Forum rules: Each member may post travel stories to their own thread. You may comment on others' threads but do not take them over with your own stories. Please try to ensure these stories are entertaining and snappy. You may include a FEW pics to illustrate your story. Please don't use this as a platform for your photo albums: they are best put in (say) Picasa with a link.
 #18029  by Farmer John
 Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:09 pm
:D Well done Mark & Kathy,
We enjoyed your trip almost as much as you did,we were interested how you put and secured your kayaks on your rosie,
Its a shame we didn't get to meet you both when you were out Tapora way.
Regards John & Vickie :D
 #18032  by Mark
 Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:57 pm
Tapora. Would Atiu been the closest we got?
Not finished yet: probably one or perhaps two more posts - but they'll have to wait until after the Supershow.

Getting the kayaks up with two is a breeze - but with just me is touch and go.
Might take a series of photos on our next trip to demonstrate the method.....

Glad you are enjoying it.
 #18062  by Mark
 Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:04 pm
The Last Post!


Still windy in the morning but we were determined to use up the last of our bait so headed out across to the other side of the harbour and fished as the wind blew us back to the near side again (several times). Kathy was the only one to catch a legal snapper which we had for lunch. Nice! Had a look at (ARC) Scandrett park on our way back to Warkworth (to again replenish depleted H x B supplies) where we parked by the river. Went out to "Quince" restaurant for our end-of tour dinner and enjoyed a very nice Ransom Clos-de-Valerie Pinot Gris. Woken at 6am by council workers emptying the recycling bins - on a SUNDAY!! (I like it - much better than belly-aching about campers leaving litter and then banning them)

Heading south we called in at Parry Kauri walk. Really dense stands of young Kauri (mainly less than 100 years) - good to see.

Headed to Sullivan's Bay in the Mahurangi Regional park. Being Sunday it was PACKED. There must have been over 50 kayaks there as well as heaps of people just having picnics and about 10 camparvans. We elected to do a walk - saving the kayaking for Monday after the crowds had departed. As we were leaving on our walk, got talking to a group (including Rod Vaughan, a TV investigative journalist, famous for getting bopped on the nose by Bob Jones, some years ago) who were asking us all about motorhoming, how long we are away, where we stay, what do we have on board, where's the best place you've stayed, how much do they cost etc etc. Many of which it was very difficult to answer "It depends". Anyway finally got to do our walk, knocking off a 2 hour walk in one: steep too!

Best laid plans etc. Next morning (our kayaking day, remember?) had a strong easterly pounding straight in to the Bay. No kayaking.

OK, we'll do the Puhoi river. Drove around there and spoke to the people who do kayak hire and guiding on the river. "Well today will be hopeless because the tide is just dead wrong and even the lower stretches will be really unpleasant with this easterly blow." Bother. Oh well, we'll go and look through the cheese factory. Yeah Right! "We don't actually allow visitors to the factory, but you can buy some cheese at completely undiscounted prices if you like and if you look through this little window here behind me you may be able to see a couple of men doing something or other - There! Did you see that? Not quite sure what it is they are doing - but it's part of the cheese making process - or maybe they are wrapping........?"


Back through Puhoi we spied some tennis courts now getting desperate to DO something (and we have carted raquets around with us - unused - for the last 9 weeks) The person in the general store says we can use them and there is no-one to pay because they are owned by the council JOY! Drive over the bridge to the courts and just piling out to get stuck in to a tournament when Kathy notices a slight problem. No Nets. We contemplate staging the tournament anyway but know it will never work. (I have enough problem with her line-calls as it is without having the added problem of aces being served THROUGH the net) GLOOM

On to Wenderholm ARC park - really fizzing by now. Did all the walks on offer - some of them twice!

Hope to get Kathy out of bed early enough to do the Puhoi kayak tomorrow. We also plan to have a soak at Waiwera on our way to see Gary and Jenny. Then we'll make our way across to Katikati to pick up some snow chains for the bus and then home on Thursday.

That's it folks. Will try to get a selection of our photos up on Picasa without too much of a delay. There'll be lots of beaches I fear.

The Author (at Wenderholm)


We did do the kayak in the morning. I was so keen to get the kayaks on the water that I can't have checked our camp as we left and we returned after the kayak to find our chairs (which I stash under Rosie during the night) lent neatly up against the back, none the worse for the fact that I must have driven over them :shock: :) . We had kayaked up as far as the main road bridge encountering a school trip coming down from Puhoi. And she was right, the bottom part with tide against wind was very bumpy.

Stopped again at Orewa to fill in some time and restocked our Hot x Bun supplies from two sources - probably second best after Warkworth (again Asian :) ) Watched about a dozen kite-surfers enjoying the brisk breeze in the surf there (haven't these people got jobs to go too?).

Made our way from Auckland across to Katikati. Stopped at Waihi and had a walk around the mine, viewed a blast and inspected the excellent mine information center in the town.
Were going to stop at the Athenree Forest rest area for the night - but there were pile of MT bottles around so moved on and headed down to the coast only a few kms north of Katikati and prepared to spend our last night there. Received several visits from cars, whose occupants had no obvious reason to visit (one of them came back again). Not a good feeling to moved on and parked up at a domain towards the northern end of Katikati. (Or maybe sub-consciously we were really keen to be heading home, now?)

Called in to see ROPE INN to pick up our snow chains in the morning. We were plied with a very pleasant morning tea and had a look at their bus and a very neat arrangement for converting the seats to a double bed. I have just this last week completed changing our set-up to something similar :)

Got home to find the house still standing and the lawns mowed :)

As I said: If anyone wants more details about any place we've been or anything we've done, just let me know.

Thanks for the positive feedback.
 #22088  by SRVACE
 Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:26 pm
This is fantastic , we are new to all this & looking for our 1st bus & after reading this story I cant wait to get going, I also think you should seriously consider writing a book on your travels , believe me it would sell like hot cakes or even hot cross buns :lol:
 #22100  by Mark
 Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Hi Kevin
Thanks for your kind words, so long after the event (maybe I'll re-read them and re-live that trip!).
I hope that you have as much pleasure out of your bus, when you get her, as we've had out of this one :)
 #89113  by Grantb
 Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:54 pm
Thanks for the really great and informative write up Mark, will be very useful in planning a few trips up north, quite a few actually.

Cheers Grant.
 #89125  by Mark
 Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:44 pm
Thanks Grant, good to read that it is still providing some enjoyment 5 years down the track.
Just reminded me that I still have to write our final "groupie" for this year's trip - and then I'll get around to editing them for Forum consumption.
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