Archive for October, 2012

Last weekend was Labour weekend in New Zealand.  Celebration of the establishment of the 8-hour working day.  The movement promoted the concept of 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation and 8 hours rest.

So we celebrate this with a public holiday making a long weekend.  This long weekend we decided a group camping trip was in order and someone suggested Waihi Beach.  This is an actual place that is also a beach.  Not just a beach.  But there is a place called Waihi (without the beach part) just up the road.

Waihi is interesting for two reasons.

1) It has an open cast gold mine

2) We sat on it during our recce trip and according to our collective recollection had a conversation which was as close as we got to a single decision for us to come over here and make a go of the big move.

Last time we were passing through.  This time we were staying at the Waihi Beach Top 10 Campsite.  It’s a funny campsite this one.  Fantastic facilities, including a pretty good pool complex and sauna, games room, etc. Very nice established trees but tiny pitches.  We haven’t got a big tent by any stretch but we filled our pitch with the tent and the car.

We were right next to the bouncing pillow which was great for the kids, although we did have to become the bouncing pillow police after the kids were in bed and it was still being used after it’s closing time.

We’d really been in two minds about whether to go or not.  The weather forecast a week before was horrendous.  Rain all through the long weekend.

With very fresh memories of our previous camping trip where the forecast was for rain we were a little apprehensive.  Thankfully the forecast got progressively better throughout the week so on Friday morning we finally made the decision to go.  Hopefully we wouldn’t end up sitting in a field like the one in the photo to the left.

Well the forecast was spot on.  We used the pool and the bouncing pillow and sat talking into the evening.  We were completely unprepared for hold cold it was overnight, shivering in our sleeping bags because we hadn’t got enough clothes on.

Having had very little rest we woke early and had breakfast by 7am.  So we made the most of the situation headed down the beach.  It was absolutely stunning.  The water was flat calm and the kids were soon collecting shells and running up and down.

We met a lovely retired couple doing some long line fishing.  Long line fishing is where over a thousand meters of line is dragged out behind an electric torpedo out into open water dragging 25 hooks on the line.  The line sits for a while then you haul it back in again.  It was very exciting – they caught two Gurnards which have an amazing red with blue fringing on their fins.

We were back at the campsite by 9am and felt like we’d had half a day already and it was only just starting.

The plan for the day was to head to Karangahake Gorge.  We were planning to split into three groups.  Walkers, runners and cyclists.  We all started from different points with the plan of converging on a cafe at the same time.  I was walking with Lucy and a lovely lady from the UK, visiting friends of ours.  The walk we were on was a 3.2k loop starting off with a 1km disused railway tunnel.  The walk takes in spectacular views of the gorge and all the amazing remains of the old gold works which brought the area prosperity.  Lucy managed the whole 3.2km  on her own without being carried – I was super proud!  Emily was with the cyclists and she did fantastically as well.

The forecast for the rest of weekend was starting to look questionable so we bailed out late Saturday night.  We probably managed an all time record for packing up all our gear going from a standing start to fully packed in an hour flat!

It really is a beautiful area of the country and we will certainly be heading back there again.


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Beaches and Picnics

Well we’ve certainly started to see the odd glimmer of summer on it’s way. Since Josie returned from her trip to the UK we have been making the most of family time.

Last weekend we hit the beaches. Armed with a picnic and a playful mood we headed off to find some free fun.  After just a few minutes of snacks we started mucking around on the beach.  Driftwood hockey took a nasty turn as I whacked a pine cone into Emily’s ankle making it bleed and send her into floods of tears.  So we turned to more gentle pursuits and flexed our artistic muscles.

Mr Whale was made entirely of sea weed collected from around the beach.

We thought he looked very splendid but also a little culturally deprived, so we gave him a picture to look at!

Here’s a link to another page with a load of photos on it.

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