I am sure that a significant number of motorhomers living in Auckland feel the same as me. After twelve weeks of lockdown the novelty has well and truly worn off and just want to get away in their motorhome. Even though the current level three restrictions prevent us from staying anywhere currently, it doesn’t stop us dreaming. With this in mind we decided to explore a couple of the Auckland Regional Parks considering where we might stay when the restrictions end. This assumes that the borders remain in place around Auckland and we cannot escape the city. We headed down the Southern motorway, driving out past Clevedon before ending up at the Waitawa Regional Park.
Originally home to the explosives division of ICI Chemicals the land was purchased by the council in 2004 and opened as a park ten years later in 2014. We have visited here once before and at the time thought the parking area for motorhomes was not in the best place. Which just goes to show that it’s so easy to prejudge something especially when we didn’t actually look at the area where you can park or consider the main purpose of this park.
I think that a lot of motorhomers like Sarah and I are preconditioned towards what constitutes an ideal parking spot. Often wanting something close to a nice beach and somewhere to stretch out and relax. This park is completely the opposite in its designed use. This park was built with exercise and activity in mind. Not only are there walking and cycle trails for all levels, but you can also arrive with your horse and ride it here. Given that there isn’t a lot of flat land down by the water and the access road to the beach is very narrow in places. Parking for motorhomes is located in the middle of the park at what is probably it’s highest point. This gives sweeping views of the headland and depending on the number of people staying you would have a good choice of available spots.
There are a number of places you could choose to park depending on what areas are vacant in the camping area. There are three concrete pads although access to one would be almost impossible for a van of our size given the restricted entrance space but a great position for the smaller vans. The rest of the campground spacing is huge even if you had a twelve metre bus. As the camp is positioned at the top of the hill the day we visited there was a bit of a breeze on one side but totally sheltered on the other. Once the regional parks reopen we will definitely be back here to stay a few days.
From the camp we headed down to the beach area. I wish we had brought our swimming togs it just looked so inviting. Sarah went for a bit of a paddle and told me that the water was warm. Still you cannot think of everything when you step out the front door. Spaced all along the beachfront are picnic tables meaning that depending on how crowded the beach was there should be somewhere where you can just sit and relax and watch the world go by.
On the other side of the small headland from the beach is the wharf they built in 1957 to unload the explosives since the Auckland Harbour wouldn’t unload them. To construct the wharf they dynamited through the remains of a Maori Pa creating the roadway you can see in the above photo. Can you imagine the outcry if someone tried this today, but I guess things weren’t as well monitored in those days. There were quite a few people fishing from the wharf but nobody seemed to be catching anything. Still if you don’t have your line in the water what hope do you have.
From the Waitawa Regional park we drove out to Kawakawa Bay and followed the road out past the boat ramp. Here another really narrow road continues on for about three kilometres where it dead ends at a small reserve. We sat at the breakwater and watched a couple of people using drones to get there fishing lines out. While we watched the man in the photo above wound in with two very small fish that he returned to the sea and then relaunched his line with the drone. He told me that his set up set him back around $1000 but I have heard of people spending ten times that and more. The other fisherman was learning to use his drone and provided great entertainment with his efforts learning how to use it.
All in all a great day away from home and one step closer to finding somewhere to go once we are allowed to use the motorhome here in Auckland again.
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.
To view our Campground Ratings system, that we have done for places we have stayed click here
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