Matamata -Resting At The Museum.

We have headed away for a few days to join some friends of ours for a weekend of revelry. Details of which I will cover in an upcoming blog, firstly we have a couple of stops to make along the way. One of the great things about being a member of several different Facebook groups is seeing all the different places people stay in.  This sure helps when you are looking at finding somewhere new on the road. Adding them to a mental list, you can cross off as you get to each part of the country.

So with a decision to spend a night in Matamata, we reviewed some of the places we had seen mentioned making the decision to opt for the Firth Tower. Located about five minutes out of the town, set amongst rolling green farmland, it really is in a beautiful spot.

Perfectly set up for motorhomes, there is a large carpark as well as a grassed field that offer numerous parking options. There are six powered sites that despite the signage you can see are actually $15 per night. The rate for the non-powered sites has also risen to $10. For this, you have access to potable water and toilet facilities that are open 24/7.

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The only issue you might have if you want power and TV is that 4 of the powered sites are situated directly under two rather large oak trees. Still, some people these days tend to watch without the need for a satellite dish preferring to use wireless.

Admittance to the museum is an additional cost ($10), but you are welcome to wander the grounds without charge. We have been through a lot of country museums and with limited time on this trip (we arrived 30 minutes before closing) chose not to look inside the buildings on this day. The grounds are very well maintained with a vast collection of well-preserved buildings.

To reflect the history of the area, there is a large amount of farm machinery on display—some of it in better condition than others. But, whatever its state it is still worth an inspection. Also of interest are two rail carriages that date from the drilling of the Kaimai rail tunnel.

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Watching over everything in the onsite Vege garden is this impressive-looking cross-dressing scarecrow. Or at least that’s how it appeared to me with a very masculine face and flowing skirt. I am sure the birds would be terrified.

I think on another day with more time available we could spend hours getting lost in this place.

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That evening with just one other motorhome settling in for the night, we watched the sun setting behind the van pleased we had found this spot.

The following morning it was into Matamata to grab a couple of photos of the iconic I Site building. Which also provides a clue to what the next blog will be about.

First, though there were some essential domestic duties to be attended too. The dump station is located just down the road from the I Site. We had no issues here because the carpark was empty, I would imagine, however, if you were here on a busy day, access might be difficult. Especially if you have a larger vehicle like we do. The one disappointing thing is the lack of potable water. I don’t understand why a town with mains water cannot provide a tap. Surely this would remove the temptation to use the dump station hose if people were desperate.

On the positive side, there are 6 large parking spots, reserved for larger campervans. I looked on the travel App and cannot see a maximum length of stay but would imagine a 3-day limit assuming you can actually stay there I don’t really know. Really handy to town and all the shops and supplies you might need.

As I hinted above, from here we are heading to Hobbiton, and I will have to no doubt edit and chose from a million photos that I am bound to take.

Firth Tower Museum Carpark
TD#1652

Proximity to Attractions

Obviously, if you have come to visit the museum it's right there. Otherwise, it's about 7kms from town.

Nearest Supplies/Town

A 5-minute drive to the nearest shops. There is also a wide cycle path for those so inclined.

Ground Surface

Flat level asphalt or grassed area in the dryer months.

Proximity to Water/Dump Station

Water on site with the dump station 5 minutes drive away.

Outlook from Camp

Pleasant rural views depending on where you get to park.

Noise during Day and Night

A bit of traffic drone from the nearby road but overall not to bad and I managed a decent nights sleep.

Cellphone Signal

Good strong signal.

Toilets/Showers

Clean modern well maintained toilets. No showers.

Walking/Cycling Tracks

There is a wide cycle path that runs into town.

Pets welcome

Dogs OK on a lead.

Overall Rating:

A good place to stay one we would come back to.


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To view the places we have visited click here to see them on Google maps. You can then click the link to read the blog about that area.

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