Archive for the ‘opotiki’ Category

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.  

Napier to Mahia to Gisborne

May 1, 2016

We left Napier on Tuesday morning ready to tackle the hills to make our destination for the next few days, Mahia Peninsular.  We headed off following Brian & Marj at a respectable distance to let traffic past, up and over the hills, some of them long slow climbs, which is no problem for our grunty engine.  Brian found a good pull over for both of our rigs in time for morning tea, a good time to stretch the legs and check out the wild chickens that seem to frequent a number rest areas in New Zealand!  

Then it was time to continue on our way, and it wasn’t too long before we arrived in Wairoa in time for a lunch break alongside the river.  Wairoa has had a bit of a checkered history,  but these days it is looking prosperous and a tidy wee town.

Wairoa from the bridge looking back onto the town.

Next stop was at Mahia Peninsular, we were to park at a reserve on the northern side of the Peninsular.  We arrived mid afternoon and quickly set ourselves up in the reserve next to the bollarded area set aside for tenters……or so we thought! More on that shortly.

Roy and I headed out for a drive around the coast as far as we could go  before the roads ran out, to check out the landscape. There are large rock shelves all around the coastline on the northern side of the peninsular, they are quite spectacular at low tide, showing off their formation for all to see.

No,these are not man made formations, all are done by Mother Nature. 

Back to the van, time for dinner and then settle down for the evening.  I should add here that there were four other vans parked up plus one small tourist vehicle.  However, our peace was to be interrupted by a French tourist knocking on our door.  She had just been approached by a Council employee stating that we should ALL be parked in the small  area behind the bollards, and if we did not move then we would be up for a $200 fine! Hmmm, we asked ourselves why did the council employee approach the only vehicle that was obviously a rental and ask them to relay the news?  And where were the signs indicating that we could only park in the small bollarded area? Harumph, mutter,  mumble…….so in the dark, we all packed up and crammed into the “designated” parking are, an exercise in juggling vehicles around tents and cars, squeeze in we did.  Well, bother that, tomorrow we will all leave. And leave we all did, up over more long windy uphill roads to Gisborne.

We have been to Gisborne before which you can read about here

Our intention was to travel up around East Cape, however, these plans were also about to change as the Gisborne Camping Pass and parking sites are only available over the summer months, and with very little choice in other parking options we again decided to change our plans by staying in Gisborne for a couple of night and instead then head  through the Waioeka Gorge to Opotiki. However,  these plans were also to change slightly as Marj was not well and needed to visit the hospital a couple of times.  She is much improved now and we intend to continue on our journey tomorrow.  

The bonus extra days here in Gisborne meant we could check out the Gisborne Market on Saturday morning, which we did, again filling the  fridge and pantry with some goodies!  The weather has been lovely with clear blue skies most days, and warm temperatures as well.  

Map of East Cape

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.

Auckland anniversary weekend

January 30, 2013

This last weekend was a long weekend for those who happen to be gainfully employed, and for us it was a weekend of family get together with fishing. Steve arrived Friday night and Saturday morning the three (Roy, John and Steve) were up at 4am to head out for the day fishing. The Whakatane river bar was proving to be temperamental so plans were made to head up to Opotiki and head out from there. The morning was spent fishing however the fish must have decided to to head off somewhere else as not many were being landed in the boat. The bar at Opotiki had presented its own challenges i.e. being very shallow even at full tide, therefore a phone call was made and Bernice and Julie hopped into a car and headed up to Opotiki to collect John’s car and trailer and bring it back to Whakatane.

It was a beautiful day, and with stunning scenery along the way, and I spied many a good spot to explore on another day. We soon arrived in Opotiki, collected the car and trailer before setting out on our return journey. The blokes arrived back empty handed, but with resolve to head out again on Sunday morning, allowing themselves a bit of a sleep in until 4.30am this time!!

Late Sunday morning and other members of the family started to arrive, first Sue & Jeff followed shortly after by Hilary. Not long after the guys arrived back from fishing, this time having had much success. The rest of the day was spent cleaning fish, catching up with family and generally enjoying the sunshine.

And to prove that Roy can actually catch some fish, here is the proof. Actually under size by 7 centimeters.

back row: Jeff, John, Steve and Roy
Front row: Sue, Bernice, Hilary

John with his daughters Jenny and Julie

Sunday afternoon and everyone left going in their own separate direction, Sue & Jeff to Putaruru via Rotorua, Hilary to Tauranga and Steve back to Auckland but with an extra passenger….Julie! And all with a good quantity of fresh fish.