After our motel stay, we now feel refreshed enough to spend a bit of time camping in the wild. Or the not-so-wild. In New Zealand, you’re never very far from houses and streets, even at a lovely beach-side spot like Rangiputa.

Puwheke Marginal Strip at Rangiputa, Karikari Peninsula, May 2012
Our camping site at the edge of Rangiputa gives beautiful views of both Rangaunu Harbour and the Pacific Ocean.

When we came last year, we spied dolphins chasing fish for breakfast. This year, we didn’t encounter wildlife, but our girls enjoyed free-ranging on the beach.

Delaney looking out to sea, May 2012
Delaney is confident and calm in her extra-large backyard. As long as she knows where the truck is, she's always at home.

The girls spent their days collecting shells, drawing in the sand and discovering hidden tracks in the bush. David and I enjoyed meeting the other campers, though I was disinclined to ask for tours of their well-finished motorhomes.

David with a fire, talking to John, May 2012
Another camper — John — stops to talk to David at the beach.

It’s nice to camp together as a family again. We have been blessed by lovely weather and feel even more rejuvenated than after the motel stay!