Archive for the ‘kaitaia’ Category

All good things…

October 31, 2018

They say that all good things must come to an end and in our case it was very true. It was time to move on, our time at Rarawa was finally up even though we were all very reluctant to leave but needs must and all that.

We were packed up and ready to head into Kaitaia for the day and to stay the night at the RSA. An uneventful drive down to Kaitaia where the first thing to do was a trip to the dump station and then to the petrol station to fill up with LPG. With laundry to be done, shopping to catch up on and a zillion other little jobs to do we also decided to spend some of our dollars in and around Kaitaia at various food places and to give us a night off cooking. First was a late lunch at the bakery, which just so happens to be next door to the laundromat.

I caught these two enjoying a late lunch.

After lunch and laundry it was back to the vans to put everything away before attending to other shopping. That evening we all went to the RSA for dinner where we were warmly welcomed and had a great meal.

Next morning it was breakfast at Gecko, another great little cafe in Kaitaia that does fantastic food as well as coffee. Once we all had had our fill of breakfast and coffee it was time to move on. This time we are heading to the NZMCA Park at Tokerau Beach.

Safely parked up the boys decided to was time for a fish off the beach and they were soon back with a nice fish. Whilst here we are catching up with Gary & Marg as they have sold their house and are moving to Waipu.

The weekend was spent hiding from the rain and wind, watching the rugby and for me it was a marathon netball watching weekend with the Fast Five Netball Champs on in Melbourne…and yes, we, I mean NZ, won in a heart-stoppingly close final.

We were only going to stay for the weekend as we have a secret gem of a place to show Keith & Deb where they can stay which is one of those unadvertised, not well known places to stay and we are heading there next for a week of doing some serious relaxing, with just a little bit of fishing thrown into the mix!

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Rarawa

October 4, 2018

It was time to leave the lovely park over property at Tokerau Beach, Brett & Bronwyn run a great POP there and we are always made to feel very welcome. I headed off first into Kaitaia to attend to laundry and shopping and Roy was going to follow on behind to fill up with LPG whilst Keith & Deb went on ahead to Rarawa. Now you know what’s coming don’t you? It was never going to be that simple.

I had just about finished getting the laundry washed when Roy rang to say he was still at the POP, the damn RV/bus/motorhome/van, whatever label you want to give it, would not start! It seemed the starter motor had decided to crap out. A local auto electrician was contacted and he said he could come and have a look in an hour or so. I decided that meant I could throw the laundry into the dryer, and go and have a coffee whilst I waited to see if I needed to pick up any parts in town. The phone call came just as I had finished folding the washing, it was fixed and Roy was on his way. Apparently it was a rusty/loose terminal so a quick fix and he was on his way. That gave me plenty of time to get the shopping done before he arrived. We met at the dump station, then went and filled with LPG and water before heading off up to Rarawa.

It’s been 2 years since we were last up this way and the growth of avocado farms expanding throughout the north is incredible to see.

We came around one corner to see this sight ahead of us.

Very effective cutouts of children, poignant reminders that there is a school here and to be mindful of your speed.

By the time we got to the DoC camp at Rarawa it was 4.30pm (the start of daylight saving sort of mucked us up a bit), we arrived to find Deb & Keith all set up and our position sorted. They even had dinner ready for us, how nice is that? We were soon all set up and making ourselves at home.

The following evening, the guys decided to have a bit of a quick fish off the beach before dinner, they were back in just over an hour with these beauties.

Not content, the following morning whilst some of us were still sleeping, they were out again to see what they could catch. They were back before 8 am, this time with a couple of huge fish.

The biggest fish was just over 14lbs or 6.5kg. That’s enough for a day or two, by the time we left them to set for a while on salt ice, before being filleted and packaged, most of the day had gone. We split the heads of the large fish ready to cure then smoke them, plenty of very good fish there to make a few smoked fish pies and a bit of pâté as well.

We had originally planned to go and have a kite fish off 90mile beach in the early afternoon but we all admitted that we probably had enough fish for the moment, besides, the freezers were full so we would relax for the afternoon.

Relaxing in the sun after all that hard work with a coffee and some muffins fresh from the oven.

Our next challenge is to somehow get rid of this guy who wakes us at stupid hour every morning with his crowing.

Once we deal with him, we shall have to come up with a plan to deal with his friend on the other side of the river. The joys of being in a rural camp!

Trip to Kaitaia

June 16, 2018

We left Uretiti early on Friday morning as we had an unexpected trip to make to Kaitaia. It was one of those amazing blue sky days with nary a cloud in sight and with light traffic it should be a pleasant trip.

Back track a day, on Thursday my niece Natalie and nephew Stuart called in with their uncle and cousin on their way north, it was great to catch up with them all. We would be seeing them all again tomorrow. Yep, a not a photo taken, too busy gasbagging!

Back to Friday. We planned a quick, very brief stop in Kerikeri to drop off a couple of books to Roy’s cousin Stuart, books that were given to us when we were researching family connections in Mendrisio Switzerland. And it was a very quick stop, sorry Stuart, but we hope you enjoy browsing the books, until we meet up again soon.

As we passed along the coastline through Coopers Beach, we could see that the seas were flat calm and Doubtless Bay was a picture. You will have to take my word for it as I was too busy driving to take any pictures.

We arrived in Kaitaia just in time. We were here for the funeral of Beryl Lunjevich, my late sister-in-law Ann’s mother. She passed away on Wednesday 13 June reaching the ripe old age of 97 years, 9 months and 3 days!! She lived a long, fruitful and eventful life. Although a sad occasion, it was lovely to catch up with everyone in the extended family.

RIP Beryl.

On our way

November 29, 2016

It’s time we started our journey south ready for us to take up our camp hosting duties at Shakespear park for the summer.  We were due to leave Rarawa this week, however on Monday we were told that we had to leave that day as DoC were about to start their latest assault on the Argentine Ants (See previous post).  But before we left we thought we would have one last fish off the beach.


And just along from us are Pat & Sue


Not too many fish were harmed in this exercise.

From Rarawa it is a short 60km journey into Kaitaia, as we had also heard that our brake parts had arrived.  However through mutual agreement between Roy and Kaitaia Tractors, they are not fitting the part this time.  We have ordered a matching part to come from the USA, and the pair will be fitted early next year after we have finished at Shakespear.  Meanwhile, we are assured everything is safe and we are good to go.

So now we shall meander our way down to Auckland, stopping off at a few selected  places along the way and endeavour to get ourselves into the Christmas spirit.  Thanks Northland for a wonderful few months, we shall be back soon. 

Ninety Mile Beach

October 25, 2016

Ninety Mile beach is in fact 55 miles (88km) but it sure does seems like it’s a 90 mile stretch of beach when you get onto it.  From Houhora, the beach is only 10km away on the west coast and as we have not yet kite fished off a west coast beach we thought this was an opportune time especially as the wind was in the right direction.  The beach becomes somewhat of a race track at weekends and holidays, and with yesterday being Labour Day and the first long weekend for some months, it seems as though quite a few other people had decided that they would race up and down the beach in their cars.  The beach is an official part of the highway network therefore the usual road rules apply, however, sometimes common sense does not!

The warning signs are everywhere

In 1932 the beach was used as the runway for some of the earliest airmail services between Australia and New Zealand. 

Long stretch of beach

 Tour buses as well as cars and motorbikes travel up and down the beach, although a few have succumbed to the elements 

Time for us to put out the kite to see what we can catch and in particular, the difference between fishing the east coast versus the west coast.      

That’s Roy in the distance, keeping an eye on the reel whilst I moved the car back up the beach, well away from one of those rogue waves that take many people by surprise.

The surf and wash on this beach is vigorous which means we have to try and get our line out as quickly as possible through the surf so as not to tangle up the line.  That done, we settled in to wait, not too long though as we have been  told not to leave the line out for too long as sharks are known to chew through lines.  After 30 minutes we pulled the line in to find two good sized snapper and a trevally.


An excellent result.  

Matai – Kaitaia – Tokerau Beach

September 6, 2016

No, we are not creatures of habit, really, truly, even if it seems as though we are heading back over familiar ground. But we do seem to drift around this region quite regularly, anyone would think that we quite like it around here.  Our two weeks at Matai Bay was nearly up, which meant it was time to move on.  On the Sunday afternoon, with heavy rain forecast overnight, we thought it may be judicious to move from our position on the far side of the camp to nearer the exit ready for our scheduled departure on Wednesday.  

With that in mind and with their usual due diligence, Roy and Pat spent the next 40 minutes or so walking around the prerimeter of the camp, checking for soft spots, making sure the track they were to follow was free of hazards and marking up the path in which  to go.  With everything checked out, Pat went first…the following video shows the latter part of the move.


We followed shortly after, we parked up and were quickly set up ready to make our exit on Wednesday.  And just as well we did move as sure enough the rain did come, heavy and plenty of it overnight as well as most of Monday  which made the ground very boggy.  Just like the previous week, others became stuck in the mud.  With Pats tow rope it tatters from breaking the week before whilst attempting to tow out a bus, we had to improvise and twist together some rope and use the spades to dig out  stuck vehicles.  

Meanwhile we had been fishing a few times, each time with good success at both Karikari Beach and Tokerau Beach.  Roy also put out the line at Matai Bay on Saturday evening,  managing to retrieve it (and the snapper) just in time for the start of the rugby.  

We had a couple of visitors before we left Matai Bay.  The first were Gary & Marg whom we knew from our days in Tokoroa.  Gary used to work for Roy at Kinleith and its been a few years since we have seen them so it was lovely to meet up again.  They now live at Tokerau Beach and kindly invited us, as well as Pat & Sue, along to their place for dinner on Tuesday evening so we could continue reminiscing.  Our next unexpected visitor was Bernice’s brother Steve, who just happened to be in Mangonui and Taipa on business.  He popped in to catch up with us and it was great to hear about his recent holiday in Bali.  Then on Tuesday evening we had a great evening and meal with Gary & Marg and we look forward to a few more catch ups soon.

Wednesday came and with perfect weather,  we reluctantly left Matai Bay to head into Kaitaia as we had a list of things to get done, appointments to keep and mail to pick up.  Over the next few days we got nearly everything done and Friday we said hooray to Pat & Sue as they head across the Tasman for a break but they will be back soon to join us.   Brian & Marj called in to say hello as they are currently parked in Houhora but had come down to Kaitaia for a days shopping, it was lovely to catch up with them again. 

  Our last piece of mail arrived on Saturday morning which meant we could pack up, visit the dump station, fill up with LPG and head off.  This time we were off on just a short trip back out toward Matai Bay but not quite as far, this time to a PoP (park over property) at Tokerau Beach where we shall be for the next  week or so. 

Matai Bay

August 24, 2016

We’re back at one of our favourite places in New Zealand, Matai Bay on the Karikari Peninsular in Northland.  We left our previous parking place, albeit reluctantly, and headed into Kaitaia for a day to replenish the larders, book in for some work to be done, cross a few things off the shopping list, and catch up with a few people before making our way out to Matai Bay.

We arrived at the DoC campsite to find that there had been considerable rain over the previous few days which resulted in lots of boggy ground with evidence of others having being stuck in the mud. We parked up in the top entrance on the hard gravel in behind Pat & Sue,  so then Roy and Pat could walk around the camp site, investigating options and checking out ground conditions, including testing it out with the cars first.  After about a good 45 minutes of deliberating, they came to the conclusion that yes, we could get into our favourite parking place so long as they followed the route that they had determined.  

Roy led the way.  I have to admit that I could not watch as he drove around the perimeter of the camp to our desired spot but we were soon parked up, ready to relax,  closely followed by Pat in their van.

And the view of the bay


Once settled in, it was time to go fishing.  It seems like forever since we have had the kite out fishing but with the wind blowing in the right direction for getting the kites out off Karikari Beach, we all headed off over to the other side of the peninsular.

Away off in the distance along the beach is Pat & Sue fishing, and just past them is Jim. 

 

We put the line out, hauling it back in after an hour or so with two fish on the line, one on the first hook and one fish on the last hook.
The smaller snapper was 33cm and the big fella was 48cm.
Perfect, enough fish for dinner for the next couple of nights. 

 Actually, that brings me to an aside that I have been pondering for some time now. The spelling of Snapper has changed over the years, once upon a time it was always spelt Schnapper, I wonder why or when it changed?  Anyone care to enlighten me?

Back to the present, this is what it looked like for dinner last night 

Snapper with tomato, avocado and orange salad with olives and coriander
And damn delicious it was too!

 

Every morning Roy goes off for an early morning wander, walking quite some distances at times and he always comes back with some ‘treasure’ of some kind that he finds along his meanderings.  But this particular morning he came back with this offerring found washed up on the shore

I think it may be a little on the small side!!

R&M

November 17, 2015

Like most homes, there are alway repairs and maintenance to be done in order to keep everything up to scratch, some of which we do ourselves and the rest we leave to those who know what they are doing and who also have the tools and equipment required to get the job done.  The van went in to Kaitaia Tractors last Wednesday to have the bushes replaced on the anti sway bar, as well, they had to fix and reweld into place one of the airbag supports on one side at the rear, then refit the airbag and test it.  The handbrake needed a tighten/adjustment and  as well, we had them spray the underside of the van with anti rust  gunk – that’s the technical name for the stuff – preventive maintenance,  as we spend such a lot of our time near beaches and salt laden air that we thought this was a good idea.  Once all the work was completed, we were advised not to travel on dusty roads for a day or so to allow the gunk to harden properly which meant a stay at the Kaitaia RSA for a night or two.  

After a couple or so days in Kaitaia we were more than ready to head back out to Matai Bay to the relative peace and quiet of the DoC camp,  with a little bit of fishing thrown in the mix as well.  But first more wee chores to be done, you know all those silly little things that are annoying but you never quite get round to attending to them.  The jobs that are designated to Ron, as in later-on!   Things like attach some magnetic catches to the cupboard doors above the drivers and passenger seats.  These doors have never closed tightly, and as I had found some really good magnetic catches in Kaitaia it was time to sort it out.  Roy set about screwing the catches in place, but of course it was never going to be that simple. For a start the doors lift up to open and of course do not open straight out,  they angle down slightly which meant in order to access the inside of the doors you have to twist yourself into awkward contortionist-like positions to use the drill ….then just as he was starting the job, the drill bit broke,  cue colourful language! After much muttering, dropping of tools, bits and screws, more colourful language, the doors now close tightly so no more bits flying out of cupboards on bumpy roads!  Another quick fix was to tidy up all the plugs and cords by attaching a multiplug to the wall out of the way.  

Next we had a blown bulb in one of the brake lights which meant removal of  the brake and reversing light cover, again not a simple job as one screw remained stubbornly in place and needed a special bit to drill it out.  Again, a bit of muttering ensued before replacing the offending bulb, test and reattach the covers.  Then there was the task of reattaching the small handle on the door opening for the fly screen door.  But first a clean up and removal of old glue before replacing the handle and hope it stays in place.

On our recent CoF of the van, it was pointed out to us that the running lights at the rear side of the van were the wrong colour…..the rest of the lights covers down the side of the van are amber coloured, but the ones at the very back were red.  In nearly 5 years and 10 vehicle checks since we have had the van this had never been mentioned before, apparently no red lights should be visible from the front of the vehicle.  Where were we to source such things? after checking a few auto supply shops we resorted to doing a quick internet search which resulted in two new lens covers ordered and delivered within a week, these were easily replaced.  

Roy got up on the roof of the van to check and clean the solar panels.  There have been a large number of birds leaving their calling cards on the windows and sides of the van so we thought they may have also been on the roof, but no, their aim is obviously for vertical  surfaces rather than the horizontal.  All we need to do now is give the van a good clean which we managed to do this morning in between rain showers utilising the rain to wash off the last of the dirt and dust.  A polish will be next on the agenda but that can wait until we get to Shakespear.  

Numerous other ’round-to-it’ jobs have been done, and even some fishing has been fitted in to the busy schedule.  The last piece of R&M to be done is on Roy – he broke a tooth so off to the dentist this week!

Time spent at Matai Bay

October 27, 2015

I am becoming really slack at this blogging lark, I never remember to take photos and there seems to be enough to do in a day to keep me busy.  Of course this past few weeks has meant some very early mornings to watch rugby games, some mornings it has been a 2am start through to the 4am and 5am starts.  Up until the quarter finals we have had a few people joining us to watch it live on Sky, however as the tournament has progressed then All Black games have been broadcast on free to view TV which for me has meant, no need to get out of bed to watch the games as we also have a TV in the bedroom, and without others joining us I don’t have to get up and get dressed! Roy and I also enjoy watching all the games, not just the All Blacks, so it has been a bit of some early morning marathons.  In between the rugby there has also been the Netball to watch, and what with fishing and/or chores to do during the days, sleep has been in short sharp bursts!!

We did not go out fishing over the long weekend though, as there was a fishing tournament on in the area, which meant there was a large number of boats out and about. We are just a little nervous these days about lots of boats around our kite lines, so best to wait until everyone else returns to their working lives.  Although, that does not mean we have been without out fish, we have been given some snapper from some fellow motorhomer said, and other friends gave us some lovely fresh bluenose.  Then the other day campers who were in for the weekend gave us a lovely crayfish.

  

Crayfish just out of the pan

 

Enjoying every last tasty morsel.

We have managed to get a few jobs done on the van that we have been meaning to do for a while.  One was to install a shelf along the back of the two seater which tidies up that area nicely…..of course I have not taken a photo of it but I will do at some stage.  Outside we have gained a locker,  one of the external lockers contained a radio and CD player, speakers, iPod dock,  TV aerial and plug in point plus a 12v plug – the only thing we have used – we do not need to broadcast our choice of music to all and sundry, unlike some with their “doof-doof” music played loudly for all to suffer.  Anyway, we have now removed the entertainment section and gained another locker, which was quickly filled with the rest of the tools and other essential bits that were scattered in various hides holes throughout the van.  I have also had the labelling machine out so now everything is suitably labelled.  The screen door latch has been fixed – it was not catching properly.  The fishing gear has been tidied and refined and a few other odd jobs have been done.

We are now in Kaitaia for a day or two as we get some maintence work done on the van, then we will be heading back out to Matai Bay and its environs to continue relaxing and fishing.

Fixing, fritters and fishing 

October 21, 2015

It’s so nice to be back at Matai Bay, relaxing in the warmth and sunshine and generally keeping ourselves busy with one thing or another. 

 First on the list was a trip into Kaitaia to pick up the replacement fishing kite, line and accoutrements and also to check on mail that was being forwarded to us at Kaitaia as well as catch up with extended whanau.   The parcels were duly retrieved from the courier depot then it was back to the van and the beginning of getting our lines sorted.

 This is what the damaged kite line looks like when it’s removed from the reel.

Next  it was the task of joining the last of the old line onto the new line and wind the line onto the reel.  The traces (these are the short lengths of line with the hooks at one end and clips to attach to the dropper rig at the other end)  were put onto the trace rack and a few new ones were tied.  Now it was time to try it all out and a trip to Tokerau Beach was in order, as if the fish weren’t biting, we knew that there are plenty of tuatua (shellfish) to gather in the shallows.  

No fish were harmed in that expedition but the kite and line all worked perfectly and there were  plenty of tuatua gathered.  The shellfish were left in a bucket of sea water overnight so that they purge themselves of any sand, as there is nothing worse than eating gritty fritters.  Sue and I made two batches of fritter mixture using two different methods and recipes – one an Al Brown recipe and the other Lauraine Jacobs recipe with Lauraines  version getting the thumbs up from us all.

  Sue wondering who ate all the fritters?

Another day and we headed off to another beach close by to try our luck fishing (we can’t tell you where as you would all want to go there) this time with much more success, with good sized snapper being caught and brought home, and a barracuda returned to the sea to swim again.  Of course you will have to take my word for it as we were so busy living in  the moment we forgot to take any pictures. 

However, another day and we returned from a mornings fishing and with 6 snapper, this time I remembered to take a photo of the fish.

 
Shame I neglected to take a photo of our delicious dinners the past few nights though, they were pretty damn good even if I say so myself!