Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A Lovely Long Weekend in a Campervan

Beach Runner
Papamoa Beach
By Abaconda - Flickr
 Our beautiful Easter weekend began on thursday afternoon in Auckland.  After an in depth run-through  of our 4 berth Campervan by the campervan lady, being shown the nooks and cranies, where everything was and the general functionalities of the dinky space, we were underway.   However, not without a DVD explaining anything we may have forgotten ready to play on our Campervan's very modern flat screen t.v. - easily maneuvered to fit up against the wall or in good view from the back couches.

Our dinky kitchen, cupboards, table and back window.
We hit the road with only a slight automatic-driver-to-manual-driver hiccup (Alan forgot to use the clutch when trying to reverse... senior moment).  The turbo diesel powered south towards Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty.  We filled the fridge and little freezer and the many cupboards (still roomy after storing and securing all our gear - clothes, jackets, tennis rackets and easter eggs) with groceries we purchased in Matamata. 

We drove through the beautiful Karangahake  gorge, small towns and Tauranga and arrived at Papamoa Top 10 Holiday Park after dark.   After being given a map to our spot, perched on sunset rise and plugging ourselves into the power, we began the first evening of our entirely relaxing weekend.  The curtains were pulled for privacy from prying eyes and our soup and salad was easily assembled in the well equipped, clean and, all things considered, roomy kitchenette.  After dining on the couches around the spacious table and doing the dishes in the sink (dishwashing liquid, and dish brushes included) we were eager to assemble the couch-cum-kingsize bed jigsaw.   The sheets were fitted and blankets thrown on and voila we had a comfy bed for the duration of our stay, with lights above to read our books.  The other double bed above the driver and passenger seats were more cave like and could be set up all day.  An early night and refreshing sleep was obtained by all.

The Campervan
Good friday brought forth a beautiful morning once the curtains had been raised.  The advantage of arriving at nightime is one gets a lovely surprise when they awake to a recently risen sun above the sparkling East Coast waters.   Our site overlooked other sites filled with Campervans and tents, giving Lynn plenty of "people watching" opportunities.   Beyond them were the small sand dunes and beyond that - pristine Papamoa beach.

Once the bed was packed up and turned back to the slid-able table and couches, bacon and eggs were fried up and the coffee brewed.   Although the Campervan was equipped with a clean, non smelly and perfectly ample shower/toilet facility,  we opted for the holiday park facilities to save on refilling  the water tank as often.   A quick tidy of the Campervan was done as we were expecting guests who wanted to share our Campervan vistas and comforts.   The weather was slightly temperamental, although with only one shower, but I'm happy to say we spent the rest of the day engorged in our books on the comfy couches eating and drinking and occasionally gazing out to the views and changing neighbours. 

View from our Papamoa Camping site
The following morning we spent in Mount Maunganui at the local monthly market followed by lunch at a friends and the afternoon at Tauranga's Easter weekend Jazz festivities.  The return to our site at Papamoa was eagerly anticipated as we were keen for a walk along the beach and more reading.  Sunday night in the park was booked as we couldn't stand leaving the next morning.

Sunday morning saw us heading out to conquer Papamoa Hills, a Maori Pa 10 minutes from the holiday park,  that's views and walk through the bush are well worth the following day's muscle pains.  Lunch was in Mount Maunganui followed by a sunday afternoon drive through the beachtown.  The sunny and warm beach beckoned us on our return, where we sat for a while watching the surfers out in the double overhead clean waves.  The sun went behind the dunes so we got out the deckchairs (included with the Camper) from the outside Campervan compartments, poured a glass of wine and sat in the remaining sun behind the Camper.   Cheese and crackers became our dinner and cards and books were on the table for the remainder of the evening.
Papamoa Hills
Papamoa Hills Climb
By winnins1 - Flickr

Our final morning in Papamoa was a beauty, enticing us to stay for yet another night. A walk along the beach heated us up for a swim in the suprisingly warm April ocean, followed by leftover Hot cross buns grilled in the Campervan's kitchen.  As our next night or two was going to be free camping, it was about time we dealt with "the tanks".  From our site Alan had the pleasure of wheeling (like a suitcase onto a plane) the "black water" tank to the "dump station" conveniently located in the holiday park.  After a relatively clean and tidy "emptying" and checking that the power battery was full,  we said goodbye to our site, belted up, stopped so Alan could hose out the grey water and hit the road for Rotorua.

Back couches of the Campervan
After an hour or so of bouncing around in the back of the Campervan, we hopped out for a walk in the beautiful Redwood forest.  Stocked up with a few more groceries we head to the family's lakeside section near Taupo.  No power plugs were available here so on came the gas for the fridge and hot water and here in forth, preserving of water.  We found a level spot on the section overlooking the pristine lake, dug out some food and wine  and stared out the huge back window  to the killer view.   The sun was behind the mountains so we dug out the little blow heater as we thought it may come in handy at some time in the night.  The duvets and extra blankets were suffiicient however and we arose the next morning to a tranquil walk near the lake.

The rest of the time was easily passed walking, reading and eating before we set forth the following day back to Auckland to return the Camper.  The goodbye wasn't easy as the sun was still shining and  a roadtrip to another destination would've been easy.

The campervan bode us well and we will definitely be doing many more a holiday in one.  Little extras like a large mirror, a toaster and plunger, a tall cupboard for clothes not wanting creases, a stereo system with AUX,  and many storage compartments set this campervan apart making it an easy and enjoyable holiday.

Yet again New Zealand scenery didn't cease to impress and we were graced with a superb Campervan holiday in the sun.  We knew fairly well where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do but for those traveling from abroad or who wanted some help, there was a "tourist radio" included in the rental.  This is your personal tour guide so you don't miss out on anything and can learn a thing or two about NZ as you go.

We found our great campervan at Motorhomerepublic.com .   I implore all to get a campervan for your next holiday and tour around parts, or all of New Zealand. 

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