there fairly early so it was largely pretty empty given its size but it was nice to see the crew there and great to see most if not all of the Motorhome Friendly Towns all with their own stands promoting their areas.

A lot of the NZMCA regions had their own stands as well and nice to see them too.

I managed to get in and out without parting with too much hard earned loot which Fiona will be pleased about, settling for just a new ground mat for under our awning.

Another great show with lots to see.

Kuratau Rally

We haven’t been to a rally for a while and with it being at Kuratau at the bottom of Lake Taupo, our friends from Taupo, Dianne and Gary were keen to go  so we were off. We left early on Thursday night and headed for the NZMCA Ardmore park so we could avoid the traffic on Friday morning which worked well as we were in Cambridge having a cuppa at 10:30.

Kuratau
Kuratau

By lunchtime we were cruising up the hill to Gary and Diannes place about to join them for a quick lunch and then were going to head down to Kuratau in convoy.  Gary lead the way as he knew the road and we headed from Taupo around the western side of the lake down to Kuratau.

Click on the images to see these in Hi res or for a slide show

Rafe and the Xli
Rafe and the Xli

An easy 1hrs drive and we were registering and settling Rafe and the XLI down and getting ready for Happy Hour.

From up above
From up above on the top plateau
Registration and raffle time. On the right, Fiona, Gary and Dianne
Registration and raffle time. On the right, Fiona, Gary and Dianne

The area was on a beautiful 6 acre property owned by Aucklanders Peter and Sandy, beside the river. They had a bach with a big open stone fireplace and their were two plateaus. We were parked on the bottom level next to the river. As the day went on, the area progressively filled up as more and more vans arrived. kuratauHappy hour is always fun and we met some new people and joined in for a couple of the raffles. I don’t remember seeing any of us (the 4 of us) win anything but its all a bit of fun and supporting the Taupo NZMCA.

I met a chap who I knew but had never met from my old days as a newspaper photographer. He worked in Palmerston North on the paper there when I was in Auckland on both the Herald and the Auckland Star.   It was really nice to finally meet him as we had lots of common friends. Small world stuff.

Gary about to open the wine.
Gary about to open the wine… Hopefully!

The weather behaved itself, Geoff and Joyce and the committee did a wonderful job of organising it all and it was nice to see everyone having fun.

Rafe
Rafe

Kuratau is not somewhere we had been before and its lovely. We’ll be back there for sure. Thanks again to the Taupo committee for a well organised rally and to Peter and Sandy for letting us park on your front lawn. 🙂  It was great to catch up with our friends Gary and Dianne again.  A nice weekend having fun!

A few hidden surprises

Huntly is another town that has a few hidden surprises up its sleeve. I was keen to see what the holiday park looked like on the edge of Lake Hakanoa. 

Lake Hakanoa
Lake Hakanoa

Yep, Huntly has its very own lake with a Holiday park on the edge. It all looks very nice. We didn’t go in but stopped for lunch in the park next to the lake. The council have set it up well with nice planting and paths. I’m not a big bird watcher but there were some pretty unusual looking ones there apart from the swans. 

Lake Hakanoa
Lake Hakanoa

After lunch and a cup of tea, we headed off to another parking spot, I was keen to try on the edge of the Waikato river, the Huntly golf club. 

Click on the images to see hi res or the Gallery below for a slide show

Our motorhoming friends Rob and Helen are the golf club experts and have stayed at lots but this was our first ever golf course and it looked like a purler! As we arrived, I got talking to a local who was keen for me to spread the word about motorhoming here as they’re keen to promote it. 

Huntly$10 including power and the use of their toilets and showers which I thought was very good value.  After plugging in and settling things down, we went for a walk through the golf course and went right across to the Waikato river. It was a bit grey and gloomy but still nice to be near the water.

Waikato River
Waikato River

After an hour or so, the last player finished and we were on our own.  Another great spot, not too far from home!

Wheels of the Freewheelers

The view from the road
The view from the road

At the end of the week, it was time to think travel again and with a son with a birthday, Ardmore was the destination. After provisioning for the weekend at the easy to park in Countdown Takapuna, I headed to the Ardmore NZMCA park after getting some diesel at .91c a litre In Manurewa ! Fiona was driving out to join me after work.
I caught up with some if the regular liveaboards in the park which was great.

Our view of the Freewheelers.
Our view of the Freewheelers.

The Freewheelers were having their Christmas rally and were there in great numbers, all parked outside the NZMCA Ardmore park.

Click on the images to see them in Hi Res

Freewheelers are single people out enjoying their Motorhomes and they’re a lot of fun.
They had a Its in the bag night in the hall and it sounds like they had a great time.

The crew looking happy on Saturday morning
The crew looking happy on Saturday morning

With more than a hundred people turning up in 80 vans, it was a fantastic turnout.

Inside the NZMCA park looking out towards the Freewheelers in front. Fiona's car next to us.
Inside the NZMCA park looking out towards the Freewheelers in front. Fiona’s car next to us.

We went out to tea in Takanini with our friends Roger and Marion which was great. In the morning moved around to son Alex’s family in Ardmore in the morning.

Time to celebrate !

Nice wee spot in the sun.
Nice wee spot in the sun.

After hearing the great news yesterday that our property manager Downee received a contract from new tenants, I thought I’d celebrate by cruising down to NZMCA’s Ardmore Park at the Ardmore Airfield. We know where we’re going now after the false start from “the mad woman that was living in France”!

Busy busy
Busy busy

No sooner had I arrived, I met Roger who we met last year filling up his new AutoTrail Delaware with fresh water. It was nice to see him again and there is a plan to catch up for a cold one later.
Roger and Marion had the unique experience of having a 90 ish yr old woman beating their then brand new Motorhome with a broom in the middle of the night on the Devonport waterfront😱. There was amazingly no damage done. The police were called and apparently she has form for giving anyone a hard time that parks in front of their B&B! So when in Devonport with your Motorhome, watch out for a mad 90 something year old with a broomstick. 😳

It is a busy park but we suspect that because the nearby freedom camping area at Bruce Pullman park has a fireworks display on, that there more here.

The library and Check in Charlie hut.
The library and Check in Charlie hut.
Next door neighbours herbs n spices
Next door neighbours herbs n spices

Tomorrow I’ll get the bike out and have a ride around and see what I can find.
Alex and Sarah and the grandkids are next door to the airfield so might see them tomorrow too.

Evans Bay Marina being reviewed for Motorhomes

Evans Bay Marina 20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!
Evans Bay Marina
20th sec exposure at 10000 asa!

On Sunday morning a chap from Wellington City popped around in the Evans Bay Marina car park, with his clipboard. He was checking the CSC stickers for parking compliance. For those offshore, this is the self containment with black and grey water.

At Evans Bay
At Evans Bay the day before. Close to houses

Gary had a natter to him and he mentioned that the parking area was being reviewed. They’re thinking of moving it “up the “coast” which to me sounds like ‘out of town’.
One if the nice things about Evans Bay is its location and closeness to Wellington City.

Evans Bay Marina
Evans Bay Marina

There is also a dump station, toilets and water and a fantastic view.
I have to say though, Wellington definitely have more than their share of boy racers and people with sirens.
All in all though, it’s a great spot and it would be a real shame to lose it.

Does anyone know what’s happening ?

Yippee. Wearable arts!

Before we left Raglan, we had to check out the famous Raglan beach, then onto Hamilton to get diesel and the to check out a neat wee cafe that Dianne and Gary knew just out of Cambridge called the Red Cherry.

Gary, Dianne and Madam at Red Cherry
Gary, Dianne and Madam at Red Cherry

We decided on an early lunch and then after more goodbyes, set off for Marton. Gary mentioned going down the western side of Lake Taupo, turning off at Tokoroa. Great idea as there was no traffic to queue behind so Madam decided to have a drive. Now that Rafe is run in and everything has settled down, she found it a doddle.

Down the western side of Taupo
Down the western side of Taupo. This pic specially for Alan 😀

After stopping briefly at Turangi for a cuppa, went went all the way through to  Marton. We arrived about 5pm just before dusk and it was nice to see Gary and Chris again.

With Gary and Chris
With Gary and Chris
At the Marton MCA park
At the Marton MCA park

The NZMCA park at Marton is a fantastic facility set up with toilets, showers, water and a library. I think I also saw a kitchen there too. To those set this up, well done, a great place to stay.

The next morning, we were off again to Wellington, stopping briefly for diesel at Levin and  cuppa shortly after.  Arriving at Evans Bay Marina around 1pm, we had plenty of time to get ready for the show at 5pm.

Arriving in Wellington
Arriving in Wellington

Evans Bay Marina is near the airport and is a well know free camping spot with Potable water, a dump station, toilets and a great view.

The view
The view
Evans Bay Marina
Evans Bay Marina. It’s great watching the planes land.

Evans Bay is about 15 minutes drive from town, it is $7.50 each in a bus, so we got a cab at $25. Also much more convenient.

The show was fantastic, clever people doing clever things. Every Kiwi should see it. This was our third time going and I’d do it again.

Wearable arts before the performance
Wearable arts before the performance

We’re on the ferry to probably Nelson via Blenheim. More tomorrow

My apologies for the strange postings, I’ve been trying out an offline blog program and its been a failure!