Archive for the ‘matata’ Category

Hakuna Matata

May 17, 2016

The past week at Matata has flown by with very little achieved but we have been busy with people.

Someone with a sense of humour adjusted the sign on the approach to Matata

Brian & Marj headed off early in the week , we miss their company and in particular their cheerful disposition and positive attitude to life but we look forward to meeting up with them again in Northland later in the year.   My big sister Sue & her hubby Jeff arrived on Friday morning to spend the weekend with us.  They have recently bought a small campervan and are still coming to terms with all the intricacies of their van, we were able to help them sort out a couple of things.   Not long after Sue & Jeff arrived, we also had a visit from my niece Jenna to introduce  her new baby daughter Isla to her Great Uncle and Aunty.  Another niece Amy came along as well, as well as their father Keith so it was a great day of catching up for all of us with lots and lots of chatter and laughter.   Of course I forgot to take a single photo as I was too busy playing with Isla and catching up on everyone’s news but here is a picture of Isla wearing one of the cardigans I have knitted recently.


We spent a lovely weekend with Sue & Jeff,  we all went into Whakatane over the weekend and caught up with brother John as well as getting a bit of shopping done.  Unfortunately the weather was not cooperative over the weekend for us to be able to get the kite out to do any fishing but we hope it will change later this week.

Sue & Jeff in front of their van

Although we are booked in for another week here at Matata we may head off in the next day or so as we are due at Kopu near Thames next Monday for the repairs to the van to be done, and we wouldn’t want to rush getting there would we? 

Bay of Plenty

May 9, 2016

The trip through the Waioeka Gorge was pleasant with some lovely scenery and interesting lay-bys.  They are well set up and very tidy 

Rest area

We didn’t travel too far, just into Opotiki where the NZMCA have a new park. Our first port of call in Opotiki was to the Two a Fish Cafe, which has delicious food and even better coffee. As this is a newly opened park, we were unsure of how long we could stay, on looking it up on their web site it said “temporary overnight parking”. Well, that’s helpful – not! What is that supposed to mean? After looking through the register, we decided that a couple of nights should be ok and that I would email the NZMCA for clarification.

We indeed received a response a few days later… For “temporary overnight” parking it comes down to a judgement call depending on the size of the site and current capacity at the time; however generally it means you are welcome to stay on a temporary basis, i.e. 2 or 3 nights per stay. At some parks, like Taupo Airport, it may be ok to stay for up to one week at a time. However if, for example, members were staying at a “temporary overnight” park for a month or more that would be in breach of the term “temporary” and then length of stay restrictions on that park may be introduced.  

We often define the length of stay provisions in the travel directory due to resource consent conditions, or Board policies due to on-going issues with park users. Where possible, we try to keep site restrictions as liberal as necessary to ensure members can enjoy parks without too many rules. Temporary overnight parking offers that flexibility.

I hope that has clarified it!!!

Whilst in Opotiki we heard that my nephew Stuart and family were in Whakatane at brother John’s place for the night, so we decided that an early start (eek!)the following morning meant we could head down to catch up with them and to meet the latest addition to their family, our great nephew Mack.

Emma, Stuart with Mack, Maggie & Toby in front
It was great to catch up with them and all their news.  After the visit, we were back in Opotiki for the afternoon

Parked up in Opotiki
After our two nights, we headed off to travel the huge distance of 10kms, to a reserve at Waiotahi, where we heard that there were pipi’s (shellfish) aplenty. We gathered a bucket of them and one of the touring party threw a line in the water to wet his bait!!

Early morning view from the bedroom window of Roy fishing
From here our next port of call was a further 30kms at Ohope at a reserve near a boat ramp.  We spent a couple of nights here relaxing and even tried another go at fishing

The fishing was not terribly successful, however, we did put out the net a couple of times and managed to get fish for dinner.

And the other view taken from the same spot looking back at the van

Time to leave here and head for Matata, just 40kms away.  We have been here many times, looking back through the diary it seems we have been here at about this time of the year every year since 2013.   You can read about those visits here, here, and here.   Uh oh, does this mean we are becoming creatures of habit?!

We are now at Matata where we shall stay for the next two weeks.  Brian & Marj leave us here as they continue on to Auckland, it’s been lovely having their company on our travels.  We shall no doubt meet up with them again in the north.  

Two weeks at Matata

June 29, 2015

Anyone would think that with all this so called free time on our hands that we would be flat out writing blog posts, but no, we just don’t seem to have had the time.  We have been keeping ourselves well and truly occupied I can assure you.   In between fishing and sightseeing, the odd bit of work has been done and much socialising has been achieved.  But first let’s recap the highlights of our stay at the Matata DoC camp.  Well, one of the first things we must acknowledge are the lovely hot showers that are provided at the camp, all operated by coin, just pop in a 50c piece and a hot 4 minute shower follows.  Now I know that 4 minutes does not sound like a very long time for those of you who languish under the never ending supply of hot water with no concerns of where that water will go to once you have finished, but I challenge you all to time just how long it takes for you to shower.  For those of us used to conserving water, power and waste water, 4 minutes is plenty of time to have a good shower. And for a real bit of luxury all we needed to do was add another coin to the box and enjoy an 8 minute shower!!  Sheer bliss.  

Whilst other parts of the country have been plagued with either severe flooding, snow, freezing temperatures or a combination of all the above, we too have had the odd bit of rain, as well as some mightily chilly nights. Of course it’s all relative to how cold it is, but we have become true wimps about the cold since hitting the warmer Northern climes.  Any time the temperature gauge gets into single digits has us rushing for the thermals, scarves and wooly hats! 

The wind has only occasionally played our game to blow from the correct quarter at the right strength so that we can again have a go at kite fishing.  It really had been a team effort with Pat & Sue helping us get our rig sorted and working efficiently.  Not that it has been all plain sailing mind you, this is what happens to a kite when you forget to put on the buoyancy balls which assist in keeping the kite afloat should it land in the water, especially when the seas are running with a heavy swell!

Our kite rig is a little different to those we have usually seen, in that ours is what is called a dropper rig set up, so it has taken us a few goes with it to establish what to do and when to do it and who does what job.  After initial misgivings, I have come to realise that it is actually a very good system and before long we had success.
  

  
These two beauties were caught one lovely sunny afternoon, in fact just as we were hailing them in, John and his daughter Jenny just happened to call by so we have witnesses to attest to the fact that fish were caught and they were of a reasonable size as well.

Another day and I tagged along with Pat & Sue for a trip out the Lake Tarawera which is accessed through a forestry road at the back of Kawerau.  Roy had a bit of work to do so he stayed behind to get what he needed done as he was off to Taupo the following morning to see a client.  The three of us went into Kawerau to first get a permit  which is required to access the forestry road.  There is also a waterfall within a short walk off another road but by the time we had finished at Lake Tarawera it was far too late (and cold) to take the walk.  However we did have a good look a round the DoC camp at the Lake and whilst looking into the river that feeds the Lake we could see scores of trout.  Pat just so happened to have his fly rod with him (and he has a licence) so he spent a wee while trying to tempt a trout onto the end of his line.  Unfortunately he didn’t have any luck but we did see a nice one landed by a local who told us that he thought the fishing was very tough and he was sure the only reason he caught one was by sheer accident! 

  
I tried to take some photos of all the trout in the stream but not with great success, this was the best I could do.

Then on our last day at Matata the winds were finally settled into a good pattern and strength so it was a day spent on the beach with the kite out and hooks in the water, one was caught on the first run out and then another two later on. 

 Sorry the picture quality is not the best but by the time we were back at the van it was dark as well as freezing cold and taking pictures with the iPad by torchlight is not the best quality.  I have to admit that I did not stay on the beach for the last set, as I had come down with a horrid head cold, so I was tucked up in a warm van when the others arrived back with the big fish.  Not that it got me out of filleting them all though, which is not an easy job when you are filleting  it by head torch with the temperature well down at around 4 degrees with a strong cold wind blowing lowering that temperature to somewhere where extremities were completely  numbed.  But it was soon all cleaned up, portioned out between us and fish definitely on the menu for the next night.

All in all a lovely stay at Matata where we could relax, enjoy the fine weather on the beach and snug as a bug I n the vans when the weather was inclement.  

 

House sitting in Whakatane

June 13, 2015

John and Jude left early Saturday morning for Tauranga airport for their flight to Auckland then onto  the Gold Coast, however, there was a major fatal crash on the road near Te Puke which closed the road for a few hours, and with no alternative route available to Tauranga they had to reschedule their trip for Sunday morning.  Which they duly did, and were safely on their way on Sunday morning, only a day later than expected.  However,  it seems that they took the reasonable weather with them as for the next week we had nothing but rain, rain, more rain and some wind. The following short video was taken from the front door.

  

After the weather cleared a little,  we did venture out for a a bit of a look around.  One day we went through to Ohope and had a look at potential parking places before continuing on to Opotiki which meant that we just had to have afternoon tea at the Two Fish Cafe which I still say has some of the best coffee around,  and the muffins are pretty damn good as well.

 Afternoon tea

Oh, and at the cafe, instead of giving you a table number for your order, you get a plastic toy animal like the shark and the kangaroo in the above picture.  Just a little fun thing they do which sets them apart from the masses.

Whilst we were parked up at Johns, our van decided it was a little lonely and it needed a mate and just look what happened!

  Almost a matching pair

Pat & Sue are back in the North Island after their sojourn South.  It’s lovely to see them again, and have their company – even though they keep beating us at cards, or should I say that we let them win!!  Once the weather cleared a bit and the wind blew in the right direction, we all went to the beach to try our hand at kite fishing as Pat had a new kite which he had not tried out before now.  Although the wind was fickle and we did not manage to get any hooks out but we did get manage to get the kite up.

  Pat & Sue surf casting 

  Kite finally flying.

Another day and another attempt, this time getting the hooks out butte can report that no fish were harmed in this excercise although a lot of weed was caught.  But the weather was lovely, we had a nice picnic on the beach and we all agreed that we could not think of a better way to spend an afternoon.

John & Jude returned the following Sunday, we did not hear them return, we were all comfortably sitting in the lounge watching Tele when all of a sudden the door burst open with John charging through yelling YAAAAAHAAA!  We all got one helluva fright – lets just say that some laundry was required to be done after that surprise! But we have stored that fright away in the memory banks for future reference so just watch out Mr Coatham, have your heart pills at hand!

We stayed on for a couple more days before we headed off the  huge distance – to Matata just 17km away! Although we did detour a few kms through Edgecumbe to use the dump station there.  Now we are comfortably parked at the DoC camp at Matata where we await the favourable winds to allow us to go fishing off the beach.

Fishing

June 1, 2015

After our allowed two nights at Anzac Bay we headed to Tauranga for a couple of nights mainly to restock the larder, fill up with fuel and get a couple of chores done before heading down the coast to Matata and the lovely DoC camp there.  Whilst at Matata  we had a couple of goes of trying to get the kite up for some fishing off the beach, however, either the wind was too strong, in the wrong direction or not strong enough.  Talk about frustrating!   We tried!

From Matata it is just a short jaunt down the highway to John’s place, here we are for the next week or two whilst John & Jude are away.  Again, it is a good opportunity to get lots of chores done whilst we have access to everything we could possibly need.  

The weather forecast was for and calm conditions so John suggested we head off early (relatively speaking) on Thursday morning for a mornings fishing.  We were up in time to get the boat ready and on our way by 8am, and boy was it chilly with a good frost on the ground.  We were rugged up in our best warm gear; hats, gloves, scarves, possum/merino jackets, with a lot of it having not seen the light of day for a good couple of years. Oh and not forgetting Roy and his Waikato socks. These socks are renown amongst some of our friends as the indicator that it is becoming definitely chilly.   It’s a bit like that ad we used to get on TV many years ago for something that I cannot  now remember (I think it may have been an antiseptic or sticking plasters?) but the ad was of a small blond headed boy playing rugby with the catch line of “oh no, Snow cops it again”, when that ad appeared on our screens we knew that it was winter time.  Well, when Roy wears his Waikato socks, we know it’s winter! 

 Roy geared up with his Waikato socks on.

And not to be outdone, John was wearing his lucky bright orange fishing hat and Jude had kindly lent me her lucky bright yellow fluoro hat….hmmmm, not too sure about the look – or the luck in my case!

  John 

 I think we have become accustomed to the warmer climes especially during the winter months, I mean, these days if we have a temperature getting down into single figures we think we are frozen!  It was not so long ago that we used to get excited when the winter temperature got out of single figures! How quickly we adapt.  Anyway, back to the fishing.

We headed off over the Whakatane bar for a favourite fishing spot just down the coast.

  A lovely day for fishing

It wasn’t long before a few fish were being landed, however, many of them were sent back to go tell their granddad to jump on our lines.  But it wasn’t too long before we had enough for dinner so it was time to head back to land.  

We ended up with a reasonable mornings catch… 

 One Kahawai, two trevally, three snapper and seven gurnard.

Next came the filleting lessons. 

  Roy and John at the filleting table with the cat and dog waiting expectantly for some tasty morsels

Chum, the dog, just loves the snapper skins.  It’s no wonder he has such a lovely glossy coat and is full of energy.  Filleting lessons complete, it was time to clean up the boat before storing it away, tidy up around the filleting table before we could enjoy some of our catch.  The Kahawai was smoked and make into pâtè to have with drinks the next day, but tonight we were to have the trevally as sashimi  

 delicious!

For dinner we had snapper and gurnard fillets with enough gurnard left for dinner the next day.  Fresh fish is just the best and we throughly enjoyed every morsel. Now we just have to wait for the next expedition!

Waharau, Matata and whakatane

February 26, 2015

Waharau is one of our favourite Auckland Regional Parks and again it did not disappoint.  It’s a lovely spot not too far from Kaiaua where Bill & Roy set out the net one afternoon to hopefully catch some flounder.  After dragging the net back in in the wee hours, the haul was  3 flounder, one yellowtail and one rather large stingray, enough for a meal for us all.  It was our first try at preparing stingray/skate wings, I had tried them before in Singapore but it was a new experience to cook them.  Even though it was a nice enough meal, I don’t think I would bother repeating the exercise as there are plenty of much nicer fish in the sea to eat.  The mussels collected from just off Waharau though are truly delicious, with mussels for entree two nights in a row.

After just three nights at Waharau we decided to press on otherwise we would run out of time to get to Hawkes Bay. Our first stop was to be at Kopu where we had arranged for a hydraulic firm to look at the troublesome stabiliser jack.  It turns out that it has a slight bend in the spike which will necessitate a new one to be built but after a quick discussion we decided not to hold up Bill & Estelle  and we would try and get it fixed further along the line, so with that in mind we pressed on and headed straight to Matata where we found Jim & Judy parked up at the DoC camp there.  Bill & Estelle arrived the following day to join us.   We had three nights at Matata, managing in the days there to catch up with Keith & Deb, who live just along the road and spent a lovely afternoon with them catching up on all their news. I also rang my brother John who lives just out of Whakatane to say we would be passing through on our way East and arranged a time to catch up on Monday.

But of course, our tentative plans were to go awry again.  Bill & Estelle had decided not to go on to Hawkes Bay anymore, so plan B was formulated.  Then Plan C (or was that D) started to come together, John rang to ask if we would be interested in house/farm/dog/garden/chook/ sitting for 10 days as he and Jude are heading to Melbourne for a break later in the week.  It did not take too much discussion to figure out that that was a reasonable plan so off to Whakatane we headed.  We bade farewell to Jim & Judy and Bill & Estelle at Matata and headed into Whakatane which is where we are now and will be for the next week or two.  

Of course, I forgot to take any photos of us at either Waharau or Matata, I am obviously becoming very slack in this aspect of blogging life.    

Being parked up here at John’s gives us a chance to get a few more chores done – although they do seem to be never ending!  One pressing matter was to attend to the kitchen tap (faucet to you foreigners!) which had developed a leak and had become a bit wobbly.  So I went off to the motorhome shop to purchase a replacement, but who do I find parked at the RV centre but Jim & Judy.  Apparently the car park area is a parking area for NZMCA members.  After a quick catch up, I purchased a new tap and then headed off into town to get a bit of shopping done, only to meet up with Bill & Estelle in the supermarket carpark!  They had stayed in Ohope the previous night and were just stocking the larder before heading off back north. Another quick catch up before onto my next job.  Whilst we are parked up for a while we are taking the opportunity to remove the front drivers and passenger seats  and have them recovered as they are starting to show a bit of wear & tear.  Off to see an upholsterer to get a quote.  Then comes the hard part of choosing material, and how we want them recovered.  But more of that later.

The replacement of the tap was expected to be a simple swap over, but oh no, not in our case. First the old tap turned out to be a bit stubborn and did not want to come out, then the new tap turned out to be a smaller fitting that the old one, this was only discovered after hooking up all the pipework!  John then suggested that they try and repair the old tap…..



“This goes in here.  No? here I think!”



A compromising position???

After some time, and yes John, you did manage to wind me up and trick me into thinking you were replacing my shiny stainless tap head with an old plastic shower head! the old tap was fixed and back in place and the new tap returned to the shop.   Only should I tell you fellas that the mixer is now opposite of what it should be?  Turn the tap to the cold position and hot comes out and vice versa!!!!

Random Photos

December 23, 2013

 

Here are a few random photos, worth a look (well some are).  Those sent to us by Pat and Sue have the comments with which they were sent, thus showing how cruel friends can be from time to time!!!

(Pat) This was Roy fishing at Matata on a cool morning near the river mouth.

1 Matata

(Pat) Roy fishing at Matai Bay. Slightly wet as I recall, also something about wet arse and no fish springs to mind.

2 Karikari

(Pat) Enjoying a mediocre coffee at a tourist icon. Thankfully open for once!!

3 Bus Stop

The above comment remarks on the fact that we went past this place on numerous occasions over a period of three months or more and this was the first time we saw it open.

(Pat) Roy checking out the Te Paki sand dunes area or maybe he’s got his helicopter there and playing Desert Storm, or there’s a wet spot on the ground.

Te Paki

(Pat) I couldn’t decide if you were signalling that you had found 2 tua tua or something else, so I concluded you wouldn’t be rude and it must be tua tuas.

4 Whananaki

This photo was taken at Ramp Road and shows Brian with a dead sea snake that had been washed up on the beach.  This is apparently not an uncommon occurrence on some beaches in the far north.

5 Ramp Road

(Pat) An intense concentration was surely evident for this test flight.

6 Whangaruru

Beach near Whananaki where a small camp has been established on a farmer’s sea front paddock.

8 Whananaki

Fishing on Karikari beach at dusk.  From nearest Pat, Sue, John and Margaret.  Not one of the more successful expeditions!  However, we were visited by a pod of dolphins who put on a great display leaping out of the water and performing acrobatic stunts….none of which were caught on camera as the camera operator was intensely watching the display with awe.

6 karikari

(Pat) Final brunch at URETITI

7 uretiti

As a final note, yesterday we had out first Sunday brunch without Pat & Sue, but we did not eat alone.  No, we had a bacon & egg bap with parsley mayo and enjoyed it with the company of a few hundred strangers at the Clevedon Farmers Market. We can report that although the bap was delicious, the company (and location) was not as we are accustomed.  However, we did wonder what a certain section of the population were doing!

The things we do

May 30, 2013

All day, everyday, there is always something that needs to be done whether it be chores, tasks that need attention or just do the things we like doing. All of the aforementioned seem to be on our to-do list of late. One wet day, we decided it was time to clean the roof vents, as ours have covers over them to enable us to keep them open in all weathers, the cleaning of them meant a large scale operation from the inside of the van. First remove fly screens, but to do this you have to remove the outer vent casing, then remove the fly screens. The taller member of the touring party ‘volunteered’ to reach up to clean the vent cover and surroundings, whilst the other member was left scrubbing the removable parts. Who would have thought that doing such a simple thing would make such a difference by letting in more light! Oops, that means we must do it more often.

That led onto the decision to spray the van for spiders as we seem to collect a reasonable number of the little devils. Suitable spider spray was purchased and the inside of the van has been dealt to. The outside is next on the agenda before we tackle the cleaning and polishing of the van.

Another day and time to spend some time in the kitchen; beetroot has been bottled, feijoas have been bottled in a delicious vanilla citrus syrup ( feijoa chutney in reserve from last year). And a day spent baking, filling the tins with date & walnut loaves, gingernuts, chocolate chips & almond cookies, feijoa lime muffins and today will be a rhubarb & ginger upside down cake perfect for dessert tonight.

Roy spent a day cleaning and tidying out cupboards and storage containers. “What was that you found?” “Oh, is THAT where that is.” Were familiar catch cries all day. Lots of treasures were found and the labeler got a workout, especially labeling all those pesky cords and charging devices.

Another day and its haircut day, Bernice headed into Whakatane for a haircut, whilst Roy allowed Bernice to attack his hair with the clippers….no, not a number one, but a good trim!

A wet day and we collect fresh water from the awning. We do this by lowering one end of awning to allow the water to run off one end and collect in buckets, however for sometime now we have been pondering the best way of getting water directly into our tank. So another trip into Whakatane and the purchase of a 12v bilge pump along with the connectors required. Call in on John on our way back to Matata to avail of his shed and services to join together leads/wires. At this stage I am told to go off and make myself scarce and leave the blokes to do their thing…what? You don’t want my helpful advise? Sheeeesh. Back to the van to try it out, however once the hose is attached to our water inlet, the pump struggles to push the water in. A bit more investigation is required and we finally figure out that the water inlet into our tank enters at the base of the tank therefore the pump is pushing against the large volume of water already in the tank. More simple mods will be made over the next day or two and fresh water will soon flow into the top of the tank.

My next project is to make a headboard for the bed. Our window frames are metal, therefore they get very cold and sometimes attract condensation . We have a window at the head of our bed which has a good thermal/blackout blind inside the frame, however, a bit of a gap between our pillows and the window frame would be good idea. Off to the recyclers where I found a suitable headboard, just a small modification to make it fit i.e. cut off the legs is all that is required. Oh, but I have some material that would be perfect to cover it, next I just need a bit of foam to act as padding, cover it, and voila, a stunning headboard will be made (photo evidence will be provided once completed).

So there you are, we keep ourselves busy. In between there seems to be time for fishing, entertaining, playing cards and of course the odd bit of knitting (hats and gloves now under way), as well as exploring the region we are in.

Ta ta Matata

February 4, 2013

First it was a drive up the coast a little to check out Pikowai for parking, sea conditions, swimming, fishing potential et al. It’s a lovely spot with toilets and coin operated showers just like at the DOC camp at Matata except at Pikowai you are parked very close to the sea.
20130201-151045.jpgothers all settled in.

There was hardly a soul in sight along the beach however we did come across someone’s kontiki gear.20130201-151238.jpg
A Kontiki traditionally came in the form of a very small pontoon-type boat, raft-like structure, kite or inflated object designed to be taken offshore by the wind, your fishing line can be taken out much further than by traditional surf casting. These days there are powered Kontiki’s which do not require an off shore wind.

We went for a wander and a paddle, the sea was a bit rough for swimming with strong rips in evidence but we were happy with cooling off our feet.20130201-151532.jpgthree birds in a row!
Speaking of birds, it is some time since we bored you all with a selection of bird photos but here goes!
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John and Jenny came and joined us for dinner on Wednesday evening and we managed to put on a bit of a flame throwing display. Actually, I missed it but apparently the BBQ and gas had a bit of a misunderstanding and spurted flames out of the side of the BBQ. A quick switch off of the gas, remove the food to the oven in the van, and all was good.

Thursday and Roy’s cousin Robert came to visit for the day, we spent a lovely afternoon chatting, laughing, sorting out Robert’s iPad issues and going for a walk along the beach with his dog.

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Although the beach was a little crowded…NOT!

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Thursday and our last night in this part of NZ, we go into John’s for dinner and give him a hand in taking down his two tents. Work done, a lovely dinner and a game or 5 of Sequence before we bade our farewells to John & family and sunny Whakatane. Which reminds me, did you know that Whakatane is New Zealand’s sunshine capital, taking that mantle from Nelson last year? Whakatane thought they had the record the previous year but Nelsonians wrestled the title off them by alleging Whakatane had some dodgy recording instruments. All good things come to those who wait they say. We can attest to Whakatane’s sunny state, the weather has been utterly glorious the whole time we have been here. Till next time.

Oh and one of the best things about the camp at Matata? These laundry tubs scattered throughout the camp complete with wringers!

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