My husband & I arrived late in the evening (we had been exploring Hotwater beach & Cathedral Cove & the time had gotten away on us!) the area was really busy as a "Snorkel Trail" had been organised through the marine reserve & thus all the holiday accommodation had been booked out.
We had made an inaccurate assumption that seeing as it was the "shoulder season" & the weather was poor, with gale-force winds predicted, we would have no problem finding a tent-site. Sidenote: we were aware of the weather conditions before we left Tauranga but chose to ignore them, as it was the only time we could both get off work to go camping & Camping We Would Go, regardless!!
We decided to wing it and drove into Whitianga without a prior accommodation booking, we pulled into the Mercury Bay Holiday Park, through the gates which were luckily still open and drove up to reception, which was closed. This was to be expected at such a late hour, luckily there was a note on the door instructing people to drive further into the campground and to choose a caravan or tent site & bed down for the night & catchup with reception in the morning.
So we drove down to the tent-site where we had pitched our tent about a year ago. We started to erect our tent in the dark and were rescued from this tedious task by the campground manager coming down to see us - we were advised that gale-force winds were predicted for the evening ahead & had already hit the Westcoast & might be heading our way, therefore, we were given the alternative option of bedding down in one of the cabins for the night (at a greatly reduced price, considering the checkin time!) being a bit tired from the day's adventures, we felt this was our best course of action.
We were given keys for the bathroom and toilet and shown to a most comfortable, clean cabin with the luxury of its own kitchen facilities. The large, spotlessly clean bathroom was shared with the other cabin residents, however, the cabins were a bit quiet so we had the bathroom to ourself the first two nights. After a lovely hot shower each (On a long 7 minute timer & included in the price) we decided against pitching our tent and went fishing instead:))
To cut a long story short.. the gale never appeared except for a few spots of rain (we used this time to play pool, airhockey & watch TV/internet in their gamesroom area). Most of our time was spent exploring & fishing - caught a massive Terakihi second day into our trip, cleaned it in the large fish-cleaning bay at the park & cooked it on one of their BBQs where we also steamed our Pippis.
Another awesome stay at this holiday park - even better than the first time we were here, we also really appreciated great security at the campground & slept easy knowing our vehicle was safely behind gates & under security lighting.
We will definitely be back. Thanks to the campground owners for going the extra mile too, they were so friendly & helpful and went above & beyond to ensure our stay was enjoyable and our cabin was absolute bliss for the 6 days we stayed there - all the creature comforts of home;)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A family friendly park, where memories are made. Whitianga towns closest Qualmark 4 Star park. Just 400m to restaurants, shops and an easy walk to wharf, harbour and beautiful Buffalo Beach. Set in peaceful park-like surroundings. Facilities include seasonal outdoor swimming pool, children's play area, BBQs and outdoor dining area, clean communal kitchens/laundries and ablutions, broadband and wireless internet, separate boat park/wash/fish cleaning (ramp 300m), TV/games room, guest phone, linen hire available. Accommodation options to suit every budget - from fully equipped 3-star kitchen units to self-contained units, cabins, and 4-star chalets. ... more less
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