Auckland, Ambury, and Alex

There is a dearth of photos in this entry due to the fact that the camera battery was flat, we had ‘lost’ the battery charger for the camera although Roy was sure that we had left it behind during our housesitting duties. We shall pick it up once we get to Auckland.

The trip from Matata northwards was uneventful. Our first stop was in Tauranga to empty the waste tanks and fill up with water as we knew that there was a very good and accessible dump station near Tauranga airport and it was not too far out of our way. Our next brief stop was in the Karangahake Gorge where we found a good spot to stop on the side of the road next to the river for our lunch. By mid afternoon we were at our destination for the evening which was the shell bank at Kaiaua where motorhomes line the shore, and the sea laps just a few feet from the door. A stunning spot that is generally peaceful and quiet with great views.

Saturday and we were ready to head off by mid morning and again an uneventful drive through to Ambury Park near Mangere Bridge. Ambury is one of Auckland Regional Council’s 26 public parks and this is a particulary lovely one as it is close to the city, near the airport, and is a hidden gem which many locals do not know of its existence. It is nestled on the shore of the Manukau Harbour and is a working farm as well as a education centre. The farm has goats, sheep, cows, chickens, pheasants, pigs, horses, turkeys, rabbits as well as a gazillion Pukekos plus numerous other birds of all varieties. The park is not only popular with school and kindergarten groups but also for many families to spend a day or two with large picnic and BBQ areas as well as camping areas. Over the weekend there were many family groups out enjoying the amazing weather as well as the facilities on offer with a number of them camping and obviously enjoying themselves, all of this is only 15kms from downtown Auckland.

We quietly and quickily settled ourselves in, and spent the rest of the day sorting out a few bits and pieces, one of which was to move the bike rack from the back of the RAV4 to the Motorhome as we thought this would be a better position for it…….more on this later!

Sunday and we had a visit from Ron & Janet and we spent a lovely afternoon chatting over tea and scones which Janet had kindly brought out with her. Later Glennis & Robin arrived and spent the evening with us catching up. Their visits included much discussion regarding scones, as i admit that I would have to be one of the worst scone makers around, unfortunately one skill my mother could not impart. She made the most amazing scones in the blink of an eye, and Roy’s Mum was an equally fantastic scone maker. We have followed their recipes, made them alongside them, and mine still come out like rock cakes!!! So the next challenge is that Roy and I are having a scone-off!!

Monday and we headed into town and caught up with Jacky & Chris, and picked up the camera battery charger! as well as doing the washing and a few other chores before heading back to the van. It wasn’t long before we were off again, this time to the airport to meet up with Antony, forming a welcoming party for Alex who was arriving early evening from London.

We did not have to wait too long before she was through Customs and warmly greeted by us all. It is lovely to see her again as it is just over a year since she and Bernice were in Singapore and Bali, and nearly two years since we last saw her in London. We all headed back to the van, before Antony left us and we settled in for an early night as Alex had been traveling for nearly 37hrs and deserved an early night. Unfortunately the amazing weather we had been enjoying deserted us for a couple of days, I am sure Alex thought that we had been inventing tales of hot summer days!

Tuesday and we headed into town to say a quick hi to Jacky before we dropped Alex off in town to catch up with her friend Claire. Roy and I headed off down to the waterfront for a bit of lunch and a wander around the fish market and the waterfront. We arranged to pick up Alex then headed off over to the North Shore as we were due to go to Steve & Les’ for dinner but first we headed to Albany Mall to take care of a little shopping. We also met up with Antony and Neil before we all headed off for dinner. Steve was away in Melbourne, but Leslie had invited two of her daughters and her grandchildren along. Sarah was there with her three gorgeous boys Ben, Ash and Finn, and Fran was there with her daughter Beatrix, born just 2 weeks ago.

Alex with Beatrix.
We had a great evening with everyone, before heading back to Ambury and the van. Alex had an early flight Wednesday morning as she is heading south for a week. Once she was safely delivered to the airport, we packed up and headed off to our next destination for the next few days which is Awhitu, another Regional Park.

And the story with the bike rack? Well, that is for the next installment!!!


One Response to “Auckland, Ambury, and Alex”

  1. Sandra Says:

    I’ve got a get out of jail free card and am spending the night at the BAZBase so have time to see what you are up to – all looks like fun to me, and thats how it should be. Loved seeing Alex, she is such a beautiful young woman. Love the blog xxxx Sandra

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