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Author Topic: RV'ing in New Zealand  (Read 1058 times)

rgreenb831

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RV'ing in New Zealand
« on: September 07, 2015, 03:36:38 PM »
My wife and I leave in 2 weeks for New Zealand where we will be renting a 24' 4-berth diesel camper van. We plan on spending a month on each island. Other than driving on the left, are there important things we need to know about RV'ing in NZ, what tools to bring, about holiday parks, purchasing groceries, frequency of gas stations, etc.?
Bob G.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 03:38:23 PM by rgreenb831 »

ArdraF

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Re: RV'ing in New Zealand
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2015, 04:16:18 PM »
We were driving in a rental car when we toured the islands so I don't know about camping, but you're going to love it!  I don't recall anything unusual about either grocery stores or gas stations.  Driving "the wrong way" isn't so difficult - with the exception of rural areas where you may be the only car on the road.  I was driving along at a leisurely pace when I came to a hill and suddenly there was a car seeming to come right at me.  It took a few seconds for my brain to engage and tell me that we were both in our proper lanes - but it was a heart thumper!  On the south island going west toward Franz Josef glacier there's a one-lane bridge that we shared with railroad tracks.  And yes, it's one-way traffic for both cars and trains!  Guess who has the right of way.  On the north island is 90-Mile Beach (really 60 miles but that's another story) which is part of the highway system.  We were on a tour bus that time and the driver said he was going to drive down the river to reach the road.  We thought he was nuts but, sure enough, he turned into the river.  Then we reached the beach "road".  It really is a numbered highway but, obviously accessible only at low tide.  They have underbelly spray washers at each end to wash off the sand and salt water.  That was quite an adventure!

Rotorua is the big Maori cultural center and it's very interesting.  They have a Hangi dinner which is similar to a Hawaiian luau.  They roast pigs in deep steam pits and it's the best pork I've ever eaten.  Oh and they had a dessert that also was cooked in the steam pit.  I can liken it to something similar to English plum pudding but much better.  I pigged out on that one!  By the way, steam pits are used instead of fire pits because it's a big volcanic area.  Think of the bubbling pools at Mt. Lassen if you've ever been there.  During the Hangi the Maoris put on a show so be sure to plan on spending some time in that area.

One of the most fascinating aspects of New Zealand is that it's like a microcosm of the USA.  It has tropical areas, glaciers, lovely sand beaches, mountains, everything we have but in a much smaller area.  Wellington has a lovely botanic garden and be prepared for urban hiking up and down hillsides.  Our hotel in Wellington had the lobby on the top floor and we went down the elevator to our floor.  It has a nice harbor.  Christchurch was a lovely English-style city although they had a major earthquake after our visit.  I hope everything was repaired.  At the northernmost tip of the north island is where the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean meet.  You can see the interesting tidal action from high up on a hill above the water.

Anyway, the Kiwis are great people.  And, there are more sheep than people.  I had never really had any lamb that I liked but we had superb leg of lamb in Auckland.  They really know how to prepare it so that's the place to try it!

ArdraF
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 04:18:14 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
:D :D

rgreenb831

  • Posts: 2
Re: RV'ing in New Zealand
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2015, 11:01:26 AM »
Thanks, Ardra. Very interesting - we're really looking forward to our trip.
Bob

Dougie Brown

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  • Posts: 895
  • Brits spending half each year in the US & Canada
    • RV and us.... our adventures in Morocco, Spain, the US & Canada!
Re: RV'ing in New Zealand
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2015, 01:03:51 PM »
My wife and I leave in 2 weeks for New Zealand where we will be renting a 24' 4-berth diesel camper van. We plan on spending a month on each island. Other than driving on the left, are there important things we need to know about RV'ing in NZ, what tools to bring, about holiday parks, purchasing groceries, frequency of gas stations, etc.?
Bob G.

Bob, what's it costing you to rent your motorhome?  And is it a one-way hire?

Dougie.
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (F53 chassis, Ford 6.8 V10 gas)
1999 Ford Escort SE (2.0L 4cyl gas)
Brits spending half each year in the US and/or Canada
www.rv-and.us

 

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