It absolutely hosed down with rain on Saturday from around 3pm onwards despite Richard telling me that his phone said there was zero chance of rain till around 5pm, and the rain continued all night till around 6am. I was in fact rather worried about getting stuck as the grass was very long, but no problems getting away.
Leaving Simpsons Beach (above) on Sunday morning it was off to Whitianga to use the dump station, what a great facility with a dump on both sides so it does not matter which way you drive in or what side you drains are on. Also fresh drinkable water at the tap. It’s great to see the local councils getting behind Motorhomers because this sort of thing encourages you to visit.
Essential for first thing in the morning Thor with his coffee at the Whitianga wharf. It was only a short stay as Sunday morning and lots to do today with most of the shops still closed.
Being Sunday it would be wrong not to visit Cathedral Cove on what was meant to be a quiet day. Huh!!! The car park was absolutely full but thankfully I had been told that I would be better parking in Hahei and catching the shuttle to the park ($5 per head) and that was easy. The walk up and down took about 35 minutes each way with a constant stream of people walking in either direction. Once we got to the bottom it was great to have finally got there after promising myself that I would visit one day.
The views from viewing platforms and from the path where spectacular and my photo cannot do it justice but well worth a visit.
Off to Hot Water Beach and yet again the issues of driving and trying to park the campervan again become evident the front of the van is level with the front of the white van next to it. It would be great if there where some dedicated parks in high tourist areas like this where campervans are abundant.
It’s hard to believe that it’s the start of November I would hate to try and visit during the summer holidays. It was interesting to see the steam rising from the areas where the thermal spring rises to the surface and my boys told me that the first place they started to dig it was so hot that they could not stay there and had to move. Once they had warmed up then it was into the sea for a quick swim (freezing) and back to the hot pool.
From Hot Water Beach it was onto Oputere a place that holds memories for me (Steve Boughey if you are reading this). Where I spent a night at the YHA, when I was around 17? it’s now in danger of being shut down and there is a campaign to try and save it. It would be very sad if it does close because it’s such a great beach and such a remote spot but still only a couple of hours drive from Auckland.
The camp had only just reopened at Labour weekend and all facilities had just been painted or looked new, so at $15 per head unpowered or $20 per head powered it was I thought good value for money. The walk or cycle to the beach through the pine forest made you feel like you where the only person there and when we got to the beach that was pretty much the case. Phone signal was an issue for Vodafone but Richard was on Spark and was streaming 4G no problem.
Because the camp was so empty the boys had a blast testing out the electric bikes seeing which one had the best acceleration from a standing start, the Magnum was the clear winner. We also went for a ride back towards the main road (9 kms) racing each other as it was so quiet on the road.
After a couple of days without phone signal it has been impossible to upload photos so now that I am back on the air I will make the next post soon.