We camped with the Caravan Club at the beautiful Kaitoke Regional Park for 3 days over Waitangi Weekend. The park covers 2500 hectares in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges, and is a catchment area for the Wellington region’s water supply. The mature native forest is home to many species of native birds. The park, as it is now, began in 1983, to provide open spaces for recreation. People come to camp, to picnic, walk the many tracks, or have fun in the river.
We arrived late on Thursday afternoon (Friday was a public holiday) to find the camping area filling up fast. There were groups of tents setting themselves up all around the campsite. One group close by gathered up several heavy wooden picnic tables on a trailer. They set them up them up inside a gazebo to use as a dining room for the large number of children in their party. More and more cars and trailers kept arriving all weekend. The Park Ranger estimated that there were about 1000 campers, more than they had over the New Year period.
Our camp site
Tucked away behind our caravans was a nice little sheltered area with shady trees. Here we set up our gazebo to provide relief from the hot sun. The trees were full of cicadas and they were “singing” away with all their might, to attract a mate. In the evenings they buzzed around our lights, as did the large moths, which caused a little distraction to those who didn’t care for swooping insects (like Jenny). The cicadas caused quite a discussion as we noticed their discarded (outgrown) skins sticking to the tree branches.
The camp was full of dogs of all shapes and sizes. There was a husky close by who was watching all the comings and goings with interest. Jenny chatted to the owner as she passed by. He told her that his dog was formerly part of a sled racing team, and they trained in nearby Rimutaka Incline Track.
It was such lovely weather that we ate most of our meals outside. Robin fired up the BBQ in the morning to cook bacon and eggs. We had lunch in the shade, followed by 4zees, followed by BBQ meals at night. We had six caravans in attendance and two grandchildren, these girls were in and out of the water all day, having a ball. It was all very relaxed and very pleasant, we certainly want to return to this lovely spot again.
We returned home and did our usual thing of Robin backing the caravan onto the concrete pad. Nine times out of ten this manoeuvre goes smoothly. This time, it must have taken him about five tries to get it lined up correctly. Never mind, sixth time lucky.