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Site (proposal) - Hunua Falls

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The proposed event site is Hunua Falls Camp (203 Falls Road, Hunua, Auckland). It's an extremely well-appointed, well-maintained campsite, with a large hall, plentiful accommodation, good facilities for SCA use, and beautiful and extensive grounds.

We ran our first substantial, weekend-long event at this site in June 2013, then another for May Crown in 2015, and in both cases had extremely positive feedback from those who attended.

Directions

Directions from North and South, and from airport; maps.

Features

  • comfortable bunkroom accommodation for 120 (more if tents and portaloos are added)
  • small rooms, lounges, etc. allow privacy, comfort and meeting space for Royal Couples
  • superb kitchen
  • feasting hall that will easily accommodate over 100
  • tables and chairs for over 120
  • rooms for meetings and classes
  • beautiful surroundings for tournament
  • tournament can be held inside if it rains
  • plenty of space for other outside activities, including archery and perhaps even riding
  • excellent facilities - plentiful, well-appointed bathrooms, scullery, laundry, etc
  • relatively close to Auckland airport (and thus accessible by direct flights from most cities in Australasia)
  • swimming hole
  • bonfire

Location

Hunua Falls is nestled in rolling hills at the base of the Hunua Ranges, a little South of the Auckland metropolitan area. It's between pretty farmland and a large forested reserve.

It's about 40km, or a 45 minute drive, from Auckland airport (depending on traffic, obviously). It's 5 minutes from Hunua (a small village), and 15 minutes from Papakura (the nearest substantial town/suburb).

It's convenient for the Barony of Ildhafn, as it falls between the two main population centres - the cities of Auckland and Hamilton.

Photos

Extensive collections of photos, showing various aspects of the site.

Accommodation

Bunkrooms

The bunkrooms at Hunua Falls are either quite new, and sleep four or five (one bed is a double) (see left); or slightly older and sleep six (see right).

Each bunkroom has a heater: built in, with timers, for the newer rooms; and small portable fan-heaters for the older rooms. In both cases, the bunks are long enough for even tall adults to sleep in relative comfort (we tested this with a gentleman who is well over six feet).

All bunk rooms have power-points.

They are quite spacious: plenty of room for suitcases, etc.

Bedding

The site provides the bed, mattress, and heater. Attendees bring their own bedding - sheets, blankets, sleeping bag, pillow, etc.

We will endeavour to offer bedding, towels and feast-gear to those travellers who need it, but we are a very small group with limited resources - those first to book and pay, and those who have most need, will be given preference.

Tenting

There is room for people to camp if they prefer it to bunking. However, the cost is the same, and there is limited time for set-up and pack down: we have the site only from 4:30pm on Friday, and we must be entirely off site by 3pm on Sunday. Those in tents will need to provide their own beds, as well as bedding - the site's mattresses may be used only in the bunkrooms.

We expect most people will prefer the bunkrooms. If we get many more bookings than we expect, we may encourage locals to tent, to free up space for travellers.

We are not providing hire-tents.

Toilets and showers

There are several toilet and shower blocks, and instant (gas) hot-water. At the Bloth (where we had about 54 people on site) no-one had to wait for showers or bathrooms, and everyone got plentiful hot water.

Most of the showers are on 3-minute timers.

All water on site is potable.

Meeting Rooms and Royal Chambers

The site has several options for meeting rooms, royal ready rooms, A&S display, etc.

Royal Chambers

LoungeOur plan is a suite of Royal Chambers in the best bunk block, comprising two bunk rooms (one for the Crown, one for their retinue or attendants) and the adjoining lounge. The lounge has armchairs, space for dressing, a kitchenette (including sink, crockery, microwave, urn and a small fridge), and room for meetings. It can be divided into two smaller rooms, which might prove convenient if the Crown wished to share it with their Heirs, while maintaining some private space.

Meeting rooms

ChapelWe intend to schedule meetings in the Royal Chambers. The lounge has space for a meeting of up to about 20 people.

If the Crown do not desire to meet in their Chambers, or we have unexpectedly large numbers of peers, we can use the chapel: a free-standing building with seating for up to 100 (chairs included, separate from those provided for the feast hall).

A&S Competitions

The A&S Competitions will be in the main hall, on Saturday morning, so that as many as possible may view the entries and other display. There is a small private room off the hall that could be used for judging.

If the weather is poor and we are preparing for an indoor tournament, the A&S display will be in the chapel.

Accessibility

The site is quite well-equipped for people with disabilities. Flat, paved pathways link all the buildings. There is ramp-access to all the buildings (except perhaps, from memory, the chapel; and the upstairs bedrooms above the kitchen). There are two disabled-access bathrooms. The bunkrooms are spacious.

There are some steep areas on the site, but the major parts of the event will all be held on the flat area.

We plan to hold Crown Tournament itself just outside the main hall: it should be accessible to all.

Restrictions

Alcohol

We will be negotiating with the site regarding alcohol consumption; more details will be available closer to the event. 

Smoking

This is a non-smoking site.

Please refrain from smoking in the buildings or on the grounds. Any who wish to smoke may do so off-site at the end of the driveway (about 100m from the main hall): it's a pleasant, safe area by a quiet road.

Candles

The custodian of the site allows us limited use of naked flames, with suitable safety-precautions. For the Bloth and May Crown 2015, we used oil-lamps, but no candles.

Sunset in Auckland is about 5:30pm in early May, and about 8pm in early November.

Parking

Parking is somewhat limited (about 40 vehicles). Car-pool if you can, park efficiently, and follow the instructions of the parking-warden.

Animals

No pets on site. There are possum-traps and bait in the area, so the site forbids animals.

Nearby Amenities

The nearest town of any sort is Hunua. It's very small, but has a superette and a bottle-shop.

The nearest substantial town is Papakura, about fifteen minutes drive away. Papakura is a well-equipped suburb, with supermarkets, restaurants, banks, medical centre and so on.

We advise travellers to acquire whatever NZ currency they need at the airport when they arrive. There are both ATMs and currency-exchangers near the arrivals area at Auckland International Airport.

Those who wish a visit to a supermarket, chemist, bottle-shop, or other convenience should negotiate it with the shuttle-driver: a short stop in Papakura may cost you a little more, but should not be inconvenient (you pass through there on the way to site).

Other Local Attractions

Shuttles

We have found that commercial shuttle costs to site are sufficiently high that it is not worthwhile using shuttles. We recommend that those flying in either hire a car (very reasonable rates are available for weekend hires from the airport) or organise to car-pool with someone else who is hiring a car.