Archive for the ‘kerikeri’ Category

Tokerau Beach

October 30, 2019

(Still in catch up mode….).

We finally left Uretiti heading towards Kerikeri and the NZMCA parking site for a couple of nights to hunker down, out of the way of an impending storm that was forecast.

Apparently we missed most of the storm but we heard from others who were still at Uretiti that they suffered 100km/hr winds and terrible driving rain, and it wasn’t very pleasant at all but much better than the snow, wind and rain that we saw the rest of the country was suffering. Spring weather at its finest showing its true self.

The ground at Kerikeri was very very boggy with most of the site cordoned off and reduced to a small area that had scoria laid down, even then we sank into the ground a bit. We can report that we had no leaks through our roof so we can presume that it had been well and truly fixed.

Roy also got a chance to have a catch-up with his cousin Stuart to discuss genealogical matters and other projects going on in their respective lives. As well, we lined the pockets of a number of establishments in and around Kerikeri stocking up the larders, getting a few maintenance matters sorted, buying wool for this grandma to knit up, and some of the touring party apparently visited the chocolate shop (I resisted 😇), as well as numerous other sundry items were purchased.

After a couple of nights ‘enjoying’ the very wet ground at Kerikeri, we were soon on our way again heading further north, this time to Tokerau Beach, and the NZMCA parking area.

It wasn’t long before the blokes decided it was time to have a fish, and for Roy to perfect his method of launching his baits and line with Keith’s drone.

Glen launching his drone next to Keith’s

Keith launching his drone and line

Now for some reason I did not take many pictures of the fish caught, but suffice to say over the four or five days, quite a number of fish were caught, processed, eaten and many vacuum packed and frozen.

Roys first catch

A good start

Roy was gaining a bit of a reputation of catching the largest fish each time they went out, and he was not allowed to forget it either!!

A couple of trips into Kaitaia for laundry and shopping were done whilst we were here. My vacuum sealer finally gave out after many years of good use (it would vacuum but not seal) so a trip into the shops to buy a new one was in order.

Food vacuum sealer

The freezer is getting nicely full of fish for us to enjoy over the summer months when we are parked up camp hosting at Shakespear. As well, lots of fish is being eaten, from whole fish, to fillets cooked every which way, to curries and the like.

Fish fish fish

We have our favourite dishes that we regularly come back to, after trying many many recipes. Sometimes the simplest is the best especially for such fresh fish.

Deb had a birthday whilst we were here, Keith cooked dinner of crumbed Weiner Schnitzel with a cauliflower mash, salads and veg which was all very good and I made a dessert of lime pannacotta with citrus salad and passionfruit.

Dessert

We do eat very well.

Time to leave here and head further north whilst the weather is reasonable, again we are picking our days to travel as with another bit of windy weather due, we make the most of calmer days.

Moving, fishing and a yacht

November 11, 2018

A night in Kerikeri on our way back towards Auckland meant that Roy could have a good catch up with Stuart to compare and swap genealogy notes. Whilst Roy was out, I noticed another vehicle in the Kerikeri NZMCA Park that looked familiar so I wandered along to meet up with Shellie. Shellie blogs and photographs her and David’s travels around New Zealand, her blog is here. Over a cuppa we talked for a good couple of hours about everything and nothing. Thanx for the catch up Shellie, sorry we didn’t get to say hooray, but enjoy your travels north, until next time.

Our next stop is Uretiti where Keith & Deb had arrived the day before us and sorted out a great position for themselves. We set ourselves up in a lovely spot just along from our usual position, which just so happened to be taken. However, I think I’ve just found our new favourite space!

Settled in

perfect positioning for the sun and privacy.

and another vehicle parked in our usual spot behind the tree.

We were settled into relax mode when the guys decided they might just try a fish off the beach after dinner. They were only away just over an hour before they were back with one rather large fish and another couple of good sized ones. They also thought it may be a good idea to have an early morning fish whilst some of us slumbered on, They did bring back another three for their early morning effort.

Lunch time they went for another fish, this time I wandered down to the beach with them. Whilst there, looking out to sea with the backdrop of the Hen & Chicken Islands was a very large yacht, which was moving very swiftly, along with four chase boats and at one stage a helicopter in tow.

Click on the picture to enlarge and on the left hand side of the island you should be able to pick out the sail and a splash of water from one of the chase boasts. Sorry, but only had my phone with me to take a picture.

We soon determined that this was one of the Russell Coutts/Larry Ellison catamarans on trial for their new racing competition set to rival the Americas Cup. It is a sailing league called SailGP that will be contested in an enhanced class of foiling 50-foot catamarans. Teams from the United States, Australia, Great Britain, France, Japan and China will compete starting in 2019 in highly advanced catamarans called F50s.

Gayle came to visit for a day, we met when we first hit the road, it was fabulous to catch up again and have a few laughs.

Tokerau Beach

August 28, 2018

We beat a hasty retreat out of Kerikeri as the NZMCA Park was jam packed with less than a quarter of the site being able to be utilised due to the very wet and boggy ground. I was going to do a bit of a rant about inconsiderate people who park their tow vehicles to take up as much room as possible so that no one else can get in, but I won’t!!!

With Stuart being away from Kerikeri on a jaunt south we decided that there was no good reason to stay in Kerikeri so with that in mind, we packed up and left after one night.

Onto Tokerau Beach….I can almost hear the sighs of pleasure emanating as we depart Kerikeri and the levels of relaxation rise the further north we go.

crossing one of the single lane bridges, this one just out of Kaeo

shall we stop here for a morning cuppa?

oh, if we must. A coffee with a view

a panoramic shot of Cable Bay

another one lane bridge, this one at Taipa which is being worked on to upgrade it to a two lane bridge.

We arrived at Tokerau Beach and are now parked at friends Gary & Marg’s place for a bit, let’s hope that the fishing is better here than we have been experiencing of late.

A few false starts

August 26, 2018

We had planned to leave Uretiti Monday after the RAV got its WoF as it was booked in for 8am we should be on our way by 10am. Yeah right! The RAV didn’t get its warrant, it needed some bushes and they had to be ordered in and would be in the following morning. Ok, so we delay our departure for another day. I take the car back to the garage on Tuesday and they said they would call when it was ready. Yep, you know what’s coming don’t you? We got a phone call around midday to say, yes, they had replaced the front bushes but he now thinks the rear ones need replacing, and did we need the car as the parts would not be arriving until Wednesday. Harumph! Oh well, another day or two spent here is not a bad thing, it’s just that we had tentative plans sorted for a change!

The parts did not arrive at the garage until late Thursday afternoon so it wasn’t until Friday morning we got the car back.

Meanwhile, we decided to have one last fish off the beach. It was all going so well, the kite launched beautifully, it pulled the line out and we soon had all the baits out and it was all sailing straight out for us. Then all of a sudden everything came to a halt, the line stopped going out and the kite began to dive. We quickly started pulling it in but unfortunately the kite fell in the water. Oh no, but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem though as it’s happened many times before. The line was VERY hard to pull in, and we were soon to find out why. We had caught not only someone else’s abandoned line but their plastic bag full of sand used as an anchor. The lines were incredibly tangled but luckily I had my trusty Swiss Army knife with me to cut off the very fine line we were tangled up with. But oh no, the kite wasn’t at the end of the line, it had broken off. Bu*#@r.

That’s it, I am not fishing off this beach again, it has never been very fruitful and it is also where we lost all our gear a while ago which you can recap on here. Luckily a friend of ours was heading down to Auckland the following day and he was happy to go to the kite shop and pick up a new one for us, which he did.

Jacky came for a quick visit on Friday, it was soo lovely to catch up and spend a little time together. We had planned to visit her all week but being without the car made that impossible, it’s always good to meet up and chat.

After Jacky’s visit we headed into Whangarei with a long shopping list including lots of things to do. First and foremost was to get the registration for the car sorted then it was on to complete a few more tasks before we decided we needed some sustenance. We headed for Deluca in downtown Whangarei where we had one of the best lunches out we have had in a long time.

mushroom and pancetta arancini with pepper aioli and rocket salad

house made squid twisters with pickled cucumber salad and chilli dipping sauce

And I have to say that the coffee was very good too. As the cafe we used to frequent has changed hands (and not so good now), we shall be returning here next time we are in town to try some of their other great sounding menu items.

Saturday was spent catching up on domestic chores such as laundry and packing up all our bits and pieces ready to move on to Kerikeri which we managed to do on Sunday nearly a week later than originally planned, just as well we don’t live life on a tight schedule!

It’s been a while

August 4, 2017

I know, I know, I've been slack, I have not been posting recently and I have no excuses either. A quick update and summary of what we've been up to and where since the last blog.

Roy had a checkup appointment with the cardiologist in Auckland a few weeks ago so we headed down from Uretiti and stayed with Steve & Les for the night. Roy got the all clear from the cardiologist, so much so that he has taken him off cholesterol tablets as he says "your arteries are clear, valves good and heart is strong so why are you on cholesterol tablets?". Apart from the Atrial Fibrillation which is now under control, all is well. We returned to the van at Uretiti, staying another few days before heading north.

Next stop was Kerikeri where we managed a quick catch up with Roy's second cousin Stuart. We had a lovely dinner out in Kerikeri at the Jerusalem Cafe with Stuart where we shared a lovely Meze platter of Israeli food, and delicious it was too and the company, as always, was very good.

From there we headed up to Tokerau Beach, a particular favourite spot of ours, and where we have been for the past week camped on friends Gary & Marg's spare section behind their house. Here we have not only enjoyed their company, but we have shared meals, the odd drink or two, been out fishing a couple of times – the catching has been a different matter though with only a couple of fish landed – and generally having a very relaxing time. We only have another week left before we take up our house sitting duties at Whakapirau for a month which will then lead nicely into our upcoming 'holiday'.

Speaking of which we have finally sorted our upcoming trip and we are all booked and ready to go. We leave NZ on 27th September for London via Singapore with just a few hours stopover. We then leave London on the 17th January, this time with a three day stopover in Singapore on the journey home to arrive back in NZ on the 20th January at just before midnight. Other plans are still being formulated whilst we are away but we will be in Belgium for the 4th October Passchendaele commemoration, at some stage we will be heading to Switzerland and the Italian border to the town of Mendrisio which is where Roy's family is from originally. We then plan to meander our way back across France into Spain and Portugal. Somewhere in between we are fitting in a trip away with Alexandra & Ian, and Ian's parents, and it looks like we will be heading to the Canary Island of Lanzarote for a week of R&R in a villa on the coast. We shall be back in London ready for a white Christmas when Antony will be joining us all for the festive season. There will be tripping around the UK as well, catching up with a few of my relations and filling in the gaps on a few places we missed last time. All in all we shall be away for 4 months – I know, it's a tough job but someone has to do it!

So there we have it, a quick catch up.

Uretiti 

December 7, 2016

We had just one night stay in Kerikeri after leaving Kaitaia, and we ended up at the NZMCA site at Rainbow Falls as our usual parking place is now no longer available.  It was our first stay at Rainbow Falls as previously the site has been too wet and boggy for us to stay but recently some of the grounds have had a scoria base applied.

Parked up on a firm base.


In the middle of the parking area, the local committee built the shed as a replica of the Cape Reinga lighthouse.  Most NZMCA parks have a small shed where you sign in, collect information about the surrounding area and where there is often a book & magazine exchange.  Here at Kerikeri they have also undertaken planting of citrus trees along the boundary  fence lines, which is a great idea for members.  There is a lovely herb garden around the lighthouse where I must admit I gathered a good handful of parsley and mint rather than raid my own supplies.  

Roy caught up with Stuart for the afternoon whilst I used up some of our Internet data!  

From Kerikeri we headed for Uretiti DoC camp just south of Whangarei, where we met up with Pat & Sue as well as a few other motorhoming friends – Brian & Marj, Craig & Glennis, Jo to name a few.  


Parked up at Uretiti where the grass has already browned off. The long white sandy beach is just behind the van over the sand dunes.  

Jacky & Chris came to visit and it was great to catch up with them before we get settled in around Shakespear and the greater Auckland region and before the silly season kicks into effect.  

We tried a couple of times to go fishing off the beach but the wind decided not to play and seemed not to go the right way for us, so the fishing gear has been put away ready to be brought out at a later date.  Meanwhile we have plenty of fish in the freezer to keep us going for a while.

On Sunday we had a very nice farewell champagne breakfast with Pat & Sue before they left on their odyssey south.  After travelling together for nearly 6 months it seems a little strange not to have them around, but it’s testament to a good friendship that  after all that time together we are still good friends and we look forward to meeting up with them again next year.

Kerikeri

August 13, 2016

It was a busy old time in Kerikeri this visit.  We parked on the old tennis courts in front of the RSA as the NZMCA park at Rainbow Falls was totally unusable due to the soft wet ground.  Such a shame as it is a pretty spot but since it opened we have never managed a stay there as the ground has always been too boggy.  Hopefully they will get it sorted one of these days.

Our first job was to get the WoF sorted for the RAV4, on Friday morning it went off to get it done only to be returned with some work to be done on the brakes which was scheduled to be done on Monday as parts had to be delivered from Auckland. But that’s OK, we are not in any hurry and we wanted to go to the markets at the weekend in any case.   And I desperately needed a haircut so off into town to get that done.

Brian & Marj arrived later in the day to stay for a couple of nights before they headed back to Houhora where we will meet up with them again in a few weeks time.  But first we all go to the RSA for dinner where Roy ran into an old school friend so a bit of a catch up was planned for Sunday with Roy and Fairfax. Oh, and I won the meat raffle too so the freezer is well and truly full again. 

The Saturday market is a great market held mostly under cover which was just as well as the weather threw the odd shower at us throughout the morning.  We managed to fill our bags with plenty of fruit and veg as well as  our tummies with an excellent bacon & egg filled focaccia with hollandaise made with locally made bread, free range eggs,  and the bacon is homemade too  and damn delicious it was as well.  Just as we like it – flavoursome and crispy.  From there it was back to the vans and a bit of further retail therapy before settling in to watch the Super Rugby final on Saturday night.

Sunday and a quick visit to the Sunday market to top up with bits we couldn’t get the previous day, before we said toodle-loo to Brian & Marj.  Then it was off to Opua for Bernice to attend to the laundry (as the laundry in Kerikeri recently burnt down) whilst Roy caught up with Stuart and later in the day, Fairfax.   

The car was duly fixed in Monday but could not go for its WoF retest until Tuesday morning, but by 10am Tuesday we were ready to leave, first via the dump station and then to the petrol station to top up with LPG before hitting the road to our next destination, a hidden gem!

Farewell Matai Bay and Northland hello Shakespear

November 30, 2015

It’s time to leave the warm sunny north to start our journey south to Shakespear Regional Park which will be our home for the summer.  But first our last few days at Matai were spent reasonably quietly, mainly catching up with friends and fitting in the odd spell of fishing, although Puheke Beach (along from Rangiputa) is on my no-go list for the rest of the summer after again getting attacked by some sort of biting insect.  On doing a bit of research I discovered that this nasty little bug is colloquially known as the Mount Mauler, and inflicts its nasty bites, surreptitiously, until many hours later when they start to erupt and itch, not nice.

It was at least three days of incredibly intense itching soothed only by cool damp flannels, and yes, I tried just about every over the counter treatment as well as plenty of alternative treatments, although I can recommend a cold used tea bag daubed carefully onto the affected areas to garner a few moments of relief!!!  

Back to the fishing, we did try our luck off Tokerau Beach whilst also catching up with Pat & Steve who were parked at the Ramp Road freedom camping area.  Our fishing success was moderate but some snapper and gurnard has made it to the freezer for later. 

Back at Matai Bay, good friends Brian & Marj came to join us for our last week there, and along with Craig & Glennis and Jo, we had many an enjoyable afternoon happy hour righting the problems of the world and having a good laugh.  Someone in our travelling party  had a birthday in a few days time, but before we left Matai Bay Steve & Pat delivered some fish as a present, and Brian & Marj made me a lovely wee birthday cake complete with candle.  

We left Matai last Monday and made it to Kerikeri for a night before then continuing on to Uretiti for a couple of nights.  My birthday was on Wednesday and my bestest mate Jacky & Chris invited us to their place at Whakapirau for dinner and to stay the night which we duly did.  Earlier in the year both Roy & Chris had had noughty birthdays without much fanfare, so combined with my birthday it seemed like a good excuse to break it the decent wine.  We have been carting around a bottle of 2000 Church Road Tom for some time so it seemed appropriate to share it at this time, and we can report that as well as a lovely meal, with great company, the wine was pretty good too.

We arrived at Shakespear last Friday and ts good to be back and to see everyone here.  We shall be here for the summer so if you are in the area give us a call.  

Back to Matai Bay

October 13, 2015

We left Uretiti last Wednesday as we needed to get a CoF (certificate of fitness) in Whangarei, we got there by 10am and joined the queue with us being 5th in line.  Four and a half hours later! we left VTNZ with our CoF but with a couple of jobs on a to do list before our next CoF is due.  We ended up staying two nights in Whangarei, staying at the Hatea Bridge parking area, or Tippy Bridge as it is known locally, catching up on jobs such as hearing aid checks for Roy, pedicure for me and some shopping.  We also managed to catch up with fellow motorhomer Frederick and his partner Ursula as he was  on a break from his camp manager job at Port Jackson on Cormandel.  We hadnt seen him since his brief stint at Shakespear so it was fantastic to catch up.

Next stop was Kerikeri for a couple of nights and a quick catch up with Roy’s cousin Stuart before heading northto glorious Matai Bay.  We did make a quick sojourn into Kaitaia to book the van in for some maintenance which will be done in the next couple of weeks, then it was out to the Bay to settle in for a couple of weeks.

   


Next on the agenda will be some fishing, hopefully some catching too.
  

Kerikeri & Whangarei

October 17, 2014

Phew, four blog posts and another couple to come.  Hope you are not bored yet!

Time to move on again, this time we were off to Kerikeri for a couple of nights primarily to meet up with Roy’s cousin Stuart to discuss genealogy.  We said farewell to Brian & Marj as well as Gail who were staying on at Maitai Bay and finally Reg & Rima who were returning to Auckland.

During the drive down Bernice received a text suggesting a stop for coffee on the way south.  As we were having difficulty getting consistent  communications we finally got Reg and Rima to join us at Kerikeri for morning tea.  This we did at the stopover in front of the RSA. We were joined by Jim & Judy when they arrived some little time later.  Suffice to say Reg & Rima took little persuasion to stay for the night and join us in dinner at the RSA, so their trip home was again postponed for a further day. 

It was whilst we were having a cuppa that Bernice received a phone call  asking if she remembered entering a competition a couple of weeks prior through a neck tag on a wine bottle.  Yes, she did, and yes she still had the neck tag.  Guess what?  She had won a trip for two to Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne! a quick scurry and a hunt through the rubbish bin uncovered the said wine tag – phew!  So now we have to plan a trip to Oz sometime in the next year.

While dining at the RSA Roy went off to the toilet and failed to return for some time.   It transpired that he had met up with Fairfax Williams a school friend he had not seen since 1966.  They had a discussion about various people and places and agreed to keep in touch.  So now there is another reason to overnight at Kerikeri.

Roy had arranged to see Stuart after lunch the next day so having said farewell  (finally?, well at least for now) to Reg & Rima, off he went. 

The main thing discussed was the latest information Stuart had uncovered through communication with a Swiss genealogist.  Finally the origin of Cosmo Damiano Vannini, Roy’s great-grandfather, has been found.  He was born in Mendrisio, Canton Ticino, Switzerland  on the 2nd of April 1836.  At this time he was named Damiano Santino Vanini.  Also identified were his parents and his grandparents so now we are back to his grandfather Guiseppe Vanini’s birthdate of 1743. (NB A change in spelling of surname). 

Hopefully we will be able to find more details regarding the family in Mendrisio.  The information that we have at present names Damiano’s brothers and sisters and his uncles and aunties on his father’s side of the family.

After having spent time with Stuart we went to have a look at the new NZMCA parking area in Kerikeri.  They have now erected the building for registration.  It takes the form of a lighthouse which is the area’s badge.   A unique building in a very presentable, but very wet, new parking area.

IMG_0133

The next morning we went to the Kerikeri Farmer’s Market to stock up on fruit, vegetables and cheese and then we were off to Whangarei

On the way we passed the area where the main road had collapsed in the rain storm which we experienced when we were at Whananaki.  Repairs have ben made by creating parallel road alongside the old part of the road.  This was the reason we had to go through Dargaville on our way north.

whangarei-3_thumbwhangarei-4_thumb

Finally we arrived at Whangarei and instead of staying at the town basin or at Uretiti this time we stayed at an area alongside the Hatea Bridge.  The Bridge is officially called Te Matau a Pohe – translated as ‘The fishhook of Pohe’ the Maori chief who welcomed the first English settlers to Whangarei.  Pohe  was very skilled in manufacturing fish hooks using traditional materials and styles. His hooks were so practical, many of the settlers used his hooks in preference to the standard English hooks made of steel. He was also instrumental in building bridges between the two cultures during the first years of English settlement amongst Maori. Pohe used his ranking to protect many of the first settlers from being killed.

12

The bridge is raised by hydraulic rams under the bridge.  These roll back the toward the counterweights which raise the road.  The shots below showing the bridge raised to allow yachts to enter the town basin.

15whangarei-1_thumb

This shows the cogged trackway that the counterbalances follow as they fall and raise the bridge.

8

And here we are at the western end of the bridge alongside Jim & Judy.

5

At night the bridge is illuminated and presents a striking sight.

16

There is a walking path from the parking area that crosses the bridge goes up to the town basin and then back down to the bridge.  Along the way there are a number of boat sheds, old wharves, boats, information boards and sculptures.

13141718

This striking sculpture of a canoe and waves is only one of many interesting pieces.

212223

And of course we have the mandatory bird photos

2019

It is always very difficult to get photos of Welcome Swallows but these two were resting in the right place at the right time.

Whilst the ducks below just sailed away.

24