I’ve found the most decadent campground. You get your own ensuite in a little cabin – I’m in heaven. Plus, after all the tyre drama, I have the time, weather and space to finally fix a few of the caravans problems.
In the previous couple of weeks I’ve been exploring the bottom of the North Island. My last article was focused around Masterton and Lake Ferry and this article starts in the outskirts of Wellington and finishes north in Fielding.
There is an NZMCA park specifically for members on the outskirts of Wellington. Each park is different, but this one is basically just a large carpark with a dump station in the middle and a cabin with a welcome book. The advantage is the location – close to Wellington for only $3 per night.
There are not many campground options in Wellington and I’ve only found a very expensive Top 10 Park in Lower Hutt or a dodgy feeling campground in Porirua. I’ve since heard Ngatitoa Domain is a good freedom camping spot and am keen to try it. If you have a small motorhome or campervan there are a couple more options but they looked very tightly packed.
I stayed at the park for a couple of nights before moving on. Partly because my caravan shower is not particularly enjoyable and I personally found it too much like a carpark with no privacy.
You need to be a NZMCA member and have a self contained vehicle. They have a new app for paying which I used for the first time and found easy. Better than trying to find the correct amount of coinage and makes things simpler for the caretaker at the park. To find the parks around New Zealand, you get a printed book when you join or have access to an app similar to CamperMate that shows where they all are.
I only moved a little way up the coast to Paraparaumu and have fallen in-love with this campground. Kapiti Holiday Resort only has powered sites between massive hedges and every single site has it’s on ensuite in a little cabin. It felt amazing knowing there was no chance of a queue with previous peoples hair in the drain and having the ability to leave my products out. The little things.
They have quite a few permanent residents and a very relaxed office attitude. I extended my stay but found it hard to get anyone to take my money at the office! It sounds like the campground is just a side business for them. It was a little more expensive than some campgrounds but still a good price for being so close to a city. And have I mentioned the ensuite cabins! I’ll be back.
Another great thing about this campground is how close it is to the beach. Just one block away. I started going for a walk at lunchtime and in the evening for the sunsets. It’s the type of wind swept beach that really clears the mind and wakes you up!
As I had a bit of space and privacy, I crawled under the caravan and had another look at the grey water pipe that wasn’t as firmly connected as I wanted and the 2 holes that people thought needed fixing to make sure water didn’t get in and affect the caravan.
For the grey water pipe, it’s been suggested that I disconnect (unscrew) the connecter holding the pipe to the caravan enabling the pipes to connect more firmly together. It worked! I’ve also been told I need to get a sealant or something to make sure it won’t leak. This is something I still need to do…
With the two holes, one is showing the insulation material. For now I’ve cut two coke cans up and used the metal sheet to cover the two holes. I used duct-tape to seal up (which hasn’t lasted long from the dirt and shaking of the caravan). Luckily I also screwed it in to place and have been looking into how to permanently fix it.
My next campsite was freedom camping in a park in Feilding. Timona Park is a large area with a sports field, playground and stream. It seems well set-up for self contained vehicles with private spots and plenty of trees.
I was genuinely nervous that night as I rarely freedom camp and a few teenagers in modified cars had previously roared past. I have heard locals sometimes hassle freedom campers and I wondered if they would be back. The gate apparently closes at night, but was still open when I went to bed. But I was fine and awoke to see that I even had a couple of neighbouring vans.
My ideal campground is having plenty of privacy and surrounded by nature, but when I freedom camp it’s always nice to think that if I’m bothered, there is someone nearby to help.
I’ve been enjoying this trip around the bottom of the North Island and it’s always interesting exploring, trying new campgrounds and finding new favourite spots.
I’ll be working more on my caravan soon so please let me know if you have any tips.