Campervans, tandem bikes, bocce and beaches, part 2.

(A continuation of the previous post)

Our journey Out East took us to the destination of Gisborne, where we pitched the tents for a few days and were able to relax and bask in the beautiful surrounds.

Gisborne, situated on Poverty Bay, is a small city of approximately 34,000 people.  It is cute, with an easy-to-navigate town centre, with a small town feel but with the conveniences of most cities.

We played bocce til the sun went down.  Literally.  Many a game of bocce was played on the beach, and many a sunset enjoyed, with the fun ending only when it became too dark to see the pickle.

One day in Gisborne, we decided to rent some tandem bikes from our awesome and highly recommended campground, Waikanae Beach Top 10 Holiday Park.  The boys steered and the girls provided the power from the back.  Once we got the hang of it, we enjoyed a nice cruise through the town and along the water. After a visit to James Cooke and a few hours of cruising, our butts were pretty relieved when we made the call to return them a bit early and head for the beach.

Amy and I were on a quest to find the coolest campervans, or should I say caravans, in the various campgrounds we stayed at.  The owners of these lovely caravans were kind enough to let us snap a few pics in front of them.

Brendon and Matt braved the cold, pounding water and slippery rocks and walked in behind the Rere Falls, a waterfall about 47km northeast of Gisborne.


A gem of a find and a neat experience we shared was a rock slide near the Rere Falls.  A handful of others were there, with their inner tubes and boogie boards, to partake in the fun of sliding down the mainly smooth but somewhat bumpy rock face into the lagoon below.  Brendon, Matt, and Amy all gave the boogie board a shot, but weighing the risks and seeing the bumps and bruises gained by the others, I opted for the smoother and more cushiony ride of the inner tube… it was a great time.

We visited a superb winery called The Milton Vineyard.  Millton produces a label of wine we are quite fond of called “Crazy By Nature,” a label that comes from their dedication to sticking to their beliefs in maintaining their organic means to grow and maintain their crops.  We enjoyed an excellent tasting experience by the very welcoming and knowledgeable host running the cellar door.

On the journey home, we made a stop in Rotorua, (otherwise known as Roto Vegas), for the Cairnses to zorb!  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this past time, “zorbing” is the term given for the activity of rolling down a hillside while inside a large, inflated ball.  Matt and Amy were whisked up the hillside in a vehicle, then escorted into a ball of transparent plastic, which was then filled with numerous litres of water.  The two then rolled and sloshed their way down a zig-zag pathway carved in the hillside before making the big plunge down the main slope.  While the experience was quick and slightly pricy, the Cairnses deemed it to be worth it.  Maybe, just maybe, the Neilsons, too, will take on the zorb one day.

Our time of campervans, tandem bikes, bocce and beaches with the Cairns’ will always be remembered and cherished, and I think we successfully came away with a story or two to entertain the grandkids with.