When I left a very misty Hamilton on Friday morning, most of the traffic was heading towards me. I must admit to having a snigger as I considered the fact that most of these cars were taking people to work and school whilst I was heading to THE BEACH!!!
On my arrival I decided to go check out the beach and the Retro Caravans as I knew it would be pointless trying to do this on Saturday. One I would be busy, and two, Whangamata would be bulging at the seams with PEOPLE!! The photo above is taken in a subdivision called Beverly Hills, yes we have a Bev Hills in NZ, who knew?? This shows the Estuary part of Whangamata.
The Caravans were all camped up at the area school on the playing field. The weather was grey and drizzling, but they still all looked adorable.
I would say typical camping weather!! How to pick a favourite when all of them were so gorgeous.
From there I took the back roads to the beach, but the main Esplanade and Park were roped off as the cars were gathering for a drive to the lovely Onemana (said as 'own ee mar nah') Beach up the road. The road leading to the Clark Island part of the beach was bliss, no cars and where I went and parked.
Selfie in the sand hills
And of course there was even time to pop in to an Op Shop!
I scored a park around the corner from my sisters shop which I thought was bloody convenient! It is at the shop I based myself for the day.
Perfect place to watch the world go by in the rain. It didn't take long for the cars to start driving past again and again. Oh to own the one and only petrol station in town for the week while the Hop is on.
A little bit of rain didn't stop the gorgeous ladies from wandering about. This lady looked amazing, sorry I only snapped her from behind, but how fab does she look?
The Boys in Blue were in town.
Believe me it was so good to be able to retreat to the air conditioned shop to get away from the smell of petrol and the noise. All men seem to turn into little boys and love the smell and the noise.
After dinner we went back down town and watched the Friday night antics, as you do when you go to the hop! The shop window looked great at night and it was good seeing people stopping to have a look.
Even though it was still raining crowds of people lined the main street to watch the cars drive up and down the road. There is a liquor ban and plenty of police and security to keep it all under control. Some probably don't like that but it makes it much nicer for families and the people that live in Whangamata. Years ago before the liquor ban things got out of control a few times with drunken peeps making town a bit of a mess. So go the liquor ban and the police being there.
On our way home we stopped to watch the Westpac rescue Helicopter land to take someone off to Hospital. Amazing service that both my sister and I donate to on a yearly basis. You never know when you or someone in your family will need this service that is funded by donations.
Saturday morning the mist was hanging around the hills and there was Friday nights rain still lingering on the flowers. The day looked promising. But alas the rain returned.
Before the parade of cars started the Rock and Roll dancers took to the street and some Roller Derby girls. Loads of swishing full circle skirts, tulle petticoats and bobby socks and wiggle dresses and heels.
Then it all started, cars, vans, hot rods, trucks, you name it, it was there, and of course loads of gorgeous ladies dressed to kill.
These three ladies, The Pink Ladies go every year. I was chatting to them on Friday and they are changing their look next year to something Foxy.
This family was adorable,
check out the pram!
Ladies of all ages.
Combies and Convertibles!
Some of the many bikers.
Dudes and small dogs.
So many beautifully dressed woman to watch and photograph, I call it people watching, the lads at work call it purving! But I said I people watch and that they would just plain old Purve!!
Sunglasses and smiles.
Spots and flowers.
The very lovely Jill on the right and her friend in Jills shop called Funky Junction. She bought 6 retro cane baskets off me on Friday!!
By 3 o'clock I was done. So I said my goodbyes to my sister and Whangamata, ditched my petticoat, and headed on home. The traffic was bumper to bumper all the way from Whangamata to Waihi and it rained the entire way making it the slowest drive I have ever had. I stopped in the Karangahake Gorge to stretch my legs.
I was inappropriately dressed for a walk so I only ventured on to the swing bridge to take this panoramic photo. It is stunning there and always busy with people walking and biking the tracks.
This is an information board about the gorge, but not sure how much of it you will be able to read. The rest of my journey home was uneventful, just the way I like it. I take the back road, through the countryside as it isn't as busy and it is ever so picturesque.
So another Beach Hop is over, and I know I will continue to go back. I love how people embrace the event and dress up and enjoy themselves. If you have never been, and you live in NZ, you should consider penciling it into your diary for next year. You don't have to love cars, just go and enjoy the atmosphere and one of the most beautiful places in our country, Whangamata.