Our Wonderful Stay at a Unique ‘One Careful Owner’ Unique Camp
On the shores of Lake Manapouri, we pulled into – on the outside – a perfectly ‘normal’ looking campsite. I take a step back here, dear reader. The night or so before we move, Bear and I have a ‘site meeting’ – literally in this case. Before every project either of us do on Beez, whether it be decorating, moving something, positioning something or a job that requires more than a few bob spent, there is a site meeting. Being aboard Mable is no different, route planning, sightseeing, bimbling and campsite selection. We always look first at free sites, if there are none available or it is just too cold for us wusses, we look to see what is near where we want to be. Site chosen, Bear takes the Wicked Witch to bed and programmes in her new co-ordinates. That done, off we go and I sit back to watch how things unfold between Bear and the Wicked Witch, mostly she gets called an old bag but sometimes.......
Lake Manapouri has one road in on the 99, and one road out on the 95. The road lies next to the lake and people come here for a quiet break in one of the several motels or camp like us. There are no free sites, no town just a couple of shops, no fancy hotels or restaurants. The other reason to come here is to be near Pearl Harbour, the setting off place for the ferry across the lake which deposits you at a coach to go over the hill to catch a ferry to visit the Doubtful Sound, our reason to be here.
So as is usual, Bear opened the site meeting with the date he had booked us on our trip, then looked up the campsites. He read the following out:-
Motels & Holiday Park has been run by the Nicholson family since they
immigrated to New Zealand from the U.S.A in 1970.
Having been told the best scenery was in the South Island they headed south in the trusty VW Camper, and found their true home on the shores of beautiful Lake Manapouri. The 10 acre campground they acquired soon expanded to include Motels, the style of which harked back to those happy days travelling through Austria, Bavaria and Switzerland.
A propensity for collecting saw Morris Minors popping up like so many mushrooms. Exotic trees and pinball machines gradually multiplied.
40+ years on, what keeps Joelle Nicholson in this business is the great enjoyment she finds in chatting with people from all over the world and sharing with them what her family have discovered and created in this rather special corner of the world.
We drove in to the park and had the pick of spots, we turned just after the shower block.
The Morris line up did not disappoint.
So many, including the Police and the RAF.
Chainsaw trimming and a working girl waiting patiently.
Amazing, she’s a pick-up in lovely condition, with a matching trailer.
Just look at the shelter for the finished logs, wow.
Mabel's nose just sticks out behind this chalet, this one is a double.
Opposite, one looked very Alpine. All were individual and immaculate, these have lake views.
Lake Manapouri is across the very quiet road.
We went for our daily bimble and returned through the side entrance for more exploring.
Quite normal, until you get closer, that is.
Never know what’s next.
More ladies dotted about the place.
Some ladies are dotted about amongst the chalets.
All shapes and sizes.
Games and ‘out of service’ juke box, as was the wi-fi. The owners reminded us of Ma Baker and her boys, one of whom had disconnected the wi-fi.
Down the back we found our first One Carefully Owned awning and an elder statesman.
The view from down the back of the camp – quite something.
This beauty has to be singled out, especially when Bear posed as Farmer Giles.
What a beauty and I really loved the _expression_ Bear pulled when he had to figure out how to get off. Grrrrrr.
A lady, what joy, but the Morries have to have the last picture.
ALL IN ALL I NOMINATE THE WHOLE PLACE AS A ‘OCO’ STRAIGHT TO THIS YEARS FINALS
AS MY FIRST FOUR-WHEEL CAR WAS A MORRIS, I SECOND THAT NOMINATION