Little Waipa Reserve

If you turn off State Highway 1 at the point where it vears away from the Waikato River and heads west to Tirau you will find yourself on the Horahora Road. This follows the eastern bank down towards Arapuni. About half way along is a large reserve on the edge of the river, with a nice launching ramp, so that’s where we headed.

It’s been months since we’ve been away in the motorhome, or been kayaking, so we were keen to do both last weekend. As usual, we were on the road late on Friday morning, and got all the way to the Kopu Bridge before stopping for lunch.

We were over that far east because we decided to spend the night at Athenree so that we could soak in the hot pools. After we had got ourselves set up in the camping ground we went for a walk around the coast before relaxing in the warm water.

After breakfast we drove back west into the Waikato. Ont of the things I enjoy about letting Google Maps do the navigating is that we get to drive down all sorts of small country roads that we wouldn’t normally consider.

I had been hoping for fine weather, but there were a few showers about, so we ended up wearing our waterproof jackets for most of our kayak. We could see that there was quite a current so we sensibly paddled upstream for about an hour before stopping on the opposite bank for a picnic lunch in the sun.

We continued a little further, but it was very slow progress against the strong flow (presumably Lake Arapuni further up river was full so they were letting it down the spill-way). When we go tired we paddled across to the east bank again and drifted back to the campsite.

Our adventure doesn’t end there. On Sunday we drove back to Auckland – with a stop for lunch at Mercer – and parked up on Westhaven’s Z-Pier. Self-contained campers can pay $20 per 24 hrs and stay for up to 4 nights. We were there because we had tickets to see Bob Dylan.

Felicity has some colleagues who live on Quay St and when they heard we would be walking past on our way to the Spark Arena they invited us to leave an hour earlier and stop for drinks and nibbles.

After the concert we enjoyed a pleasant walk back across town to our home for the night. I remembered a previous event at the Arena when we spent almost an hour trying to get out of a parking building. Even though it Z-Pier is quite close to the motorway, it was just a rumble in the background most of the time, and did not disturb our sleep.

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