Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Campervan Journey

I recently spent a few weeks in NZ with MS and am very behind in posts – there will be a dozen or so coming in the next few days!
Our travel in New Zealand was mainly by Campervan.  (Or Camper Van, if you prefer.)
I did a significant amount of research and we were really happy with my van.  I rented from Tiki Rentals, and they were super professional and got us all set up with extra blankets (it’s winter down here!), a GPS, etc.  I would very highly recommend using their vans, after my two trips to this awesome country.  You’ll love the extra headroom when cooking in the kitchen!  The vans are efficient (Toyota Hiace (or HiLux?)), comfortable, and easy to use.
Stickshift and driving on the left side of the road?  No problem!camper
In total we drove about 5200 km as we traveled around both islands, which required roughly 520 liters of 91 octane (regular in NZ, as opposed to 98) petrol, at an approximate cost of NZ$2.11/liter or NZ$1097 total (US$870).  Sometimes (just about always) the roads were very windy (the word having to do with curve, not the one having to to with moving air), but the van handled it all like a champ!
Somewhere around Russell, I think?
In Marlborough Sounds:
Our test drive for about a week was: Auckland > Cape Reinga > Auckland.  That way if we needed anything (warmer sleeping bag, less ‘stuff’ in the van, etc.), then we could modify as necessary in the big city.
Our route (which took around 25 days) around the country was: Auckland > Cape Reinga (via Russell) > Auckland > Coromandel > Rotorua > Napier > Wellington > Picton > Kiakoura > Christchurch > Mt. Cook > Queenstown > Franz Joseph > Westport > Marlb Sounds > Picton > Wellington > Marton > Taupo > Waitomo > Auckland.
Our camper turned into a nighttime office very easily when there was wifi around!  Plenty of space!
Here's a video tour of our kitchen in the camper!  

The world’s most useless roundabout, with one exit for each direction of travel!
A curious weka wanted to get a snack crumb that dropped in our stairwell!

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