The last 100 k odd seemed like it was taking a lifetime but we made it. 1 Million Hits..
After 5 years or so we’ve made it!
Now that we’re back in a house again, it has been a real struggle to keep up with the content and I’ve found myself doing trips just to get something to write about. I’ve also just retired last month as a Commercial Photographer, so I will be taking things a bit more quietly from here so you will notice the posts only being made when there is something to publish.
But this is the Milestone that matters… !!
Thanks again for checking in and thanks to everyone that made suggestions and offered help.
I always look forward to these mainly for the new gadgets which this year, was the Drones which you can take away and use them for fishing.
Click on any Image to enlarge it
The Star of the show for me though was ACM’s Freedom Platinum Elite. The one in the show is customised for wheelchair access but it is HUGE inside. ACM is owned by a Boatbuilder Chris and the Elite just reeks of a quality build everywhere you look.
Click on the Galley below for a look at the Platinum Elite
Looking forward in the Kitchen lounge in the ACM Platinum
Looking back in the ACM Platinum
The Bathroom in the PACM Platinum
The outside of the ACM Platinum
The ACM Platinum
The Vivaldi made by Tabbert was the first one of these I’ve seen new having seen one in Tokoroa at the Scottish Games event. Beautifully appointed and well made and really popular in Europe.
Its really nice to see them arriving here.
Click on the Gallery below for the beautiful Vivaldi
Looking down the hall to the Bedroom in the Vivaldi
Kitchen Dining area in the Vivaldi
Dining in the Vivaldi
Recently I helped some friends buy a Burstner Lyseo and it was my first opportunity to see one up close if you like.
They have an amazing 850kg payload! Some of its competitors in its class, only have half that, and with the Police just getting ready with their in road weigh stations, I’m sure it’ll be a big seller.
Click on the Gallery below to see the Lyseo
The Burstner Lyseo
Looking forward in the Lyseo
The Lyseo Lounge area
The Burstner stand
It was great to see some of the travel destinations like Awakeri Rail there and also the Top 10 Holiday park team.
I was there on Friday and it was busy from 10am on and a couple of the dealers I spoke to seemed pretty happy with the way things were going.
The Americas Cup was on and the stars all lined up for eldest son Drew and Jenna to take us out on our old boat Rorqual. It was also Fiona’s birthday so it was a big day.
Click on an Image to see it enlarged
Other son Alex and wife Sarah, along with the grandsons Liam and Ayden were meeting us there too.
We all boarded at Milford Marina and set off under the bridge down to the course off North Head.
After finding a hole amongst the huge spectator fleet and getting the anchor to settle we waited for the race to start.
There were boats everywhere and most had plenty of people on board too.
After a couple of start delays they were off. Its great being part of it but I’ve always thought from many years of covering these events from my old newspaper days, unless you’re on a boat following them down the course, you don’t tend to see very much of them as they’re usually so far away. As I say though, great to be part of it and nice to be out there soaking it all in.
There was one big boat behind us that were sitting out on their outside deck with the G&T’s watching it on a huge TV as well as seeing it from the boat.. the best of both worlds.
Click on the Gallery below to see a slideshow
Liam up with me on the Flybridge on our way to the course.
Jenna and Sarah
The Bahamas comes to Auckland
Drew had set up his Ipad so we could get a reception on the boat and keep up with the play so that was really good too.
Lots of people were cooling off in the water off the back of their boats too. A real carnival atmosphere.
We had to catch the tide back at Milford and a restaurant in Milford was waiting for the birthday girl so we left early to head back but a great afternoon out soaking it all in.
Over the years there was a service run locally in Poutu by a chap called Jock who by all accounts was a real character and one of those really nice people who couldn’t do enough for you. Jocks operation used to run visitors along the 7 km beach to see the historic Lighthouse.
Sadly Jock passed away and the service stopped so the Poutu Marine Campground managers, John and Janine carried it on and it is not to be missed.
John popped over to Rafe the day before and had worked out the tides so we could get there and back with no issues along the beach the next day… wow we were fizzing..
I was to drive one quad bike with Fiona on the back and John would lead on the other. I was given a brief driving lesson on the front lawn and we were off to the boat ramp down the road and off down the beach.
The sun was shining but there was a good 20 knot westerly which we were driving into but it added to the fun. We stopped along the way to see a wreck which had just appeared out of sand dune.
Apparently every day is different when the wind is blowing where the beach completely changes and sand dunes appear and disappear. Its amazing.. This has the effect where all the historic wrecks along this coast do the same and when they’re uncovered, they’ll disappear just as quickly !
We moved on to see some really unusual sand dunes that had popped up and a ti tree grove that had been completely covered by sand. A bit further we veered off through the dunes to see a freedom camping spot with about 4 carloads of people enjoying a private little spot in the dunes. After a friendly wave, we carried on.
Up came some BIG sand dunes and it was time for another driving lesson to get familiar with the loose sand. These were massive and its huge amounts of fun.. Fiona stayed on the back so I think I passed the test 🙂
On a bit further and it was time to climb up the 80 odd metres to the famous Lighthouse. John was saying that DOC have just replaced the door broken by vandals and given it some paint but it needs much more. The lighthouse was built in the 1840’s as by then there had been nearly 100 shipwrecks with boats trying to cross the bar and sinking in the channel.
At the top there is more evidence of attempts to plant some trees covered by sand. The sand up around the back of the lighthouse is all quite new.
After a trip further around to another vantage point for a piccy, we set off back to the Poutu Camp.
The whole trip took about 3 hours and was just fantastic.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
Looking out to the bar
John about to head up to the Lighthouse
A day or so later in the afternoon, John popped over and offered to show us up the inner harbour which has a completely different look to it. That was great too and its amazing how much of the beach and cliffs have eroded up there. There was a pipe of a bore right at the water line where a village once stood but had to be abandoned.
One of those BIG events of the year which I reckon we should all do at least once. The 2020 Beach Hop was postponed from earlier in the year but it was just as popular as it always is. Its a fun event and the fine people at Whangamata did well accommodating everyone as the place was literally jumping with people 🙂
There were 1700 registered (for the show) vehicles plus they think about that again of unregistered owners of vehicles who turned up just to enjoy the fun.
I parked on the Whangamata School footy field along with nearly 300 other Motorhomers and a whole lot of Retro Caravans. At $75 for three nights each van, it makes a great donation to the school of about $14k which replaces a lot of cake stalls 🙂
The Retro Caravans – Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
One of the Caravans
Ross and Karine and their Starlette
Caravan in the Retro area next door
I managed to get to see some old friends who I haven’t seen for a long time. They’re both ex newspaper Photographers who have retired here now and love it.
I met John who used to work at the Christchurch Press and Star, and his wife Cheryl at their favorite coffee shop in the centre of town. Very hard to hear anything with the big V8’s running past but it was really nice to see them. I also caught up with Paul who I used to work at the Herald with. We met at the Whangamata Club which is a neat place and just down the road from the school.. Paul is a Caravanner now so great to see him too.
Just Cruising – Click on the Gallery below to enlarge
Every spot taken!
A bit different
An old Holden
Without a doubt the Grand Parade was one of the big events of the weekend and it went forever width the sheer numbers of cars. Quite a few woman made the most of the occasion and were dressed up in their bebop skirts and looked amazing.
Grand Parade and later – Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow
The Rolls Royce in the parade
Enjoying a dance
Check out those Turbos
Mum and Daughter with Daughters Hot Rod behind 🙂
Even a vintage Tow truck
Nice way to get around
DD of Boom Boom Deluxe
Amongst the cars popped out a Morris 1000 with a half done paint job which got a few smiles. Most of us some where in our histories have had one of those or knew someone with one.
After enjoying a good lunch in a town café with an elevated deck for a view of the street, I wandered back and listened to one of the many bands playing.
There was one called Boom Boom Deluxe appropriately singing Rockabilly music and doing it really well. The female lead singer / double bass player, Hettie La Bomb, could really belt out the sound and looked the part too.
One of the things I enjoyed this time was watching people reactions to the cars and the event.
A lot of fun and after several years of trying to get here but other things getting it the way, I’m pleased I came. Neat place, I met some nice people and lots of action.
After 3 years or so of restoring their 1963 Liteweight Silver Mist, Ross and Kay finally got to get their first night away in it. What a WOW moment and huge sense of satisfaction that must be, when you’re lying there on the first night taking it all in. 😊
I’m sure there were anxious moments but it all worked out well and they looked really comfortable in it.
Click on an Image to enlarge
Over the course of a few years in between work commitments and building a house, they have finished what I thought was an absolute gem.
This is their first foray into older Caravans and they have done a fabulous job of getting all the period door handles, power sockets and then decorated it with all the period fittings.
Looking really good guys, a lovely Caravan, well done and nice to see you both again.
When I first found out about this, my first thought was to check in with friends Ross and Kay who I knew had just finished doing one of these beauties up to see if they were going to be there.
Ross and I both started as junior photographers at the NZ Herald in our early 20’s and its been a while since we last caught up.
Click on an Image to enlarge.
I had a commercial job in town on the Friday morning, which didn’t finish until midday so we were late out of the starting blocks and didn’t get to Cambridge until about 4pm, but that didn’t matter as many others were still arriving.
After settling down Rafe and after having a nosey around the park at some of the old Caravans, we checked in with Ross and Kay to see their amazing Caravan ..more on this in another post coming soon!
Ross had found an Indian restaurant only a block away so that was tea sorted! We had a great night catching up on all the news.
The next morning after getting up late 🙂 we had a look around some of the beautiful Caravans that were arriving as the day went on and chatting to some of the people there.
A great turnout of Caravans and some Motorhomes. It was a really well organised event with a slide show and BBQ too on the Saturday night so hats off to all those who organised the event. There were some great Caravans and not all of them Lightweights.
There was one there with a Penny Farthing strapped on towed by a nice old vintage Truck.
The lengths some had gone to with their Caravans to be faithful to their origins was amazing. There were also some really creative ways of restoring these Caravans with the absence of some hard to get parts. The good old Kiwi number 8 wire mentality shone brightly 🙂
Fiona was keen to do the shops in Cambridge and wanted a decent walk so she set off towards Cambridge’s main street which was about 3 k’s away.
The organisers of the event had arranged for a tour of the old liteweight factories which are now a gift and furniture shop and a huge ITM store on the outskirts of Hamilton. I had no idea it was such a big operation but they apparently had two productions lines pumping out up to 10 Caravans a day. Really interesting.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
Don Jesson showing where everything was when Lightweight were there.
One of only 5 of these left, only 50 were made.
One of the 5 left, the other end.
Looking at Dave McRobbies old collection of Caravans
Very social time!
A neat wee Tear drop
Rafe at the Cambridge Top 10 with the Lightweight Caravans
After this we had a quick look through Caravan and Motorhome World which was just across the road. The owner of this fine establishment is Dave McRobbie who started as an apprentice in the Liteweight factory and later went on to set up this business to service warranty claims and service any after market issues for the Liteweight product lines. That’s Dave’s red Caravan at the top of this post.
He had two Caravans of a model where only 50 were made and they know of only 5 left… A really unusual but lovely looking Caravan. .. see above and below.. same caravan being restored.
Here we saw some amazing early models of the Liteweights which Dave and his team has restored.
On the way back from Hamilton, we liaised with Fiona and met up for lunch in an old converted church in Cambridge for lunch.
A really interesting day and lots of images and really nice to see our old friends again.
Seeing 600 plus Motorhomes and Caravans as your first view coming into the top of Mystery Creek is always a nice experience. And the first person I see at the bottom helping with the parking was Noel who I met at Tokoroa a year ago.
Once I’d parked Rafe, who should come rocking past on his electric bike but Neal who was organising the parking both then and now. He was saying that the team had parked nearly 800 vehicles in Hamilton so far. Given the effect of people getting over lockdowns and everything else, that’s a great turnout and a job well done for the parking team. This was just after lunch on Friday with two days to go!
They did a great job and everywhere you looked, just about completely surrounding the main Pavilion were Motorhomes and Caravans. A great sight. Nicely done Team Waikato !
It is very rare for me to get Fiona interested in going to one of these so we both arrived early on the Friday afternoon. The show was well into its second day so there were plenty of people there and it looked great.
Click on any Image to enlarge
Coming down the Mystery Creek hill there was a glorious sea of white roofs for miles. The parkers looked like they had done another great job getting everyone in. Lots of happy faces and a good atmosphere.
After settling down Rafe, opening some vents and having a cup of tea, it was off to the show to see what was new.
The show was considerably smaller due to the postponement and Covid but there was still plenty to see.
One of the first things we saw was the new Dethleffs Trend with the rear bathroom. Its amazing the difference it makes to the layout of the whole van as the usual cupboard like setup on the side completely disappears for a more open layout.
Click on the Gallery below to see the Trend
The Trend with the rear bathroom showing the space
Bathroom – Trend
The bathroom – Trend
The Dethleffs Trend with the rear bathroom.
The next thing we came across was the small Baileys D4-3 Discovery Caravan with the Awning that covers two sides. The space that the caravan doesn’t use on a pitch is covered by an almost wrap around awning.. really unusual and neat to see a different way of getting space.
Click on the Gallery below to see more of the Bailey Caravan
The Bailey with the BIG surrounding awning.
Inside the Bailey
The Bailey lounge area
Quite a lot of room for a small Caravan – Bailey
The Bailey with the Awning
We checked out the NZMCA stand and it was nice to see Ryan and the rest of the team there.
Click on the Gallery below to see larger images or a slideshow
Lots to see
A Pilote A class my first look.
The Pilote Aclass
Pilote A Class
Pilote A class Galley
Old and new VW’s
Outside in the eating area.
After having a good look around, we headed outside to see the vintage caravans. I love what these guys do to these lovely cars and caravans, and the effort that is made to keep these in such good shape.
I was getting some piccies of one when suddenly in front of me a smiley face popped into the frame and it was the happy owner Alex. The 59 Chev which he used to tow it was a perfect match in colour and it was easily one of the best there.
It was happy hour time so Fiona and I headed back to Rafe to meet our neighbours and enjoy something wet and cold 🙂
The show was definitely smaller than usual but the fact that it on at all was amazing.
Click on an Image to enlarge.This year the good folk of Coromandel were also celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the the HMS Coromandel which the town and peninsular are named after.
The Thames Coromandel District Council, local businesses and locals all pitch in to make this a great event. Nearly all the local shops are dressed up with decorations based on lights and there were several stalls selling food.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
Locals manning the food stall
Lit up Trees
Dressed up shops
One of the better dresses
Light and more light
Cute kids in their gear.
The main parade
More from the parade
At 7pm the main parade started where there where everyone was dressed up and adorned with led lights. It was a great scene.
A great event which was topped off by a massive fireworks display.