On the Road Again – Matakana and North

We awoke on Saturday 4th to a nice morning and we were pleasantly surprised the temperature was 13 deg. Is this the start of the ‘Winterless North’ we have been in search off? Apparently it does exist.  It was pointed out to me that Jim Hickey tells us it does every night on TV1. It’s certainly great having a bit of a reprieve anyway after our cold month of June.

We start packing up and start anticipating where we might end up.  We have no specific destination in mind but after some discussion we decide to stay at a couple of DOC camps on our way to Kerikeri and leave Whangarei for another time.

It’s our usual leisurely start, chatting to the owner of the property and other fellow motorhomers who have arrived the day before.  Late morning we head off for the Farmers Market at Matakana. It is a permanent venue and it wasn’t hard to imagine that you were stepping back in time to a medieval setting. There were the usual choices of food fare to tempt you and a few different ones like mussel patties, organic crepes and whitebait patties. Ross was seduced by the whitebait patties and we thought we’d done quite well as our only other purchase was a yummy freshly baked loaf of fruit bread – my particular weakness.

Not long after arriving, there was a good old tropical downpour.  We had to shelter under a stall for a good 10 minutes as we hadn’t brought an umbrella. After later seeing on TV the tornado that swept through Kaitaia about a half an hour before our downpour, we were glad that we only had rain and lightning.

After perusing the book sale at the hall and deciding we didn’t need any more, we headed off to Warkworth in search of the Dump Station.  Now this you think would be easy but it must be its best kept secret. Around a few blocks in the town centre, negotiating the roadworks or more like a war zone. They were putting in a new water and drainage system. The dump station was right beside State Highway 1 and the most tricky of intersections. We got to it okay but wondered how we were going to manage getting out again. We decided not to turn right, so another loop around the block negotiating the roadworks and finally we got onto SH1 . By now it was pouring down with rain again but we didn’t care, we were on our way north.

Uretiti Beach DOC camp after an hour on the road proved to be a good choice.

It was gorgeous on the beach and quite warm.  Ross enjoyed taking photos of the sunset and then we found ourselves heading off to see how far we could walk before it got dark.

It is a really long beach and we only covered part of it.

We had a pleasant evening.  I watched TV and read my book.  Ross caught up with his children by computer and phone. Then we had fun looking at travel pamphlets and familiarizing ourselves with Northland.

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3 Responses to On the Road Again – Matakana and North

  1. Les and Suzanne Vickery says:

    Thanks for taking the time Wyn and Ross to describe all the places you have being travelling to – reminding us of our fun time up north [though ours was a much wetter experience and we need to go up again during the warmer months!!]

    We are looking forward to moving around in September after our rather cold winter in Hamilton housesitting.

    Glad to hear on the whole that you are both enjoying your travels.

    Ciao
    Les and Suzanne

  2. Ross says:

    Les and Suzanne – if you’ve got any suggestions on good spots to stop up this way, it’d be good to hear from you. Good to hear from you anyway; you are brave souls wintering over in Hamilton.

  3. Les and Suzanne Vickery says:

    Hi Ross and Wyn
    Unfortunately we had to stay put in Kerikeri – staying at the http://www.rvparknz.com/ which had a hard base to park – due to the very wet winter other locations were not viable. When we did have the odd and I mean odd sunny day we took off in the car to the Cape etc.
    To experience wonderful fish and chips [not into takeaways until we went there ;-)]go to Mangonui which also has a cafe with devine carrot cake – ummm cant remember the cafe but you I am sure you will find it!! Really enjoyed Mangonui, Doubtful Bay, Taipa, Coopers Beach. We didnt do the west coast – next time we go up we shall venture to other places and park up. Just be a bit careful parking up in places right up North – basically need to be a bit more safety conscious so we have being told – though we never had any issues.
    I hope this helps – just ask a question if you want to know more. Brave staying in Hamilton? Silly more like it:-) Well we want to save money to go to Europe again, help out Bruce and Jan, photography learning etc – which we keep reminding ourselves about when we have another hard frost 🙂 Enough rambling – have fun.

    Suzanne and Les

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