No Wind Please

Whenuakite Travel Blog

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Our campgrounds at Seabreeze. Our tent is in the foreground on the right, and our neighbours have the large blue family tent behind it.
We arrived at the Seabreeze camp grounds in Whenuakite yesterday after some crazy Olympic grocery shopping at the New World in Whitianga.  Our friends in Matarangi gave us a lift into town and we decided to stock up on groceries since we were heading out to the middle of nowhere.  Whitianga was home to perhaps the only large grocery store in the entire Coromandel Peninsula, and seeing as all of Auckland was in the Coromandel on holiday, I had the pleasure of grocery shopping with them.  All at the same time.  I've never seen a grocery store with every register open and line ups stretching all the way to the back wall.  It was insanity!  It was ridiculously difficult to pick up groceries through the throngs of people queued down every aisle.  Every single aisle!  I asked one of the clerks there if it was like this everyday during the holidays and she just looked at me and said "EVERY day".  What should have been a quick 15 minute errand turned into a 45 minute scrum of intensity.  And these people LEFT the city to get away from the crowds!

Anyway, I digress.  We managed to hitch a lift to the campgrounds with a nice kiwi couple who had tricked out a van into a bed on wheels - a very popular method of travel in NZ.  They were spending several weeks exploring New Zealand and were an all round nice and friendly couple who actually drove us into the camp grounds itself. 

Some observations on the camp grounds.  My expectations of what a family campground is have been formed by my experiences camping in Canadian camp grounds, specifically in Ontario.  Typically, when you pay for a spot at a campground in Ontario, it's a patch of land among some trees - sort of like they took a forest and removed groups of trees here and there to allow for narrow dirt roads for car access, and enough clearing to comfortably fit two tents.  My experiences have also taught me to expect a picnic table and a bonfire pit at every camp site.  Not so much here in NZ.  Here in NZ, your spot of land was once a farm or field.  And no trees.  So your square patch of land is shoulder to shoulder with your neighbour's patch of land.  It was just a small field of closely pitched tents so not only did you lack much privacy, you can also hear every conversation in the surrounding sites.  And there was no bonfire pit.  And there was no picnic bench.  No worries, there were plenty of plastic tables and chairs in the common area so we snatched a few to make our lonely little tent look more lively. 

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, it's just that my expectations were compared to what people expect in NZ.  I should have known better.  But on the plus side, the Seabreeze was decked out as as backpacker too.  One thing you don't get in Canadian campgrounds is an indoor communal kitchen and lounge.  Sweet AS!!!  Got to love access to a fridge!  And bad late night movies on tv.  Hmm, scratch that last one.  I would prefer spending my nights relaxing next to a campfire toasting marshmellows on a stick instead of watching Nicholas Cage in National Treasures 1 and 2. 

Well, the owners of the Seabreeze were very nice people.  They provided free spades if you're heading to Hot Water Beach (see next entries), lots of advice, and plenty o' smiles.  Too bad they built their waste disposal pump in the MIDDLE OF THE CAMP GROUNDS.  Why smack in the middle of the campgrounds?  Aren't there regulations about putting those things on the edge of the property?  You know what I'm talking about right?  Those waste pumps that motor homes connect with in order to dump out the contents of their septic tanks.  MIDDLE OF THE CAMP GROUNDS!  It was basically horrendous to be down wind of that thing when someone was hooked up to the pump.  Did I mention that WE were in the field downwind of that pump?  See, you understand now why I watched those Nicholas Cage movies in the lounge.
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Our campgrounds at Seabreeze.  Our…
Our campgrounds at Seabreeze. Ou…
photo by: Connie