Bikes, beaches and better beds for camping

By: Jo Lomax, Photography by: Scott Vickers, Marnie Sutherland and DOC


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Camping during the Christmas break was not on the radar for Trade-A-Boat’s sales manager Jo Lomax, but when a friend suggested a long bike ride she couldn’t resist and the long-term caravanner is now a canvas convert.

Bikes, beaches and better beds for camping
Bikes, beaches and better beds for camping

"The sales pitch from my friend was essentially 'pack everything and we'll take our four motorbikes for four days of long drops, cold showers and tents'. I was shocked at the thought of it. I've never slept in a tent in my life. But when she threw in the words 'alcohol', 'good friends', 'beach' and 'great bike rides', I decided I was up for the adventure. It was the best holiday ever. And the tent site cost the grand sum of $70 for the whole week."

Jo and her friends camped at Uretiti, a 300-site coastal camp administered by the Department of Conservation, abutting Bream Bay. The camp is just five-kilometres north of Waipu and 30-kilometres south of Whangarei. The campsite backs onto the sand dunes on the edge of Bream Bay.

Jo says it was an idyllic place to camp for the New Year holiday. "The campground was very full but we found a place on the edge of the family section. There was a great atmosphere and the local fire-brigade came through in the evening selling raffle tickets for meat packs.

"We went for lots of rides to the surrounding area, or just stayed close to camp to sunbathe, body surf or swim. The showers were cold but that wasn't an issue. They were really clean, as were the long-drops. There was no smell at all. We loved it so much we decided to double the time of our stay from four days to eight.

"It was no problem getting supplies on our road trips. There's a fish 'n' chip shop and Chinese takeaways, and a supermarket at Ruakaka just 10 minutes away. We also did road trips to Tutukaka where there's great shops that sell seafood or roast lamb pies. Mangawhai Heads is also close enough for comprehensive shopping and there's heaps to do in the surrounding area."

See below for the Department of Conservation's information on the Mangawhai Coastal Walk and surrounding area.

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Jo found Kathmandu's self-inflating mat a real treat for getting a good night's sleep. She was surprised something so compact and light worked so well and is now looking to invest in one for herself.

Win a good night's sleep when camping!

We have a Kathmandu self-inflating mat hike 38 (RRP $159.98) to give away! See page 62 in April's issue of MCD for more information on this fabulous product, then enter by emailing pstavelli@bauertrader.co.nz with your name and address in the body of the email, and get it to us by 5pm, 22 March, 2013.

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