Our first - Raglan NZ

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Our first - Raglan NZ

Postby Ponga » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:01 pm

So we camped for the first time this weekend and now we're home, knackered, sunburned and quite relieved to have got the 'messy' unpacking business over and done with. Overall we had a fab weekend with a few challenges, experiences and lessons learned along the way. :lol:

Like just tell me, who the hell knew we would be camping on a sand dune anyway? :lol:

Our pitch was the only gap where there were no trees and the wind blew threw at 90 miles an hour. Jeepers, it was so very nearly time to book into a motel when I couldn't hold the pressure of the tent from inside, so that OH could get some pegs in the 'ground'. No sooner had we a peg in the ground, the wind just pulled them right out again.

After many people came over to 'comment' on the wind and offer help 'if we needed it?' I began to think we were the hired entertainment for the weekend. Anyway, on the verge of stamping my feet and crying we had a bright idea to park the car betweeen the tent and the dunes, so at least we could have a bit of shelter from the wind and we got there in the end:

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The bit of grass to the side of us was only there because the tap was there, the rest was just sand. :(

The rest of the night was fairly uneventful, the wind typically died down almost immediately after we had set up. Honestly there wasn't another tent on the whole site that had a pitch like ours with it's very own mini-tornado blowing sand in every direction.

Next day we headed out for an explore, hoping to god that the wind wouldn't come back and blow the tent over. We went to Bridal Veil falls:

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After which we thought we would follow the road to Kawhia, somewhere else we had thought about camping. Again, expect the unexpected as no sooner had we set off on the road, said sealed road ran out and we were on a very scary winding gravel for 30 something kms.

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We had no idea really what road we were on and never saw another car all the way, except for a hired campervan coming the other way. There were loads of rocks and rubble and landslides across the road. So it was fun! We arrived at some beach, we've no idea what it was called or where it was as we couldn't find the road on a map.

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Hmm, then a big decision to make, do we do many kms detour around via Hamilton on a proper road that is actually on the map or go back the way we came. We went back the way we came. :lol: It was a bit less scary second time around.

When we got back to camp, our very own personal sandstorm had indeed paid a visit; the back end of the tent looked a bit worse for wear and the inside, bedroom end was full of sand. There was sand everywhere; pillows, bed, sheet, sleeping bags all full it. Oh Poop! *Insert a few other expletives* Never mind, it was soon put back to normal and we popped over the dunes to the beach:

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At the end of the day, we had some trials, but we had a bloody good laugh:

The worst bit was having to pack everything back up again, with everything covered in sand and impossible to clean off when the only other surfaces around you are covered in more sand. Tent is currently in a heap in the garage, alledgedly getting cleaned up tomorrow.

Can't wait to go again!
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Postby Troyk » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:15 pm

Good read Ponga! The big lesson you learnt was that bad camping experiences are next trips campfire stories. :grin:

Mind you I reckon thats the first time I have seen wind blowing in a still image! ::()

PS You can buy sand pegs like the one below. Common ones are usually yellow. There is also a new peg of the market, thats blue and looks like a large corkscrew.

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Postby Komodo » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:35 am

Sounds like a good trip all in all. Those falls look beautiful!

As Troy said "bad camping experiences are next trips campfire stories" its so true. The number of things I've learned over the years (particularly in the last couple since really setting up my own gear) is invaluble (along with the helpful and freindly advice from this forum).
Definately get some sand pegs I borrowed some from a freind and I was supprised at how well they work I need to get some myself now as I found out on the weekend there is a LOT of sand around the grampians and 6mm steel rod pegs really isnt helpful in these situations.

So whens the next trip planed for?
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Postby cokebottle » Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:40 am

Thanks for the report Ponga, great pictures too! you will be talking about that trip for years to come, like when I took my fiancee camping for her first & we had a tin of beetroot tip over in the tent in the wind :shock:

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Postby Activity_Dept » Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:21 pm

Fantastic report, pics and story Ponga. Thank you for that, you really should take it up for a living, quite entertaining... We will have to get the video thing going in here one day so we can be right there with ya. I really need to get over to NZ and have a look I hear (and now see) its beautiful.

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Postby Ponga » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:33 pm

Thanks for your kind comments. I have seen the yellow plastic pegs and never really figured what they were for. So like you all say, we'll put that one down to experience and be better prepared another time.

You're right, we do live in a beautiful part of the world and even from the cities you don't have to go very far to find solitude and magnificent scenery. That's one reason for us wanting to take up camping, as I really feel we don't make half enough effort to get out there and enjoy it. Those few photos don't really do it any justice, I have never seen the hills looking so brown, dry and dusty as they are at present. Six weeks back the hills would have been lush and green.

We're hoping to get out again in a two or three weeks time, once the holidays are over and the kids get back to school, places will be a lot less busy and we will get a better choice of campsites.
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Postby amanda » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:53 pm

Very much looking forward to another interesting camping tale then.
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Postby Komodo » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:00 pm

And here was I thinking those hills look very lush and green :shock:
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Postby Blue Bravo » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:53 pm

Great report mate.

There was a thread here some time back with camping horror stories. That produced a few funny tales.

Just get in one perfect weekend and your hooked :grin:
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Postby Galvin » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:48 am

Hi ponga, im from nz, but live in australia. I used to live in hamilton, which is not far from raglan. Raglan is a wild place most of the time, very pretty, but very wild. It is well known for great surfing as well :?# I never really been camping, i just got some gear so im about to try, i think i might pick somewhere "easy" for my first try.
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Postby GypsyLady » Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:46 am

amanda wrote:Very much looking forward to another interesting camping tale then.



GREAT to hear that a few small trials did not put you off camping Ponga and in the overall scheme of things, they were only small trials.

Your set up looked pretty neat to me, look forward to seeing and hearing more from you in the times ahead.

Cheers Gypsy...
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Postby Ponga » Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:14 pm

Galvin wrote:Hi ponga, im from nz, but live in australia. I used to live in hamilton, which is not far from raglan. Raglan is a wild place most of the time, very pretty, but very wild. It is well known for great surfing as well :?# I never really been camping, i just got some gear so im about to try, i think i might pick somewhere "easy" for my first try.
Galvin.



Hey Galvin, I'm sure you will enjoy your camping too, that was the frst time for us at Raglan - we liked it there.
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Postby Ponga » Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:21 pm

gypsylady wrote:GREAT to hear that a few small trials did not put you off camping Ponga and in the overall scheme of things, they were only small trials.

Your set up looked pretty neat to me, look forward to seeing and hearing more from you in the times ahead.

Cheers Gypsy...


Thanks Gypsy, nope, it didn't put us off at all, although everyone told us we would go just the once and never want to go again. Just to prove them wrong, we will soldier on. We have booked two days of work, in two weeks time and we're going for a longer (3 night) weekend. 8)
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