Sunday 15 September 2013

We're on the Road Again

Today we left Tauranga bound for Rays Rest, the freedom camping site at Miranda which we visited back in March before we toured the Coromandel. We’re heading through to the Auckland Showgrounds at Greenlane on Thursday to help out at the Covi Motorhome & Caravan Show & also have a look for a few items we need to complete our “home” before we hit the road fulltime, an inflatable boat is a priority.  And then after the show we are heading north to Whangarei to say our goodbyes to family before we leave for the South Island mid October.

I’ve spent the last 2 weeks frantically packing up the house in readiness for the movers who are booked to shift our gear into storage four days after we get back to Tauranga. We’ll sleep in the fifth-wheeler in our drive when we get home so I can give the house the once over before settlement. It still feels a little strange but from now on in this is our full-time home & I’d have to say that inside it’s packed to the gunwales! There is still a bit of gear to add; a nice little pile in the garage is awaiting our return, most importantly the golf clubs & fishing gear, but we have the space for those sorted. I’ll do a blog soon on a couple of things we have added to the ute & fifth-wheeler which will make life a little easier & safer.
Of course we couldn’t leave until after the America’s Cup racing finished but with the 2nd race cancelled we were able to get away just after lunch. Lunch being the time not the food.  It was a fairly easy run through to Miranda although we had to stop at Katikati for groceries as I had run out of time to do any shopping during the week. And you know how it is when you’re hungry, a few necessary items turned into a trolley load! Then of course I had to fit everything in the already bulging cupboards & fridge. So my orderly packing which I was very proud of then became a free for all. Things shoved in here & there, wherever I thought they’d be safe, or not as the case may be; the cupboard door burst open at some stage during the trip empting a number of bottles of wine onto the floor to roll around unimpeded & then it conveniently shut itself to stop any further escapees. Thankfully none broke; it was my favourite Chardonnay.
A little further on as we entered the Karangahake Gorge we decided we were in fact now hungry & that we’d pull into the first sizeable rest area for a bite to eat. Just as we finished the discussion a rest area appeared & with lighting quick reactions David zoomed in to a quick halt. Hmmm……not something he’d be wanting to do too often, I think he forgot we had our 9 metre rolling home attached. We had another  laugh when we went to leave, while we have enough room to move down the fifth-wheeler when the side is in, I usually push it out a couple of feet  in a situation like this just to give me room to open the fridge & prepare lunch. We had a quick lunch & I climbed back in the ute ready to go. That was until David appeared at the window asking if I had forgotten something. The slide out was still out! Now that would have been fun, passing through the narrow gorge with the slide out over the centre line! Not that that would ever happen, as soon as David looked in his rear vision mirror it would have been very obvious. Thankfully.
We decided it does take a bit of time to get back into our “on the road” routines.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, we arrived in good time & secured a level spot at the northern end of Rays Rest although it is closer to the road noise but then there are only half a dozen vehicles passing in the night. We drove down to the bird hide for a quick look but the tide was on its way out & the birds a fair way away. There are still a good number of birds that winter over here at Miranda but the numbers are set to increase shortly as the godwits return from their non-stop epic journey from the other side of the world where they have been breeding.

Godwits, Oystercatchers, Red Knots, Terns & Gulls arrive to feed on the mudflats
Once back at the fifth-wheeler & with the temperature dropping we were both keen to see if our new diesel heater delivered the goods, it worked brilliantly and we were lovely & cosy all evening. There was no smell, no noise, other than the initial start-up, & it switched itself off & on when required. This is great news for us, we now know we have enough heat power for those cold South Island winter nights.

Rays Rest, Miranda


  1. Great to see you're on the road at last. Re an inflatable boat just another option you most likely already have looked at is a Portaboat. A friend of ours has one and loves it, as does everyone else who owns one. They're very easy to set up and put away, strong and really stable so much so, fly fishing from it is no trouble.
    Looking forward to regular updates with the great photos of course. Have fun Brian & Sue

    1. Hi Brian, yes we did in fact have a Portabote up until 6 months ago when we sold it. A fantastic little boat & a great idea (we know this for real because many years ago we made a rotationally moulded plastic foldup dinghy for the American market) Sadly we couldn't find a suitable place to stow it without it costing an arm & a leg hence we need an inflatable.


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