The Pedersen Rating System

For those of you that have been following my blog you will know that Sarah and I have just returned from four months travelling the South Island during this time we have stayed at a number of different campsites. All of these campsites where unknown to us when we first arrived at them, and each as we explored them, had there own things to offer a lot of which I covered in the blogs that I wrote about that area.

When I first started writing the blog it was so our families both here in New Zealand and overseas could see what the two of us had been doing and where we had visited. With the first blogs only being published on my own Facebook page. It wasn’t long before our friends started commenting on the blogs that they were also enjoying reading about our travels.

It was early November last year when I first published one of my blogs on the Motorhome Friends Facebook page not expecting much. You could have knocked me over with a feather when we were next back at Puriri Bay and we ran into Glenis and John who told me that they had read my blog and enjoyed it! Probably because I wrote about the favourite place of both of us.

Since then I have shared the posts I have written both on Motorhome Friends and the NZMCA Facebook pages with a growing number of people subscribing to my blog as well as those posting comments on the Facebook pages I know that what I have written some people have found interesting and we have certainly been to some interesting places along the way. Some of my favourite signs that I have included in the blog are shown above.

It has now reached the point where with over seventy posts I also feel that my blog has the ability to become something of a reference for people looking to visit places that we have been to. I am not trying to suggest that my blog is better than anyone else’s just that if you are interested in the things we are like walking, cycling, fishing, home cooking, reading and relaxing then my blog covers these areas. If you want to know about cafe’s, fine dining and vineyards then my blog is not for you.

So how do I make the blog better and more relevant to those reading it was a question I asked myself. I decided that the answer was to introduce a simple ratings system that would allow me to rate each of the campgrounds that we visited so that you can view what we thought of each camp. Using the search function on the blog should then also allow you to quickly reference each campsite.

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I am very lucky to have two of my three sons that have computer science degrees so getting the software written to make my ratings system was always going to be a family affair and with my youngest Richard (from the left James, Thor and Richard) specialising in software programming he was the logical choice.

NZMCA - Manganese Point

Proximity to Attractions

It's a bit remote with not much here other than fishing from the shoreline or a walk along the coast.

Nearest Supplies/Town

A 15 minute drive into the nearest shops so make sure you have what you need as it's to far to walk.

Ground Surface

Limited amount of spaces but all with water views on hard firm gravel.

Proximity to Water/Dump Station

No water on site so top up at the nearest dump station in Whangarei about 30 minutes away.

Outlook from Camp

Really pleasant view from almost every space in the camp over Whangarei harbour towards the refinery, worth coming just for this.

Noise during Day and Night

Very quiet just a small amount of noise drifting down to the camp from the road above

Cellphone Signal

Decent signal

Walking/Cycling Tracks

No tracks here but you can walk along the rocks/waterfront at low tide.

Overall Rating:

Despite what might seem a low score on my ratings system we enjoyed our time here, fishing and walking.


So when we got back from the South Island the two of us sat down with me telling him what I wanted and him putting it together for me. There are some aspects of the rating that will need to apply to all camps so the default setting includes the 8 aspects shown above.
Sample Camp

Laundry Facilities

Good washing machine but no dryer

Cost of Stay

$25 per head with power. to expensive!

Quality of books in exchange

Really good range of books

Toilets/Showers

You could have eaten your lunch off the floor!

Overall Rating:

So I can add and substract as needed.


Whilst still a work in progress I am happy with what’s been done so far. The rating system allows me to add and subtract aspects that may or may not be relevant to the camp we are visiting. So if we are staying at a camp with facilities then obviously we should add these into the total equation.

The next thing to think about was are some aspects much more important than others and if so should these have a stronger weight than another aspect. So that when you work out the total rating for a camp it might be that Nearest Supplies/Town counts for 1.5 whilst Noise might only count for 0.5 of a point but at this stage I have left all the points with equal ratings. Your feedback about this would be appreciated both for and against.

It is my intention to go back and rate each of the campsite that we have stayed in during our travels. Whilst I think I will remember most things correctly it is quite possible that I might get something wrong so please forgive me if I do.

Also please try and remember that this is one persons opinion (mine) and it’s purely subjective based on the conditions we experienced during our visit to the place. it’s obvious that you might arrive on another day and experience something quite different. Please don’t get upset with me if things aren’t quite what I promised just move onto another site or feel free to email me mail@johnpedersen.co.nz and let me know your experience.

I would like to develop this further so that people can search independently just the reviews without having to look at the story (although I still want you to read this). As well eventually having a platform that would allow other people to access the system and have their reviews incorporated with mine. Lots of work to do here…

Click here to read all ratings published so far

Click here to view an interactive map of the places we have visited

7 thoughts on “The Pedersen Rating System

    1. Alf I have a loading problem on my laptop with photos but it only seems to happen on some people’s computer sorry about this and glad you love the post

  1. We are planning a trip down south at the end of the year and find your posts really great, a rating system would be extremely helpful, thanks so much it will make it easier to choose where to go as we will only have 6 weeks.Dianne

    1. Thanks for the comments Dianne, Over the next couple of weeks I will update all of my previous posts to include the ratings. hope this will help

Please feel free to make comments they will help future posts