17 - 19 May 2019
November Newsletter - Update
With the dates confirmed as the 17th-19th May 2019, and the Club committee having agreed to use club funds to cover some of the costs the Jubilee committee have been able to confirm most of the arrangements. A brief outline for the weekend is — Friday 17th assemble at the Onion Farm. Saturday 18th move to Lavalla. Start with Morning Tea at 10.00 am followed by the Jubilee Lunch at 1.00 pm. There will be snacks and live entertainment in the evening (dancing pumps may be a good idea).
The weekend will conclude with morning tea on Sunday.
Registrations Forms will be available, shortly.
Contacting as many of the 250 plus past members is now the main priority.
Assistance from longer term members will be appreciated in getting contact details of any past members.
We would love to have them enjoy the weekend with us.
The first Rally held by the South Auckland Caravan Club was held at Orere Point during the weekend of 15th March 1969. The Jubilee Sub -Committee, appointed at the 2016 AGM, are recommending that the Club celebrate this very special occasion during the weekend 17 - 19 May 2019. This date is being published early so those who may be thinking of travelling will keep these dates in mind when planning your movements.
If you know any past members, especially those who left the Club before 2008, please get in touch with them, asking them to contact the newsletter editors, or one of the Sub-committee—Gary & Dianne Landon, Nancy Hancock, Colleen & Peter Foster or, alternatively pass their contact details to the newsletter editors so that contact may be made with them.
President’s Report A great start to the year with the “traditional” rally at Duders Beach. What a superb location this is, so close to Auckland, and far enough away from Maraetai to escape the crowds of people who descend on Maraetai every summer holiday weekend. Good to see such a big turnout of vans – 26 including one visitor – to enjoy the beach, the regional park and each other’s company, all in good weather. Many thanks to Peter & Colleen for running such an excellent rally.
Between July and December last year 6 new couples joined the Club. I hope that you all enjoy being part of SACC. This is quite an influx of new faces for our small Club, but I am sure that you will always feel welcome no matter who you sit down beside and have a chat to.
The 50th Jubilee is fast approaching – less than four months to go now! Time to get those registration forms in please – should be a weekend to remember!
Safe travels everyone – I hope to see as many of you as possible at Kaiaua School. All the best.
I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and my best wishes to all for 2019.
As I write this Raewyn and I are parked up at a spot at Waiorongomai Station - a beautiful location with lots of bird life, some baby hedgehogs (so cute and fascinating to watch!), and a whole host of colourful and interesting fungus on dead trees - and we have it all to ourselves! We arrived here from Cape Palliser - great views, a really friendly and informative host and a lovely sheltered site when the wind blew.
Of course we likely would never have made it down this way had it not been for the Safari. Congratulations to our organisersl on their organisation of such a successful roving rally. Good weather, good company, good venues and many good memories to treasure from the trip.
At the end of the Safari we said farewell to Judy & Cliff as they departed for their big OE in the South Island. It will be interesting to follow their adventures on their blog.
Cliff's departure means that we will function without a Vice President until the AGM in May. My thanks to Cliff for all the work that he has done for the Club in this role.
There is also a vacancy on the Committee that we will be looking to fill at the AGM. If you are interested in joining the Committee and would like to know more about what is involved please talk to any member of the current Committee. Personally I believe that the more that you put into a Club the more that you get out of it. Everyone can contribute - we all have our own particular skills and interests and viewpoints that we can bring to the Club.
All the best for 2019.
Barry Thrupp One of our Club’s Foundation members and the first President passed away on 8th July.
Barry with Wallace McRobbie, Percy Field of Pukekohe and Graham Wilcox of Clevedon, met at Barry’s home in November 1968. It was decided to call a Public Meeting to gauge support for the formation of a club.
The date set for a meeting at the Papakura Bowling Club was 7th February 1969, the date had to be changed to 19th February 1969, being the only night the Pavilion was available. The meeting was well attended with 44 keen Caravanners wanting to know what was involved.
The meeting was Chaired by Barry Thrupp with Bob Hills of Papakura acting as Secretary. 33 present at this meeting expressed their wish to join the club.
And so the South Auckland Caravan Club came into existence.
With our President and his wife down in Dunedin it fell to me to stand in for the November Rally to the Awhitu Presbyterian Camp in Matakawau, Awhitu Peninsula.
We had grandson duties on the Friday afternoon, having to collect him from Dilworth School in Remuera and deliver him home to Pukekohe, so we were a little late arriving on site. The crew were busy enjoying happy hour on the brand new deck at the camp and our Host had been jumping up every few minutes as more people arrived to park the vans. The total vans for the weekend was 22, including three visitors. There were quite a few vans parked when we arrived but it is a huge area to park in, and so we started a new line down the rear and closer to all the facilities. We were able to set the van up, catch the end of the happy hour and socialise.
The Presbyterian Camp has a large field nicely mowed and several buildings, we had use of the toilets, showers, hall and kitchen also a large covered deck.
n excellent facility and half way up the Peninsula, so handy to all the beaches both on the West Coast and within the Manukau harbour.
Friday night bought some rain but the rest of the weekend was good weather until after lunch on the Sunday with a light misty rain coming down. The walkers Saturday and Sunday morning went down through the paddocks to the beach in the ARA Park, explored the area around the Camp and people caught up with each other during the day. One couple had a special event and at the happy hour shouted us to whitebait fritters that we each cooked on the BBQ with varying results. Another couple followed this up with strawberries and cream. Wow, much appreciated. Saturday evening was Card Housie which was run very well. A lot of fun and laughter.
Sunday was the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice signed after World War 1 between Germany and the Allied forces. We observed a period of silence as we remembered those that both fought and died during that horrific war.
Thanks to our Hosts for another very enjoyable and well run rally.
PRESIDENT PONDERINGS - November 2018
Raewyn and I managed to set a personal record at the recent rally at Ngongotaha – we arrived early for the rally and stayed in the one place for eight nights, only leaving once the weather forecast showed that rain was on the way. There is so much to see and do in the Rotorua area. This was a really good base to explore from. The last time that we spent more than a couple of days in Rotorua was perhaps 20 years ago when our kids were teenagers – on that occasion the wallet took a real hammering as we went from the gondola to the luge to the zorb to the hot pools to the Maori concert…..!
This time was more about hiking and biking with only one foray into the tourist attractions (the night time tree top walk in the redwoods). We had a really lovely walk at the Hamurama Springs Nature Reserve on the day that we left – free to Gold Card holders – otherwise $18 for an adult!
The rally was also very enjoyable – many thanks to Carole and Morrie for their efficient organisation. Fifteen vans made the trip and as always, the company was great. The rapid-fire quizzes were a lot of fun, as was the ladder golf.
Happy and safe travelling wherever your van may take you..
PRESIDENT PONDERINGS - October 2018
Now that we are into daylight saving it really does feel like winter is behind us. The heater has not been on in our house for a couple of weeks now, and today was definitely a day for wearing shorts. Spring is a marvelous time of year as we anticipate the long warm days ahead – and of course the opportunity to spend more time away in the caravan.
Thanks to Judy and Cliff for running such a smooth rally in Hamilton. It was surprising to see how busy the Classic Cars site was – particularly on the Saturday night. Interesting to see some very big motorhomes and caravans and even someone towing a double deck trailer behind their motorhome – car on the bottom, boat on the top! Perhaps by the next time we have a rally in Hamilton there will not be quite so many road works to navigate on the way down…..(dream on!)
The Positive Ageing Expo on 28 September in Pukekohe was I thought successful for us – quite a few people stopped to have a chat and we certainly looked the part with our brand-new jackets! Thanks to Dianne and Gary for organising our stand, (and our jackets), and to Desma, Gary, Maureen, Ron & Raewyn for being there on the day to help. There was a lot of useful information available in the hall with all sorts of organisations represented – makes it easy when so much is available under one roof, and no high-pressure sales tactics. Thank goodness there was no one selling steak knives and vegetable peelers!
On to Ngongotaha over Labour Weekend – always lots to do in the Rotorua area – should be fun.
President's Report July 2018 Congratulations to Fay & Bill for achieving the significant milestone of 400 rallies after 44 years as members of the Club. There was an outstanding turnout for a winter rally last weekend with 22 members (42 people) in attendance to help Fay & Bill celebrate. The campground at Athenree was full!
At the rally we also welcomed Annie & John as new members of the Club. We hope that they will enjoy many years of caravanning with us.
At the closing morning tea Gary Landon reported back to the members on behalf of the 50th Anniversary Committee.
A great deal of work is going on to organise this event on behalf of the Club - my thanks to all members of the Committee. Please reserve the date and plan to attend.
All in all a most enjoyable weekend.
The only downside for me was that I could not find the large clusters of butterflies wintering over that were such an amazing sight five years ago.
I will just have to make do with the memories!
Happy and safe caravanning wherever you may go.
President’s Report - June 2018
As I write this we are safely back from the rally at Waiuku, and the van has been safely parked up and emptied of perishables and waste – all of this was achieved before the rain started to tumble down. It was just amazing really how good a rally can be in the middle of winter. Don’t let these cold nights put you off, (and Friday night certainly was a cold one in Waiuku), just turn the heater on! – and come and enjoy the good company, and the sunshine! Remember – the shortest day has been and gone and the days are getting longer. A very good rally in many ways – thanks to Croydon and Pam for organising the rally; and making sure that everything ran smoothly.
The next rally will be at Athenree – a favourite spot for Raewyn and I as our first ever rally (as visitors), was at Athenree on Queens Birthday weekend just over five years ago. A lovely quiet campground with its own hot pool and nice facilities. On that occasion the walkers were privileged to see large numbers of monarch butterflies wintering over in neighbouring trees. The attached photo really does not do justice to this amazing sight.
Athenree will also be the venue for Fay & Bill’s 400th rally after almost 44 years in the Club! I hope to see as many people as possible there to join in the celebrations.
Happy and safe travelling wherever your van may take you.
President’s Report - May 2018
As we drove up the coast road from Thames to Coromandel for the April rally it was quite an eye-opener to see the extent of the damage caused by the storm earlier this year. It was slow going through all the road works but well worth the effort - an excellent rally with a large turnout and amazingly good weather. Many thanks to our rookie Rally Captains (Ron & Maureen) for all your work. Raewyn and I really enjoyed the chance to explore the immediate area at a leisurely pace. The cycle out to Wyuna Bay (what a beautiful place that is) was not particularly leisurely however with some quite steep hills. As we set out on the return journey to town I confess to having random thoughts that it might have been nice to have an electric bike!
The Anzac Day parade in Coromandel was well attended. A fitting occasion to honour the sacrifices made over the years by so many in the Armed Forces. Having just finished reading a book that was largely set in Amiens, France between 1910 and 1920 I had a heightened awareness of the real horror of war 100 years ago.
I have probably attended more than my fair share of Annual General Meetings over the years. Often these are sparsely attended – but not the SACC AGM! By my reckoning over half the members of the Club attended - thank you very much to all of you who made the effort to be there. Thank you also for voting me in for a second year as President – I will do my best to continue to uphold the special character of the Club. I thought that there was some useful discussion during the meeting particularly about the role of the First Aid Officer; the need for us all to be ever conscious about safety; and the value to the Club arising from its membership of CCNZ. The committee will look at all of these areas over the coming months. We would also like all members to view the training video for the defibrillator so that we all have an understanding of how to use it in an emergency.
I am looking forward to the rally at Waharoa (near Matamata) – another place to explore!
Happy and safe travelling wherever you may be headed
Duders Beach Rally - 25th - 28th January
Friday 25th - Rally Captains on site 5 minutes before ‘Opening Time’, just as well as a steady stream of ‘Early Birds’ started arriving soon after 10.30 am. By mid-afternoon spaces were getting tight and there were 26 vans on site before dinner.
Saturday 26th - A beautiful morning and the walkers took on the walk to the trig station before morning tea where the early birds were looking for the shady spots. By lunch time the incoming tide was a most welcome retreat, a bit cool for some of the less hardy bodies. After lunch kayaks, paddle boards and an inflatable, outboard, ‘rubber ducky’ were on the water. Skipper & crew of the outboard didn’t quite get their limit, but caught their tea. No loaves and fishes miracle for the assembled multitude.
A group of guys went to Ardmore to view a renovated Mosquito aircraft. The cost of getting the plane back in the air - getting on to or maybe over NZ$10 million. After dinner the mandatory ‘Duders Trivia’ was contested. Got off to a shambolic start. The Quiz master showing his age when, after spending a considerable time in the afternoon sorting out how the teams would be organised, managed to ‘stuff it up’. However, all was resolved and nine teams of 4 or 5 eventually came up with a variety of answers for the questions asked. Two teams tied with scores of 54 out of a possible 80 points, pretty good work.
Sunday 27th - Another glorious morning in ‘Duder’ Paradise. For those up early enough an attractive sunrise between the headland and Waiheke. After morning tea several went to the Clevedon Markets, most relaxed. A favoured place under the shade of the foreshore trees, watching the tide come before adventuring into water that was a little too cool for some, but great conditions for kayaking and paddle-boarding. Clouds came over later in the afternoon. At Happy Hour it seemed as though we may get some of the rain that was being reported in the Papakura, Manukau Areas. This prompted a command decision being made to bring the Tabloid Sports games forward and play them during Happy Hour. A triples contest involving Kubb, Petanque and Ladder Golf was set up and after a slow start everyone got involved and the competition was over in 45 minutes. To illustrate the fairness of it all, Raewyn quite comprehensively beat all comers. The rain didn’t reach us so it turned out to be a Happy H o u r. Monday 28th - Another beautiful morning. The walkers were divided as to where they would walk. Several weren’t keen on another hike to the trig station so they took on the length of Umupuia Beach and back.
The rally came to it’s customary end at Morning Tea when the weekend quiz, raffle and Lucky Van were all resolved and a final message from the Jubilee Committee Chair and the President who each reminded members of the upcoming Golden Jubilee celebrations, and the importance of the occasion in the history of the club and the importance of getting their registrations in.
2018 Christmas Rally & President’s Report
There was a huge turnout in glorious sunshine for the rally last weekend with 30 vans in attendance – including five visitors with vans. Added to that, Cliff & Judy Reynolds visited for the day – the final count for dinner being 60 people! The venue was the Thames Clay Target Club – a lovely well-presented facility. The Clay Target Club appears to be thriving with lots of activity on the Saturday as Club members carried out a working bee in advance of some important competitions over the summer. The location was right beside the Thames Aerodrome – a grass landing strip – for small planes and helicopters only which provided further interest without too much intrusive noise. With a market on in Thames on Saturday morning, the annual Christmas Parade in the early afternoon and cycle ways close by, there was plenty to see and do. Raewyn S had baked a large lovely moist Christmas cake (fortunately big enough!) for all to enjoy at morning tea on Saturday as the rally officially started. A feature of Morning Tea was the presentation, to Jim & Jacqui , of their 200 Rallies badges. After morning tea, people went off to do their own thing, or took the opportunity to have a leisurely catch up.
After morning tea, people went off to do their own thing, or took the opportunity to have a leisurely catch up.
A big highlight of Happy Hour on Saturday afternoon was when Santa called in. The elves had been busy in the lead up to Santa’s arrival, and there were two large (heavy!) sacks of presents waiting for him to distribute. As usual, Santa was in very good form and did an excellent job – well done Santa!
A two-course pot luck dinner got under way shortly after 6pm. The Club supplied a large 11 kg ham which kept carver Ian McKinnon busy for quite some time – the Club also supplied Christmas mince pies as one of the items for dessert. Kay McKinnon had been in contact with everyone prior to the rally to organise what each member would bring. The result was a wonderful feast, with a huge variety of tasty dishes on offer. Based on comments afterwards, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the meal, and there was even enough food left over for lunch for the 30 people who were still on site at midday on Sunday. We even managed to polish off the rest of the ham!
A big thank you to everyone for their contributions – much better, in my opinion, than the commercially prepared meal we sat down to the previous year.
With such a large number of people at the rally, it was great to see everyone mixing together so well and importantly, making the effort to get to know new people. As our Club grows in size, as it has done this year, it is so important that we preserve this aspect of the Club.
Applications from two couples were approved at the Committee meeting, so I am pleased to welcome Keith & Sue and Peter & Lynne to the Club.
Once again thank you to everyone, who each in their own way, helped to make the weekend such a great success. A particular thank you to Kay & Ian for the great organisation of our biggest rally for quite some time.
Raewyn and I wish you a very Happy Christmas, and look forward to the Safari, which gets under way on December 27th at the Taupo Equestrian Centre.
For us the trip down the east coast into the Wairarapa will cover countryside that we do not know well at all so we are looking forward to exploring new territory.
Until then safe travels
Safari Xmas 2018-2019
TAUPO 27 Dec
Thursday; All had arrived by dinner time with Morrie and Carol arriving a day earlier. Some went off to view the Aratiatia Rapids – some shopped. On arrival all were given a Safari Survival Kit consisting of a rubber band – reminding us to remain flexible, a paper clip – to hold things together, a band aid – to heal hurt feelings, a teabag – to remind us we’re ‘Teariffic,’ a minty – to remind us that we’re worth a mint, a toothpick – to remind us to pick out the good in each other, a straw – to remind us to ‘suck it up,’ a marble – to replace the lost one.
Time for an early night, ready for the trip to Napier. We enjoyed the equestrian centre – a quiet country setting. The weather was great – let’s hope it lasts.
NAPIER 28-29 Dec
Friday; The morning at Taupo dawned bright and clear – what a lovely spot the equestrian centre is!! The trip was trouble free although a bit wet over the hill. The school is a lovely venue – well presented – and very handy to the town centre. The group was joined by more members and visitors. Nineteen vans had arrived by Happy Hour.
Saturday; Some visited the Black Barn market, others cycled various distances. There were people who were happy to sit and catch their breath after busy Xmas celebrations and packing to get away. One couple attended their grandson’s wedding in Havelock North..
The evening saw 36 diners at Napier RSA for a generous buffet, shared with half of Napier it seemed.
Sunday; Several made a stop at the Hawkes Bay Farmers Market at Hastings with much tempting produce on sale, en-route to Porangahau.
PORANGAHAU 30-31 Dec
Sunday: Caravans and motorhomes arrived from all directions, with different GPS systems selecting differing routes. Most people were able to make camp in the orchard area, with plenty of ripe fruit on the trees to sample. The weather was hot and very windy. A few hardy souls took a dip in the swimming pool, and everybody was out and about exploring the excellent grounds and facilities of Chapelwick House.
Afternoon tea at 4.0pm was held in the orchard under the shade of the larger trees. No cell coverage in the area, those few that needed an internet fix or contact with the outside world had to go to Porangahau Beach. An entertaining exhibit game of KUBB was played in the orchard.
The BBQs were out and in use for tonight’s dinner.
Monday - The morning walkers car pooled to the Beach for a brisk walk. The wind picked up during the walk which made it a stiff headwind on the return journey. No morning tea today as about 25 people had booked to go to the Chapelwick House Devonshire Tea at 11.0am. Scones jam and cream with a lovely cuppa tea! One of the owners gave us a great talk on the history and their experiences of Chapelwick House. The original settler family were the Hunters. Then we got to look around downstairs. Upstairs was off limits as they had a full house of guests.
The hot weather started to take its toll in the afternoon, but swimming and croquet still featured. 4.0pm for afternoon tea again in the shade of the orchard trees.
New Years Eve dinner was a Hangi provided by the owners of Chapelwick House. Consisted of lamb, chicken, sausages and selected salads and tasty breads, all produce except the chicken was from their own property. Dinner was able to be held in their courtyard as the wind had finally started to ebb. A few hangers on stayed and chatted with the owners till after 10.0pm.
But a good size group headed for the New Years Eve festivities at the local Duke of Edinburgh hotel. The preferred footwear being red band gumboots. Music was Reggae by a group from Tauranga.
Tuesday - News Years Day. Everyone was up bright eyed and bushy tailed for morning tea and the group photo shoot in our new club jackets. Plenty of New Year hugs. Early departure due to the long run to Riversdale today. There was a bit of discussion about the favoured route and the windy but scenic option won the day for the majority.
We also lost a few campers who were returning home for various commitments.
RIVERSDALE 1-4 Jan
Tuesday; The drive from Porangahau took the better part of the day and pleasing to reach Riversdale, our last stop, for 3 nights and a reprieve for gearboxes. All weary, so communal meal and early night for all.
Wednesday; Morning tea. A relaxing day, with most happy to have a carless day. Quiz No. 2 won by Carol and Judy. We were fortunate to have access to the hall for our ABBA night, communal dining, many laughs and dancing to ABBA made for a happy evening. It was generally decided ‘what a difference a wig makes.’ Finished the evening off with a circle of dancers singing to Sweet Caroline – thanks to Neil Diamond.
Thursday; Morning tea and then Trippers off to Castlepoint on a very windy day.
Friday; Most departed Riversdale for all points of the compass.
A great Safari, enjoyed by all.
RALLY REPORT - Awhitu Presbyterian Camp 9th – 11th November
Friday: The caravans kept rolling in most of Friday afternoon. No sooner had Murray sat down than there was another one at the gate to be parked. ( A very busy time for new rally captains). The afternoon was spent catching up, then happy hour, under the very large outdoor covered area. A very favorable venue that was able to cater for the caravans and with a
pleasant view. The weather was good even if the wind was a bit chilly.
Saturday: The usual keen team headed out for their morning walk. This was followed by morning tea, where competition sheets were handed out and the raffle tickets purchased.
The competition was done at morning tea. There were 25 questions: 10 general knowledge, 5 Sport & 10 Sayings. Even though this was a simple quiz it tested the memory of many.
After lunch we had a competition making whitebait omelettes. This proved very popular. 2 small fry pans were set up on the barbeque and everyone took part in making an omelette. Just a shame they were eaten before they could be seen or judged. This activity took us up to happy hour. We were then served strawberries & cream. We had our entree & dessert. Just a shame nobody supplied the main meal!! After dinner a game of Housie was played – with John doing an expert job of calling.
Sunday: Once again the keen walkers headed out. Then at morning tea the raffle and the lucky caravan were drawn. The sweep stake winner was announced. Lamb chop & Happy bear were given out. We then had a minutes silence and everyone stood to commemorate Armistice Day.
This was a fantastic venue – Thank you
Ngongotaha 19-22 October 2018 .
Friday; 3 early birds arrived on Thursday with the rest arriving during the day on Friday.
Carolyn had a mechanical problem with her ’new’ vehicle which delayed her arrival. We all made the most of the sunshine throughout the weekend with morning teas and happy hours all held outside. Saturday; At morning tea, following the usual sale of raffle tickets and signing the attendance book, we had a quick fire quiz on rivers and from which country they entered the sea.
People then left for sightseeing, shopping, walking, biking around the area, lots to do.
Before Happy Hour we had a Shot Putt Competition, there were only a few takers but still fun.Rugby and Cards occupied the evening.
Sunday; Followed a similar pattern with a Google Quiz then lots of activities around Rotorua. Many took the opportunity to do the Tree Top walk either during the day or at night.
Before Happy Hour we had a competition of Ladder Golf. Greatly enjoyed by all participants.
Thirteen members car-pooled and went to Cobb & Co in Rotorua for dinner.
Monday; morning saw some packing ready for home or elsewhere and after morning tea headed on their way. A group of eleven ’over-stayers’ visited Peter & Colleen's son and family at his lakeside home for lunch and other activities.
Hamilton Rally 21-23 September 2018. Classic Car Museum
Friday 21; We arrived first at about 12-30 to find a number of semi-permanent and casual caravans and campers scattered throughout the available area and it was obvious we would not be able to get all the SACC members in one block. We checked into the museum reception and were given instructions on where to park and some basic rules. We took up a central position, had a coffee in the museum, and as our members arrived we parked them in the available spaces. When there were no more left we had to expand onto the back of the car parking area. One of the permanent residents was in charge of the whole area and we were able to coordinate with him. He did occasional checks of the area keeping all campers to the rules which was good.
By nightfall we had 14 vans parked and had Happy Hour at 4-00 pm. Some of us played cards in caravans during the evening. The traffic on the main street adjacent was noisy, especially one truck who insisted on trying out his engine brakes as he tore past. Suppose he got some pleasures out of that.
Saturday 22; Woke up during the night to rain falling on the roof but by 7-00 am it had ceased and the weather improved as the day progressed. The walkers left at 8-30 and morning tea at 9-30. The committee had a meeting after morning tea and members went off to do various things. Several went off to the caravan show at Mystery Creek, some to the Hamilton Gardens, and others took a tour round the Classic Car Museum. Good reports from everyone on their days activities except that prices have risen markedly on new vans.
hat evening we had host vans for cards.
Sunday 22; In the morning it was walking at 8-30 and morning tea at 9-45.
Orewa 24-26 August 2018 Thursday 23rd
Dawned damp after overnight rain freshened up the flora and fauna, Four couples enjoyed drinks and a chat in the ‘Bach’ (the comfy TV room) to be joined afterwards by visitors from Waiheke Island. So, at the end of Thursday we were five vehicles – visitors out-numbering members by 3 to 2 !!
Friday 24th A miserable night followed – almost constant light rain – but the dawn promised a better day and although cold at times the sunshine held long enough for the arrival of half a dozen members around lunchtime. The search for TV was of prime importance with two games on Saturday and of course, ‘Coro St’ particularly for one. Members and visitors soon started filling the booked sites. Visitors from Riverhead brought the visitor RV’s to seven. Our own vans numbered 16, so the total units to 23. Some members who, for one reason or another were unable to join in with their van for the weekend, visited for a few hours or a day.
Saturday 25th Weather and time limited activities to walking and cycling, visiting local friends and shopping. Arrangements were made for Saturday evening – with a three-way split between in-van rugby viewing, card housie in the Bach and an enjoyable dinner and rugby on the big screen at the Surf Club for 20 of us.
The All Blacks didn’t fall though and neither did the Black Ferns. Both teams had marvelous wins over the Aussies.
Sunday 26th Dawned OK with little or no wind to start and slightly warmer for the walkers. The closing morning tea at 10.00 was held outside.
Athenree Hot Pools 27- 29 July 2018
Friday from 11.00 am the Caravans and Motorhomes kept on rolling in with 17 vehicles at the rally by nightfall and several staying in units. Great to see you Gillian.
Saturday 3 more members arrived before morning tea and during the morning Phil/ Maria (past members )and Raewyn’s sister Glenys arrived for the day. Considering that I had only booked 15 sites, the Camp proprietors managed to find everyone a powered site.
The morning walkers left camp and were back in time for morning tea outside in the sunshine. We all gathered in the BBQ area to enjoy a lovely shared lunch to celebrate Bill & Fay’s 400th Rally.
Eric presented them with a wooden clock, made by a past member Bryan Major, for their Caravan. After lunch everyone either had a rest after too much good food, chatted with members, wandered around the Camp Ground or had a swim in the lovely heated pool. Happy hour was in the games room, where Bill had provided us with a range of beverages.
Thanks Bill& Fay. Dinner, then either Rugby or cards in the games room.
Sunday The usual doings at a early morning tea to finalise the rally. Great weekend, awesome venue, wonderful company
Waiuku Cosmopolitan Club June 29 - July 1 2018
Friday 29th June; A Lovely sunny afternoon till Happy Hour at 4.00 pm when 10 vans had arrived and we went to a room in the Club for a convivial Happy Hour. Three unnamed members shared the bounty of the Cossie club, by partaking of free freshly sliced ham sandwiches, only to find out during consumption of said booty that such culinary delights were only for Waiuku Cossie club members!
As the rally had not officially started the 3 participants could not be considered for Lamb chop, (perhaps in this case Pork chop) so we decide to give them a (dis)honourable, though anonymous, mention in despatches.
Faye won a lamb chop and much more in the Cossie club meat pack raffle.
30th June; Good frost followed by fine sunny day. 3 more Vans arrived in time for Morning tea out in the sun, then cruising the shops, cafes, market and so on with some enjoying a bike ride to Sandspit. Afternoon many again sat in the sun and chatted until happy hour at 5.00pm in the Club. No chance for further transgressions regarding ham sandwiches as there none available. We all had tea at the Club. Lovely buffet for most with some sticky pork ribs also being enjoyed. Some then went back to their Vans to watch rugby, others to play cards or had an early night.
Sunday 1st July; A cloudy and cool morning for everyone to depart after morning tea.
SAPPHIRE SPRINGS, KATIKATI – 1st – 4th June 2018
Friday; When we arrived on Friday afternoon 13 vans were already there. We had Happy Hour between the vans until it began to get cold and every-one went to have dinner. After dinner some members went to various vans to play cards.
Saturday; After very heavy rain in the night we expected the ground to be flooded, but it was ok, everyone wearing gumboots though! The walkers headed off at 8.30. Morning tea was held in the outdoor covered area. Some members headed into Katikati to check out the area, others to visit friends. Judy was the only one to use the Hot Pools, it was a bit of a walk from where we were camped. Had Happy Hour in the outdoor area. There were a lot of overseas workers using the kitchen and dining
area, so we couldn't use it. Twenty of us headed down to the RSA for dinner. There were other groups there and when we came to order they had run out of a lot of meals on the menu. Most of us ended up with Roast of the day. We had an enjoyable time with everyone enjoying the warm atmosphere.
Sunday; It had rained all night and was still raining! We had to postpone morning tea as the weather was atrocious. We went to visit friends and on our way back we saw Carolyn leaving for home. Apparently it was the worst weather we've ever had at a Rally, so Ian McKinnon tells us. Happy Hour was hosted in Kay & Ian's, Fay & Bill's and our van. As we were having Happy Hour, we watched the stream next to us getting higher and higher, then we couldn't see the grass, it was like a lake. Thunder and Lightning to top it all off. At 5.00 pm the camp manager came round and advised us to leave as the lake on the farm above us, could breach. Kay phoned the RSA to see if we could all go there. We all very quickly packed up and were on our way. It was dark by this time and the road into Katikati was closed as it was flooded. We hit a flooded bit at one stage. There had been a slip in the Gorge and it was down to one lane. Traffic came to a standstill just before we got into Katikati, but we all man-aged to get to the RSA safely and were all on solid ground. Monday; Had morning tea at 9.30 in the car park as it wasn't raining. Despite the very bad weather we all managed to keep our spirits up. Most vans left for home and a few were staying an extra night - some-where.
Matamata Aerodrome 18-20 May 2018
Friday; 11 vans had arrived by or in the darkness on Friday night. Thank you Raewyn and Eric for parking everyone so there was a view of the runway. We found that we were sharing the complex with the local Air
11 Training Corps who had erected a number of tents in the paddock. The youngsters were attending a weekend where they were learning the basics about flying aircraft.
Saturday; We awoke to a clear but cool morning and to the noise of planes taking off and landing. The walkers headed off to circumnavigate the runway (while avoiding any moving aircraft - Safety Notice). On return morning tea was held outside where competitions were explained and during the day everyone had two tasks - make a paper dart for Happy Hour and construct a Tiara from what they have in their vans. The day was free for everyone to explore the wider Matamata area with some venturing to town to explore the shops while another group headed off to the Wairere Waterfalls - the highest in the North Island. By Happy Hour Robyn and Ian arrived for the balance of the weekend. The ATC let us use the lean too for Happy Hour due to the weather, where everyone tested their dart making and flying skills. After Happy Hour everyone retired for dinner and then a group played cards while the rest watched the lead up to and then the Royal Wedding.
Sunday; The rain cleared and everyone gathered outside for morning tea at 10. While having morning tea we were fortunate to have a Beaver and Three Tiger Moths arrive. We were expecting couple of Harvards, but we had departed by then. Those who made Tiaras completed a parade, the competition winners were announced, Happy Bear and Lamb Chop awarded and the raffle and lucky van drawn. Overall an enjoyable weekend for everyone. Thank you to everyone able to attend and for your willing participation
COROMANDEL AREA SCHOOL 21- 25 APRIL 2018
Friday; 18 vans attended over the 6 nights arriving and leaving on different days. On arrival at Coromandel school we were met by the very friendly Head Mistress and Alistair, the caretaker. They opened up a lovely warm well lit room that we used every day; also four individual toilets were unlocked for us. 2 male and 2 female.
Ron cleaned them every day earning him Happy Bear, who has now returned safely after going AWOL.
We had an informal happy hour at 4.00 pm catching up with each other’s news and plans.
8.30 am - a group of 7 went on the morning walk. On return it was morning tea time. Ron welcomed everyone and Kay asked for numbers for dinner at the Top Pub on Monday evening. In the afternoon Kay organized a game of pin the tail on the donkey which Ian won, as he had an advantage of knowing his way around animals. Many bought fish and chips for dinner which was very tasty. In the evening those who wanted played cards in the room provided.
Sunday; 12 keen walkers set of for the 8.30am. They walked to a Maori Pa site with great views in all directions.
Morning tea and Kay passed round the menu for Monday’s dinner at the Top Pub. Half way round the room the menu went missing, we looked everywhere, then - Dianne remembered she folded it up and put it in her pocket - problem solved. Dianne was awarded Lamb Chops for her senior moment at Happy hour. Three more vans arrived today bringing our total to 18. Some went bike riding to Stony Bay others went to the Driving Creek Railway.
Happy hour at 4.00pm. After dinner Bingo was played in the room provided.
Monday; Walkers met at 8.30 and walked north up the main road past the old Coromandel hospital.
Morning tea and prizes were awarded. Good afternoon fun was had playing disc bowls with Karen and Croyden final winners. 5.30pm and we headed for the top pub for our roast lamb dinner, with some positive and some not so positive opinions on the meal.
Tuesday; A shorter walk today, not many joined in, think we all ate too much last night. Morning tea and its answer time to the quiz and the puzzle many, many winners to both the quiz and the puzzle nearly everyone got chocolate bars.
Sunday; 12 keen walkers set of for the 8-30am. They walked to a Maori Pa site with great views in all directions. Morning tea and Kay passed round the menu for Monday’s dinner at the Top Pub. Half way round the room the menu went missing, we looked everywhere, then - Dianne remembered she folded it up and put it in her pocket - problem solved. Dianne was awarded Lamb Chops for her senior moment at Happy hour. Three more vans arrived today bringing our total to 18. Some went bike riding to Stony Bay others went to the Driving Creek Railway. Happy hour at 4.00 pm. After dinner Bingo was played in the room provided.
Monday; Walkers met at 8-30 and walked north up the main road past the old Coromandel hospital. Morning tea and prizes were awarded. Good afternoon fun was had playing disc bowls with Karen and Croyden final winners. 5.30 pm and we headed for the top pub for our roast lamb dinner, with some positive and some not so positive opinions on the meal. Tuesday; A shorter walk today, not many joined in, think we all ate too much last night. Morning tea and its answer time to the quiz and the puzzle many, many winners to both the quiz and the puzzle nearly everyone got chocolate bars. Wednesday; We woke to a lovely sunny day, five vans were packing up to head home or other destinations, another group of us walked up to the Anzac parade and ceremony which was well attended in perfect weather. In the afternoon a small group went on the Kauri Bush Walk at Long Bay, a short walk but an amazing area of bush.
Happy hour at 4.00 pm but we're a smaller group now. After dinner we all played cards. Kay made a ‘Massive’ blue and a novice aided by Carolyn swooped in for the kill.
Wednesday; We woke to a lovely sunny day, five vans were packing up to head home or other destinations, another group of us walked up to the Anzac parade and ceremony which was well attended in perfect weather. In the afternoon a small group went on the Kauri Bush Walk at Long Bay, a short walk but an amazing area of bush. Happy hour at 4.00 pm but we're a smaller group now. After dinner we all played cards. Kay made a ‘Massive’ blue and a novice aided by Carolyn swooped in for the kill.
Thursday; Awoke to blue skies and sunshine, only four walkers on the 8-30 walk, splitting into pairs having a great time talking and walking and discovering more about this amazing Coromandel village. Morning tea and Ron and Cliff rounded off the rally.
We would like to say, “This was a long, but very pleasant friendly rally, we know we made mistakes but everyone was gracious, encouraging and thanking us for our efforts. We want to thank our patient supporters Ian and Kay for their assistance and guidance.
Mangawhai Beach School 30th Mar to 2nd Apr 2018
Most of the vans arrived on Thursday beating the awful traffic due on Friday. The School is excellently located as it is walking distance to Mangawhai township.
Friday 30th; Good Friday.
All the remaining vans bar 1 arrived today. All drivers related the same story, traffic congestion at the tunnel and at Wellsford, though some took the turnoff at Wayby Road just before Wellsford. The walkers headed out as usual at 8:30 am. Morning tea was at 10:00 am but before that lovely hot cross buns were handed out to each van. During morning tea Robyn and Ian handed out the tricky (words ending in) “ical” quiz and the Pantry sniff test (various pantry contents had to be identified by their aroma) was presented. Several members attended the Good Friday church service in the school hall. It was a busy first day as we all celebrated Morrie and Carole 200th rally. Carole had prepared quiche, chicken legs and coleslaw for lunch, which everyone tucked into. Then out came the 200th fruit cake with green icing and a campervan to top it off. Carole and Morrie cut the cake, just like their wedding day maybe! Members fanned out around Mangawhai, by foot, by bike and by car. Just like the many thousands that were at Mangawhai for the Easter break. Again food was supplied on Friday evening with a sausage sizzle with bread and sauce (straight up and down!). BBQ chefs were Ian B, Ian M and Bill B. No sausages were injured during the cooking. At 7.00 pm we gathered under the covered area for a busy night of card bingo called by John Spring. The security guard doing his rounds was surprised to see us, but he wished as well and carried on.
Walkers set off as usual at 8:30 am. At morning tea Sara handed out a useful “What’s on in Mangawhai” guide so that members would not miss out on the activities and events happening around the area over the long weekend. After morning tea many members legged it (walking) down to the weekly Mangawhai farmers market with plenty more there than just a farmer’s market. A small contingent of 10 stoically went off to do the cliff walk at the Heads. The walk was majestic, with views from high up on the cliffs, and vistas up and down the coast line. It was hot work, with many stairs to climb and descend. Lunch was had on the beach at the turn around point sitting amongst the rock pools in the shade. The walk back along the beach was a nice way to finish, but first we had to traverse the gnarly 2 kms of jagged rocks exposed as the tide was out. A couple of injuries were sustained but all recovered over the rest of the weekend. Well done to you 10. The golfers amused themselves with a 9-hole round, woman vs men. Robyn forgot her golf balls so borrowed the guys balls! Then went on to beat them handsomely. Saturday night dinner out at “The Club”, just next to the golf course. Several members availed themselves of the use of the free shuttle bus there and back. The buffet of pork and beef with seafood, and roast veg, salads etc. went down very well.
Sunday 1st; Easter Sunday.
Easter bunny (Robyn) handed out Easter eggs just before morning tea. Daylight saving time was adjusted overnight giving everyone another hour up their sleeves in the morning. At morning tea Sara gave everyone a heads up of the Tsunami siren test that was to be carried out at noon for 10 mins. The “great hall” had an Easter Sunday service and a few members were in attendance. Others went off to the Book Fair at the museum, the Art trail or the beach for a swim. The afternoon rolled quickly by with Disc bowls on the lawn. Competition was fierce. The disc bowls flowed on into happy hour. We were back to the card bingo in the evening, a little colder and darker due to daylight saving changes.
Monday 2nd; The competition winners were announced. After morning tea everyone did their own thing for the day. The domain market was popular with members as it was again within walking distance, and Bennet’s chocolate factory was on the way! It was interesting to note that most vans stayed an extra night to avoid the hordes returning to Auckland after the long weekend.
The Summer Safari started at Aramatai Gardens, just south of Te Kuiti. Beautiful gardens for all the green thumbs and lots of good walks for the able bodied. Camp Host took the non-walkers up to the waterfall. Camp Hostess provided a delicious morning tea before we left on the next leg of our trip.
After a stop at Taumaranui for Dump station, stocking the cupboards and of course retail therapy headed to Piriaka. A Pot Luck Dinner with a large variety of dishes was enjoyed in the evening.
We moved on for Ohakune in cooler and cloudy conditions. A busy and vibrant little town specially as it was summer. Our stay at the Ohakune Cosmopolitan Club was a great place with lots of cycling trails and sightseeing to be had.The Club put on a complimentary dinner for our club. Drinks and music from a juke box passed the evening till Midnight then a hurried dash back to vans to put away awnings as the wind had got stronger. Weather worsened although morning teas and walks were still able to be held outside.
Drives went in all directions to investigate the area. Cards and other games were held at night in various vans with lots of fun had by all.
Wet weather raised its head on shifting day so it was a difficult drive to Matekuri Island, Mangakino for the last stop of our safari. A lovely grassy, quiet area alongside the Golf Course and Lake Maraetai. The cyclists went off for a look around the area. A community dinner finished a very enjoyable safari.
Morrinsville School 16th—18th February 2018
This was a lovely flat venue, quite close to town, with very welcoming staff. We had use of the staff room, the toilets and importantly given the hot weather, a very impressive school pool. Just as importantly, the site had a number of large trees with ample shade for morning tea and happy hour.
Saturday, the walkers left at 8:30 am by which time it was already hot. Raewyn navigated and despite a few dead ends, everyone arrived back safely in good time for morning tea (although we were perspiring gently!). After morning tea, a number of the ladies descended on the Caroline Eve outlet store in the main street; other members took in the Art Gallery (very interesting) or just wandered up and down the street. Raewyn bought 2 new tyres for her bike and after lunch, promptly got them very muddy while exploring the short river trail that we finally located. The staff room was the venue for cards on both Friday and Saturday nights – a new game called Yanna was enjoyed.
Sunday, The walkers left just after 8:00 am in an effort to beat the heat. A nice walk although close to the end, Raewyn was stung by a wasp and it’s still itchy 48 hours later. The rally wound up with morning tea at 10:00 am. The quiz - a mixture of questions about Morrinsville, the winter Olympics and general knowledge proved to be quite challenging!
Our annual visit to Duder's Farm 26 - 29 January 2018
Friday 26th; 20 vans on site by dinner time. Most of those who had arrived by mid afternoon went ‘full immersion’ in the incoming tide. It was like bathing in a tepid pool but was still cooling in the afternoon sun. Some even returning for a second ‘cool off’ prior to Happy Hour
Saturday 27th; The walkers and riders took off about 8.30am, before it got too hot, even with the early start most arrived back looking a little frazzled. What an assembly for morning tea. Four Foundation Members, and all of the Clubs Life Members. A total of 45 members.
It was so hot in the afternoon that everyone was left to their own devices, with the water in front of the camp site looking very much like there was a pond of Orcas wallowing in the shallows.
Happy Hour was interrupted with a ‘water carrying’ relay. Eight teams, of 4 or 5 members, spread in a circle with each team behind a table. The object was to find the first team to fill a 40th Jubilee glass, using a dessert spoon, to collect water from a ’central reservoir’ in the centre of the circle.
The rally captains rules were followed by, at the most, the first two members of each team. It took about five minutes to complete the exercise. The evening was taken up with the annual Trivia Pursuit competition. With the large turnout there were seven teams, selected at random.
Sunday 28th; It was a pleasure to have Ian and Mary join us for morning tea and made even more enjoyable when Ian gave us some of his early memories of more than 60 years on the family farm as well as recalling some of his memories of early caravan and motorhome rallies on the property. Another very hot day so activities were kept to a minimum. A very warm harbour was a very popular‘ place, when the tide was in far enough. An approach was made to have another Trivia Pursuit after dinner.
At Happy Hour 7 team leaders were appointed and instructed recruit’ three more team members.
Marton Music Festival 17th-21st January 2018
First stop was Otorohanga all arrived on the 17th January. The pop is a nice stop for a night, good flat land by the river, 17 vehicles arrived for the night. On the road for Raetihi the next morning, told to park on the grass at the Cossie Club, but there was no grass, only Tar seal. Think the Manager had a mental block, We all went in for Dinner, very nice meal.
Next morning all on the road by 9 am for Marton, a lovely drive through the Para Para's arrived at Marton to find a lot of Vans, went in on Wednesday, never mind we all got a good spot, not far to walk. Music was already playing, had lunch then went over to listen, stayed to Tea time then back again, back to Van at 10 pm.
Saturday was a long day music from 9 am to 12 midnight, all the artists were excellent, especially the walk ups, the people out of the audience, it was a good mini Safari. Will do it again same time.