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Trip Report New Zealand - A 7 week road trip

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I never did get around to posting a report of our Campervan trip around the north and south islands last year so here is an attempt to rectify that.

I have been even more remiss updating our blog but here is a link to those entries we have posted so far with more details and lots of photos:

https://accidentalnomads.com/category/new-zealand/

More to follow..

Our first trip was in July/Aug 2008, this last one Aug/Sept. Both trips in winter but we love it at that time of year. The main difference we noticed between the two visits was that it was a busier the second time around, most notably with Chinese tourists. Even so we had most of the DOC sites to ourselves and the commercial camps were mostly less than half full.

The weather was kind to us most of the time. One or two wet patches, some snow at times but plenty of blue skies. Naturally it was pretty cold at nights in the van but we prepared by visiting the sales at Katmandu and Bivouac to stock up on Icebreaker Merino - a bargain compared to the UK!!

I hunted around for deals on a Campervan and ended up with the ubiquitous Maui, choosing a two berth self contained van which was reasonable spacious and manoeuvrable.. I got what I considered to be a good deal with discounts for long term rental and winter with a few extras thrown in. What did bump up the cost was the fully comp. insurance - in retrospect I should have searched for a stand alone policy.

We used a combination of DOC sites, Commercial sites (mostly Top 10, using their membership card the discounts more than covered the cost) and Freedom Camping. We really noticed the reduction in the number of permitted freedom camping sites this time around - a shame but entirely understandable.

Wifi is important to us so we tended to buy cards to access Top 10 wifi when on their sites. Not sure whether buying a sim for the iPad would have been cheaper/ better.

We visited some old favourites as well as some completely new places. Hard to choose highlights as there were so many but Abel Tasman sticks out as one that we missed first time around - what an amazing place!

New Zealand in winter is not for everyone, nor indeed is two months in Campervan but even having done it twice, we would do it again in a heartbeat!

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