Matamata. Staying At A POP.

Wow, it’s been ages since I last wrote a post. I’ve started to write a few blogs, during that time, about odd things that have been happening but never finished them. One day I might get around to finishing them. Also, since we haven’t really used our motorhome much, due to the endless rain and other circumstances, there hasn’t really been a motorhome related post to write. But finally, we are away again even if only for just a few days and I have photos and a few words over a couple of blogs to share about our stay in Matamata.

We had decided that we wanted to get a cover made for the front windscreen area of this van. This would serve dual purposes one to provide insulation and help stop condensation from forming inside and secondly to provide a bit of protection to the screen area when we are freedom camping. Just in case someone decides to toss something at the windscreen. The company that we found to make the screen is in Matamata and they could fit us in on Tuesday and Wednesday. Normally it’s only a one-day job but since they hadn’t yet made one for a Dethleffs A Class motorhome they needed to make a pattern on the first day. The second day they would make the cover itself. More on this cover in the next blog.

We left Auckland, Monday morning, knowing that we would have time to kill in the afternoon since it’s only just over two-hour drive to Matamata from home. Sarah had found the Wairere Falls online and it looked like the perfect place to get out, go for a walk, and restart exploring all the good places that this country has to offer. We were both surprised at the number of vehicles in the carpark for a Monday afternoon, maybe that’s a sign that the tourists are starting to come back to NZ. Although I learned later it’s such a popular walk that the car park can often be full at the weekends and it’s a huge car park.

Both of our fitness levels have taken a bit of a dive over the winter period while we have been home. Thankfully though, the track started out with a gentle climb. Even though we have had massive amounts of rain over the last few weeks the track was in good order and there were plenty of rocks or tree roots that you could step on to avoid the occasional muddy area.

Despite the sign said that it was a forty-five-minute walk to the falls lookout I got a little confused when after ten minutes walking we arrived at a bridge that overlooked some rapids thinking that they might be the falls. However, I was soon put right by a couple walking down who told us we still had a long way to go.

The climb continued to be mostly a gentle slope, with just a few steep patches until we arrived at one of the things, I hate the most, seemingly endless steep steps. I exaggerate a little, but they certainly had me huffing and puffing forcing me to take a couple of stops on the way up.

From the top of the steps its less than a minute to the viewing platform. With the view making it all worthwhile and providing a great spot to see the falls. It was well worth the climb although when Sarah suggested that we continue on with the rest of the walk, Another 45 minutes to the top of the falls I declined the opportunity. Walking back down was easy but a bit slippery in a few steeper places with Sarah losing her footing a couple of times.

On the way back down the hill we decided to have a look at the “International Seat of Peace” which is just a short detour from the main path. There are actually two chairs facing in opposite directions and I am sure a welcome resting point for some. Finishing the walk, I checked the time and saw that it had taken us almost exactly ninety minutes from start to finish. A great way to fill in some of the afternoon and something I would highly recommend.

Last time we stayed in Matamata we stayed at the Firth Tower Museum and as we drove past on our way into Matamata, we noticed five or six campers were parked up. Wanting to try new places we decided to check the NZMCA travel app. and had found a park over property owned by Ron and Gayle, (#1654) we decided to give it a try. They are located close to town and have a large residential section with beautiful gardens. It’s easy walking distance to Matamata, with the New World supermarket almost across the road. It was also very close to Matamata Saddlery where we needed to go the following day to have our cover made.

In drier weather Ron and Gayle have a large field at the back of their property where you could park, although you would need to share it with their chickens. 😊 They might even share some of their eggs if you are lucky. For wetter weather like we are still experiencing currently they have a large, gravelled area where you can park up with power, if needed. We haven’t stayed at a park over property many times before and now we are wondering why we haven’t. If all the hosts are like Ron and Gayle, then we have really been missing out for the last twenty plus years of motorhoming. If you would like to book in to stay at this wonderful POP then call either Ron or Gayle on 07-888-9558 or 027279-0677. They don’t do email.

More on the windscreen cover and our other adventures in the next blog.

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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