Archive for the ‘Whananaki’ Category


July 22, 2014

We need to back track a little.  The middle weekend that we were at Otamure Bay (Whananaki) and the weekend before “the” stormy weather,  we hopped into the RAV and drove down to Tauranga for the weekend as our niece Jenna was getting married.  We left Otamure by 9am on the Friday morning, finally arriving in Tauranga at 5pm.  Yes, we did have a couple of stops along the way but not too many or not for long either!

The wedding took place on the Saturday afternoon at Mills Reef Winery, a lovely location.  The bridal party left from the motel we were all staying at which was not too far from the venue.  Jenna’s two younger sisters, Amy and Rebekka, were her bridesmaids.

11Rebekka and Amy getting into the car

Arriving with her Dad, Keith.


10Jenna & Chris exchanging vows

Jenna is Bernice’s sister Hilary’s daughter, which meant that 4 of the 6  siblings were there for the nuptials.

56    7Jeff, John, Jude, Sue & Bernice solving the problems of the world.  And yes, I did need a glass in each hand!

9Rebekka and her boyfriend Paul

hugBride getting an Uncle Roy hug!


Jenna & Chris cutting the cake.  The background image is of Bernice’s parents cutting their cake.


L-R Amy, Bernice, Roy, Hilary, Chris, Jenna, Sue, Jeff, Jude, John, Rebekka

A lovely wedding and weekend away, but it was a long drive back for us with a stop off at brother Steve’s (thanx for the lunch) in Auckland along the return journey. 

This is the (d)awning of …..

June 30, 2014

The new awning is in place plus new side and front windbreaks, as well as a ‘skirt’ which provide us with a nice breeze free area in which to sit especially when the weather is a little inclement. We have been waiting to have the awning replaced for over a year now, observing all sorts of designs and options as well as manufacturers. We kept hearing about a Whangarei business that came highly recommended from a number of people so we were happy to wait until we headed north again.

We took the van into Palmer canvas in Whangarei last Wednesday morning and left it there for two days whilst we took ourselves off to Whakapirau to stay with Jacky & Chris.

We spent a lovely couple of days with them in Whakapirau having a few laughs and the odd rum or two before we headed back into Whangarei on Friday to pick up the van. We were given a demonstration by the lovely staff at Palmers of how everything works and goes together before we headed on our way, hoping that we would remember everything. First stop was at the dump station to empty the waste tanks and fill up with fresh water, that task completed, we headed further out of town before stopping at the petrol station in Tikipunga. We had previously done a recce around Whangarei to find a service station that has auto LPG as well as being easily accessible. But just our luck, a fuel tanker truck complete with large trailer was filling up the stations tanks as we arrived, blocking the entrance/exit for the LPG fill. Oh well, no hurry, we shall wait for him to finish. 15 minutes was all it took before we were on our way again – but not too far though as we needed to hook on the car, a stop at the first convenient rest area was required to enable us to hitch the car to the A-frame and onto the back of the van. We were greeted at the rest area by a flock/herd/brood of chickens.


We were heading to Whananaki, which is just 35kms from Whangarei and is a delightful DoC camping area right on Otamure Bay. The beach is lined with Pohutakawas which must look stunning at Christmas time when they are in full bloom.

By the time we got to the camp site, it was late afternoon, perfect timing for drinks though as it did not take long for us to set up and settle ourselves in. Saturday morning was time to test out the new awning and to see how easy it is to put together, first the awning – easy – it rolled out as you would expect. Next, we attached the skirts to the side of the van, this stops the wind from funneling through under the van. The skirt attaches very easily via domes which are attached to the base of the van. Next, we slide the front windbreak along the awning roll, we have had this made so it can be placed anywhere along the front. Next, attach the side windbreak, this necessitates sliding one edge up along a channel fitted on the side of the van and hooking the pole through a cleat at the top with the other end of the pole fitting into a holed drilled into the awning roll. This is much easier than it sounds, so much so that even the vertically challenged one can reach up and do this all by herself!!


We have had just the one side made which can be used at either end in conjunction with the front piece so whichever way the wind is blowing we can quickly and easily move it from one end to the other. Zips join the pieces together and close up the corner, a few pegs along the ground and we are as snug as a bug. What a roaring success it is, we have put our outside table and chairs in one corner with plenty of room to move around.


It will prove to be very useful throughout the year we are sure. We chose to have large clears put in each section, we had observed other variations where the add-on was very dark, we wanted a nice light area. We also wanted something that we would actually use as we have met a number of motorhomers who having had something made, subsequently rarely use it as it is either too bulky or too difficult to put together. Ours stores away nicely in a bag made for it all plus with materials we have chose it is not heavy or bulky but it is very strong. Who knows, in the winter with the sun streaming in we could grow tomatoes in there!

What shall we call it…..Conservatory? Loggia? Porch? Enclosure? Verandah? Portico? Stoa? Lanai? Guest wing? Glass house?


December 20, 2013


After leaving Whangaruru North we made our way further south to Whananaki or more precisely Otamure Bay.  Another DOC camp right on the beach.  We parked up and then wandered down to the beach to have a look.  Typical long sandy beach with rocky islets at he south end and a rocky coast to the north. 

43 parked38 beach

Spotted between the rocks to the south was this sailing yacht.

39 sailing

Unfortunately even in the more remote areas of New Zealand we are faced with water quality problems!!!

41 not so clean

Joining Whananaki and Whananaki South is this footbridge.  Primarily for the convenience of school children coming to Whananaki to the local school.  The shot of the bridge is taken from the Whananaki side

47 bridge42 bridge

In the centre of the bridge there is a rise in the level to allow small boats to pass underneath.  The water under the bridge is not very deep under the bridge in calm condition and at low tide one can watch locals wading back and forth.   The wider view here is from the Whananaki South side

44 bridge45 bridge

At the south end of the bridge in a sheltered bay there was this area where a large number of Mangrove seeds had washed up.  The area was probably 10 metres in length thickly coated in seeds,

46 mangrove seeds

One afternoon was spent walking a track that led from Otamure Bay to the next bay Tauwhara.  There was quite a step climb up some 80 plus steps to the top of the ridge and then an immediate drop down to a lovely long bay.

50 steps49 beach

Part  way along the beach a Pohutukawa was sprawling out of the shore onto the beach.  So for those that may be far away here are a couple of close ups of the flowers.  Pohutakawa are known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree and it is not even Xmas yet!!  So perhaps a long hot summer is in store.

51 pohutukawa52 pohutukawa

Further along there was this area, accessible through a property on the road, where one could park and stay. 

53 Camping

Between Tauwhara Bay and the next bay, Maureses Bay, there is a step ridge running out to sea.  Climbing this gives a view of Maureeses Bay and points further north and further still to the islands off Mimiwhangata.  Whilst looking back one sees the spread of Tauwhara Bay,

55 bay57 bay

And at last captured a photo of a Tui gleaning nectar from the flax flowers.

56 tui