Ahhh the Serenity!


Saturday 26th February, Sunday 27th February

Spent the weekend with Steve and Leslie at Whangamata.  Very relaxing and enjoyable company and dinner.

sunrise whangamataSunrise at Whangamata

roy washingCleaning cars

dinner at whangamataDining in style

gourmet delightand how


Thursday 3rd March

Picked up the motorhome this afternoon after spending the morning at the Hamilton Motorhome Show.  Spent some time with Hayden going over the ins and outs of the motorhome – hope we remember it all!  Then it was back to the motorhome show as we wanted/needed to get our “self containment certification”.  This took a good couple of hours as they check everything.  Three, four or more NZCMA officers inspecting all aspects of our capacity to store our waste, capacity of our water supply and our ability to be self sufficient.   Self containment is a requirement to stay in ARA and DOC parks as well as many other facilities so it was a good opportunity to get this done and out of the way. We passed so now have a green sticker on our back end . Then it was off to Miranda/Kaiaua to spend the night, Roy driving the motorhome with Bernice nervously following behind.

first nightFirst night

Friday 4th March

On the road we found the ideal spot we should have spent the night

where we should ahve stayed


Drove to Auckland, Bernice following Roy and could not figure out why he was not listening to her yelling at him!  It was during this drive that Bernice worked out that the brake lights were not working which meant she followed Roy closely all the way to ensure that following traffic saw some brake lights.  Arrived at Long Bay not too far from Steve & Leslie’s home.

Parked at Long Bay with the sound of the ocean crashing onto the beach, Cicadas, Bellbirds and Tuis providing the background music, this is serenity.  I think we could get used to this.  Those of you not aware of the classic Aussie movie The Castle will not get the serenity joke, along with all the other classic quotes from this movies.  Watch the DVD – then it can “go straight to the Pewl Room”.

sun rise long baySunrise Long bay

First night of Freedom camping and just a few hiccups along the way.  First and foremost was running short of power overnight which means the house batteries are just not large enough and also the electrics need work done on them.  Which is why we went to see some experts at Clevedon on the way yesterday to get a quote on some major work to be done including more solar power, larger battery bank and numerous other bits.  Bernice admits that the eyes glazed over at all the talk of amp hours, batteries, chargers, inverters et al.  All she wants to know is that everything works when we need it to!

Saturday 5th March

After a few phone calls, we finally got the generator to work (its easy once you know which button to press) and thus we have power.  Next it was a general tidy up and sorting out of cupboards and storage spaces.  A shopping list was duly made out and Roy went off shopping to buy containers, only possible with the lend of a car from Leslie, just as well they only live 5 minutes away.  Containers purchased and sorted, now who was it that had a labelling machine?

Lots of visitors this weekend too. First was Simon and Anita, then came Leslie with her grandchildren Ben & Asher.  We all managed to quite comfortably sit together inside our new home without too many hassles.  Bernice took advantage of the use of Leslie’s washing machine and managed to jury rig a drying space in the van.  By early evening heavy rain and strong winds had set in, on top of this we had run out of water so a trip along the road meant we could get some water on board.  Next problem though, we did not have the right connection for the hose to get the water in, so after spending some time in the pouring rain, holding onto hoses, we managed to get the tank 1/3 full before we decided that that would be enough for the next day.

Sunday 6th March

After breakfast it was off to Leslie’s again for a shower this time, after which we headed to the shops to get a few more supplies (more containers), and also the right hose connector.  Then back to the van to get everything sorted and tidied.  We had no sooner finished when Colin & Edwina and family came for a visit.   Not long after, Jackie and her sister Judy arrived, so here we were, 8 adults and 2 children in our van, all comfortably seated too 

Soon they were all off, with plans made to all meet up and go camping sometime soon utilising our van as the home base and guess who as Camp Mother!

It has turned out to be a sunny afternoon, although much milder temperatures than we have recently been experiencing which is somewhat a relief.  Off to Leslie’s for dinner tonight then tomorrow we head to Tauranga to get another quote for electrics et al.

Monday 7th March

Early morning walk to the far end of Long Bay and a start on the track at the end of the bay.

  giving an old fellow a hand Old fellas need support

Had a lovely dinner last night with Les, Erin & Laurie before we headed back to base.  Up this morning, first thing was to sort out the brake light problem, so off Roy drove round and round the car park whilst Bernice ran along behind checking our the lights.  In between Roy gets the vehicle stuck on a corner and manages the first scrape. Called out an auto electrician but unfortunately everyone we called was very busy and just could not make it, so with a bit of Kiwi ingenuity, it was quickly sorted with a bit of sellotape and some cable ties (loose connection!!).  Next it was off to fill up with water, of course as soon as we started filling up other people wanted to get through and could not get past so, we flagged that after a while and took off to a waste water dump to get rid of all the black and grey waste water.  Ahhh, finally, something done with a little ease.

We stopped for a break at a petrol station at the end of the southern motorway and met up with another couple who are also living in a  large motorhome.  They told us of a good place to park in Tauranga so we agreed to rendezvous at Sulphur Point later tonight.

We arrived at Sulphur Point to find a great park over spot,  rang our niece Jenna and she and her partner Chris came for a visit.  As well, our new motorhome friends David and Sharman also arrived and came to join us with a bottle of wine …….. a very nice start to the evening.

Tomorrow we will get another quote for work to be done on the van, once we have that we will be able to schedule in the work and make some plans to head south soon…..its just not the same drinking wine form plastic glasses!!


One Response to “Ahhh the Serenity!”

  1. James Says:

    Is your motorhome really pink? Is it called Priscilla?

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