With our caravan being required bright and early in the morning at 6.30am, we left it behind in the careful hands of the two maintenance guys at the Leisureline factory. Which meant a caravan free day – where could we go? Checking out the map, we decided to take a trip out to Raglan.
A visit to the local museum was very interesting and exceptional value at just $2 each. Gifted to the museum was a vast collection of over 2000 Maori artifacts dug up from a local farm and donated by the Bird family. Pieces included adzes, fish hooks, and hammer stones.
Raglan is a surfing community and Robin was taken back to his youth when he used to be a surfer at Oakura Beach in New Plymouth. He checked out the long surf boards – yes, he had one just like this, and a reel and harness which he used in competition work.
A drive around to the local surf beaches didn’t turn up any mighty rollers – the sea was as calm as a millpond.
Overlooking Ngarunui Beach are four sculptures standing guard, relating to the four main points on the compass.
Sculptures depicting North, South, East and West
No surf today at Ngarunui Beach
There is something about foot bridges – if we see one we really need to walk over it. But this one is certainly not what we remembered from our last trip here many years ago. This new 150m-long Kopua footbridge was designed by Bossley Architects and opened in 2011. This replaced the dilapidated 50-year-old version over the estuary, linking the Raglan township with the camping ground and facilities to the west of the river mouth. Along came a surfer being towed along by by a small boat, and we noticed a school group cooling off in the estuary.
Plenty of boats for hire in Raglan
On the way back to Hamilton we made a short diversion to see the Bridal Veil Falls – we had last been to see them way back in the mists of time, so long ago that we had almost forgotten.
There are several look out points along the track - wonder how my knees will be tonight after all those steps down, then back up again? The Bridal Veil Falls drop 55m into a 5m deep pool at the bottom. So pretty, and we were joined by a steady stream of tourists along the track.
Bridal Veil Falls
We were almost back in Hamilton when we got a phone call to say that our van was ready to collect. Leisureline have just started building campervans and we stopped to have a look at this new venture, with the big boss Colin happy to show us inside.
New Leisureline Campervan
While Robin was talking to the maintenance guys about the work done on our caravan, I stopped to chat to a couple of friendly faces I recognized. It was Bruce, Robyn, and Caspar the dog who produce the RV Travel Lifestyle and NZ Today magazines, both of which we subscribe to.
Bruce, Robyn and Caspar
Then it was time to hook up our van, and get on our way out of Hamilton.