Day 40 Alas at Home

Looking back to Thursday maybe we should have stayed in Whakatane another day as our best laid plans seemed to be sabotaged by Murphy at every step.

We looked for our next destination preferably on the coast and selected Motunau Park, Pukehina. An attraction was the cafe/bar across the road from the park was called the Hippy Pippi and had an awesome write up. Out came the tie dyed head bands and off we went in search of this shangri la. When we arrived we found the carpark two sloped and would have either all our blood running to our feet or the head all night. (The only advantage is if we peed the bed it would not have puddled.) On looking around we thought the carpark next the Hippy Pippi would be ideal but the displayed opening hours showed that it was open was in fact was closed. A name like HIPPY PIPPI and we thought that this would be a well run establishment. (Up in Smoke comes to mind)

On wards and upwards and Hiawatha looked into her oracal (NZMCA App) and proclaimed that Papamoa Domain was the place to be. Great reviews etc. etc. Off we went with a new purpose and Tie Dyed head bands put away for a future occasion. To poor to pay the $5 tolls on the new highway so took the back road through Te Puke and arrived at Papamoa Domain to find that 7.6 meters was a bit to big for the parking, the view of the sand dune was not what we had in mind (considering the photo on the app showed a sea view) and this was not a dog friendly park. Mr Grumpy was feeling a bit under the weather considering the liquid intake from the night before and just wanted to check the inside of his eye lids.

With much debate we decided that the Waihi RSA was the place to stop. Great reviews, near the sea, dog friendly and a place to eat because the chef on board Dogonit left his happy thoughts at the Hippy Pippi and was adamant that he did not want to cook. Hiawatha sent smoke signals to ensure all was well at Waihi – the return smoke had bad medicine – No motor home parking until after 8:30 pm on Thursday. Being a Thursday and becoming totally disenchanted we were debating our view on the the universe and our position in it at that point in time when low and behold the Kati Kati RSA loomed out of the gloom and was most welcoming to two wrinklies and there passengers.

Great meal and great service. The wind tried hard to dislodge Dogonit during the night but we endured.

With the complete balls up of the day before Home (dirty 4 letter word) was mentioned in the morning but sanity prevailed and we set a course to our first DOC park on our journey Dickey Flat Campsite in the Karangahake Gorge. We were there within 30 minutes and set off for a walk on the DOC tracks – Over suspension bridges and though a cave/tunnel in the rain.



This morning we left the camp early as due to the accumulation of the rain overnight we decided we would opt out for a drier place to walk the dogs and have breakfast. We headed for the Paeroa dump site (WSS) which also had a parking area along side.  Contemplated staying away one more night but the we decided to drive on through to home. Mac and Rose have not missed a beat – it was as though they had not been away.



Opotiki to Whakatane

Well, we are creeping closer and closer north and are currently situated in a carpark in Whakatane. The night we spent in Gisborne was not one of our best with Rose exhibiting signs that her reflux was bothering her. We had decided to try a raw dog meat shop near the Napier NZMCA and in hindsight should have continued doing our own (we know the meat is for human consumption) She was sick several times once in her bed and down the side of ours which meant an extra laundry trip the next day.


The trip from Gisborne to Opotiki was beautiful particularly through the gorge and we decided to take a pitstop so MacRose could take a break however as we pulled in to an beautifully landscaped rest area we saw that some cretin had obviously butchered a goat there and left  a leg and some meat/entrails all over the place.

On arrival in Opotiki we went on a laundry hunt taking the dogs with us. We eventually found one and I proceeded to prepare the laundry for washing only to have poor Rosie throw up again just outside on the pavement which meant a clean-up. Rod took them back to Dogonit while I finished the laundry. We fed Mac & Rose the dog food we had prepared and Rosie has been full of beans since so we are relieved and have learned out lesson.

Opotiki was kind of non-event in that we stayed in the NZMCA grounds most of the time except when Rod took them for their early morning walk.

The photo below will have all the lodge members rolling over in their graves.


We left and continued on to Whakatane and contacted Kathy and Terry as promised; that we were in the area. Kathy turned up just after lunch and took us on a sighseeing tour of the area including their beautiful art deco home which left us feeling envious (especially the media room and bar). We visited Terry in his ‘mancave’ race car workshop and then Kathy dropped us off at Dogonit. They invited us to dinner and following the meal we had after-dinner drinks in Dogonit. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were really appreciative of their hospitality. Thanks Kathy and Terry!!

Our pitstop here in Whakatane is a freedom park in a carpark 5 minutes walk to the main centre. The 5 x designated parks are RV parking only and there is a WSS right on site. Well done Whakatane; we are most impressed!!


Gisborne – NZMCA

Woke this morning to a beautiful day on Mahia Peninsular but it is time to move on as we slowly wend our way North (not mentioning Auckland-bound lol)………….many thanks to our hosts at The Boatshed – Stuart & Carol. When we arrived on the eve of The Wedding I was even invited by Carol to watch it at their place with a group of other ladies but chose to drink my champagne for the prelude and watch the event tucked up in my bed……PERFECT!!

Top of the hill at Mahia


Someone needs to mow the lawns Poppy


While walking from the beach we found this gorgeous house which was originally a lighthouse keepers home and moved to the site in Mahia.


So, moved on after Rod walked the dogs to exhaustion and did the usual WSS on-route (thinking our WSS are a bit like never letting a toilet go by……just in case…important as you age) then on to the Paknsav for dog meat before we arrived at the brand-new NZMCA park at Gisborne. Very impressed with the facility and it is only over the road to the beach for a walk.

Why are we waiting Poppy…..the WSS takes soooo long


We were surprised that we arrived intact due to two separate idiots who decided to take us on while coming up to a tight blind corner…..idiota as the Italians would say………….shocked at their stupidity!! Check Rod’s Facebook to see the footage (thanks goodness for the windscreen camera)!!

So, having walked part of the beach and engaged in canine happy-hour I am salivating at the table as I wait for my dinner which smells AMAZING!! Homemade burgers mmmmmm!!!


We are expecting to move on to Opotiki in the morning so will post again tomorrow!! Good night all, sleep well!!

Mahia at the Boat Shed

Moved on from Napier. Feeling a bit lost as I know we are on the track home.

First stop SWS (shit water stop) ready for what the road along the coast will bring


First stop was Wairoa Wines and Spirits for Donna’s bottle of Champa’s so as she can watch the Royal Wedding (Boo Hoo for me). Round the corner to the laundry and morning tea. Stopped next to the riverside park. Donna was relegated to sit in the laundry talking to all the single men doing their laundry and thinking about me doing the dishes which I forgot totally to do. (Boo Hoo for me again) I was also was meant to take the dogs along the river bank park for a walk. Well low and behold the Mongrel Mob arrived and had fish and chips for lunch right next to Dogonit. (No I did not take selfies eating their fish and chips with them). The English bull dog mascot was strutting his stuff being thrown the occasional chip. Rose the little white dog (miss bark alot) decides that the park was hers and gave per verbal F off of my turf at the window.  Watched the rear vision mirror when leaving Wairoa.

Contacted our hosts at Mahia to ensure we had a spot for the night and what a spot it is.


The trip was again full of awesome NZ scenery I wish the photos could do it justice.



Pork belly for tea with steamed carrots and peas. Donna will no doubt then pig out on her Lewis Road Peanut Butter ice-cream and then retire to the TV room to watch the Royal wedding. This camping is tough!!!!


The last days on the Farm Stay

We had a wonderful time on the farm with Steve having to put up with me plodding around behind him and Anne-Marie showed utmost kindness as we progressively ate her out of house and home over the 7 days. Wonderful hosts that made not only Donna and I welcome but gave the dogs the free run of the farm.

The dogs realised that the Chooks were a source of sustenance and by being patient and following them closely they would lay the golden POO. Rose would use the waste for perfume as well as sustenance. Mac however devoured all that came his way.

Hunting was on the cards and they got to watch the farm dogs trying to run down a hare and they made every effort to terrorise a poor hedgehog.


By the last days both dogs were totally adept to riding on the quad bike and rode all over the farm on the front seat of the Mule. Rose even left me as we walked home and followed Steve on the quad. I do believe the dogs have a found their second forever home and Steve and Anne-Marie I believe would be more than accommodating.


Packed up last night to get an early start this morning and we had a BUGGER moment when we found the rain during the week had made the ground to wet to get up the slope. The photos tell the rest.





The old saying about the right tool for the job comes to mind. Another first for Dogonit – no damage.

On the road again, Dog food, booze, water and back to the NZMCA camp at Napier to plan our trip back to Auckland. The route and the timing will be a surprise to all even us but the direction north has been set.

Down on the Farm…..

We are still at the farm with Rod assisting as farm labourer while Rose has become a farm dog……….she is loving hunting with Lucky and Pepper (Steve and Anne-Marie’s dogs) I called her for breakfast this morning and she didn’t come which was surprising. I called for ages and eventually Steve tracked her down……….she was off with her two new besties hunting while Mac hung around ‘home’.


Both Mac and Rose have been ‘stung’ by the electric fence……Mac almost immediately on arrival on his head and Rose a day or so later on her butt. Mac was also taken on by Pepper and his confidence was knocked about if not his dignity.

They have loved the freedom that comes with staying on the farm and Rose has taken to riding on the bike and Mule and will leave Poppy to go to Steve to get a ride on either transport.


The weather has been a game of two halves with washing an issue to dry at times but the hospitality has been great!! We are looking at moving on at the end of the week but we are still enjoying the nomadic lifestyle and there is a sense of excitement as we plan for the next stop.

Visited Te Mata Peak today with Steve; what an amazing peak it is and the view is spectacular!!


As you can see from the photos it is also almost endless. Considering we are 699 meters above mean sea level it was amazing to see the seashells embedded in the rocks.


Good morning from NZMCA Napier

Good morning and what a lovely morning it is here in almost sunny Napier. We left Takapau yesterday morning with a full itinerary based around grocery shopping, picking up a socket set from Mitre 10 and buying luxurious sheepskin covers. Photos on next post.

Following our purchases we headed to NZMCA park at Napier and set up camp. After setting up our fence we got out the mincer/generator/vaccum sealer and started the task of mincing up the raw food for MacRose who watch intently waiting for tidbits. Then we sealed up our meat for the freezer.

After the clean-up Rod took them for a walk along the canal while I tidied and put my feet up.


We had a phone-call from Steve who joined us and stayed for dinner.

MacRose seem to enjoy the beds Poppy made for them but they still like to climb the Everest of pillows when we prepare for bed as you can see….




We will be heading to Steve’s place this morning for more R & R and just in case he has some chores Rod can help him with.


Exhausted at Takapau

So…..started the day doing housework most of the morning…………boy you have no idea how much dust and grit accumulates in the vehicle over a few weeks. Although I do a sweep and mop regularly this was a full-on clean including the dashboard all the way back to the bedroom.

Luckily it has been amazing weather the last two days so we could put the carpets outside for a thorough brushing. Rod took the kitchen cupboards out so he could work out where the air was in the pipes – caused by the lackluster work done by Acacia Motors yet again (BLEAT OVER)

We had a healthy lunch and then took the puppies for a walk through Takapau. We noticed there are a large number of what appeared to be aggressive large dogs in the area and very little in the way of shops (only a 4-Square). It appears that Takapau has had an unfortunate history of ram-robberies so that may be why there is little here in the way of shops……… pub but they do have an RSA.

I fell in love with the frontage of the very artistic crafts shop……….thought you might like to see it.


We will be moving on tomorrow heading towards Napier to look at sheep-skin covers for the front seats (our poor bums need softer comfort over the long distances travelled) and other necessities.

Destination – Takapau

Having arrived in Porangahau we settled back to relax and watched a movie before we had an evening walk on the beach and enjoyed a Thai Chicken curry for dinner.

Our sleep was intermittent due to the wind and this morning and I MEAN early; we were woken by a low-flying chopper hovering over us and landing (we think) in the golf course behind. We initially waited for Bo or Stu to arrive thinking they have utilised a chopper to visit for an early morning fish but no-one arrived so we remain ignorant as to why they landed at all……… might have been the wind (no warm breeze; more like a gale).

Rod took MacRose for a long early morning walk so I could change the sheets etc. and introduced the puppies to ‘Seal’ who came ashore for a song – not sure who he/she was calling (maybe the errant boyfriend OR child).


Rod attempted to put the kite out for a fish but the wind was also errant and gusted well above 20 knots so it made it difficult to set. I did my house-wifely chores; cleaning toilet/hand-basin/shower etc and changed the sheets then took the puppies down to the beach. I could hear a few colourful words when I brought MacRose down so took them further up the beach so they were not introduced to swearing at their tender age.

Fishing attempt over we packed up and travelled to Waipukarai to find a Mitre 10 and a supermarket. We then moved on to Takapau to a proper camp ground that has power/WSS/laundry/shower etc. where we will spend two days to do minor repairs ( water spurting after Acacia motors put in hot/cold shower – maybe a air leak) and some more housework lol.

Everyone is settled in for the evening waiting to enjoy roasted chicken/potatoes/peas/carrots…..yum!! Enjoy your evening all!!!

It blew and blew.

The winding road song comes to mind to describe the trip from Mangatainoka to Herbertville Beach. At one stage we had another pucker moment when we were  exposed to the wind on top of the ridge. We slowed down that much we got passed by a stock truck and trailer.



On our way we went through Wimbledon looked for the wombles but could not find the Air Force barracks. (Sorry Bo couldn’t resist)


On wards to Herbertville Beach looking for the Free Parking at Burnview Station. We parked on the side of the private road trying to find out the place to park to find out that we got it right the first time and we were in the correct spot. We were joined by another RV and introduced ourselves to Trevor and Judy and had a great evening with them discussing all the ills of the world while imbibing in our chosen poisons.

A long walk down the beach in the morning in a gale. The sand was traveling sideways.  Blew out any cobwebs from the evening before. On returning to Dogonit we said our good byes to Trevor and Judy.


On the road again to our next destination to the Free camping site at the Porangahau beach. The journey took us past the place with the New Zealand longest place name.


Te Reo exponents will be asked how to pronounce this on our next meeting (Emma and Bo).

The following photo epitomises  what we are seeing in rural New Zealand. Horses being ridden bear back on the wrong side of the street.IMG_20180506_122209

We arrived at the campsite and yet again another stunning beach. Shame the wind was so gusty as it would be a perfect beach to set the kite long line.

Time to post this as starting to get RSI if the two first fingers on each hand.