| Nov 24, 2014
We just finished an amazing six weeks weeks in New Zealand. It was all so incredible, but the best part was the amazing and out-of-the-way places we were able to go because we were traveling in our Wilderness campervan. Don’t get me wrong, Doubtful Sound was beautiful, and the Milford Track was a memory of a lifetime, but it was SO nice to be able to enjoy the wonder of New Zealand and feel like you have it to yourself! It was so nice to have the freedom to pull over in a scenic spot and say, “Let’s stay here for the rest of the day, I’ll start on afternoon tea.”
The DOC campground in Kinloch was definitely a highlight! For $6 a night we had the entire place to ourselves where the glacial blue river met the lake. The historic restaurant was just steps away, and provided some of the best soups and cakes we had on our entire trip. Plus a nice glass of scotch.
We kept saying how glad we were that we decided to travel in the shoulder season. The rows of empty bus bays at the big tourist stops reminded us of that! We shared the 800 site campground at Abel Tasman National Park with about eight other campers! We sat on the beach and hiked across the estuary in solitude.
We had two different campers on our trip, the Dart 2 and the Escape 2. We loved zipping around the island in our efficient little Dart 2, and driving the Escape 2 at the end our our trip was like taking a luxury hotel room everywhere we went!
Our first night in the Dart 2, I woke up just outside of Kaikora with a pleasant realization about what the trip was going to be like as I was cooking up a salty breakfast in the free camping spot we found perched on a perfect little peninsula full of sleeping sea lions.
We weighed the cost of a campervan with that of a car rental plus hotel rooms, and I’m really glad we chose the way we did. Exploring nature was the best part of our trip, and most of that was done leisurely in our camper.
When we hiked the Milford Track, a thunderstorm rolled in and they closed the road out of milford. The 40 other people who finished the track with us that day had to crowd into the dorms with everyone else and their unwashed socks. We were so glad that a few days earlier we had our campervan delivered and waiting for us, for a little more that the cost of two tickets on the bus back to Te Anau. We were happy to have our clean clothes, a big bed, and a pantry full of food waiting for us. We spend the next couple days watching movies and staring at the myriad waterfalls that had been created by the rainstorm raging outside.
After six weeks, we still weren’t ready to come home. I'll let the rest of the photos finish the story! There is so much to see and do in New Zealand. We will definitely be back!