Archive for the ‘parking’ 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.

A clean break

October 6, 2019

Sometimes it just gets to you, being parked on gravel that it. We’d had enough of being parked at Ardmore and we were both hankering for grass, nature, beach and some space around us. We decided it was ok to leave Ardmore but we would not be going too far as we still need to be around Auckland just in case. We packed up the van ready to move but with a few tasks to do along the way it was not going to be a quick getaway.

First stop was to Bruce Pulman Park to dump the tanks and fill with fresh water, it’s within a couple of kms from Ardmore and not too far to travel. It’s a very good dump station as it has plenty of room, accessible from both sides, drive in and out and basically level as well. Job done, from there it was along the road to the petrol station to fill up with fuel. We know which stations have good, easy access for the van as not all are accessible for us. Some have very low overhead structures, some have the pumps lined up in such a way making it nigh on impossible for us to get in or out, others are just in awkward locations. Filled with fuel we are on our way, taking the Western Ring Road hence avoiding the centre of Auckland, traffic, and the Harbour Bridge.

Our next stop was in Onehunga to Cleanco Truck wash. We had heard that this company also cleans motorhomes and that they do a great job of cleaning the vehicles so we thought we would give them a try.

Lots of men washing the van

I waited for a short period of time in the customer lounge, chatting to a couple of truck drivers whilst the attendants washed the outside of the van. Roy remained inside the vehicle as he then had to move the van from that particular bay to another bay where they could access the roof via mobile stairs and gantry.

About to clean the roof

At this point I left them to it to continue on the journey in the car so I could get a bit of shopping done along the way. Roy meanwhile stayed with the van, he said he had never seen so much dirt come off the roof as they cleaned it, and in hindsight they should have cleaned the roof first before the rest of the vehicle. A lesson learnt for next time.

With wheels polished, tyres siliconed, and everything sparkly clean he was soon on his way. And at just $66 for the clean, well worth the money we thought and we will definitely use them again.

We are heading as far as Shakespear Regional Park, back to familiar territory for a week of R&R in amongst nature.

The route

I met up with Ranger Emma on my way into the Park, and was very warmly greeted before catching up on all the news from the Park. Roy arrived shortly afterwards and he had a quick catchup with Emma before it was time for us to park up….on grass!

It is so nice to be back, with plenty of space around us, the joyous sounds of prolific bird life and the crash of waves on the shore. Bliss.

Parked on grass again.

We had just finished setting up, and I had just put the kettle on for a cuppa when from across the park we hear a familiar voice calling out to us. It was head Ranger Bruce. Although he was on his days off he’d heard we were back for a visit (thanx Emma) so he came down to see us and welcome us, how lovely is that?

Over cups of tea we caught up on all the news and happenings, and no Bruce we are not starting Camp Hosting duties early, we are just having a bit of a break before heading north again. The fish are calling.

Mangakino

March 30, 2019

Now it’s been a few years since we have ventured to Mangakino, probably at least 35years if not more. Mangakino had a bit of a rough reputation in years gone by, but that is now changing.

Mangakino was developed originally as a temporary town to serve the workers who were building the Whakamaru and Maraetai dams after the completion of the Karapiro dam. At its peak in the 1950’s the population reached over 5000, today it has a population of around 1200.

Lake Maraetai is a recreational lake with fishing, skiing and swimming just some of the activities.

There is a lovely large parking area on Matekuri Island which is not really an island, it us more like a headland jutting out into the lake. But swampy areas both sides of a narrow isthmus that the road runs along probably floods at time making it appear an island.

here we are all alone, but it didn’t last long, it became very busy over the weekend.

My niece Fran, her hubby Clive and their two young daughter Bea and Emily have a holiday home here and it just so happened that they were down from Auckland at the weekend. We loved seeing their cute cottage, the girls found a hidey hole in a high cupboard.

We shared a BBQ dinner that evening back at the van.

everyone look the other way!!

Sue & Jeff joined us for an evening on the Sunday before heading back to Putaruru on Monday afternoon. But not before we all got together for a cuppa.

L-R Sue, Bernice, Clive, Bea, Fran holding Emily and Jeff.

Shame I didn’t comb my hair for the photo!! That statement needs a bit of an explanation.

Whilst going through genealogy information with Sue, we came across a photo of me that mum had sent to one of the relations in England. The photo along with others were given to Sue when she was in England 5 years ago. The photo of me is not necessarily funny, but what Mum wrote on the reverse of the photo is. Judge for yourselves.

yes, I know I was cute once…and I thought my hair looked ok!! Knowing me, 5 minutes before the photo was taken I was probably out on the playing field playing bullrush with the boys!

The following day friends Gary & Marg joined us for a couple of nights. We decided to do a bit of exploring around the area to see how much has changed.

Roy got to hang out with Gus in the back seat, the four of us taking selfies and some of us being a bit silly!

Gary & Roy with the Whakamaru Dam in the background.

this is as far as you can go at the Maraetai Dam.

Further down stream from Whakamaru is the local ski club which also has parking facilities for self contained motorhomes so we thought we would check it out for future reference.

top picture is the view from the parking area across the lake and the bottom picture is looking up behind the parking area. Across the lake there is another parking facility however, it is closed at the moment due to logging taking place along the lake front but another one to add to our must-do list.

Back at the vans and Gary discovered an apple tree, so we picked a few to try. And goodness they are great, they fluff up when cooked so we pick a few more and cook up a big pot full of apples. Some we ate with our roast pork belly that evening, and some we had for breakfast, and some I made into a blackberry and apple pie with some blackberries Gary & Roy picked, the rest I bottled.

By Wednesday everyone else had gone, so we think it’s probably time for us to pack up and head off particularly as the weather forecast isn’t that promising. Hmm, where to next I wonder?

On the move

March 21, 2019

I’d had enough of being crammed in at Ardmore, it seems as though vehicles were jammed in everywhere with over 50 vehicles squeezed in and I guess with the motorhome show due to be held in Auckland later that week, people were starting to head on in to the city. Wednesday morning we had an early start as the van was having the underneath cleaned of surface rust and sealed so at 6.30am we were on our way, not too far to go though, just to Truck & Trailer in Spartan Road, Takanini.

We headed off to get some breakfast whilst the van was being worked on, and to do some shopping and generally keep ourselves occupied. It was 1pm when we got the call to say that the van was finished and we could pick it up. Off we trotted, we got a thorough look at what they had done and came away feeling very happy, especially when the bill came in at nearly half of what we were expecting. We will be back here again if we need any work doing on the van as we were so impressed with them. They do all maintenance work on large vehicles as well as fibreglass repairs and they even do a polishing service. And to top it off they were really friendly and helpful.

We had planned to stay the night at the Papakura Club however we decided to dump the tanks again at Bruce Pulman Park on our way. That’s when plans changed again.

It just so happened that Antony had got us tickets to the netball being played at Pulman Arena that evening (also just happened to be our wedding anniversary) and as we saw a couple of motorhomes parked up, I went and enquired about staying the night there.

the view from the door of the van, not too far to go to walk to the game.

And at the same price as staying in an NZMCA Park, it was a no brainer to stay here for the night.

After an early dinner we headed across the car park to the Arena to get our seats for the game, collecting goodie bags along the way from the sponsors inside the venue.

we ended up being seated around the mid court area, just beind the commentators

It was a good game to watch and afterwards we sauntered back to the van and had a very quiet nights sleep.

We were off the following morning to Hamilton where we ended up staying at the Car Museum, somewhere we had not visited before. Again it proved to be another very busy place to stay as we woke in the morning to find that we had neighbours move in on both sides of us both within spitting distance.

Whilst at the museum we thought we should patronise the facility particularly as though the parking is free so we had lunch in the cafe.

the outside of the museum building and the parking area before it became crowded.

We placed our order for our lunch and were wandering around looking for a suitable table when out of the corner of my eye I spied a familiar couple of faces. I stood looking for a good minute or so desperately flicking through my memory banks to put names to faces before the lightbulb finally went off and I could go say hi. They recognised us straight away. It was Chrissy & Ian, they were longtime friends with my eldest brother Mike & his late wife Ann. Chrissy and Ann were school friends and we had met Chrissy & Ian a number of times over the years so it was lovely to see them and catch up.

We also caught up with our long time friends Wade & Lindsay in the evening over a lovely dinner. It’s always good to see good friends. We also met up with Harry, Kim & family whom we had met a few weeks earlier at Shakespear. They had just been to have some solar charging issues sorted and were very impressed with the service they received from Wayne, so much so that we took his details so we could contact him at some point.

The following day we took off to AJ’s Park on the shores of Lake Karapiro.

the view through the front windscreen.

it is a lovely spot to stay, relatively quiet and peaceful so we thought we’d stay a couple of nights, but a week later we are still here! The place becomes quite busy over the weekend, and we are kept entertained by waterskiers and kids enjoying themselves being towed behind boats on various devices from knee boards to biscuits. It took us a while to figure that there is no tide here, quite a change for us as we spend so much time near the sea.

Sunday was an impromptu get together with a couple of my siblings – John & Jude called in on their way home to Whakatane, and Sue & Jeff joined us from their home not far away in Putaruru. This trip of ours is basically for us to catch up with my north island siblings before we head away to the UK, it seems we have started off quite well. Of course I forgot to take any pictures however it was a lovely afternoon with them all.

I did take some pictures later in the week as we went into Putaruru on a few occasions to spend some time with Sue & Jeff and catch up on family matters including swapping genealogy notes.

this is my sister Sue with the cheese & bacon scones she made one day for lunch……with the wrong mix she had mistakenly used from her pantry. Subsequently the scones were a strange sweet/savoury concoction 😂. And no, sweet savoury scones are not a new thing, they were relegated to the bin! Should have gone to Specsavers Sue 😘.

Roy & Jeff tackling their respective crossword puzzles.

in between visits into Putaruru I had made contact with Wayne Hunt who specialises in motorhome electric/solar systems and it just so happened that he was going to be passing Karapiro on Tuesday morning and he offered to call in. Wayne & Vicki duly arrived and over a cuppa we chatted for some time before getting onto matters we wanted to sort. We want to be able to charge the van battery when we are stationary for any length of time. Wayne designs and builds systems and he came up with a couple of options for us, now we are all sorted with what will work for us. Once we get it, I will do a blog entry on that later. We also gleaned another couple of ideas from them whilst we were chatting so it proved to be a very good couple of hours spent in their company. We can highly recommend Wayne for anything solar/electric/motorhome related, especially as he explains things so well.

Our departure day from here seems to be getting put back more and more, it may be tomorrow…but then again we may be saying the same thing again tomorrow!

And who can blame us with this for a view.

Uretiti

June 13, 2018

It’s lovely being back on the road, albeit for a brief time and even better being back at Uretiti. Parked up in our favourite spot where there is no one else in sight we can hear the sea just over the sand dunes, and it’s warmer than we have been for a while with overnight temperatures dropping to 15C! A bit better than the frosts and cool weather we had been experiencing at Ardmore. And it’s so nice to be parked on grass again, I’m sure it’s probably psychological but I think it’s warmer than being parked on gravel.

parked up

Hidden behind a few bushes

And just across the road is the beach access, with a Kingfisher/Kotare sitting atop the wind indicator.

Since our last visit, the sand has built up and covered the fence line toward the beach.

with the beach end of the fence disappearing under the sand dunes.

It’s a beautiful day with hardly a soul in sight, and although the wind direction would be perfect for kite fishing neither a Roy nor I feel up to any strenuous exercise right at this moment. Never mind, there will be another time soon I’m sure.

And a panoramic shot of the beach

Tokerau Beach

September 13, 2016

We have been at a PoP (Park over Property for NZMCA Members) at Tokerau Beach for just over a week now, enjoying the lovely surrounds and friendly hosts as well as the close proximity to good beaches, perfect for fishing and relaxing.

Our parking position on the property looking down toward beach.

Looking onto the site from the gate.

We have been having a bit of a spring clean, tidying lockers, sorting out cupboards and general cleaning whilst the weather is reasonably settled.  The plan is to move back to Matai Bay later in the week, but knowing us, those plans could change in an instant.  Watch this space

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.  

Hawkes Bay

April 28, 2016

Our journey to the Hawkes Bay started with a bang – a very loud bang in fact, that startled us both.  Damn, another blown rear tyre, one of a pair that were not changed after the last blowouts, read about what happened here.  We were just 10km from Havelock North so we carefully drove into the dump station on the edge of town before ringing the men at Carters Tyres.  Sure, they said, bring the van in now and we’ll sort you out. To cut a long story short, they replaced the blown tyre with the spare and ordered us two new tyres to match the other two new ones on the other side, the tyres would be arriving early the following  week.  Yes, we decided not to tempt fate by replacing both of the rear tyres on the passengers side to match the two new ones on the drivers side.  That sorted we headed off to the lovely parking site at Te Awanga.


Parked right on the beach, with Cape Kidnappers in the background.

We waited and waited for an offshore breeze so we could launch the kite but no luck there and as we are only allowed two nights here, we did not have a lot of opportunity. We watched lots of other surf casting off the beach, no one was having any luck but on our last night there, a neighbouring group launched a torpedo.  We watched them retrieve their line and they had one very good sized snapper, three small sharks and one stingray.  

Of course this is the Hawkes Bay, and I was really looking forward to going to the Farmers Market on Sunday morning as its one of the best markets around.  We also checked out the smaller Napier market on Saturday morning.   

We were up and off early on Sunday morning to wander the stalls before coming back to the van to move to our next destination.  Needless to say that two very large bags of goodies came back with us from our foray, but more on what I did with all those veg in a later blog.

We were soon packed up and leading the way to our next destination.  Roy and I had done a bit of a recce of other possible parking places as with two of us with large rigs, we need to make sure that there is ample room for us both.   Just as well we had as one of the potential sites was not suitable on size but also not suitable on location, as it was below sea level behind large stony banks.  It was off to the Evers- Swindell Reserve in Clive for us, with a juice outlook over the river with the cycle/walkways right beside us.  

We had just arrived and were setting up when this sight unfolded in front of us A waka (Maori canoe), with a group of tourists learning the techniques and protocols


It looked like a great way to spend an afternoon. 

 We were at Clive for a couple of nights before we went to the NZMCA park in Napier.  Unfortunately I neglected to get the camera out to take a picture of us parked up here, we were there for a week catching up with many tasks, including getting the new tyres fitted, going out to celebrate Roy’s Birthday at Bistronomy, checking out a few wineries and of course going back to the Farmers Market.

Anzac Day was on Monday, Roy attended dawn service at the soundshell on the Napier foreshore, he will elucidate later when he gets round to catching up with his view of the world.  

Al in all a lovely time spent in and around the Hawkes Bay, we were reluctant to leave but we are on a bit of a schedule as Brian & Marj have to be back in Auckland by mid May and there is the East Cape to explore.   Little did we know that our plans were to change again…..but more on that later.

Belated 2

March 28, 2016

 

Once again a catch up of photos and comments.

9

This photo is for you James, you should have approached Tui for sponsorship on recovering the billiard table at the Lodge!!

Before  leaving Lake Wairarapa Bernice and I took a train ride in to Wellington where we met up with Bernice’s niece Natalie & family.  Before doing so we went to the National War Memorial to see the extension to the exhibit we had previously seen.

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The exhibition has been extended with the addition of a Gallipoli section.  This primarily consists of a time line from the landing through to the evacuation presented through a series of colourised original photographs.  These include New Zealand and Australian photographs in the main.  Each is presented within the context of the time and place of the action associated with the photograph.  There is also a roughly four metre square diorama of the action at Chunuk Bair.

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The detailed work of colourisation has made those old black and white photos really come to life and add a depth to the experience which is significantly greater that that achieved through the original black and white photographs.

Meanwhile we moved from Lake Wairarapa to Ngawi.  So where is Ngawi?  It is about 5km from Cape Palliser which is the southern most point of the North Island. 

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Parked up at a POP just a kilometre out of Ngawi.  Friends of Steve and Pat own the property.  Lovely spot close to the sea.

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One of a pair of Highland cattle who are our neighbours.

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Due west (where the sun is setting) is Seddon, on the South Island.  We have caught sight of the South Island from time to time.

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This shot shows the reflected light, form the sunset above, on the dry hills immediately behind where we are camped

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A cloud formation above the Aorangi Forest Park shaped like a feather.

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The toilets which are positioned on the sea side of the road around this area are all well tied to the ground to avoid disappearing in the high winds. And yes, we have experienced a little of the strong winds.

We took a short trip from here to Cape Palliser.  This is the southern most point of the North Island.

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Looking from the carpark up the steps to the Lighthouse.

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Bernice part way up the stairs, taking in the view.

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There is the top.  Not quite there but close.

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And here is a shot of the original lighthouse keeper’s house at the bottom.

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Steve and Pat waiting in the carpark for the mountaineers to return.

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I think this sign may have been relocated from somewhere a little further south!!

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A very happy little bach, or crib for those of you in the south.

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This boat is being launched in Ngawi.  Note the very long drawbar between the cradle and the bulldozer.  Also the angled  connection is actually a ramp leading from the back of the bulldozer to the side of the cradle and the crewman driving the bulldozer can use this to go on board the boat.

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Oops!!  Genuine seaside residence, with only a sight problem with the foundations.  Unobstructed sea views with direct access to the sea.

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This is the view from the ridge track to the lookout at the Putangirua Pinnacles, a formation very similar to the clay cliffs outside Omarama.

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Belated 1

March 28, 2016

 

Someone, who shall remain nameless, has been remiss with submitting blogs.  As a result it is now necessary to catch up and to post some of the pictures that have been taken over some past weeks/months.

So this blog starts when we were at Rangiwahia and goes through to about Wairarapa.  Some of these places and photos may be duplicated but most have not been seen before.

These first two are of the POP at Rangiwahia.  It is around the Hall with the parking on the left and the dump station on the right.

1The Hall

 

23POP and Dump station

 

1

This aeroplane on a stick is a monument to celebrate the first powered flight in the Wairarapa, it is not far from Gladstone.

 

2

These two were seen out and about at the Harvest Wine Festival

 

Then on to Lake Wairarapa where we spent time exploring the neighbourhood and relaxing.

3

 

4Early morning mist and a very still Lake

5Panoramic view of the same part of the lake.

 

6

A cloud formation over the Lake that strongly resembled the upper part of a Toetoe frond.

 

16And another great sunrise over the Lake.   One has to be early for these shots so they are also new to some members of the party. (Bernice here I’ll have you know that I watched quite a few sunrises over the Lake, from the comfort of my bed whilst waiting for my cup of tea to be delivered!!)

 

6A view of our camping site from further round the Lake.   This was on one of the busier days, but there was still plenty of room.  We saw a reasonable number of overnighters and very few stayed more than two nights.

 

7An interesting tree within the Camping Area.  It has obviously been there a long time as the trunk has completely filled the tractor tyre which had been placed around it to protect it when it was planted.  The root mass now starts at the top of the tractor tyre.  It will be interesting to come back and see how much it has stretched the tyre at some point in the future.

 

8Another glorious sunrise

 

5And finally a sunset over the Rimutaka Range

While we were at the Lake Wairarapa we took the opportunity to do some sight/site seeing and exploration of some of the remoter camping sites on the East Coast.  One of our trips took us out to Te Awaiti and Tora – the northern and southern ends of a remote part of the East Coast.

 

10The bridge at the north end of Te Awaiti.  The bridge is privately owned and provides access to the farm at the north end.  There is a gate across the far end of the bridge and nowhere to turn a large vehicle at the near end, a problem if you were to come here in a big vehicle.  It sometimes pays to explore first!

 

8Sue and Bernice preparing lunch carefully supervised/observed by Pat.  Whilst it looked not a bad place to stay we would never have got into the Camping area with our vehicle.  It was too narrow, too steep and impossible to turn into, so we crossed it off our list of possible coastal stays. 

On our way from Te Awaiti at the north end, to Tora at the south, we saw these fishing boats hauled out of the water.  They are launched using Tractors and bulldozers.  You will see more of these when we post about our stay at Ngawi. 

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There is a free camping site at the beginning of the Tora Road.  Quite rudimentary it is between the bridge and the sea in fairly rough ground with some flatter spots.  There is a sign and rubbish bins at the entrance, but that is about all.

 

14Found this rather comfortable chair or lounger at the top of the beach on the road to Tora.  Obviously provided by some enterprising local.

On another day we went to see Stonehenge Aotearoa.  This is modelled on Stonehenge’s seen throughout the world, the most famous of which is probably the Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, England.  Bernice and I had been to Stonehenge Aotearoa ten years ago which was not long after it first opened but Pat and Sue had not been so we all went and had a look.

 

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The entrance or causeway to the henge.

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Statue of Diana in the foreground and the Seven Sisters or Pleiades in the background.  Maori know these stars as Matariki and, for many tribes, the dawn rising of Matarki herald the beginning of the new year.  To the south-west of the Seven Sisters there is a marker stone.  Stand on this stone and the Sisters will show you where Matariki rises.

From http://www.stonehenge-aotearoa.co.nz/About+Us.html

 

19Pat, Sue and Bernice listening to the enthralling tour provided by Richard Hall.   This site is a must see for everyone with a sense of wonder.

 

20And last but not least a view of the “ghost house” on the hill opposite the Stonehenge site