Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. The boat is now on the east coast of Australia while we spend a summer back in Britain.

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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