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Ward Beach & Rarangi

Getting to the South Island & Ward beach

We packed up, left our hometown and hit the road, one way to the Wellington Ferry!

Everything was going smooth til we hit the outskirts of Wellington and a 1hr + traffic jam... that meant  5hrs sleep ahead before boarding the ferry!

The next morning, we joined the queue for the ferry at 5.30am, loaded in, popped Ridge in a kennel (in case he puked) and enjoyed the early morning ride.

Our first “proper” stop was Ward Beach Reserve, a coastal stop on the edge of a farm. It was bliss, with only a few other campers coming and going over the three days we parked up. On the first night, we joined in “Happy Hour” circle with some oldies... not sure it’s our kind of thing- but it might be a motorhome people thing!! Asides from oldie chit-chat, the beach scenery was fab and most days the crab pot fishing boats were pushed out with bulldozers at sunrise. A long drop toilet and solar showers sufficed- you’d be amazed at how well you can shower taking turns sharing a 15L solar shower! Wind and rain set in for 2-3 days so we watched our little solar powered TV and read. 

Rarangi DOC camp

Next up, we headed back up SH1, and into Blenheim for fresh water, supplies, laundry and WiFi. It’s actually quite a task navigating a town you don’t know, towing a 20ft (7m) caravan and trying to give instructions via a slow google map in a busy town! We think we know Blenheim relatively well now- we went to super cheap auto 3x hahah!! (But we have a water filter and some 12v LED strip lighting for solar use).

We decided to head into Rarangi - a really neat beach front DOC Campground just out of Blenheim. The ranger let us have Ridge off-lead, there were flush toilets, cold showers, and heaps of parking space. There’s a little cave with glow worms, a gravel bike path and heaps of tracks up the mountain to White’s Bay, plus walking along the pebble beach really works out your legs! We went for a drive up to White’s Bay (we had to haha!) a popular little sandy beach. After wandering the bay and rock hopping, we jumped into the Ute and continued driving up the windy bay road... found a 4x4 track so of course, Clinty thought it would be great to have a looksie - it was steep, fun, Ridge got his first 4x4 taster and we got mint views across the bays.