It’s no coincidence that our trip to the factory to get our caravan window repair meant that we would be in Hamilton in time for the Motor Home, Caravan and Leisure Show. Oh no, Robin planned it that way. On Tuesday we stayed overnight outside the Leisureline factory so that we would be ready for when the factory opened bright and early. The serviceman told us the leak affecting our back window was getting in through the eyebrow above it. Hopefully this is now fixed and we won’t have any more problems. Collecting our van, we then went to the Glenview Club in Hamilton. It was chocka block with vans all heading to the show, and we managed to get one of the last remaining sites for the night. Just as well we didn't arrive any later as we saw some turned away.
Then on Thursday we headed to Mystery Creek and lined up with hundred of other vans waiting for the gates to open. To get us off the road, we were guided into a large paddock high on a plateau overlooking the venue. At midday the gates opened and we all rolled in.
Here they come
We were directed to the parking areas by members of the Waikato Club, parked up, met the neighbours and settled down for the weekend. Gemma found a open locker to investigate.
What’s in here, I wonder?
The show opened on Friday and in we went. The first thing we saw was the beautifully restored Bus Number One. The vintage 1928 REO Speed Wagon was originally owned by the founders of NZMCA, Andy and Gladys Anderson. Starting life as a bus, Andy purchased it and converted it into a motorhome in the 1950s. Many years later the motorhome body was dismantled, with the chassis, motor and running gear donated to the local museum in 1992. A group of enthusiastic Gisborne members decided that this piece of NZMCA history must be saved and worked like trojans to get the job done. Luckily one canny member snapped up the personalised number plate when it appeared for sale. Crowds of visitors at the show took the opportunity to admire the newly restored motorhome.
Restored motorhome of NZMCA founders
The huge Event Centre was chock full of bright and shiny campers and caravans. New Zealand built, Australian, and plenty of European vans too. Where to start looking? We started with our favourite brand, Leisureline, and looked through their newest vans. Then checked out Winnebago, Dethletts and whatever else took our fancy.
Looking down onto the offerings
There were plenty of other vendors selling all sorts of camping related equipment, both indoors and out. Sheepskin seat covers seemed very popular, Weber BBQs seemed to be very popular, there were all manner of items on offer. Lunch was calling so we went outside to check out the food stalls, finally deciding on a Hot Dog each. Mind you, we could well have chosen a whitebait fritter, fish and chips, kebabs, or even Chinese for lunch. We were lucky to find seats under cover in the huge tent to escape from the hot sun beating down, and ate our lunch serenaded by a golden voiced singer.
Lunch time at the show
With so much to see, I’m sure we missed some of what was on offer. This one piqued my interest, wonder if it built for Aussie conditions to keep them safe from crocodiles while camping by the river?
Up the ladder to bed
We took a drive back up to the plateau so that we could get a photo of the vans parked up. Mind you, this is only some of them, as they were parked on both the front and back of the Events Centre. We heard that there was in excess of 1600 vans staying for the weekend.
We are in here somewhere.
And on the other side of the building, more vans and car parking for day visitors.
We caught up with Dave and Rae, our friends from the Wairarapa Caravan Club, met up with several couples from the Leisureline Owners Club, a couple of former members from our caravan club, and Dave, one of our current members. Then there were the campers who we passed the time of day with – a whole heap of friendly people who enjoy getting out and about in their vans or motorhomes, just like us. It was a great weekend, and we were blessed with wonderful weather.
Time to start heading homewards