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New Zealand Northland Rally

Wednesday 28th February - Monday 19th March 2018

Wow: what can I say once again Margaret and Bill have organized as amazing itinerary for this rally.

We stared at Uretiti Doc Camp. Margaret met us and we were all given our goody bag very exciting along with the usual booklets and rally plaque. We were also given two craft boards and a bottle of glue and asked to complete a collage on one made from natural bits and pieces from the beach bush or where ever and the second board we could decorate anyhow we liked.

Ladies were walking the beaches and looking for interesting bits and pieces washing shells wherever we went. Such good fun. More later on in this newsletter.

28th February 1st March and 2nd March. We stayed at Uretiti Camp for these three nights weather not too bad a few showers, a little too windy for Drone fishing all had a game of C.U.B and rested and talked.

3rd March. Fine Sunny Super drive to Waipu Caves. We all stayed in a locked area just outside the caves some folk walked a little way into caves and some walked all the way in to see the glow worms.

Buddy flew his drone over the area at happy hour and took some photos of all the vans. (see picture on page 20)

4th March - Showers. Set off on a Straight Line navigation drive to an unknown destination. Wonderful and exciting drive we all arrived at the Whangarei Museum, Martin asked each couple how did it go, the comments were hilarious and all really enjoyed the day.

We all had hard parking and a club room for happy hour Margaret and Bill had organised a pizza dinner with hot apple pie and ice cream. Very much enjoyed. We walked around the Museum sight looking at old cars Tractors buildings some went to the Kiwi house another great spot.

5th March - Sunny. Leaving the Whangarei Museum folk did their ablutions and shopping etc. then headed for Pataua North wonderful place across the road from the beach.

Nice walk around the bay and walked across the bridge to Pataua South watched folk learning to scuba dive. Clayton and Cornelia put on a very nice afternoon tea as it was Cornelia’s birthday.

We were booked in here for two nights but sadly the lady from the Pataua Education site double booked us but once again Margaret and Bill came up trumps and found us a spot just around the corner about 50 meters from the surf beach. Everyone very happy.

6th March - Fine Hot and Muggy.

7th March- Sunny and Hot. Left Pataua North to Otamure Bay Doc camp. Most folk walked across the longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere 395 meters long.

At happy hour Buddy introduced his friends Bev and Scotty very nice couple.

8th March. Second night at Otamure Bay. Free day some took the walk over the hill to another bay. Others caught up on reading.

9th March. Staying at Kerikeri Old Pack house in the area next to the Pack house Saturday Farmers Market. Spent the day shopping etc. in Kerikeri.

10th March. All had a good look around the market some had bacon and egg buns, others coffee. Clayton cooked us all his amazing curry dinner followed by a Trumpet ice cream each. Very successful dinner with us all sitting under the shelter of the market building.

11th March. Leaving Kerikeri for Matauri Bay. Cyclone heading our way but we were all away from the beach in a relatively sheltered position so all hunkered down for what was to come. Very windy, the sea was extremely rough but we were all ok the storm was not as bad as the weather folk thought.

12th March. Very heavy rain so a quiet time was enjoyed. Happy hour was hosted in different vans so we all got together.

13th March - Sunny. Off to Tauranga Bay another wonderful site right on the water front. Bill had spent time putting pictures from papers and magazine’s into a book and the book was handed out to each van for 24 hours, for us all to identify whose pictures they were. The answers were read out at happy hour lots of laughs.

Ann McGirr had the most answered correct well done Ann. Fishermen had a great time fishing and a few fish were caught all enjoyed the fine weather.

14th March - Sunny. The collages and art work was judged by a couple of campers that Margaret had coerced to helping they enjoyed and took their task very seriously, Cornelia won both the natural and second art work boards. A lot of fun and some wonderful imaginative pieces were on display.

The managers of the camp put on a BBQ for us supplying sausage’s and bread and sauce, our leaders provided Ham steaks pineapple and fruit salad with ice cream, another wonderful dinner enjoyed together out in the warm.

Sadly this was Martin and my last night with this super group of friends as we had a wedding to attend in Auckland we thoroughly enjoyed the time we had together.

Martin and Cathie Hart

Following is Buddy’s report for final few days

15th March Taupo Bay. Another 2 day stop at a very well cared for camp about 100 metres from the beach. Unfortunately even though we sent out our drones for fishing NO FISH. As the stop was during a weekend a group of young scouts (Cubs) and their leaders arrived for the weekend.

Very well behaved children. One of our members used a drone to carry aloft bags of chocolate fish to be dropped onto the children from above. However at their leaders request it was decided to fly the drone from one end of the camp to the other, several times to wear the children out before bedtime, it worked as they all went to sleep tired out, so no noise from them.

We had our normal morning teas and happy hours but there were a few showers of rain. Weather-wise we got off lightly and there were storms in other parts of the country and although it was a severe storm, it was offshore from us.

17th March On to Whatawhiwhi. The recently opened NZMCA camp site, although an excellent location, was inaccessible due to the wet weather making it impossible to enter due to the extremely muddy entrance.

Margaret our very capable rally leader quickly organised as alternative venue at the local camp. Fishing with the drones produced excellent catches of snapper. Due to the strong winds we could not fly the drones out as far as normal. Doug Lines pulled in 4 snapper at once from only 8 hooks, Clayton caught 9 snapper and other members caught another 4 snapper.

We had our normal morning teas and happy hours and said our final goodbyes’ after this excellent rally. Many of the members commented on the great times fishing with our drones as this bonded this group even more and kept us busy and interested all the time.

Most of us were at least 400kms from home so some decided to stay in the area for the NZMCA annual Easter Rally and some of us travelled to Whangamata for the BEACH HOP where there were over 1500 American cars from the 50s and 60s on display with a crowd of over 100,000 people.

Personal Highlights.

Trip to Whangamata, Reg Derrick decided to show another member through a new billion dollar road tunnel which has recently been opened in Auckland which would substantially reduce travelling time. We needed to branch off the main state highway about 80 km north of Auckland.

Well we didn’t get to see or go through this new tunnel as he missed the turnoff on the motorway. We ended up in Newton St which is the entrance to SPAGHETTI JUNCTION the most traffic jammed up place in New Zealand. Maybe another time we will get to see the new tunnel.