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Things we'll remember about caravaning

After 75 days touring the South Island in an old '87 retro NZ caravan (in peak season), there's a few things we will remember for sure... ...

March 13, 2019

Good things come to an end

We arrived 'home' to the North Island on Feb 28th, a good 75 days since we left, living in our caravan since Nov 24th. ☀️ 75 days 🚗 Almost 8,000km 🌲 31 different towns stayed in 😊 10 friends & catch ups ⛴ 2 ferry crossings 🐶 1 well travelled dog 👫 1 wedding anniversary 👌🏼 Zero breakdowns 💕 Memories forever Looking back, our time in the South Island seemed to go very fast. There were places we felt like we'd been to just yesterday, but looking at photos and the dat...

March 11, 2019

Double the Retro

What do you get when you have two young families and two old retro caravans in the South Island? Two weeks of FUN!! You may have read one of our earlier posts that mentioned some friends who took 5 months off (with two under 3!) and travelled. We had planned to meet up in our last two weeks to spend some time travelling together.  We met up in St Arnaud, close to where we started our trip. This was a great spot for the boys to go hunting/ cycling/ running in the mountains and safe for the l...

March 1, 2019

Milford Sound

After our gravel road caravan dust bomb experience, we were REALLY thankful for some friends who extended their family's hospitality and let us park up at their Grandad's "Crib" in Manapouri. Apparently, that's what Southlanders call a batch (took us a while to figure out!). Um, hello LAKE VIEW spot with insane views out towards the magestical mountains of Fiordland! Thankful for a flush toilet and a powerpoint to vacuum the heck out of our dusty interior, a short trip to Te Anau laundromat to w...

February 17, 2019

Southland

I never thought that Southland was a nice place... don't get me wrong, but I just imagined some sort of forgotten-about-bottom-of-the-island-farms that didn't have much going on for it. Wowzers... turns out Invercargill and Gore are pretty nice places! Maybe coz we had a great time, with some fantastic hospitality, but seriously - I'm a sucker for all those sheep on rolling plains. So is the hubby. We even thought, "If someone told us we had to move to a farm in Invercargill tomorrow, we probabl...

February 13, 2019

Life in a Caravan: 52 days in

Life in a caravan can be pretty cruisey – so long as you can get outdoors, get along with your spouse and have some space to relax! We’re loving it. You learn that you don’t need too much ‘stuff’ to get by with. Living off the grid and on solar is easy – gas for cooking, gas powered 3-way fridge, solar powered lights and we are set. We have one frypan, one pot, 4 plates and bowls and a few utensils. Our caravan is 20ft (about 7 metres), and we are lucky to have three ‘areas’ to ...

February 3, 2019

The Catlins

Nothing much but some bush, beach and a handful of people… finally! We found a mint DOC campground, Papatowai, tucked along the coast line with access to a beach - we decided to base ourselves here for exploring the Catlins. What a place. The Catlins is kind of like the southern version of the Far North. Somewhat untouched; expanses of beach; rolling farmland and differently- loads of bush. The paddocks are large open plains with gentle hills dotted with sheep everywhere, the sealed roads...

February 2, 2019

Cromwell/ Alexander Region

After a pitstop in Waimate again (to pick up Ridge), we headed down southward, towards the Alexander region. We parked up at a free overnight spot along Cromwell Gorge, where all the tourists park up late too! At least it was free and had flush toilets...  There wasn't a lot to do on yet another rainy/overcast day, so we headed into Cromwell to have a look around. We came upon Old Cromwell - a cute little historic area of the town, where all the buildings are some of the old original ones, ...

January 28, 2019

Lake Pukaki, Mt Cook & Tekapo

We decided to call into Lake Pukaki for a night, so that we could spend a day up around Mt Cook. As we headed up the highway we picked up some fresh salmon from High Country Salmon. Yum!  There’s a large free camping area along the edge of Lake Pukaki, with views to Mt Cook and overlooking the stony turquoise blue lake lined with dark green pines. Probably the best view point in the area!...

January 22, 2019

Lake Ohau

Leaving cloudy, grey Waimate (and Ridge for a few days), we headed out to the Tekapo-Twizel region. The sun broke out through the grey clouds we left in Waimate, as we cruised along the open road towards Lake Ohau.  We passed a couple camping areas as we came into the Ohau area, but continued further along a dusty gravel road to a quieter bush reserve. Good decision- this was right on the lake front, and only one other vehicle. Bliss!...

January 16, 2019

Waimate - not your usual stop

Not many people stop in Waimate! It's not 'big' on the to-do list, but we have some good friends down there, so we parked up for a few days to catch up. The weather was less than desirable - we seem to get more cloudy days than sun so far!  We drove through the town and suddenly recognised the great big painted silos recently painted by a Kiwi artist. We'd seen these on TV some time ago, and forgot that they were in this town! The paintings add a historic perspective to the town, showcasing...

January 13, 2019

Crawling Arthur’s Pass

As the sun pushed its way through the heavy grey cloud, we were eastbound traveling into Arthur’s Pass from Greymouth. It’s a rather scenic route, with hills transforming into mountains steeper than any I’ve seen to date in NZ.  The hills seemed to reach up to touch the sky, with dense bush breaking clear at the gravelly scree tops. “There’s deer in there”, hubby noted a few times along the way, also mentioning that I should look out for them as we drive... I’m not that sharp-...

January 11, 2019

The West Coast

The wild west coast of NZ ... rugged, wet, somewhat grey and peaceful. We made our way down the coast and to be honest - there's not many places to stay between the 'thriving metropolis' of Westport and Greymouth. We parked overnight in a busy freedom camping site on the Fox River, just up from Punakaiki. How busy this place was, was an understatement. In less than 1 hour, 7 campervans and 4 cars pulled up and left due to max capacity. In terms of 'staying' here, it was basic but the best bit wa...

January 8, 2019

Cape Foulwind

After hanging out on the East coast, we made our way to the West Coast. Just south of Westport is Cape Foulwind, a little spot on the coast line, with a lighthouse, a pub, 3 local friendly wandering dogs (one whom frequents the pub) and about 10 houses.  It wasn't really a "foul wind" when we were there, in fact for 2 entire nights we were the only ones parked up on the domain reserve. It was perfect - we needed some time to ourselves to sort out some personal health related stuff, and the ...

January 4, 2019

St Arnaud - Nelson Lakes

Just before Christmas, we rolled into Nelson Lakes area - staying at Teetotal Campground, a DOC area. We had to stay here because it was the only dog-friendly place for Ridge - unfortunately, he's not allowed in the National Parks.  St Arnaud is a quaint little place, you can really tell it's an alpine snow-seeker haven for winter time; and for summer time, it's humming with mountain bikers and tourist hikers. There's not much there - a little general store, a cafe, a couple motels/accommod...

January 1, 2019

Ward Beach & Rarangi

We packed up, left our hometown and hit the road, one way to the Wellington Ferry! Everything was going smooth til we hit the outskirts of Wellington and a 1hr + traffic jam... that meant  5hrs sleep ahead before boarding the ferry! The next morning, we joined the queue for the ferry at 5.30am, loaded in, popped Ridge in a kennel (in case he puked) and enjoyed the early morning ride. Our first “proper” stop was Ward Beach Reserve, a coastal stop on the edge of a farm. It was bliss, with...

December 25, 2018

Taking the road less travelled

Time to tow this old girl! We're hitting the road to Wellington on Sunday, parking up at a Club for the night then onto the ferry to cross over to the South Island. We're NZMCA members and they have a directory of places we can park at with our caravan (and puppy), which is going to prove useful! No flash hotels or accommodation here - we're glamping it caravan-style all the way through Summer.Our plan is to take the road less travelled - go some places where not so many others go, find the hidd...

December 10, 2018

From house to caravan

Hubby and I had a dream that we could see turning into reality, so we went after it. Touring the South Island in a caravan, living off the land and exploring our own backyard all summer long. Sounds pretty romantic huh? We had friends who took 5 months out of their 'regular' life and they just couldn't stop raving about it, and I think the little caravan travel bug bit us....

December 8, 2018 Posts 1-18 of 18 | Page