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Travel and Adventure

Motor caravaners have new park

The Chairman of the Hauraki-Coromandel Branch of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, Murray Bennett, had a rather auspicious event to lead and host on Saturday afternoon, 16 December in Whitianga

Mike cut the ribbon to open their new park located in flat open ground land at the end of Debenham Drive, beside SH25A backing onto the Whitianga Airport.


A good number of motor caravans were parked up, a marquee well-resourced for meals was set up for a BBQ and many of the freedom motor caravaners were enjoying the new location.

The previous member-only location at 301 Joan Gaskell Drive which they had enjoyed for many years was generously leased to them by Whitianga Waterways Ltd. (WWL).  In June 2023, WWL notified all members that they would soon begin to develop the land that NZMCA was using. This meant finding a new park.


Since 2016, tens of thousands of NZMCA members have enjoyed exploring the Coromandel Peninsula and attending local events, while basing themselves at the NZMCA In Whitianga. This privilege was only made possible thanks to the generosity of Whitianga Waterways Ltd and hard work from the local area members.


Recently, the Association received approval to relocate the park and once again it is through Whitianga Waterways Limited that this new park is available. Thanks to the Chairman, Murray Bennett, and his local helpers, the new site was ready for members to park on from Saturday, 9 December but officially opened Saturday, 16 December.   


The need to buy land

The association has got 58 parks that they own or lease. The biggest thing we want to do, and we need to do, says Murray “is we need to buy land.   We are looking to buy some land, about two acres, so we can put up our Park. We are all self-contained. It’s a way of life. We don’t need toilets we don’t need street lighting. Most of us are in bed by 8.00pm at night.  We aren’t late night party goers. We check every night that everyone is self-contained.

“We are so thankful to Whitianga Waterways,” says Murray, “But we would still love to buy land in Whitianga. If anyone around knows of some land available, please get in touch. Land is getting dearer and dearer and we will be pushed out further and further.


“The big thing is that this town has lost so much money because of the loss of the road,” says Murray. “We have opened our new park just in time for the Taparahi Bridge to be completed and SH25A opened.  I know four people who have bought sections and built houses on them. They have come here with their motor/caravan and had a look. They have seen what a beautiful place this is.”


Over 50,500 members have stayed in Whitianga since 2016. If they all spend approximately $100 per day (and many spend much more – they love the clothing stores and dining in the cafes and restaurants, glass bottom boat tours and petrol stations), the amount of money put into the local economy is over $5million.


Murray says they have four or five years to enjoy this new park, but the search for land needs to be achieved in that time. When The Informer left the gathering, this industrious group were ready to light up the BBQ for a community feast. Everyone was in good spirits enjoying this beautiful part of the world and the lifestyle of being a motor caravaner.

Caption: Murray Bennett, above, chairman of the Hauraki-Coromandel Branch of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, cuts the ribbon to their new park.