Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. This season we spent 5 months exploring Vanuatu and are now on the east coast of Australia.

Monday, 3 February 2014

The NZ Road Trip Begins

Maunie is safely moored in Opua, with a local chap keeping an eye on her whilst we're away, so we've loaded up the Honda with lots of kit and set off south. The first day was a short hop to Whangarei for a visit to the dentists and the hairdresser / barber and our first camp was in a 'Top 10' Holiday Park at the edge of town. These camps have a mix of tents, camper-vans and chalets so it was a very luxurious introduction to camping, what with excellent showers, a well-equipped kitchen and a laundry room. Not really our kind of campsite at all but our plan is to use these kind of holiday parks every 4 or 5 days and then use the very basic DOC (Department of Conservation) camp-sites in between.

The view over Whangarei after a steep and hot climb to the viewpoint

Day 2 saw a long drive down through Auckland and on to a DOC campsite 40km NW of Tauranga at a place called Dickey Flat. S12NZ (vs $40NZ at the holiday park) gets us the use of a level site, two 'long-drop' composting toilets and the beautiful river for (a) washing and (b) drinking water.  It's a beautiful spot and totally peaceful. After an excellent stir-fry beef supper we slept well; we're glad to report that the tent is very comfy and we're getting quite slick at putting it up even after just two days.

The Dickey Flat camp (with long-drop loos to the far left, to remind us of Glastonbury Festival )

The Camping Car in action. The table is actually a standard Honda fitment which normally forms the boot floor

From here we'll continue south to get to Wellington for the ferry to South Island on the  8th; we'll add some updates when we have good photos to share and as and when we have internet access (we didn't bring the satellite phone with us!).

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