Pupu Springs

Once we reluctantly left Totaranui Bay behind we had one more spot to visit before we left Takaka behind. Pupu springs is one of the major tourist attractions in the area, it’s a large natural spring and it’s water is amongst the clearest in the world. I think we may not have had the best viewing conditions, cloudy with a little wind which made seeing in to the spring difficult. There was a very pleasant little loop walk there and we saw ducklings swimming with their parents, always cute, so still worth a visit.

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Just down the road we found something much less popular and much more entertaining. The Pupu Hydro walkway is a two hour walk that follows a historic water race that was originally built for gold mining in 1902. In 1929 this now abandoned water race was upgraded to provide electricity for Golden Bay. After 51 years of use the Hydro station closes due to no longer functioning. The really remarkable thing is that in the same year some locals formed the Pupu Hydro society to try to retain control of Pupu hydro within the bay. By 1987, just six years later, despite opposition from the local power board they had fully restored the hydro power scheme, paid off all the loans they had to take out to do so and built a walking track at the same time. It is inspiring and this quote from one of the engineers involved with the project is that kiwi No 8 wire spirit at its best.

“All the experts said she’s had it, we might as well throw it out to the dump….. I wasn’t going to wear that lot. You can fix anything if you try. ” Jim Baird.

The walk itself was just as good as the story behind it. You climb up the zig-zag track for around half an hour and shortly after start to follow the water race. Large portions of the track along the water race you are walking along a very narrow boardwalk suspended over the water with metal railings on your other side as you are right on the edge of the cliff. Such a wonderful way to experience this place and appreciate what an amazing feat it was to build this water race in the first place.

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You follow the water race all the way along to the dam where it begins. Then you climb up and walk down the opposite side of the river to the power station where you can view inside the power station and see how it all works. Thankfully there were some very informative diagrams as well so I could put together an explanation for Oliver’s millions of questions for how it all worked.

And after all that fun something that is almost my favorite part. We head back to where the bus is parked next to a river. We cook dinner, light our fire and tuck Oliver into bed. Truly at home no matter which part of the country we are in.

A walk with a nearly five year old

Right from the start this day felt like adventure was in the air. We had a plan – to walk to Anapai Bay, which if we crossed the estuary at low tide and used the low tide track would take us about 45 minutes. So we were all ready to go by 8.30 when the tide was just starting to creep back in.

I’ve always loved walking in the bush in the mornings. Everything seems cool and fresh in the morning air and the birds singing in the trees as the sun slowly sinks through the canopy is like a joyous celebration of the new day. Getting to introduce Oliver to morning bush walks is one of the things we are enjoying lately. He’s really starting to enjoy walking now, as he gets physically stronger and quicker he seems to be taking the time to just enjoy all the things around him as he walks. Considering I am a bit of a bird lover it’s not surprising he’s learning all their names and gaining a little bit of bird love himself. This particular morning the bellbirds were out in force putting on a wonderful morning chorus.

Oliver had picked up a stick along the way, as he is quite often known to do. On hearing the bellbirds song he held the stick up behind him pretending he was a bird, even making up his own little birdsong to sing us. Once he’s done with that he periodically uses the stick to sweep leaves from the track. An extremely friendly fantail starts following us along the track, coming so close at times that you almost imagine you can reach out and catch it. Oliver begins holding his stick out in the vain hope it would land on it. He switches between this and towing it behind him, because he’s ‘a tanker truck’ until we see the sand appear between the trees. Then there is a mad run to get his first glimpse of the beach. And a mad rush by me to get him into his togs/out of his shoes so he has dry clothes left to walk back in.

I had read that this beach was ‘arguably the most beautiful in Golden Bay’ and since we are all totally in love with Totaranui Bay we were all disbelieving it could beat it. At first glance though beautiful we failed to see how it lived up to the title ‘most beautiful’. Then we found the second part of Anapai Bay, hidden behind some large rocks, a smaller beach, small but completely perfect. After swimming, exploring, picnicking and just gazing at the pristine beach and stunningly clear water, we decided an argument could be made for this being the most beautiful beach.

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On heading back to the main beach we discovered quite a few people had joined us at Anapai Bay. So after a bit more swimming, a little encounter with a shag and an attempt at making a dam in a stream, it was time to head home.

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The return journey required a little bit more encouragement for Oliver after all his days busyness. But I’m not above bribing a tired child to the top of a hill with the promise of a few lollies. And a game of Boo, hide and seek – where Oliver and Dad go ahead, hide and jump out to scare Mum when she comes along – get’s him the rest of the way down.

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It is nearly 3.30 by the time we get back to the bus. And Oliver is not the only one ready for a bit of quiet time with his feet up. But it is a happy, fulfilled kind of tiredness after a day like this. And all three of us will end it hoping for another day like this soon.

 

Totaranui Bay

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At the end of a windy, narrow dirt road about 30 kms from Takaka is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been lucky enough to visit. Totaranui Bay is home to a gorgeous big Doc campsite, the most golden sandy beach I have ever seen, crystal clear water and tons of walking tracks. It’s the place where a lot of people start the Abel Tasman coastal track, a walk that follows the coastline along the length of the Abel Tasman national park and takes between 3-5 days.

We found a wonderful spot to set up camp, views of the water from the front windows, views of the estuary from the bedroom and most importantly just a short stroll down to that beach. Our first afternoon was filled on that beach. We built sandcastles, explored the estuary when the tide was out and even though it’s late april and the water is rather crisp we all swam.

Our second day here we were keen to do one of the walks that were on offer. So mid morning we headed off to Goat Bay, it was about a 40 minute walk with a stop off at Skinner point for some great views back to Totaranui Bay. I had packed Oliver’s togs knowing he would want to swim at Goat Bay but not ours a move I did regret a little after the climb over to the bay on a surprisingly warm autumn day. We settled for paddling our feet in the ocean and very quickly killed a couple of hours before climbing back over to Totaranui bay and finally having the swim we wanted.

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Another great thing about this camp is that they have fireplaces all around the camp so you can have an open fire. Toasting marshmallows over an open fire was a pretty great way to end such a nice day and I know it’s one of Oliver’s favorite memories from our stay here.

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The next day we opted for a bit of a quieter day, most of our morning was spent riding our bikes around the camp and the little area behind the carpark that has been made in to a little bmx track. Then we took a walk with the Doc ranger and fed some extremely big eels. And in the afternoon it was back to the beach, more sandcastles, more swimming. This day is the pattern many of our camping holidays normally take, it feels familiar in its routine no matter where we are and what beach we are swimming on. Perhaps this is why Oliver is taking to our new life like a duck to water? He seems very content with this new normal, in fact I would go so far as to say he thinks this new life is much better than the old. And I can see his little mind taking in everything around him, there are moments where I can see the learning happening right in front of me. It’s not in a so called conventional way but it is learning all the same and what’s more so much of it is self-directed. As he walks through the bush he tells me ‘tree starts with t mummy’ and then spends a good 15 minutes naming things around him and what letter they start with. We write words on the beach with sticks and he counts things constantly, sometimes even doing basic addition without even really knowing what it is that he is doing. It’s amazing how much a child can just learn all by themselves if you just give them a loving supportive environment, surround them with plenty of varied opportunities to explore the world around them, read to them on a daily basis and give them as much time to play as you possibly can. For Oliver learning seems to be an almost natural thing, always evolving, always growing, always searching for new knowledge. I hope he never stops searching, growing and evolving and I hope I always take the time to see it happening.

Welcome to sunny Nelson

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It was a glorious, sunny autumn day when we arrived in Nelson. All the more glorious because the day before had been wet, windy and bitterly cold. But that cold day seemed a small price to pay to get to see snow on the mountains as we drove in to Nelson.

Nelson was the first decent sized city we had been in since Wellington so our first plans were to get some groceries and then find a place to stay for a couple of nights. We needed a little it of time to decide on exactly where we were going to next. After getting supplies and finding a spot to stay the night it was time to take Oliver to the playground we had spied on our way in. The playground was right on the waterfront so it wasn’t long before we ended up on the beach. It also wasn’t long before my son was soaked from head to toe, frolicking in the waves. The mountains with their dusting of snow looked gorgeous from the beach and as we walked, played and admired we decided this would be the first place we looked for work. It seems easier to make decisions like this now that we are actually on the road, I think the fact that we have made it this far gives us confidence that we can make anything work out if we put our minds to it.

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But we have only been travelling a few weeks and we are not ready to stop moving just yet. So we simply paused a few days, caught our breath and caught up on washing, did some research and planning as to where we were headed next and enjoyed a little taste of what Nelson has to offer. When we left we were headed towards Takaka with high hopes of adventures to be found.

Let’s slow things down

Our trip so far has felt a little bit fast and furious, now it was time to really slow things down a bit, that is after all the greatest advantage of living on the road permanently – there is no time line and no need to rush. One of our rules since we are convoying and not all in the bus is that an hours driving a day is enough, when we left Havelock we didn’t even get close to an hours worth of travel. We were aiming for a spot just past Rai Valley but when Oliver and I arrived it was much smaller than we had thought and very full of mainly non-self contained vehicles. Since it’s a spot that is only meant for self contained vehicles it’s a little annoying, purely because we have spent considerable time and money so we can camp responsibly then we can’t park in the spots council have said self contained vehicles can because of people who aren’t doing things properly. Freedom camping is really in the spotlight here at the moment and not normally in a positive way, we really don’t want to be lumped in with the people who are taking advantage and not doing it cleanly or responsibly, so we decided to backtrack a little to a Doc campsite at Pelorus bridge. Instantly we were so grateful we did, those pesky campers did us a favour on this occasion.

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Most Doc camps are fairly basic affairs, long drop toilets, a few taps to get water and not much more. Pelorus bridge has a fairly new looking kitchen facility, flushing toilets and hot showers, even a coin operated laundry facility. On top of the modern conveniences it is right next to the most glorious river, an abundance of walking tracks and a cafe just a few minutes stroll away just to top it all off. Within half an hour of arriving Oliver had Dad down by the river and by the time I had the washing on the line and the bus a bit organised I looked out the window to see Oliver pants thoughtfully rolled up to his knees but wading in water that came up past his waist. And this is mainly what our day consisted of, a short walk after lunch to a swingbridge further down the river and then back to the bus to put on our togs and headĀ  back to our bit of the river. The water was completely freezing but Wayne managed a quick swim, I got up to my knees and that was more than enough for me.

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The next morning we woke feeling like we weren’t quite ready to leave yet, it was so idyllic we just wanted one more night. So we decided to take a drive out to the French Pass in the car and leave the bus just where it was for the moment. This was a drive we were never going to do in the bus anyway as there is a long windy, narrow dirt road to get there. It was interesting enough passing other cars coming the other way on some parts of it, definitely wouldn’t have been suitable for our big beast. Once again we were left in awe of the stunning views as we drove in and once we got there it was actually hard to stop taking pictures of the perfect little bay.

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Even after having to do the same long, windy drive all over again in reverse this was still a trip worth making. I have always been aware of how lucky I am to call this country my home but every time I think that we have found the most beautiful spot ever down here, we drive around another bend and it just gets even more amazing. I feel so lucky to be having this time to really enjoy all the little places that we find, to soak in all the things around us and at the same time to really enjoy my time with Oliver without a lot of the everyday distractions we used to have in our lives. He is going to be five in a little over a month and his growing personality makes me very aware that normally we would be getting him ready to head off to school. It also makes me very glad that for us this is not the end of our years with him at home, instead this is a time where Wayne can have some concentrated, uninterrupted time with him like I have been lucky enough to have for the last five years. And for Oliver and I our relationship is growing and changing to, he is moving out of that little boy stage where he was so dependent on me and asserting his independence more all the time. This of course brings challenges and a fair bit of boundary pushing some days, but that is just part and parcel of parenting really. For us I think the good bits outweigh the harder so much more now than they used to. Perhaps it’s because we are both around to share the load, or because we are just having so much fun all the time, or because we have eliminated a lot of the worry and stress from our lives now. Most likely it is a mixture of all these things and I hope that we keep getting the balance right for a lot longer.

 

Goodbye Tauranga

 

The day I sometimes felt would never arrive is finally here! All the lists of jobs we had have finally been ticked off, a few things we never anticipated have been thrown in just for good measure to keep us on our toes. Everything we own is now inside our bus or our small storage unit. And we have said goodbye to all the people who made up our world and our lives here in Tauranga.

It was actually a lot easier to hop in the car and drive away than what I had imagined it would be. I suppose I have had so much time over the last few months to try to figure out all the details of this trip, to anticipate it and look forward to it, that now there is no room for nervousness and worry. Just a whole lot of excitement and a whole lot of wondering what it is we will find down the road. It’s also amazing how having Oliver along for the ride with us keeps it all in perspective, you still have to live your everyday life around the travelling and the exploring. Small children still expect to be fed at regular intervals, they still want a sense of routine and a sense of home even if it is a moveable one, they still create mess and washing to be dealt with. Oddly this is kind of comforting, this life might be a big leap into the unknown but the everyday of it still contains a lot of familiar things.

Leaving Tauranga makes me reflect a lot on the time I have lived here, all that has happened for me here and all the great memories I take with us. It also makes me reflect on the journey we have taken in the last twelve months, from living a pretty average life to where we are now. Living in a bus, unsure when or where one of us will next have paid employment, unsure even where we will be next week as we are purposely keeping our travel plans very vague in the hopes that will allow us to see as much as we want in each area. It feels like the changes we have made in the last twelve months are almost as big as the ones we will make in the next twelve months.

When we moved in to my parents house at the end of October our goal was to only stay 6-8 weeks, well five months later that clearly didn’t go to plan. Or as I am learning to see it, we made a new plan, not better or worse just different. You see I love having a plan and a goal to work towards and I am an avid writer of to do lists and the like. The downside of this is that sometimes when things don’t go to the plan it can feel like you are falling short in some ways. One of the things I hope to do while we embark on this adventure is learn how to let go a little and celebrate success whether it went to plan orĀ  followed some other more winding path. Because sometimes getting there anyway when things didn’t follow the plan is the biggest success of all!

 

Taranaki part two

DSC05709One of the things we are learning about travelling in a bus is that it is quite easy to just head off to a destination without to much of a firm itinerary for once you get there. Though I do think this is definitely something I will grow to love, the sense of freedom and flexibility, it is not something I have been used to the last four years since having a child to consider. Travelling has been quite carefully planned to ensure the most enjoyable trip and holiday for everyone involved. But the theory is in the bus that we can decide at any point in the day that we have had enough and simply find a spot to park up for the remainder of the day. This was our first time putting this in to practise as we woke at Okato domain with no firm plans for the day.

Over breakfast we decided that a visit to Pukekura park was our first stop as Oliver had been such a star on our big day of travelling he deserved to do something he would enjoy. Pukekura park is a huge gardens in New Plymouth, it has walking and cycling tracks and is also home to the Brooklands Zoo which was what we were going to check out. We arrived to the pleasant surprise that the zoo was free to enter and once we got Oliver past the playground in the center of the zoo we began to explore all the exhibits. There was a petting zoo area with all your standard farm animals, several different types of monkeys, meerkats, otters and a free flight aviary with several types of parrots. We spent several hours playing and watching the animals and with all the picnic spaces provided and huge gardens surrounding the zoo you could easily spend a whole day here with your family.

Wanting to check out part of the coastal walkway next we headed to the Waiwakaiho River mouth. The coastal walkway is 12.7kms of pathway that stretches from the port on one side of New Plymouth right through the city itself and quite a considerable distance along up the coast. It has several points of interest along the way and one of them is Te Rewa Rewa bridge which crosses over the Waiwakaiho river.

DSC05686DSC05719The bridge they say is supposed to resemble a wave or a whale skeleton, both of which I would say it does, it also in my opinion is quite beautiful. The large metal structure with its gorgeous curves somehow appears delicate against the rugged wildness of the coastline it sits beside. We spent the remainder of our day wandering the beach and playing in the river when we needed to cool off. Deciding that this spot was far to beautiful to leave just yet we stayed in the reserve beside the lake you drove past to get to the river mouth.

DSC05708DSC05699This coast is very different from where we live in the bay of plenty, our beaches are all soft golden sands and waves that beg to be swum and played in. The sea is rough on this coast, the waves crash and warn you to be wary of their power, there are rocks and miles on miles of black sand and driftwood. But in all that wildness and energy there is beauty and they are beaches you could roam and explore for hours on end, always finding something new the sea has brought in or the waves have altered.

The next day we decided to head down the surfers highway with the goal of ending up in Hawera for the night. We stopped at a replica lighthouse that holds the old light from the Cape Egmont lighthouse, well worth a stop for the views from the top of the lighthouse alone. But very interesting with lots of information about the history of the lighthouse and how the light works. And for a few dollars you can turn the light on and watch it work for a few minutes.

After lunch at the pub in Opunake it was a short drive on to Hawera. The joy of small towns is finding ample parking close to the supermarket and the laundromat handily situated right across the road so we can restock on groceries and clean the mountain of washing we seem to have produced in just a few days. Yet again a taste of something that will become part of our everyday lives once we are travelling full time.

This nights camping spots has to be my all time favourite in the bus so far, a spot called Waihi beach reserve just five minutes drive from Hawera. It is just a parking lot at the top of the cliffs with a track that leads down to the beach below. But we got the prime parking spot with an uninterrupted view out to what looked like an endless expanse of ocean. The beach itself is another rugged beauty, stark cliffs, huge boulders to sit on and bathe your feet as the tide went out – really all you could ask for on a hot summers afternoon. And in the morning when I managed to sneak out of the bus before anyone else woke and headed for a morning stroll along the pathway back towards Hawera I was finally treated to spectacular views of Mt Egmont, gorgeous sunrise showing her off in all her beauty not a cloud in sight. Unfortunately by the time I got back, cleaned up and breakfast sorted the clouds had rolled in again and not a picture taken to share. Selfishly perhaps this moment feels all the more special because it was mine alone, my husband and son sleeping blissfully, to wrapped up in how gorgeous it was to think of whipping my phone out for a quick snap.

From here we started to slowly head home, we had one gloriously sunny day to explore Hawera a bit more and then the rain came back. So we took the scenic route home along the forgotten world highway to Taumarunui and then passed lake Taupo, we spent a few nights at DOC campsites along the way to break the travelling up as much as we could. Even more than ever we are longing for the day we head off, these little snippets of travel just confirm to us what we have hoped for. That this is going to be an amazing way to travel and we long to experience it without the time constraints and rush of a short little week long holiday.

Taranaki here we come!

With the first of february looming and knowing that we would be without our bus for at least a few weeks while it had its renovations done we decided on a weeks long holiday in the Taranaki region before that happened. It would be our longest trip in the bus to date and we would also be away on my birthday, brilliant timing really.

Keen to break the travelling down up a bit we set off after Wayne finished work with the goal of making it to a place called Lake Whakamaru. We had dinner on the way and arrived to find a very large tree filled campsite beside a lake with stunning views across the other side of the lake. Oliver was keen to explore so we crammed in a swim (for him) and a walk along part of the cycle trail that passes by the campsite before bed.

The next day was my birthday and we woke to rain on the roof of the bus and clouds that promised a very wet day. So it was an early start to our days journey and the decision was made that we would cover a lot of ground in the rain and make it all the way to New Plymouth. Our first stop was a little town called Piopio, we stretched our legs down the main street and found a charming little art gallery/gift shop to kill some time in. This of course isn’t of much interest to a four year old boy (or his father!) so the next stop needed to include a bit of adventure. Wayne had a spot in mind that he had driven past many times when he used to travel for work but never had the opportunity to stop at.

Not long after we came out to the coast we found it, the three sisters and elephant rock. We arrived at lunch time and on reading the signs realised it was a walk you could only do at low tide as you had to walk along the edge of the water. Deciding that the tide was on its way out but still had a long way to go we settled on having our lunch and a play on the small beach by the car park instead. But after an hour had passed and we watched how quickly the tide was receding we re-thought this plan and decided to just get in our togs, give the tide another half hour to go out and go for it. Most of the ten minute walk around the water was only knee deep so definitely safe. We got to a point where we could see the beach just around the corner and thought our plans may be foiled as the water looked to get considerably deeper. But a few metres through water just above my waist and we were at a delightful little sea cave.

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DSC05618Once we had explored that it was just a short wade through waist high water to the beautiful black sandy beach. Strewn with drift wood and rocks, turbulent surf ahead and high cliffs gouged with small caves at the base to the side, it was a wonderful beach to explore and hunt for treasures as we made our way around to the three sisters.

DSC05643It was just a short and easy walk around to where you could see the three sisters and elephant rock and with the beach all to ourselves it only added to the sense of adventure and discovery.

DSC05656The three straight pillar like rocks are the three sisters and the rock shaped like an upside down v is the one called elephant rock. Maybe it was the rain or our imaginations working very well but while we were there we all could see a vague resemblance to an elephant like creature. Something I now fail to see in any of my photo’s, but for a brief moment on the beach it was there! So we headed back exploring more on our way and enjoying the relative calm and much lower water to wade through on our way back.

DSC05626It was a pleasant drive through to New Plymouth from there and that night as we settled in for a night of freedom camping at the Okato Domain we all agreed that this is exactly what we signed up for when we brought the bus. The time and opportunity to share these little treasures with each other, to explore and enjoy the beauty our country has at pretty much every corner of the road. And to expose Oliver to that sense that he can step off the footpath, wade through the water and find a beautiful little spot hidden just around the next bend. To top off a pretty amazing 36th birthday the clouds lifted briefly off Mt Egmont and we got a glimpse of the beautiful Maunga before bed. This holiday I knew already was going to be everything we had hoped and more.

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Revisiting an old favourite

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Before we head off to explore lots of new places we really want to spend time at some of our favourite local spots while they are still on our back door step. So after spending a wonderful xmas day with my family having a picnic at the beach we decided a quick get away was in order.

Roughly an hour and a half from where we live is a campsite beside Lake Tarawera at a spot called the Tarawera outlet. It’s a spot we have camped at many, many times and is a spot that never disapoints. Stunningly beautiful lake, crisp clear swimming water in the lake and in the river and a relatively easy walk to a nearby waterfall. Really what more could you ask for?

It is a little bit of a drive in through unsealed forestry roads and was quite late by the time we arrived. But the joy of our new way of travelling is that within 15 minutes of arriving I was serving up xmas day leftovers to my tired wee boy and with no real set up of camp required we had time for a stroll down to the lake before bed to wind down from our very busy day.

We woke the next morning to rain and a learning experience of having parked sideways on a sloping site and spent the night slowly sliding out of bed. So after breakfast we shifted to a slightly flatter spot where we could park where the front of the bus was pointing downhill and not the side. A much more comfortable position. With the bus sorted we decided to head off for a little walk along the river.

DSC05610There is a track that follows the river until it goes through an underground tunnel and comes out at the Tarawera Falls, very beautiful with a neat swimming hole enroute but for this walk we decided just to go until Oliver had had enough and wanted to turn around. It’s rather lovely walking through the NZ bush on a rainy day, cool and damp but sheltered from the worst of the wetness. We found a spot for morning tea on some mossy boulders and hung out for some photo’s.

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Luckily in the afternoon the weather cleared and we managed a crisp but refreshing swim in the lake and the river. It was the perfect little getaway after the excitement of xmas day, a great way to shift the focus from presents and over indulgence to family and nature. And the start in a way of our farewell of to our old home and old life as we ease our way into our new one.

Freedom

Since around April this year my little family have talked, planned, dreamed and hoped for the day we could go away in a house bus. Unsurprisingly the last week waiting for our bus to be finished at the mechanics has been very, very long. At first we were optimistic it may be done by the Tuesday. Then we thought Wednesday would be great as it was Waynes first day off work. By Thursday my patience was all gone.

But finally on Friday we got the bus back and after a long boring day for Wayne sitting at the VTNZ testing station we were legal and more than ready to hit the road. Unfortunately with only one night left before Wayne had to be back home for work, but we were definetly not going to let this opportunity pass!

We headed to Mclaren’s falls just outside of Tauranga for our first night away in the bus. Oliver and I arrived in the car slightly ahead of Wayne. We had plenty of parking places to choose from and found one that definetly ticked our two main boxes, flat and with a nice view.

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Not a bad view while I cook dinner.

The local ducks and geese who currently had all there babies in tow gave us something interesting to watch while we ate dinner. And after a little stroll down to the water it was time to tuck Oliver into bed.

Mclarens falls park boasts a delightful cafe and an animal park. Both were on the agenda for our saturday. So nice to walk out the bus door and along the walking paths by the water to have breakfast, followed by a stroll around the animal park then back to the bus for a bite to eat, a rest in the shade and a quick tidy up so we were ready to leave when we wanted to. And as I tidied the bus I watched my two boys sitting watching the ducks and talking to each other. These moments are one of my big reasons for doing this, the peaceful togetherness we seem to find when we disconnect a bit and head off into nature is something I want more of for my family.

And just like that our first trip in the bus is done. The more time we spend in her, the more we put our own little stamp on her I can truly see us living and enjoying ourselves in her. Now we are home, planning the next trip away….

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