The Ruru's

T.I.M.E. Habits • Minimalists • Travel Enthusiasts

Category: Campervan

Hanmer Springs Solo Again


Returned to Hanmer Springs in the second bedroom … this time solo.


The last time I had to zip up the sleeping bag, wear a beanie all night and sleep in the fetal position was up Mt Everest Base Camp in Nepal!

HS5But after thawing out, it was on the bike, out and up Jacks Pass Road to test the shoulder. Actually, it was more to test the confidence of blatting down. I’m ready to get back on the BMX track and finish the loop now!

HS6The bonus of the time out … time spent on bringing home the book.

The heats on to be holding it by 1 July!

Daughter – Dad Play/Relax Weekend (16/5/15)

Just hanging out with the daughter Little Claire …

H3Hanmer Springs is 1.5 hours north of Christchurch – a place to play and relax … and a lovely spot to spend time with daughter Claire doing it.




Play – walk up to the Connical Hill walking track summit.





H8Relax – photo from the top.






H11Relaxed …





H15Play – straight down off the beaten track.





H20Play – LClaire losing at mini golf …

Relax – after the ball sconed me in the head taking this play shot!




H23Play – LClaire taking a hoon in the jet boat.

Relax – someone had to take the pic … this is a must walk up to and sit spot.




H30Play – quad biking.

Relax – as long as she in front, crashing was minimized.

Play – LClaire not expecting me to motor passed in the riverbed to soak her was maximized.



Relax – 7 kms up the river for a biscuit and water.





H33Relax – hair net to protect one from getting nits.





H37Play – LClaire trying to make up the camper van bed.





H40Play – LClaire being given the opportunity to drive the second bedroom (stop rescuing versus start resourcing attitude approach).



H41Relax – not, but life is an adventure when you let go of the controls.





H43Play – Frog Rock climb (Weka Pass).







Relax – I didn’t jump.


Karamea Konnections

The Karamea ANZAC service was held mid-morning.  Town folk gathered to hear a story about three Baker’s leaving the area to go fight and to fortunately return as five.  The rumble of restored army vehicles echoed across the basin  and made the experience just magic – who needed a fly over? Trying to convince the farmer to load up the turret machine gun and fire off a volley didn’t eventuate as much as me trying to convince BClaire to volunteer as the target.

DSC02441 DSC02426 DSC02433 DSC02438

It was a further 17kms north by road till it ran out.  We had now driven the last of it as far as we could.  It ended at the start of one of NZ’s Great Walks within the Kahurangi National Park – the Heaphy Track.  I walked it back in the early 90’s and what takes 4-5 days by foot can now be mountain biked over 2-3 days.

DSC02470 DSC02450 DSC02467

DSC02471A land line phone rang in the shelter, so I answered it.  The person on the other end asked for Martin.  Calling out his name, this lanky Irishmen came running over.  It was his transport call to organize his pick up.  Just the fact the phone rang like that had joking comments about his Mum calling to see if he was okay through to his pizza order confirmation – it had heads shaking and laughter abound and allowed new connections to be made.

Martin had just walked the Heaphy from the Collingwood end and was now getting ready to tackle another tramp from west to east called the Wangapeka Track (52 km).  It’s a tougher one with saddles over 1000 metres, the highest 1701.   Another seed sown for us to add to our ‘adventure’ list.


DSC02474The second bedroom handled the 14 km steep winding gravel road to the Oparara Basin Walks exceptionally well.  More spectacular was the Oparara Arch, a limestone formation at 219 m deep, 43 m high and 29 m wide.  Back at the carpark where a mum and dad were trying to bribe their moaning and groaning young children to walk up to it was made easier when I mentioned that you can find a pet rock to take home as big as Dad can carry.  And off they trundled!


DSC02477 DSC02484 DSC02486 DSC02492 DSC02497 DSC02499 DSC03005a

Our final sortie of the day ended at the ‘Last Resort’ for an ale.  The world is a small place when you connect with total strangers that are linked through personal associations – the camp caretaker knowing my Dad as the shuttle driver from Kaiapoi; the ‘Last Resort’ owner going to school with our friend Mandy in Greymouth; a woman girl friending a cousin from Amberley; and a woman from Picton remembering BClaire’s family when BClaire lived there aged 6.   It made for un-expected conversations, banter, laughter and too many re-hydration ales!

The camp kitchen during our time in Karamea allowed us to meet four young German tourists holidaying in New Zealand.  The dialogue around ANZAC Day and its significance made for all to make a comment about how they are not proud of their history when it comes to peace time commemorations about war.  They needn’t be.  The couple who joined us at the service were there of their own volition.  Although it was hard to imagine their emotions that they were feeling as the service was being given, we were pleased to be standing shoulder to shoulder with them.

The young fella had also walked the length of New Zealand, completing the Te Araroa Trail.  Little did he know that his presence had inspired us.  We now shift our focus to visit all our Face Book friends in person where ever they are located on the planet.

Karamea – a place where new konnections were made.

And the place where we celebrated the 100th year ANZAC Day commemorations.


Reefton to Karamea – Ponds of Reflection

Do you make the time to reflect on a day that was?

It’s become a daily T.I.M.E. habit – allowing one to ponder the positives so as to build on; and ponder the negatives so as the learn from.  Today was no different

24Completing the drive through to the Coast had us traverse the the Buller Gorge where deep ravines carve into the guts of New Zealand.  The road in parts, narrows down into single lane where red traffic arrows have to give way to white traffic arrows.


30Sometimes there is driver confusion rectified easily by one taking the courtesy high ground and reversing up, barriers to prevent anyone from driving off the edge to be swallowed up by the mighty Buller River.


29aHorse drawn carriages pre-modern transportation would have made for some nail biting travelling … and taken some guts!



18Berlins is a place where if you blink, you will miss it!  In-between blinks, we happened upon the roadside cafe/restaurant/accommodation and made the time to stop for a cuppa.  It ended up being lunch.  A couple of blog posts ago, I wrote about the West Coast delicacy with beady eyes called White Bait that are cooked into a patties.  Try not to make eye contact as you raise them to your mouth – that’s crawl!

8The giant Weta positioned on the bar is also something you do not want to make eye contact with … nor encounter one outside the jar!



41aThe Karamea Bluff elevates to 420m giving panoramic views of mountain, forest and sea.




Our second bedroom was soon positioned at the Karamea Domain where the total population of Karamea could all fit into the domain grand stand itself.


52It was 175kms travelled today to reach the spot that we wanted to wake up to for the ANZAC Day commemorations.  And the sunset had warmth to allow for reflecting.

But it also came with a mother nature reminder not to take things for granted.

Just off the route driven is a little township called Inangahua.  In 1929 and again in 1967, it was nearly wiped out by earthquakes.  And shortly before we arrived into Karamea, the ground shook from a 6.2 magnitude quake that was centered some 80 kims away over the ranges to the east.


It certainly had all the camp folk reflecting and pondering.


Two Bright Sparks with Rubbish Bags for Brains

6Taking a couple of days off the treadmill to venture back out onto the conveyor belt – destination Karamea.  Back in the direction of the West Coast, it was an hour up the road when a discussion erupted as to who didn’t pack ANY wet weather gear! It was a case of blame and no compromise – even though I work in the area of resolution, it was hopeless. Over the phone is much easier than in person!

Outcome, we reverted to our days of when we owned a childcare business, when we used to keep the little ones from paint and glue during an art activity. We purchased rubbish bags, cutting out the arms and head. If anyone saw two twits walking around in Reefton Rubbish bags – it’s was us!

We understand if you didn’t say hello.


The second bedroom was parked up in Reefton for the night. Reefton is famous for being the first place in the Southern Hemisphere to generate and reticulate its own electricity for public use in 1888.

Quite ironic given us two light bulbs didn’t have the spark to remember the rain coats!

A quaint little town with mining history, some of the buildings have stood since the late 1800’s. It’s worth a stop, wander, cuppa and read … the bookshop has bargain books at 50cents each.

A cloudless night made for lights out early, the solar system shone bright, who needed electricity?

And it wasn’t me who forgot the rain gear.

The Second Bedroom Test Drive

Lately, we had started to ponder the benefits of ending our caravan existence and return to the permanence of suburbia.

It’s okay to miss the niceties of a house with space; a garage to hang a dart board to play darts, furniture to see books on a shelf and a television that is connected to watch nature programmes isn’t it?

CV6 - Gore Bay Camp SiteBut then we had a brain fart … why not just get a second bedroom instead?

And then we could escape the box we live in, in a box with four wheels and wake up in all kinds of neighbourhoods.  Open space of landscapes to explore, balanced with less space to snuggle.  We could throw a dart at a map and point the box in that direction – so what if we miss the bulls eye. We could write our own books for others to have on their bookshelves. And, nature is by far more better in the raw.  This weekend was a test drive with benefits, caravan existence still lives strong.

CV5 - Gore BayCV16 - Right up the beachCV20 - Beach FaunaCV7 - Camp ShowerCV51CV13 Sunrise at Gore Bay

Finally, with New Zealand’s new drink driving laws recently introduced – you may just see the Ruru’s parked up on the side of the road in your neighbourhood anyway.

Temporarily of course!

© 2020 The Ruru's

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑