Camping at Hanmer River: Picturing Canterbury

Camping at Hanmer River 1958. Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ CCL-PH16-080.

Family camping at Hanmer River, Christmas/New Year 1958.  Annual event with often three generations present.

Do you have any photographs of camping in Canterbury? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

The Discovery Wall is a large interactive exhibition which allows several people to simultaneously explore images and stories of the history of the people and places of Christchurch. It is viewable on the ground floor of Tūranga, 60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch, New Zealand. Images displayed on the Wall can also be found on the Discovery Wall website.

Have you tried glamping yet?

Cover of Out of Africa“You should blog about glamping,” she said. “It’s all the rage now.”

I know I’m not as cutting edge as I might once have been, but it isn’t often I am so completely out of the loop that I don’t even recognise a word. And what a word. Glamping. Ugly as, formed from the unlikely coupling of glamorous and camping.

Glamping is all the rage, and it’s even got as far as New Zealand. But this is not number-eight-wire, she’ll-be-right-mate camping (aka Real Camping), where you do more with less: pitch tents, fend off rising rivers, fumble to drop loos at midnight. Instead Glamping is where you do less (actually nothing at all really, someone else is taking care of all of that) with much much more. Think artfully draped canvas on your luxury tent, G&T’s lurking behind every bamboo screen and gourmet meals created from the animals you have just observed at the waterhole.

The library, of course, has resources on all types of camping:

So the jury is still out on glamping for me. But one thing is for sure, it will be a low point in my career if two of the least attractive words in the English language these days combine, and I become known as the glamping blogger.

Last minute holiday plans

Each year, along with half of Christchurch, we go up to Golden Bay and over to Totaranui to camp.  This year was to be the most wonderful escape from battered old Christchurch, and, Imagealthough I have the utmost empathy for the people of Golden Bay, I can’t help but feel somewhat selfishly miserable that this destination is now inaccessible due to major road damage.

If like me you have started the search for a new location and are feeling somewhat overwhelmed, then the library website can come to the rescue with various links to websites that may offer some hope.

Books too could prove helpful, so don’t forget Baches and holiday homes to rent by Mark and Elizabeth Greening, and Camping New Zealand by Mark Airey.

If we end up in Christchurch, then I will definitely be checking out the Places to go links on The Pulse, and the Christmas is family time page, which is a great source of things to do over the holiday season.

Cool caravans

CoverI love camping.  However I am not talking the small tent, one burner and a torch variety.  Oh no,  I like to camp in comfort.  I have comfy chairs, a lounger, gas fridge and a lovely big tent which becomes a home away from home.

At present though I have a yearning for a caravan, and the reason that this has come about is because of this book:  My cool caravan : an inspirational guide to retro-style caravans by Jane Field-Lewis. Filled with the cutest and snuggest little caravans, it is enough to bring out the traveller in all of us.

However the cost of a caravan is prohibitive at the moment so I will be content with my trusty tent.

Discovering a new camping cookbook has helped ease the pain. The camper van cookbook: life on 4 wheels, cooking on 2 rings by Martin Dorey has some great cooking ideas for both inside and out, and a trusty old favourite Blue sky kitchen : creative cookery for Kiwi campers by Nicola Saker is always a good standby.  Damper over the fire anyone?

Camping a la side-car – Image of the week

A camping holiday ideal for health and pleasure : touring by motorcycle, unpacking side-car in front of the tent. 1928.

A camping holiday ideal for health and pleasure : touring by motorcycle, unpacking side-car in front of the tent.

Source: The weekly press, 1 Feb. 1928, p. 32

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Also contact us if you have any further information on any of the images. Want to see more? You can browse our collection here.

Summer camping holidays

Summer beach holidays are a classic part of Kiwi family life. Each year we get the obligatory television news interview with campers evacuated from camping grounds or visits to classic camping ground destinations, yet each year more close as land becomes more valuable for development. Families are finding themselves shorter on cash, going back to basics at DOC camp grounds, spending their summer holidays in the same way they would have with their own parents.

Do you remember when camping was a white and green canvas tent with the wind flapping round the poles, water heated over the fire in a thermette, Alison’s camping blog entry shows what it was all about. Christmas dinner was cold mutton ham hung up in a safe under the nearest tree with Edmonds Christmas pud and custard heated over the fire for dessert. Trifle for Boxing Day if you where lucky and Mum managed to get the jelly to set. Cake tins of Christmas cake and shortbread had to be filled to feed the hordes of hungry children who always multiplied at meal times!

Today’s families are no different with a resurgence of families returning to camping holidays at the beach and lakes. Here’s some tips on finding camping destinations for todays families:

Try our Camp site directories to find your camping destination and make your preparations with our Camping handbooks.

Follow the links on our New Zealand Travel and tourism webpages, Jasons Camping and Holiday parks guide and the AA’s database of Holiday Parks and Camping Grounds. or try the Department of Conservation’s Places to stay pages for freedom camp sites.

Do share with us your favourite summer family camping spot.

Here’s a list beach ideas to fill those endless summer days when they come!

  • Beach volleyball – All you need is a net to enjoy yourselves.
  • Cricket – Beach cricket go and bowl them over.
  • Touch rugby – Grab a ball and hit the sand for a game.
  • Frisbee – This classic is fun for all the family.
  • Surfing – or catch a wave on the boogie board.
  • Sand sculpture – Let the beach inspire you.
  • Fishing –Trail a line and see what is biting or chase cocklebullies in the lagoon.

Should you need more inspiration try our Family recreation and Children’s outdoor recreation books for all sorts of activities to fill the summer months or the The outdoor handy book : for playground, field, and forest for father son bonding. Once you’re exhausted from the swimming and walking then it’s time to read in the shade try these sandcastle books, beach stories and camping tales for the kids.

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Image of the week

It’s starting to feel like that time of year again…

Camping at Goose Bay. 1955.

Camping at Goose Bay

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