Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rerewhakaaitu Domain

Well its been a while because it has taken me some time to get my latest Vodafone mobile broadband stick to get itself together.

Now that I am up and running….

I have been to my first official rally. It is the Freewheelers rally at Rerewhakaaitu Domain. For those of you who don’t know where that is, it is at the base of Mt Tarawera. There is a lovely lake called…Rerewhakaaitu Lake.

Freewheelers are a loose group of single people who are motorhomers. Some say very loose but we will see.

I arrived on Friday after a trip from Horahora Doman where I spent a lovely peaceful night (after the water skiers had gone home). I paused in Rotorua for a quick trip to get a piece of caravan awning rail attached to my awning so that I can attach a side wall.

A bit of minor mods to do so I can slide it through smoothly but works well.

So Friday night at ‘Happy Hour’ I got to meet a large number of Freewheelers, there were around 25 vehicles on site for the rally so it was a good turn out. They were lovely people and made me feel welcome. Friday night after dinner we had a talk from a couple of farming families, giving us the history of the area which was fascinating.

It was opened up in the 1950’s for ballot for returning servicemen and there were a large number of small farms that were set up cheaply for the families. These continue through to today, but most have amalgamated and turned into larger farms and most of the community has disappeared.  What was once a husband and wife team milking 90 cows,  is now a business with up to 4 workers milking up to 750 cows. They also talked about the issues with the soils and the like as there are three distinct soil types in the area, all related to the volcanic activity in the area. with pumice, ash and very fertile areas, depending which eruption of which mountain is on the top. Tarawera and Taupo have both erupted depositing different things over the landscape.

So Saturday was a fun day with a bit of kayaking in the morning…

We met up with two of the Freewheelers in the middle of the lake trawling for trout. They had caught two rainbow hens and by the end of the day had five on board.

In the afternoon I put the catamaran up and went for some great trips across the lake and one of the Freewheelers Cliff also went for a sail and enjoyed it very much. It was Cliff’s second rally so we had a bit in common. He is in a cute little 4 metre caravan, with mountain bike on the back and comes from Whakatane.

So Saturday night was a bit of a quiz night with one of the rally goers on the keyboard for dancing later but I made up a fourth for a game of canasta. It was a great game and swung back and forth, with my partner and me winning the first game and then the other couple winning the second at the last minute. A great night with some great people.

So this morning we had morning tea and closed the rally officially and I won a raffle! A lovely package of grocery bits and pieces.

So I am going to stay on tonight and then move across the lake to one of the two Dept. of Conservation camps sites and stay  here for a while. It is such a beautiful place.