Having arrived safely in Masterton 😀 after the incident when we nearly lost one of our front wheels on the way here (refer previous blog) we decided on a night at the local A&P Showgrounds. A place Sarah had read about and one that sounded like a really nice place to stay.
The Showgrounds are a fairly recent addition to the travel directory and set up solely for NZMCA members. Parking is to the side of the showround area with powered and non powered sites available. As a lot of the people parked in the powered area had dogs we chose a quieter area in the non powered section so that Mr Blobby could stretch his legs without being bothered by friendly dogs wanting to say hello.
With us settled and Mr Blobby having had his daily exercise it was time to find the registration booth and make our stay official. We set off in the direction of what I thought was the office, although in truth I had no idea where to go. Thankfully a lady in another motorhome was able to deduce what these two lost souls wandering around were looking for and pointed us in the correct direction.
We were pointed in the direction of a rather innocuous looking building located at the far end of the roadway beyond where you can park and very close to the main grandstand. I don’t think we would have realised this was the place without first having explored almost the whole of the showgrounds so a bit better signage would certainly help or as in our case direction from another camper.
Once you have found the place the rules are fairly self explanatory with a digital lock on the building that you access with your NZMCA Code. Since we stayed here in early April the rates have gone up with the basic cost still $5 per person but it’s an extra $6 per vehicle if you want to have power
Once we entered the office area there was a book to register along with the small wall safe to take our money . Thinking that we would only be here for the one night we registered and popped in a crisp $10 note to cover the stay. We also noticed the washing machine and dryer which having been on the road for a few days we decided to take advantage of. It’s a great privilege coming to places like this that are so well set up for members and with the gate locked at night you feel very safe and secure.
There are a couple of notices inside the office around inconsiderate members using the toilets and drains as a dump rather than visiting the local dump station. Leading to multiple callouts to the local plumbers to unblock the drain or toilet. You have to wonder about the mentality of some people.
We couldn’t find this dump station in the travel directory but for those wanting to use it you can find it behind the Caltex and Copthorne Hotel just along the main road (SH2). It’s a very good facility with fresh water available. You can also access this dump station through Windsor Street which runs off Judds Road at the back of the showgrounds. Very handy!
As well as the washing machine members also have the use of the facilities under the main grandstand with toilets and showers free to use. Perhaps not the most modern facilities you will come across but very clean and tidy. There are also plenty of water taps around the park to top up your tank.
The following morning we set off for Castlepoint which will be the subject of a seperate blog to follow this one. We were planning on spending the night somewhere around there but decided in the end to return to Masterton and the showgrounds for another night.
Arriving back at the Showgrounds around 4pm we went to register for our second night and it was then that I noticed that since we had signed in the book the previous afternoon (around 2pm) nobody else had done so, despite a number of other vans arriving. It was this that really set me off causing a one off rant that I posted the day after. Probably rather strong language accusing other members of outright theft but I was very angry. If you are looking for freedom camping stay elsewhere otherwise pay the fees 😥
We had another incident the following morning when both Sarah and I decided to take advantage of the facilities. Just as Sarah was coming out of the Ladies a man walked in and straight to the shower area, when Sarah confronted him he claimed that the mens were blocked and he was going to use the ladies. Knowing this not to be the case we felt that we had no option but to report the incident to the onsite manager. It turns out that the culprit was one of the longer term residents who had suffered a brain injury a few years previously. We were assured that the incident would be dealt with and I am sure it was.
The showgrounds are really well set up from members with everything you need close by and at an affordable price. The town itself is big enough to have the 3 main supermarkets as well as plenty of other stores making the showgrounds a handy base to spend a few days exploring the area. So handy that a couple of members have been there for a number of months.
It’s an area that we will be back to explore further another time but a place to stay that we both enjoyed in wide spacious park like grounds.
To view the places we have visited click here to see them on Google maps. You can click the links to read the blog about that area.
To view the Ratings we have done for places we have stayed click here