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.