Thursday, 24 December 2015

McLaren Falls Park

McLarens Falls Park, Lower Kaimais now $10 per person per night or $3 each at the nearby Tauriko NZMCA Park. Definitely worth a visit as you head over the Kaimais. A variety of short walks nestled around the tranquil lake and a bit of trout fishing in the canal.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

November 2015

An interesting month from trout fishing to house sitting and our first helpx-ing.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Favourite Things

These are a few of my favourite things

and Rivers

Brilliant when they are all are at the same DOC site

What a beautiful place to have my first swim of the season.
A bit chilly but with water that colour it was just too hard to resist.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Working Hard

Working hard to catch the whitebait and keep a good work life balance.
Mark seems to have it sorted at the moment but I wonder for how long that will last once people realise he is licensed to do PEW (prescribed electrical work).
Check out our facebook page
Black Box Electrical Engineering
and "Like" us to keep a track of where we are. You never know when you might need a Licensed Electrical Engineer to solve a problem, give you a bit of electrical advise or do a bit of PEW for you.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Here Comes the Sun

It's always nice to wave the long cold nights of winter goodbye and welcome back the warming rays of the sun. 

I for one really appreciate the suns radiating rays and the vitamin D that they provide but not nearly as much as our poor batteries. They have had a hard time this winter having to cope with our 12v water heating and cooking plus the constant draw from the diesel heater (which I'm sure was on for twice as long as it was last year). But they didn't falter nor complain and always kept their charge up even when they were on load and pretty stressed.  

Having worked hard all winter it's now their time to bask in the sun again and I think I'll go and join them and top up my vitamin D as well.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

From Ardmore with Love

Well I never thought I would say it but we have just spent a few weeks exploring around Auckland and I really enjoyed it! There I said it.

I have to admit though the nearest I got to the CBD was passing it by on the motorway. But the Greater Auckland Region was excellent from Rodney to the West Coast it really does have a lot to offer.

The NZMCA Park at Ardmore is so conveniently located it made a great stop over.

Next time though we will definitely get the Regional Parks pass and stop a bit longer. However right now it's whitebait season and I can hear those hide tides calling. In fact if I think about it hard enough I can even hear the butter sizzling in the pan ready for my first fritter of the season. Fingers crossed we catch more than last year.

Shakespear Regional Park

Shakespear is one of the many Auckland Regional Parks where you are allowed to camp for $8 a night or $128 per year for self contained vehicles (bargain).

They have great walks/mountain bike tracks and good facilities too.

In just a couple of hours you can walk all the way around Shakespear from the beach to the waterfall and get up really close with the wild life.

I'm not sure if this is my favourite one of the parks, as it's been a few years since I visited some of the other parks, so I'll have to reserve judgement at this moment in time and wait until I've visited them all again to refresh my memory but it's pretty close.

Passes run from September 1st to the end of August so now is a good as time as any to buy one.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

July 2015

Landy fixed, 1 week house sitting completed and back to the Coromandel to check out some of the Thames/Coromandel councils new designated freedom camping spots.
It was about this time last year when we visited the Coromandel last. To say the least freedom camping on the Coromandel was very disappointing then with limited spots, restricted 1 night parking and that ridiculous 7:30am curfew. But we weren't to be disappointed this time we found some great spots, were allowed to stop 2 consecutive nights and didn't have to move on until 9:00am.
It really made our trip up to Port Jackson and the tip of the peninsula so much pleasanter with a choice of different places to stop on the way up and down. In fact if we'd known the experience was going to be this good we would have planned to stay a bit longer but unfortunately we couldn't, too many places to go and people to see. Never mind though there is always next time.

Well done to the NZMCA for fighting our corner and thumbs up to the Coromandel for coming to the party.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Coromandel Walkway

Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay, approx 20 kms return (7hrs).

Not as daunting as it sounds. It only took us 2hrs there and 2hrs15 back. Plus no aching legs the next day.

The track is relatively flat and well formed most of the way. Just one steep bit really up and down to Poley Bay. Oh and it was pretty muddy crossing the farm land at the start of the track but then again it is the middle of winter.

It goes without saying this is a 5 star walk with DOC campsites at either end of the track but it always amazes me why there aren't more motorhomes here at this time of the year. I know the roads are a bit narrow, but at least they are empty. Last years slips have all been removed and the bridges all fixed. The weather well, it can be quite gorgeous and I probably shouldn't be advertising this but for those of you who need it both Port Jackson and Waikawau Bay have powered sites.

So if you haven't ventured this way for a while dig out your DOC pass, check out some of the new Coromandel designated freedom camping sites on the way up, stock up at the iconic Colville store and make your stay a long, happy one.


Pauanui trig and back via the cove. Approx 3hrs return.

A wee bit steep, and a little awkward to follow the uncut track down to the cove but worth it for the view.

This is another 5 star walk with the benefits of a freedom camping spot at its start (South End Reserve), complete with BBQ and picnic area. Yes that's correct you heard me right. Right in the middle of Pauanui, in the heart of the Coromandel/Thames district council you get to find not just this one but three new designated freedom camping spots. Wow Coromandel I take my hat off to you for making such a great effort.

PS Love the recycle bin.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Friday, 10 July 2015

Multi choice

When is a good time for your motor home, your one and only place of residence and vehicle, to decide to pack a sad and dump all it's coolant out of the radiator?

A) On a freezing cold winters evening.

B) The night before your husband needs to get to Tauranga to take an exam at 9:00 the next morning.

C) A few days before you are due back in Hamilton to house sit for a friend.

Or D) All of the above.

Yep that's correct D) All of the above.

Back in tune, June

I just love winter on the road. You can't beat a long winters walk in the sun, followed by a gentle soak in a sparsely populated hot pool. Not to mention sometimes having to spend all day inside watching movies and chillaxing,  while listening to the sound of the rain on the roof.
But most of all, what I really find tops is having all the freedom camping spots available just for us to choose from. We even found 3 spots where Spark wifi was accessible while parked up. Now that really does make winter awesome and ones husband a very, very happy chappy.

Waihi Beach

Waihi Beach to Homunga Bay via Orkokawa Bay.

Great walk, approx 14kms return. Interesting landscape with some rugged rocks and gravity defying trees plus 2 pairs of very aching legs the next day. Oh and the next day and the day after that.This is a 5 star rated walk or walk with benefits as the husband likes to call them not just because of the great scenery but because you are able to freedom camp at the start of the track by the surf club (off peak only). Stock up on goodies to take with you from the local shop. Surf the internet using the telecom wifi hotspot while you are resting your legs the next day and grab a takeaway for tea (the samosas are to die for). Thumbs up Western Bay of Plenty you've done it again with another great freedom camping spot.

Waihi Township

Martha Mine Pit Rim Walkway

Just 4kms but well worth the effort. Amazing how close it is to the town. I've been through Waihi township hundreds of times and didn't realise it was there. Well not that close anyway.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

May I be forgiven

Sorry folks for lying but we haven't really moved back into a house. Just house sitting for a week or two. It's amazing how many people offer you house sitting jobs when they hear you are living permanently on the road. Generally we say no, but this one was for a friend so we didn't mind. All done now and we're pleased to be back on the road again, even if the weather is rather interesting to say the least for Autumn.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

April Fool

We've moved!  Well really, what did you expect? How long did you think 2 people could occupy a space of less than 50 sq feet (4.4 sq m) for? It has been nearly 10 months you know!

At least now we've got somewhere to hang our paintings and display our expensive ornaments.

Shame about all the cleaning though.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

March ing Back to Hamilton

Marching back to Hamilton just in time to see the first fog and gather the first chestnuts of the season.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Beautiful February

You can't beat a kiwi summer!

Oh except for the wallpaper stripping and shed building that is.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Fisherman's Tales

Did you here the one about the 25kg (55lb) king fish that didn't get away.

  Well as the story goes one scorching hot day in February, down by the beach at Maraenui, a wise old man Jack (80) baited his shiny new, very expensive graphite rod with a live kawahi and sent it out to sea to entice a biggie. Well no sooner had the livie hit the water than a biggie had taken the bait. Out to sea it tried to run but Jack was too wise for that. Calling over the young chap Mark (50) he handed him the rod and told him exactly what to do. "Keep watching the line and let him run but if the line goes slack reel him in," he advised. "It'll take a while but don't worry he'll eventually tire".

  So hold the line he did as the biggie swam up and down the beach from left to right and right to left again. Stopping only occasionally to rest his arms while the Mrs took the line. From 1 till 4 he toiled until eventually he had quiet an audience. Rumours of the biggie had caused quiet a stir. "Was it a shark maybe a sting ray," the doubters proclaimed. "No," exclaimed Jack, "only  a king fish swims that way and my man Marks going to bring him in for me".

 We'll by 4:33 the crowds were getting restless and it was nearly time for 5'o'clock drinks. "That's it," Mark exclaimed, "no fish comes between me and my beer, It's time to reel him in." And reel him in he did, slowly at first but faster and faster he wound, as nearer and nearer the shore it came. With its green fin glinting in the sunlight, he took one last desperate run down the beach straight towards Jacks gaff. Ceasing the moment Jack took one almighty swing and struck him hard in the back. "Got you," Jack exclaimed triumphantly.

  But it wasn't over yet! As Jack battled the current his feet began to give way and the gaff started to slip from his hands. Then a giant wave knocked him head first under the water. Realising  this was his opportunity to escape the fish gave one last swish of its tail and slipped out of the Mrs hands. "Grab the gaff, just grab the gaff," Jack demanded and quickly she did. Feeling the surge of the current she forcefully stopped the beast in its tracks. Jack swiftly jumped to his feet securely grabbing the fishes tail once and for all. Running down to meet them the spectators eventually came to give their support and helped heave the beast to shore.

 "Well what a beauty that is," Jack proclaimed, "just in time for 5'O'clock drinks."

   And 5'O'clock drinks were well enjoyed by everyone on that day, the next and the day after that.  Fresh then smoked and devoured by all that big kingie was.

Friday, 6 March 2015

A Time For Everything

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to stay and a time to go

And now is the time for us to leave our number one
POP and give Mark a rest.

Goodbye Ian and  Pip.
Safe travels in the South

Mark really enjoyed playing on all your toys.

We will miss you
But don't worry we'll be back to see you soon.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Thursday, 22 January 2015

1st House Sitting

First 'House Sitting' or should I say 'Garden Sitting' as we had no access to the house. It was good to have access to the pool though.
Note to self if we ever do house sitting again in summer there must be a pool! Indoor heated pool during winter now that could work too!!!

Loved the animals but couldn't eat a whole one. Fortunately they could and we didn't have to eat our leaving presents on the last day (one whole baby rabbit each). It's amazing how animals sense things. I recon Lexie and Snuffy (dog n cat) knew we were leaving and so did the chucks. After 10 days of patiently feeding watering, cleaning out their cage and talking to them they eventually decide to start laying on the last day. Oh well at least we got one egg each, however small it was. It's the thought that counts.

So back to our number one POP in Thornton now and time for Lexie dog to have a rest. Told you no dog was going to out jog us especially one with legs that short. Sweet dreams Lexie.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Changeable December

It doesn't really snow here in December. You have to be up on top of the mountain for that but it was good to see the snow again.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro Alpine Crossing plus Tongariro summit detour- 6 hours- not bad going. I told the boys we'd have time to do both summits in the 8 hours, but sorry Ngauruhoe you'll have to wait for another day.

 Looking at how tired the boys were and the weather at the end maybe it was a good thing we didn't!

Don't worry Ngauruhoe I'll be back in a wee while with my gloves and long trousers on to protect me from the scree, as I fear I'll be scrambling up you on my hands and knees and slipping down on my rear.

Tongariro National Park